Power is mutual — and for Shiseido and Bloomingdale’s, it’s a reciprocal relationship.
Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive officer Michael Gould and Shiseido Cosmetics America’s ceo Heidi Manheimer spoke to a packed house at The Harmonie Club in New York about how to keep brand identity intact in a retail partnership for Cosmetic Executive Women’s Newsmaker Forum event on Thursday evening.
Moderated by Jill Scalamandre, senior vice president of Philosophy and Coty Prestige Skin Care, the panelists shared insights into what makes a successful partnership in today’s digital landscape.
“Everything is changing,” said Gould during the discussion. “There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, ‘If you’re on the right track, you’re going to get run over.’”
Manheimer noted that the biggest difference in how the industry has evolved is that the consumer is everywhere and the industry has to meet them everywhere. “The definition of a brand is the relationship with the consumer,” said Manheimer. “The first thing you need to say [is] are we in a place where we share the same consumer.”
Manheimer gave the example of how Shiseido’s backbone is service. Coming from Japan, Shiseido executives were used to customers spending an hour in the department store. Bloomingdale’s informed them that the customer wants that same service in 15 to 12 minutes.
“What makes Bloomingdale’s different?” Gould asked rhetorically. “It’s the culture that people have to come first. The more exciting the store is, the better the online business is going to be. The Dior account doesn’t need another transaction. It needs beauty advisers and beauty experts that have relationships.”
Alluding to the hot topic of Millennials and how to stay on top of younger trends, Manheimer mentioned Shiseido’s new Ibuki range and its target consumer. “When you look at the younger consumer, all the research tells you that they can’t even tell you if they bought it in-store or online,” she said. “They look at it all the same. They want it to be one experience.”
Switching gears, Gould addressed the need to lure more consumers into the cosmetics department. He disclosed that “38 percent of apparel customers bought beauty last year. It’s not like they don’t see [the beauty counter]. It’s not in the corner of the fifth floor. We have customers spending a lot of money with us. Some are FOBs [or free-on-board customers who buy from the store’s catalogue or Web site] and some are not. What are we doing to nurture that?”
“The clientele can be in-store for 30 years, you punch in their information and it pops up that they are a loyalist,” he said, stressing repeatedly the need to form relationships with customers. “But how do we give someone the confidence that being someone’s friend is different than being someone’s salesperson?”
Manheimer added, “The challenge is to make sure they want to come back. During 9/11, we were so surprised. While everyone’s bracing themselves for terrible business, Shiseido did extremely well. When we went to evaluate why, it’s because we had real relationships. Consumers were calling counters to see how the beauty consultants were.”
Turning back the clock, Gould signed off by addressing Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW. “Twenty-one years ago was the last time I was at a CEW event,” he said. “It took me 21 years to come back, and I hope in 20 years you’ll invite me back.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)