NORDSTROM ALLIES WITH GQ: Nordstrom has partnered with GQ for an integrated marketing effort that will have product from the pages of the magazine sold in a dedicated shop at nordstrommen.com, which directs to the Nordstrom men’s e-commerce site. The concept is similar to one GQ created for online retailer Park & Bond last fall and winter.
Beginning with the July issue, GQ editors, in consultation with Tommy Fazio, men’s trend director at Nordstrom, will choose 12 to 18 items a month from the pages of the magazine to spotlight as a “GQ Selects” choice. Readers will be directed to the GQ or Nordstrom Web sites to learn more about the program and shop the chosen items. The site goes live later this month, once the July issue hits newsstands.
“This is about selling product, but it’s also about raising our level of awareness in the fashion world,” said David Witman, general merchandise manager of men’s wear at Nordstrom. “And we haven’t made it a secret that we are really emphasizing our online business.”
Last year, men’s rang up about $1.6 billion in sales at Nordstrom, or about 15 percent of the retailer’s $10.5 billion in total revenues. The online segment has been the biggest driver of men’s sales, said Witman. In April, Nordstrom led a $16.4 million round of investment in Bonobos.com, with the aim of bringing the fast-growing e-tailer’s expertise to Seattle-based Nordstrom.
Chris Mitchell, vice president and publisher of GQ, dubbed the Nordstrom initiative, which continues through December, a strategic partnership with an important retail advertiser. “It’s a powerful way to move their business forward while providing another touch point for the GQ reader to engage with the magazine and gq.com,” he explained, emphasizing that GQ editors retain their complete independence in the process. The “GQ Selects” items are chosen after the magazine is completed, he noted. However, GQ editors and photographers shoot the images that appear on the Nordstrom e-commerce site to present the look and feel of GQ editorial.
An earlier digital initiative by Nordstrom involving a Joseph Abboud iPad app has met with success this spring, said Witman of the company’s push into new technologies. The new app facilitates in-store sales of made-to-measure Joseph Abboud suits, making it easier for salesmen to showcase the breadth of fabrics, styles and details available to customers. Witman said the app has led to a tripling of Abboud suit sales, with Nordstrom stores on track to sell 3,000 units this spring, compared with 1,000 a year ago.