Bloomingdale’s has a new spin on shopping outlets, which it begins putting to the test today.
The upscale chain is opening its first fashion outlet at Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Va., seeking to maintain the allure of the treasure hunt, but with less digging through the racks. A second outlet will launch Aug. 27 in the Bergen Town Center in Paramus, N.J.
“Both are very shoppable and, at the same time, the customer feels there is a density of merchandise,” said Arnold Orlick, Bloomingdale’s senior vice president in charge of outlets. “They’re clean, simple, bright environments that feel like Bloomingdale’s but they’re not.”
Sixty to 70 percent of the merchandise comprises excess goods from vendors; 20 percent is clearance from Bloomingdale’s regular stores, and 10 to 20 percent is manufactured specifically for the outlets. “The lion’s share of the goods are 40 to 60 percent off,” Orlick said, though discounts can be as much as 80 percent.
The retailer plans four or five openings a year if the concept succeeds.
“Bergen and Potomac are very important tests,” Orlick said. “The question is whether there is cannibalization or no cannibalization” of Bloomingdale’s stores.
The outlets are marked by black-and-white checkerboard aisles, evoking the B-way in Bloomingdale’s full-line stores. But the aisles are vinyl, not the usual marble. The black-white motif is repeated on signs and fixtures, offset by pops of color from the clothing and wall art resembling designer sketches. The outlets also have polished concrete floors and exposed ceilings, giving them the utilitarian vibe of a sleek warehouse or loft.
“An outlet store can be stylish,” said Jack Hruska, executive vice president of creative services at Bloomingdale’s. And flexible, as well, he added, with rolling fixtures and shelves that can be shifted from wall to floor displays so departments may be reconfigured depending on the size of vendor shipments.
With 22,000 square feet of selling space each, the outlets are smaller than those of most major competitors. They’re not piled as high with merchandise in order to reduce rummaging. They’re still heavily stocked with men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, shoes, kids’, outerwear and intimate apparel, but no home, cosmetics or fragrance.
At the Potomac Mills unit, a row of signs in the center aisle includes the cheeky message “Are you dreaming? No, silly. This is real,” and touts everyday discounts of 25 to 70 percent. Labels range from contemporary to bridge to designer, including Tory Burch, Burberry, BCBG Max Azria, Michael Michael Kors, DKNY, Elie Tahari, Lauren by Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Men’s brands include Theory, Joseph Abboud, Canali and Hugo by Hugo Boss.
There’s an extensive shoe and accessories section with its own bank of registers and handbags from Botkier, Salvatore Ferragamo, Cole Haan and Tadashi Shoji. Shoe brands include Stuart Weitzman, Converse and Ugg, and there are sunglasses from Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Michael Kors, among others. Denim includes Paige Denim, J Brand, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Joe’s Jeans, Rock & Republic and Seven For All Mankind.
Bloomingdale’s will open an outlet in Dolphin Outlet Center in Miami in October and another in Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Fla., in November.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye