Checkout: Old Dog, New Tricks … Barney’s New Outlet … Wal-Mart Tech
OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS: Just because they're big doesn't mean that chains like Sears, Roebuck & Co. can't reinvent themselves and prosper in challenging times. So says Walter Loeb, the keynote speaker at a Management Horizons retail...
OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS: Just because they're big doesn't mean that chains like Sears, Roebuck & Co. can't reinvent themselves and prosper in challenging times. So says Walter Loeb, the keynote speaker at a Management Horizons retail conference of 90 people in Dallas Tuesday.
Sears, Loeb asserted, epitomizes the strategy of focusing on a specific niche, precisely identifying its customer, in addition to recognizing and cultivating employee talent, and exploiting technology.
Sears' method was to shut its catalog and underperforming stores to focus on apparel, home and automotive goods, develop a detailed profile of its target customer and an ad campaign to reach her, offer incentive pay to employees, cut all tasks except selling from sales associates' duties, start marketing to ethnic groups and wield computer systems to track merchandise.
Loeb also cited Wal-Mart's move to deliver goods to stores six days a week instead of five to keep inventories low but adequate and fresh.
"The most important theme for the Nineties is for retailers to look for ways to innovate their operation -- to have fresh, new, young ideas that will distinguish themselves from their competitors," Loeb said.
BARNEYS' NEW OUTLET: Barneys New York will open its second outlet store on Thursday. The 7,250-square-foot unit will be at the Potomac Mills outlet center in Prince William, Va., and will carry women's and men's apparel, accessories and footwear at 30 to 60 percent below regular retail prices. The company opened its first outlet in Woodbury Commons in Harriman, N.Y., in May 1993.
WAL-MART TECH: One key reason Wal-Mart Stores has rocketed to the top spot in U.S. retailing is its use of technology to speed management functions and slash overhead.
Randy Mott, vice president and chief information officer of the Bentonville, Ark.-based chain, revealed some of the secrets behind its automation on Monday at Retail Systems '94, a technology conference at the Sheraton Washington Hotel in Washington.
Wal-Mart, which had sales last year of $67.3 billion, automated 16 store-level processes over the past year. But Mott said before the discounter considers automating any function, it first tries to eliminate it.He said corporate applications developers spend time in the stores performing tasks manually and working with store employees before planning automations. This helps developers attack problems with end-users in mind.
"For receiving applications, our developers spent weeks unloading trucks and writing out the paperwork to understand how the process really works," Mott explained. "We go to the highest-volume, most productive stores and talk to managers and clerks to see what they're doing right."
Another example was last year's move to automate markdowns, a labor-intensive function that is plagued by shrinkage and redundancy.
Developers spent two weeks at stores and designed a system that was piloted in 20 units before being fully rolled out. The entire process took 3 1/2 months.
The new markdown system is completely paperless and has pared shrinkage and reduced labor costs. Data is gathered daily, by item, and the system saves Wal-Mart $6 million annually.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion