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.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“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