LOS ANGELES — A little more than a year since Topshop entered Nordstrom, executives from both retailers put in some serious face time last week during a tour of Topshop locations at Nordstrom to take stock of their partnership and improve joint efforts going forward as Topshop’s presence within the department store expands.
Sir Philip Green, chief executive officer of Topshop parent Arcadia Group, and his team visited around 25 Nordstrom stores with Topshop departments, and Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising for Nordstrom Inc., met up with the traveling Topshop crew on Friday at Nordstrom stores in the Orange County, Calif., shopping centers Irvine Spectrum Center, South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island.
Nordstrom explained those stores have Topshop setups from different phases of the British retailer’s short history with Nordstrom that began with 14 doors in September 2012 and has spread to a total of 41 Topshop and 18 Topman locations, including Nordstrom stores that have only Topman shops and no Topshop units.
“It is necessary for us to spend this kind of time together,” said Nordstrom. “It can feel tedious at times, but they are in London and we are in Seattle, and this is not a model that has really ever been done. This is a unique partnership. It is not like buying a line from a vendor. It is much more of a collaborative process. We were basically coming together saying, ‘We are doing well, but if we did these things better, how much better can the business be?’”
He said Green was keen to check out the Topshop branding, which has been elevated with enhanced imagery, and get a sense of how the merchandise is performing. “He cares first and foremost about his brand and the presentation of his brand in our stores. That’s part of it, the visual merchandising part,” said Nordstrom. “But he is a real merchant. He wants to know what’s selling well. He always engages with the department manager to know what is selling or what could be selling better, and he uses those as living examples.”
In one such example, Green chatted with a Nordstrom employee in Irvine Spectrum at the shoe section about Topshop’s products. “Everyone was there: Pete and his team. The girl came over and I said, ‘How can I help?’ She said, ‘We want more.’ I said, ‘We like girls like you.’ In 10 minutes, I named her Miss More,” recounted Green. “We are in the early days, and we are not delivering enough inventory. Where we have quite a tight collection, it is quite easy to see that we could do a lot more business. It is learning about allocation, how do we react quicker, how do we get the data.”
Part of the solution to reacting quicker and leveraging Nordstrom sales data at Topshop will be building an organization at the U.K. chain to specifically manage the Nordstrom business. “Now that we’ve scaled up, it’s going to have a dedicated owner on our side. That has to be somebody’s job,” said Green. “Some people have to come in to work at 4 in the afternoon and work the night shift. I want to have some people open when they’re open, so we’re not playing catch-up. We need to be live.”
Those people will be crucial as Topshop takes its next steps at Nordstrom. The U.S. retailer hasn’t disclosed the exact number of doors Topshop will increase to in upcoming seasons, but it is considering up to 10 for spring and another spate of doors for late fall. Pete Nordstrom said the department store is taking “reasonable bites at a time so that we can execute better. We are going to add more stores together in the spring, and really what we are looking at is twice a year adding new stores. It should be in the majority of our stores. There is no doubt about that.”
Also expected in the spring are pop-up shops to house the Kate Moss collection that Topshop is launching in April. Green told WWD last month that he’d like 60 to 70 pop-ups at Nordstrom for the collection. Asked about that amount on Saturday, when he was at a Topshop at Los Angeles shopping center The Grove for an early holiday party that featured a performance by Natalia Kills and was attended by Mandy Moore, Erin Wasson and Ashley Madekwe, Green said, “We haven’t quite decided how we are going to do it. Yesterday, we left on the basis of they were going to think about how many stores, and do we do it on the existing mat or separate? We are not quite finalized with the plan, but the answer is yes, it is going to be in Nordstrom.”
Elaborating further on the rollout of the Kate Moss collection, Green revealed the launch would be in all of Topshop’s 39 countries simultaneously. “I want to get everything delivered, all built and ready to go on the same day. I just think there will be more impact. This time, it is the right way to do it,” he said. “There’s going to be one drop. No replenishment. We could sell it in two days or a week.”
The kind of buzz that Topshop intends to generate with the launch of the Kate Moss collection is what Nordstrom is trying to capture at its stores with the brand. “We wanted to do a better job of being more relevant to young women. This brand has a lot of resonance and credibility with young fashionable women, so that was a great opportunity for us to bring this product in and attract new customers. It has worked for us that way. It has made our existing customers happy and has brought in a lot of new customers,” said Nordstrom, adding, “The fact that we are continuing to grow together suggests that we are encouraged by the results that we already have.”
For Topshop, Nordstrom provides exposure to consumers in the U.S. market, where it aims to generate $1 billion in sales in the not-too-distant future. Green, who noted Topshop is currently in negotiations for four or five stores to enlarge its U.S. fleet of four freestanding locations, proclaimed Topshop has “a shot” at reaching that revenue target “if we find the right locations. We are not running at 100 miles an hour. We want to be careful and take a little bit of time.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion