Macy’s Inc.’s order-online, pick-up-in-store program is testing the limits of its technical prowess.
Speaking to the Telsey Advisory Group Fall Consumer Conference in New York Wednesday, Karen Hoguet, chief financial officer of the department store giant, told attendees the transition to in-store pickup is more challenging than simply shipping an item to a customer. “We had the technology to tell us we had that item in the system and we could ship it to you,” she said. “But now it’s got to be in a central location in X hours in order for you to be able to do that. So far, the technology is working.”
In-store pickup is being rolled out to Bloomgingdale’s 36 department stores, although at the moment, a customer in the New York area might be directed to the White Plains unit. “Pretty soon, it’ll say 59th Street,” she said, referring to the retailer’s Manhattan flagship, which is just being incorporated into the program.
Similarly, the company has in some cases, like the Washington market, begun testing individual stores’ ability to fulfill orders placed online by trying it first in a few categories. “We’re not marketing it yet because…we’re just trying to test to make sure we can do it right and there’s a need. But what was very encouraging is that early indications are the customers are buying a lot more when they come to the store. And that’s frankly the holy grail here. If you can do a buy-online, pick-up-in-store and they pick up those items and then, while they’re in the store, they buy other things, that’s a big deal for us,” the cfo said.
Although Macy’s has never broken out the size of its e-commerce business, a strategic priority for the firm, it is estimated to have accounted for more than $1.7 billion of the company’s 2012 sales of $27.69 billion. Macy’s said in its 2012 annual report that its Internet business increased 41 percent last year and was responsible for 2.2 points of the overall comparable-sales increase of 3.7 percent. Investments in technology allowed Macy’s to ship merchandise ordered online or at another store to 292 stores last year, a number budgeted to hit 500 by the end of the current fiscal year.
Also at the Telsey conference, E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden Inc., touched on the overarching effects of omnichannel retailing during his presentation.
He said, “The distinction between prestige and masses is becoming almost irrelevant.…It’s blurring between the digital platforms, the specialty retail and the consolidation of that department store channel.”
Arden has its eyes on another channel as well — spas. The company is looking to its spa heritage to fuel future growth of its flagship Elizabeth Arden brand. Nearly one year ago, the company began introducing a leaner, revamped Elizabeth Arden range to key retail doors. Kathy Widmer, Arden’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said that the company’s link with Red Door Spas sets it apart from competing department store beauty brands. “It is the single biggest component of the brand equity,” Widmer told attendees.
She noted that the company has a 30 percent interest in the Red Door Spas business, which is owned by North Castle Partners, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn.
She said the two firms are partnering “on a greater level” and working on a salon and spa concept that is slated to open in Manhattan’s Union Square within the next month. The concept could then be exported to markets where the brand has a relatively small business, such as China.
“We’d like to have the ability to roll this out as the way of presenting the brand in the unique and different way within the category in emerging markets as well,” said Widmer, who said Arden also is pursuing an initiative tailored for the dermatology channel, which is slated to launch in March at the American Academy of Dermatology convention.
@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
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)