As the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Big Show on Monday swung into its second full day, Macy’s Inc. chairman, president and chief executive officer Terry J. Lundgren, the outgoing NRF chairman, passed the baton to Sadove, Saks Inc’s chairman and ceo. Like his predecessor, who championed job creation, Sadove said he’s committed to the cause and NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign. Sadove will also be pushing for the removal of trade barriers and corporate tax reform. Noting that retail accounts for 18 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, he said, “Retail pays the highest effective tax rate. [Reducing] it would mean lower prices for consumers.”
As head of a luxury retailer, it’s not surprising that one of Sadove’s pet projects is visa reform. “People from China, Russia and Brazil, who wanted to come here and shop, had to wait four months to get an interview to get a visa,” Sadove said. “The NRF got it down to three weeks. We want to make it even shorter.” RELATED STORY: NRF Steps Up Lobbying Efforts >>
The NRF’s decision to give its coveted Gold Medal Award to Amazon.com founder and ceo Bezos could be seen as a changing of the guard. After all, the NRF’s membership base is comprised mainly of brick-and-mortar retailers. Physical stores have been locked in fierce competition over customers with the Web and the growing trend of showrooming, where shoppers visit stores to look, feel and touch the merchandise before making a purchase online.
Bezos’ Gold Medal Award marks the first time a Web-based retailer received such recognition from the organization. If there was any doubt that Amazon is here to stay as a retail player, the NRF would seem to be erasing it.
Bezos, who was dressed more casually than his peers, in a white collared shirt and jacket with no tie, demonstrated a love of computers at an early age, according to a video played before he accepted his award. He started his first business in high school. “I used to drag the packages myself to the post office myself in my Chevy Blazer,” he said.
Bezos said he was surprised to achieve such success. “We had tremendous planetary alignment,” he said, adding that he enjoys taking risks. “We like dark alleys because they can turn into wonderful vistas,” he said. But, it’s OK if they remain dark alleys, because Bezos said he likes them “either way.”
Amazon has been a disruptive force for the traditional retail establishment. The global e-commerce leader has changed the way the world shops, by making products available 24/7. With $48 billion in sales in 2011, Amazon is projected to reach $166 billion in four years. The e-commerce giant upended the book industry with its Kindle e-reader and created a tablet for games, movies and other products. Amazon has declined to collect sales tax for online sales, angering brick-and-mortar retailers who say the Web giant has created an unlevel playing field.
Bezos recently said that he’s interested in opening physical stores for Amazon, sending an additional chill down traditional retailers’ spines.
Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and ceo of Brooks Brothers, acted as emcee. Besides Bezos’ award, Lululemon Athletica Inc. nabbed International Retailer of the Year, which was accepted by Delaney Schweitzer, executive vice president of retail operations, and Crocs Inc.’s John McCarvel received the Retail Innovator of the Year award.
Also on Monday, Kip Tindell, chairman and ceo of The Container Store, was elected first vice chairman of the board, treasurer and chairman of the finance committee, and HSN Inc. ceo Mindy Grossman was elected second vice chair of the board and secretary.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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