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.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)