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.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty