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BG Brings Jacobs Show To Masses in Cyberspace

NEW YORK — Bergdorf Goodman, in its first-ever e-commerce venture, is scoring big with a Marc Jacobs trunk show.<br><br>The trunk show was held live last Thursday through Saturday at the store, and is being duplicated online at...

NEW YORK — Bergdorf Goodman, in its first-ever e-commerce venture, is scoring big with a Marc Jacobs trunk show.

The trunk show was held live last Thursday through Saturday at the store, and is being duplicated online at Style.com/marcjacobs, bringing an international audience into the ordering, and encouraging Bergdorf’s to do more online.

The trunk show runs on the Web through Thursday.

Style.com is the Web site of W and Vogue magazines and is a property of CondéNet, which is owned by Advance Publications, parent of WWD.

For the high-end fashion customer, who is not generally an online shopper, “it’s a pretty simple site to navigate,” said Michael Calman, Bergdorf’s senior vice president of marketing. “There is a balance between the graphics and speed. Sites such as Style.com deliver graphics very efficiently.”

Calman said Bergdorf’s considers this online venture a multichannel maneuver. “Instead of just e-commerce, it’s informing the shopper,” he said. “People are browsing the site, which ultimately leads to shopping. The premise, from a strategic point of view, is very much about acquiring new customers and introducing them to Bergdorf’s. This now allows us to converge Internet marketing and merchandising with personalized service in the store. It completes the loop.”

Bergdorf’s has conducted e-marketing through e-mail for a while, but has never before sold goods online. Its sister, Neiman Marcus Stores, has operated an e-commerce Web site for a couple of years, but hasn’t taken the trunk show approach at this point.

By the end of Sunday, Style.com had taken $100,000 in orders that were reserved, or about $10,000 a day. The trunk show at the store took in $350,000 in orders. All 12 looks (with a total of 21 items) that were shown in the store are online.

With the ordering robust enough, Bergdorf’s plans to expand its Internet activity. Other trunk shows might be done online, and there could be a new form of the trunk show, such as one under the heading of “the world at” Marc Jacobs. It would feature multiple product classifications by a designer, both online and in the store. “We are starting to talk about utilizing other designers,” Calman said.

Another twist could be a group show, with several resources featuring one particular product or classification, such as handbags. That probably would not coordinate with an in-store trunk show.

According to Style.com, the Marc Jacobs spring 2003 runway show was one of the most popular collections ever featured on the site, drawing more than one million page views in the weeks after the runway show.

For the online trunk show, users of the site can reserve any of the items by completing an online form that is sent directly to a Bergdorf’s personal shopper. By the next business day, the personal shopper contacts the customer by phone or e-mail to confirm and complete the transaction.

Style.com offers runway coverage with more than 50,000 photos; social, celebrity and fashion news, and interactive forums on the fashion industry. It also provides shopping features on stores and the must-have items of the season. It says it has a user base of 600,000 fashion shoppers online. According to Susan Cappa, Style.com’s publisher, Bergdorf’s pays advertising dollars for use of the site.