NEW YORK — Bloomingdale’s will do just about anything to satisfy its contemporary customer.
The company’s 59th Street Manhattan flagship is in the midst of getting a facelift, and one of the first areas to be completed is the second floor, home of contemporary brands such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, BCBG Max Azria and Juicy Couture.
After six months of major renovations, the second floor is almost complete. Only minor details are left, like adding TV screens that will eventually run vendor runway shows and store-produced fashion programming, but the floor is ready for consumers looking for their fall trends.
It makes perfect sense for the company to rush to get this floor done, according to Frank Doroff, executive vice president and general merchandise manager at Bloomingdale’s, because the contemporary area brings in the most volume in women’s apparel in the entire store.
“The contemporary business has been just extraordinary,” Doroff said. “Before, we had more of a flea market approach to this floor. Now, it’s much cleaner and clear that this is our own environment with individual vendor statements.”
Doroff said he decided to reposition the brands that sell best on the floor, such as Theory, Juicy and Marc by Marc Jacobs. The company downsized some of its mainstays like Lucky Brand, Guess and Polo and even got rid of some other brands completely.
“We are going more upscale, adding the brands that fit best for our customer,” said Doroff, noting that Guess is still a top resource.
In addition to its best performers, Bloomingdale’s has added a bunch of new vendors, like Sass & Bide, Vanessa Bruno, Development and, in the jeans arena, Citizens of Humanity and Habitual. The store also added more product from its own private label, Aqua. The brand, which retails fitted cashmere sweaters at $99 and miniskirts at $58, offers value and fashion for the contemporary shopper. The store worked closely with each of its vendors to make sure each in-store shop was true to the individual brand and to the store’s new clean and bright look.
Besides offering branded shops, the area is also sectioned by item, such as T-shirts, where styles range from trendy rocker to Lacoste preppy. It also has a newly renovated denim area, offering jeans from Mavi; Seven For All Mankind; Paper, Denim & Cloth, and Blue Cult.In addition to bringing in more vendors, Bloomingdale’s opened up more space on the floor from 24,260 to 35,982 square feet. Doroff said he added dressing rooms and staff to work in them — there are now 68 redesigned dressing rooms, when before the renovation, there were 44.
“We didn’t think we were giving enough service,” Doroff said. “We needed more rooms, more people. The lines in the dressing rooms used to be terrible. This will change that.”
Now the company is focusing on adding the same contemporary concept to some other urban doors, such as in Atlanta and Los Angeles.
GOING UPSCALE Bloomingdale’s promises that its contemporary floor is where all of the best trends can be found. Here, some of its vendors:
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