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A Pulitzer Prize for Bloomingdale’s

Lilly Pulitzer brought a slice of preppy Palm Beach pink and green to Manhattan this month.

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NEW YORK — Lilly Pulitzer brought a slice of preppy Palm Beach pink and green to Manhattan this month.

Pulitzer, in a rare public appearance, was promoting both Bloomingdale’s new Pulitzer store-in-store at its 59th Street flagship, and her new book, “Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays” (CollinsLifestyle; November 2005; $30.00), written with Jay Mulvaney. The pair also wrote last year’s “Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining.”

More than 100 Lilly fans — from as far away as Boston — were in line on Bloomingdale’s third floor before Pulitzer arrived. Once the designer appeared, the Lilly-clad fans snatched up the 350 copies of her book that were available, as well as the 35 pairs of the brand’s Serene Jean — $348 limited-edition denims covered with colorful Lilly fabric patches and autographed by Pulitzer — allotted to the store. Even Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive officer, got into the Palm Beach spirit with a Pulitzer patterned tie.

While the event was scheduled to run from 1 to 3 p.m., Pulitzer stayed until 4:30, when the last fan made her way to the signing table.

“Meeting all of the people who came to see our new shop in Bloomingdale’s was what made the whole day so special for me,” Pulitzer said.

The event showcased the 1,017-square-foot store-in-store, which uses decorative touches that are seen in the brand’s freestanding stores, such as Palm Beach-inspired archways and bright pink walls. Vintage photos of Pulitzer and her family are on the walls, and its two dressing rooms are done in the brand’s signature pink and finished with Lilly fabric-covered ottomans. The new space adds more than 200 square feet of selling area for the label, and also moves it from the retailer’s fourth floor to the third, in its New View assortment.

Pulitzer brand president James Bradbeer said the brand aims to add more hard shops within department stores as the company grows. The brand is sold in selected Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue doors, as well as in 77 freestanding Lilly Pulitzer Signature stores, nine company-owned retail stores and in specialty stores nationwide.

This story first appeared in the November 15, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“We’re thrilled with our new shop, and to see so many people from so many places come to meet Lilly was truly touching,” Bradbeer said.

Bradbeer’s enthusiasm was echoed by Jeff Binder, vice president and divisional merchandise manager, bridge apparel, for Bloomingdale’s. “The Lilly Pulitzer brand adds an element of fun to our assortment and to the New View floor,” he said, noting that the New View floor now houses brands such as Pulitzer and Tahari, among others. The retailer’s New View concept is also being rolled out to doors in Short Hills, N.J.; White Plains, N.Y., and King of Prussia, Pa.

“Lilly Pulitzer lightens the mood — even in the fall, they use lots of color, which is great — and it fits in well with other brands on the floor,” Binder added.

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