Banana Republic, trying to get back on track and build stronger connections with customers, is getting into the see-now-buy-now mode.
The specialty chain will give its fall 2017 presentation during September’s New York Fashion Week to coincide with fall merchandise in Banana’s stores. Most designers during next fall’s fashion week will show spring 2018, though some have begun to adopt the see-now-buy now approach.
Banana Republic will hold private previews of its fall 2017 collections for the long-lead press during NYFW in February. The press will be asked to keep the collections under wraps until they are available to shoppers in September.
Last fall, Banana did stage presentations for its spring 2017 collections.
On Feb. 9, Banana Republic will unveil Olivia Palermo pop-up shops at select stores. Palermo was designated Banana Republic’s “global style ambassador” last year and has curated a pop-up experience in top Banana Republic doors. Palermo’s partnership with Banana Republic extends through 2017.
The company said the shops will represent Palermo’s style “from both an interiors and fashion perspective, including personal touches that make the experience unique to her sensibility.” The assortment in the pop-ups will include Banana Republic spring product and third-party product picked by Palermo.
To kick off New York Fashion Week on Feb. 9, Banana Republic will host pop-up parties at three stores — the Manhattan SoHo, The Grove in Los Angeles and Grant Street in San Francisco units. Palermo will be at the SoHo store Feb. 9. The party can also be experienced online at bananarepublic.com.
To reward shoppers, Banana Republic will be offering free rides in BMWs to destinations of their choice between select Banana Republic stores within New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Customers can get a ride with proof of purchase or use of #BRStyleRide on social media.
For fall 2017, Palermo and Banana Republic are collaborating on a capsule collection, which will be revealed during September’s New York Fashion Week.
These latest steps are being taken to reverse the negative trends at Banana Republic over the last several seasons. Last week, Gap Inc. said Andi Owen, global brand president of Banana Republic, will leave the business in late February. A search is under way for Banana Republic’s next president. In the meantime, Gap Inc. chief executive officer Art Peck will oversee the brand.
Overall, the $15.8 billion Gap Inc. had an OK holiday season, reporting that net sales were up 1 percent and comparable sales were positive 2 percent for the November and December 2016 period.
The Banana Republic division posted comparable store sales that were negative 7 percent, on top of negative 9 percent for the November-December 2015 period.