NEW YORK — Tony Spring, the new chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s, is already making his mark on the $3 billion upscale department store chain.
This story first appeared in the March 27, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD has learned that Spring has just triggered his first management changes involving reorganizing responsibilities at the highest rung. Along with the team, he’s identifying categories and services the company could develop to broaden the offering and further the store’s growth — from food to electronics to additional customer services.
Among the management shifts, Francine Klein has been promoted to vice chairman, from executive vice president and general merchandise manager. Klein adds outlets and omnichannel technology and customer experience to her responsibilities for fashion accessories, fine jewelry, intimate apparel and cosmetics.
Now reporting to Klein are two senior vice presidents: Arnie Orlick, outlets, and Anne Bridges, omnichannel experience and technology.
Frank Doroff, vice chairman, will add new businesses and concessions to his current responsibilities for ready-to-wear and bloomingdales.com. Patricia Chadwick continues as senior vice president for new businesses and concessions, and will now report directly to Doroff.
Charles Anderson, executive vice president and director of stores, will add store operations to his duties. Jay Fogg, senior vice president of store operations, will report to Anderson.
“This is a chance to capitalize on the tremendous talent that exists in the organization,” Spring told WWD, adding that the changes enable certain executives to step up and contribute more. “It also reduces my direct reports and allows me to focus on the primary growth opportunities for Bloomingdale’s,” Spring said.
He cited several opportunities for the store, including continuing the growth with European resources, which sell predominantly in the concession model, and continuing to beef up the luxury component.
In addition, Spring discussed the “white space” that Bloomingdale’s could fill. That involves getting the retailer to be a player in categories and products where it currently isn’t. Spring cited food, electronics and stationery as categories Bloomingdale’s could tap to be meaningful businesses in the future. He also said there are various services and amenities that the company could tackle, though he didn’t specify.
There are other possible avenues for Bloomingdale’s, a division of Macy’s Inc. According to Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, ceo and president of Macy’s, children’s furniture could be another licensed business that the corporation gets into and he noted that Bloomingdale’s has looked at children’s strollers.
Spring became chairman and ceo of Bloomingdale’s in February, succeeding Michael Gould. Spring has spent his entire career at the retailer and was mentored by Gould.
As reported, a big part of Spring’s agenda in the last few years has been to elevate the customer experience, help associates build relationships with customers and advance omnichannel initiatives.
Last October, when the company revealed its change in top management, Spring outlined several objectives for the near future revolving around omnichannel initiatives, such as leveraging the inventory so it’s more shared across selling channels; enhancing and distinguishing the online offering to sustain high revenue growth, and providing services to enable customers to shop how and when they want, such as rolling out the “order online, pick up in store” service to more Bloomingdale’s locations, and issuing additional handheld devices to associates for better in-store service.
Spring also suggested that additional full-line stores and outlets are expected to open in the future, even possibly overseas. Bloomingdale’s has only one overseas unit, a licensed store in Dubai. Recently, officials said that store is performing well.
Bloomingdale’s is considered the nation’s only full-line upscale department store, selling fashion, beauty and home, competing most directly with Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, which are not full line.