BURDINES’ HOME SHOPPING SPOT TO AIR IN LIEU OF SPRING CATALOG

Byline: S.E.

NEW YORK — Burdines, an innovator in retail marketing and technology, is producing an hour-long TV home shopping program devoted to fashion and beauty. The program, called “Burdines Reports Live,” will air Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. on the NBC affiliate in southern Florida.
Last month, Burdines held a fashion show to benefit 10 charities. It was taped, and portions of it will be used in the TV program. Many of the 260 outfits in the show will be sold on the program through an 800 number.
Carey Watson, senior vice president of marketing at Burdines, said the company decided not to do a spring catalog and do a one-hour television show instead.
According to a spokeswoman from Federated Department Stores, the parent of the Miami-based Burdines, the TV show in Florida does not represent a new corporate strategy on home shopping. “At this time, we’re not planning on entering into it any time soon. It’s not the venue of choice for us,” she said, but she added, “We’re always looking at it and what others are doing.” Burdines is participating in Time Warner’s Full Service Interactive Network, which is being tested in Orlando.
Bloomingdale’s, another Federated division, participated in NBC’s “Mall of America” home shopping show, which aired once in June 1993.
“We dipped our toe into it,” the Federated spokeswoman said. “Every once in a while you may see us experiment with it.”
The Burdines TV show is not considered an infomercial because Burdines purchased the air time. Participating vendors contributed to the cost through a type of co-op arrangement, Watson said.
In addition to fashion, “Burdines Reports Live” will present taped interviews with designers at Liz Claiborne, Carole Little, Jones New York, Kasper, Guess, Esprit, Rampage, Max Studio and Bisou Bisou. The show will also feature professional hair and makeup tips, a makeover demonstration and a segment called, “Signatures of the Season,” the 10 “must-have” looks for 1995.
Lauren Hutton, who has appeared in Burdines commercials, will host the program.
Burdines is heavily promoting the event through newspaper TV listings, a VCR-Plus number and radio and TV spots. It is also mailing a four-page program to its top customers that lists all the outfits in the fashion show along with prices.
According to Watson, the show and the vehicles used to promote it will “cost a little more than producing the catalog.”
“I think we will outperform the catalog by far,” Watson said. He declined to give any projections.
Three years ago, Burdines began eliminating its Christmas catalog in favor of a series of broadcast commercials that became a “TV catalog” of sorts.
Watson said he has other broadcast ideas for different product classifications, but he declined to specify.

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