Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — The Bloomingdale’s fashion think tank is at it again.
For the second season in a row, the store last week revved up its “hot@Bloomingdale’s” campaign. As retailing gets driven down by the weakening economy, the store says it has a grip on trends that will actually sell this spring. Plenty are documented in the “hot@bloomingdale’s” catalog, a 68-page book that spotlights skinny belts, sexy sandals, private label sweater coats, pearlized leather pants, shirtdresses and “preppie chic” a la cashmere polo tops. Some old reliables also made the hot @ pages, including push-up bras, tinted shades and jean skirts.
“It’s a comprehensive, promotional campaign that not only highlights Bloomingdale’s hottest trends in fashion, but in many other areas that fit into the lifestyle of a Bloomingdale’s customer,” said Michael Gould, the store’s chairman and chief executive.
So what else does Bloomingdale’s think is hot? The 2001 Volvo S60-T5 with a 247 horsepower engine, the Audiovox personal DVD player, and the West Wing TV show. Through contests to hype the campaign and draw shoppers not too pinched by stock market drops, Bloomingdale’s is giving away one Volvo, as well as one DVD player daily from March 15 to March 25 at all of it stores, a tour of Scandinavia, and an opportunity to meet the West Wing cast. To be expected, price cuts are part of the program.