BLOOMINGDALE’S TAKES HOLIDAY TO CYBERSPACE
Byline: Valerie Seckler
NEW YORK — While most e-commerce survivors in the click-and-mortar crowd are in cost-cutting mode — and some are curtailing efforts to sell fashion on the Internet — bloomingdales.com is cutting against the grain.
A holiday version of bloomingdales.com is slated to go live in early November — following an earlier relaunch contemplated this month.
The redesign is in final stages by San Francisco-based Organic Inc., whose clients include Tommy Hilfiger and Target Corp.
The moves reflect Bloomingdale’s response to shifts in cybershoppers’ preferences, as well as its ongoing strategy to reflect the best of its 59th Street flagship online.
And they come at a time when apparel has emerged as one of the fastest-selling categories of goods and services on the Web, second only to travel services, according to some studies.
“The Internet offers a chance to make [Federated Direct’s] multichannel presence more powerful, but we are also committed to the Internet business itself,” said Dawn Robertson, president of Federated Direct. “We are continuing to make investments appropriate to the Web sites.”
Robertson noted that “many” new branded e-boutiques, like Lancome, will bow with this month’s relaunch of bloomingdales.com, while others will premiere this fall. She declined to say whether a previously planned Calvin Klein e-shop will premiere this summer or fall.
Between 10,000 and 12,000 items, or roughly 120,000 stockkeeping units, will be available at the Bloomingdale’s Web site for holiday, which, Robertson said, marks an expansion of the current assortment.
“Basics are still the bestsellers, but we see more special apparel items and gifts selling online,” said Tatiana Rosak, director of Internet strategy at bloomingdales.com, who led the Web site tour.
“Special sweaters are strong; so are terry cloth robes. We sold a lot of leather last year and we expect to sell more online this holiday, with some swing to suede as a newer trend. We also think we could sell a lot of sweater coats.”
Hallmarks of Bloomingdale’s holiday Web site will range from nuts-and-bolts to Flash.
New features include a warm, deep red color scheme, replacing more neutral, earthy hues; a search engine offering four attributes — price, gender, occasion and lifestyle — to replace a rudimentary search path; wish lists that can be stored online, e-mailed to others or printed out for shopping in the retailer’s 23 stores; and a live Webcast of the unveiling of the 59th Street flagship’s holiday windows.
Subsequently, the store’s window displays will be available for browsing via Flash presentations.