BRYLANE PICKS BARTRAM FOR E-COMMERCE SLOT
Byline: Valerie Seckler
NEW YORK — Brylane is the latest traditional merchant to capitalize on the dot-com shakeout by swiftly scooping up talent from an Internet company that’s restructuring: On Tuesday it named former iVillage.com executive Michele Bartram vice president of e-commerce, a new post.
Bartram, a veteran of the e-commerce and information systems arenas, most recently served as senior vice president of commerce for iVillage.com, where she was responsible for the Internet catalog businesses of the women’s online network, including apparel, as well as leading various partnerships and identifying new opportunities for the company, which, like Brylane, is based here.
Just two weeks ago, iVillage.com announced plans to exit its own e-tail endeavors and focus on providing online content and communities that appeal to women.
“We wanted a leader who can conceptualize across the entire company,” said Russell Stravitz, chief executive officer of Brylane Inc. “Michele will work across all of Brylane’s brands, on the front end and back end of our operations. Our goal is to use the Internet as a new channel; we want to take care of a lot more customers. Brylane’s Internet expansion will be a natural complement to our catalog operations,” he said. “It is a significant growth opportunity for our company.”
Prior to leading the e-commerce business at iVillage.com, Bartram was chief operating officer and editor in chief of 100% Girls Omnicom. Before that, she was director of e-commerce at the U.S. Mint.
The Bartram appointment is one of Stravitz’s first moves to put his mark on Brylane since joining the company on May 29 from Atlanta-based e-commerce enabler Nexchange.com. As previously reported, under Stravitz’s leadership, the company also has created two strategic business units: the Brylane Apparel Group and the Brylane Home Lifestyle Group.
Brylane’s Web sites are among the most successful among Net apparel players in pulling customers to those destinations. Its Chadwicks.com site, for example, ranked 19th out of 52 apparel e-tail sites in June customer traffic, drawing 463,000 users, according to Web ratings agency Media Metrix. Its information-driven LaneBryant.com destination placed 24th in the June rankings of apparel sites, with 323,000 visitors.
Brylane markets value-priced clothing online and in catalogs, under brands such as Roaman’s, Jessica London, KingSize and Lane Bryant, which serve the special-size apparel market, and Lerner, La Redoute USA and Chadwick’s of Boston, which serve the regular-size apparel market. It also offers merchandise through the Brylane Home catalog, introduced in September 1998.
In addition, through an exclusive licensing arrangement with Sears Shop at Home Services Inc., Brylane markets catalogs under the Sears name to customers of Sears, Roebuck & Co.