Three events are scheduled for September, November and January. The first, a conversation with neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley on living with technology in a “balanced way,” is set for Thursday, Sept. 20. The speaker series is a joint brainchild of both the retailer and the California-based luxury spa, which is helmed by chief executive officer Kathy Van Ness, a department store retail veteran.
Beauty and apparel retailers from Urban Outfitters to Nordstrom are increasingly moving into the wellness space, as consumer demand for products designed for healthy living reach a crescendo. The wellness territory is a bit of a departure for Bergdorf’s — thus far, it has not invested in the trend as heavily as other department stores, if at all.
“Wellness is in constant discussion at Bergdorf Goodman, but we wanted to take a higher approach,” said Pat Saxby, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrances at Bergdorf’s. “Of course products are important, but we wanted to look at it from a lifestyle angle. We came up with this [speaker series], which is far more interesting [than product] for a luxury consumer.”
Saxby noted there is significant overlap between Bergdorf Goodman and Golden Door customers. Bergdorf also carries Golden Door’s line of skin-care products, which launched last year.
Don’t expect Bergdorf’s to open a wellness department anytime soon. “[Our approach] is more educational,” said Saxby. “The product will be important to [customers], but they’re sophisticated and they’ve done their research, they know it isn’t going to be the product that makes you healthier, and that’s what we wanted to address.”
The other talks in the series are “Happiness is Health” on Thursday, Nov. 15. and “Max Fitness by Age,” on Thursday, Jan. 24.