Bergdorf's Plans

March 19, 2013 BY CAPSULESNEWS

Shop at Bergdorf Goodman, and you feel like you kind of made it, or you’re quietly committing to a lifestyle of Kraft mac and cheese and ramen noodles to offset your purchases. If you’re a designer, selling your brand at Bergdorf’s imparts a special kind of awesome, and would probably make your mom proud, as well. Staying at the top of the retail chain like Bergdorf has for over a century has its challenges, and BG’s new president Joshua Schulman revealed his plan to WWD today for revamping the venerable store. How Bergdorf will redefine and reframe the luxury shopping experience in the future will undoubtedly set a new standard in retail going forward.

While owned by Neiman Marcus group, Bergdorf still feels and operates like an independent shop. With only one location in the world, and no plans for expansion of physical locations, Bergdorf ‘s exclusivity is defined by its location. To experience Bergdorf, you gotta be there.

First off, the brand mix has to be reshuffled. Schulman recognizes that what’s working now at retail across the board is the ability for a store to set itself apart from the rest via carefully selected, unique merchandise assortments, and he is cutting some fat, ditching dozens of brands, and adding a few key fashion labels that aren’t currently represented there. And he’s strengthening his ties with key luxury anchors like Celine and Chanel. “Every brand wants to be here, but we cant and we are not interested in doing business with every brand. We are interested in curating brands,” he told WWD today.

Schulman will be renovating the women’s designer floors, and expanding the shoe floor. With an eye on better serving guys, in the men’s store across Fifth Avenue, Schulman is developing a luxury accessories shop, with an emphasis on small leather goods and cases for iPads and iPhones. Brands like Cucinelli, Isaia and Charvet will receive some fresh attention, and the first Berluti shop in shop in the US will be opening there later this year.

Hoping to export the Fifth Avenue experience to the world, technology will play a large role in Bergdorf’s future. The store’s website and e-commerce will be getting an overhaul, making the site chic, but easier to shop, and major omni channel social media campaigns around the store, its 111th anniversary and some of the store’s biggest partners are being developed to drive online sales.

In store, sales associates will be given iPads that will help to present merchandise when space doesn’t allow a full range to be presented on the floor. Runners will be on hand to bring styles out from stockroom when needed.

Evolution is good. We’re looking forward to seeing Bergdorf 2.0 and are saving up for our next shopping spree.