Tony Spring, CEO, Bloomingdale’s

This content relates to : MARKETING INNOVATION

HIGHLIGHTS

Bloomingdale’s has introduced innovative retail concepts in an effort to give customers a “complete” experience..

“The Carousel” creates an immersive experience by complementing products with food and entertainment.

“Bloomie’s” facilitates a personalized experience by curating product lines to match customer preferences.

Tony Spring

CEO, Bloomingdale’s

The Snyder Innovation Management Center presents the 2022 CEO series focusing on innovations in the retail sector in partnership with The Robin Report.

You know, over the years the brand brings theater to life; literally adds theater to life, so it could be the opening of “Rent” on Broadway, is also in the windows of Bloomingdale’s, or the opening of “Saturday Night Fever,” is also a shop and merchandised in Bloomingdale’s. It might be the newest Marvel movie, is also being seen at Bloomingdale’s.

But we’ve also created this concept called The Carousel. And Carousel represents our opportunity to bring in an outside curator who pulls together their ideas and how you can kind of create an immersive experience, which includes merchandise, obviously, but also food, entertainment, non-endemic categories, activations, social components, live eventing.

The current one that we have going is the Marc Jacobs pool party, which is essentially Marc Jacobs the person and the brand, curates not only Marc Jacobs products but also some of his favorite things, whether that be SPF or shoes or, again, his favorite foods, and that’s pulled together in a presentation online as well as in 59th Street in select stores.

But we’ve done Stella McCartney highlighting her brand and the importance of sustainability. We’ve done Giada De Laurentiis, who’s a wonderful Italian chef who curated our holiday carousel in the fourth quarter last year. We’ve had Claire Vivier, we’ve had themes based on the launch of Bridgerton, the popular TV show on Netflix. They had their second season and partnered with us on a Carousel in March of this year.

So we use The Carousel as kind of a foil for retail as theater, a foil for bringing merchandise to life beyond just the core product and that’s the selling, that’s the presentation, that’s the how to use it, that’s the animation. And I think what we’ve found is that it engages the consumer, it gives us a reason to talk about that product and that category as well as other categories and obviously brings Bloomingdale’s more top-of-mind than just the day in and day out products that we sell.

You know bringing retail more convenient, where the customer lives so if that’s in a, we’re moving from urban to suburban or if we’re moving from suburban back to urban, how do we be versatile enough to have a smaller concept that doesn’t require as much space, that brings our brand and our variety of products to them. And so we opened a Bloomie’s in August and we’re off to a good start. I would say that it’s a laboratory, so I’m learning from the things that we do wrong as much as I’m celebrating the things that we do right. And all of that then is contributing to our second store that we’re opening in Chicago in November of this year as well as other stores that we will open in the future.

Bloomie’s is a highly curated, edited version of Bloomingdale’s. We like the name Bloomie’s because, as you say, it’s a term of endearment for our brand and it also in a tongue in cheek way says it’s a smaller version of Bloomingdale’s which undoubtedly when you’re carrying, you know, 10% or less of the product that you carry in a full-line store, it’s not the full-line store. However, through technology and through the community, in the case of Bloomie’s in the Washington market, Tyson’s Corner is only 10-15 minutes away, and they leverage that store and that assortment and that team as well as Chevy Chase in Maryland to make sure that we give the customer as complete an experience as possible.

Author:

Tony Spring

CEO, Bloomingdale’s