J. Crew Brand Loses Clout, Says J. Crew – Bloomberg Gadfly

This just in…
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No end in sight in to the retailer’s troubles.

Source: J. Crew Brand Loses Clout, Says J. Crew – Bloomberg Gadfly

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Macy’s has a master plan to capture the most difficult customers 

Is it just me, or is it just obvious that you´re going to cringe while reading an article on how Macy´s intends to ´capture´the millenials?

Macy’s needs to attract younger customers. The department store brand, which was a leader in the space for many years, has seen sales drop 1.7% from last year.

Source: Macy’s has a master plan to capture the most difficult customers | Business Insider India

Zara Follows Shoppers Into Bedroom With Home Store Format

The “everything for everyone” model, yet again. More and more, I believe this is something we need to start looking at.  Where did this start? Uniqlo models after Apple, but Ralph Lauren was doing this kind of thing long ago…. (Maybe I’m confusing two business models?)

Zara Follows Shoppers Into Bedroom With Home Store Format – Businessweek.

#GIRLBOSS: The Rise of America’s “Nastygal”

http://www.wwd.com/media-news/print/sophia-amoruso-talks-girlboss-7667795?module=latest-articles

Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of the massively popular apparel website, Nastygal, has been tremendously busy promoting her new book “#Girlboss”, which hits stores today. #Girlboss tells Sophia’s story of how she grew up with nothing and now runs a multi-million dollar fashion business, which she began by selling vintage clothing through eBay. In order to promote this inspiring, out-of-the-box book, Sophia has been applying some normal, as well as many out-of-the-box marketing strategies. Aside from interviews with major news programs such as the BBC, ABC, and Good Morning America, Sophia’s marketing tactics range from topping taxicabs with advertisements reading “If this is a man’s world, who cares? #GirlBoss“, to paralleling a chapter from her book and offering free bagels out of dumpsters, to providing a working hotline at 1-844-GIRLBOSS, which provides a “quick guide to an awesome life”. Judging by her promotional approaches alone, Sophia Amoruso’s new book is sure to be full of helpful and creative tips and techniques on how to manage money, business, and fashion, while also keeping it weird.

Neiman Marcus Scales Back in China

In WWD, there was an alluring article about how the Neiman Marcus Group is cutting back on its’ physical operations in China because of a broader slowdown in the country for luxury goods.  Since the Chinese website has not been substantial with profit from these luxury goods, the Chinese warehouse is being closed down, and the U.S. is picking up sales through the website.  I was surprised to see that the Chinese warehouse closed down because of the Neiman business model rather than the Chinese economy.  Neiman is trying to demonstrate international growth as its’ owners prepare to take the department store chain public or sell it.  Even a store with a wealthy consumer base all over, reaches its’ downfalls before its’ peaks.  

Another Discussion of the Implications of Fast Fashion

http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/livia-firth-blasts-fast-fashion-players-7656471?module=hp-topstories

 

” ‘Consumers have become adept at ‘[divorcing] the clothes we buy from the fact that living, breathing people make them,’ meaning the key to change lies in ‘reconnection and recognition that the supply chain is comprised of real people,’ ” 

I think this relates both to the fast fashion discussion, as well as trend forecasting. With raised awareness will come a need for new methods. The younger generation is becoming increasingly concerned with these issues, and old means of production might not cut it anymore.

A Look at Tommy Hilfiger’s Rise, Fall, and Rise

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-18/tommy-hilfger-q-and-a-the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-man-and-his-brand

 

I thought this article related to our discussion of brands, and their need to stay relevant and not get too comfortable. Tommy Hilfiger was such an iconic brand, with a well established market, but the success couldn’t last forever. He was at the turning point of the “casual wear” era but he inevitably had to rebrand when this trend left. The portion of the article about the brand being adopted into the “hip-hop” culture is also interesting. It not only affected consumer behavior, but he admits that a simple change in customer interest changed what the brand was.

Alexander Wang to Collaborate with H&M

http://www.businessoffashion.com/2014/04/alexander-wang-collaborate-hm.html

 

It was announced that Alexander Wang will be collaborating with H&M this fall, with a line hitting stores on November 6th. I think this was a smart selection on behalf of H&M. One of their more recent designer collaborations (Maison Martin Margiela) featured clothing that I believe was far too out-of-the-box for the average H&M customer. MMM’s designs are notoriously avant-garde, and their H&M line (while toned down) still stuck out like a sore thumb against H&M’s minimalist clothing. In light of this, I think a line with Alexander Wang will fare much better. His minimalist style, added with his new designing experiences with Balenciaga, will more than likely create a line that keeps in line with H&M’s aesthetic, while offering customers a “high-end” option and a chance to sport something attached to Wang’s name.