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Bloomingdale's isn't exactly known for making headlines in the fashion or retail space. The new CEO of the company, Tony Spring, is well aware of that fact and is about to do everything in his power to change it, starting with a revamp of Bloomingdale's image in the fashion sphere. WWD detailed the retailer's expansive plan for convincing shoppers that it cares about fashion, from exclusive designer collections to unveiling Bloomingdale's "store of the future" in October of this year. We broke down the vision into easy-to-follow steps for (theoretical) fashion industry domination.
1. Secure merchandise people want to buy.
"If you don't start with great product, we are not going to succeed," Spring told WWD. His plan for stocking great product revolves around an initiative dubbed 100% Bloomingdale's, which consists of 1,000 exclusive pieces of merchandise from 100 designers and brands around the world (including DKNY and Tory Burch). The mega project is slated to hit stores on September 10.
2. Make appearances at fashion shows to show the fashion world you're serious about fashion.
"I attended the Paris shows," Spring told WWD. "I want to try to go whenever I can, whether that's a show or walking through Burberry to see what's new. I want to underscore Bloomingdale's commitment to fashion."
3. Create a new store concept and call it "the store of the future."
"This isn't just a reopening," Spring explained. "We are viewing it as a new store, to present the best and latest thinking, to present more technology, and more brands that would be consistent with our downtown San Francisco flagship. We are trying very hard to create a much more powerful Bloomingdale's expression." The new store is slated to open in October in Palo Alto, California.
4. Make "extraordinary" mannequin displays.
"A mannequin is ordinary. Several together can make something extraordinary," Spring told WWD. "We used to show two or three mannequins. Twelve mannequins grouped together is extraordinary. Ordinary things together can make for the extraordinary."
5. Show a mix of brands on display.
Spring acknowledged that while brands don't like to share mannequins, the mixed displays "give a real sense of how to wear it." Plus, Spring noted that demonstrating an ability to successfully pair different brands together builds fashion credibility.
6. Prove your industry insider-ness by publishing a public calendar of fashion industry happenings.
For the past year and a half, Bloomingdale's has been publishing a calendar called Fashion-Packed Life that keeps tabs on dates it's deemed important to the fashion community. "It's part of that wink, that we are in the know and on top of what's going on," Spring told WWD. "Look, we've got John Varvatos' birthday listed. And there's Vince launching men's shoes. It makes you look, tells a quick story. It gives you a flavor of things going on in Bloomingdale's, in a snapshot."
There you have it. Now, they just need some customers.