A century-old department store is using an in-house design team to create greater style credibility but this move may hurt them in the long run.
A recent article on dailyfinance.com discussed how the chain is using the design team, with people who’ve worked at a number of high-end fashion houses, to convince buyers that “this is not your mother’s” retailer.
The team, which has grown from 80 people to more than 220 in the past 10 years, spends time traveling around the world and attending Fashion Week to ensure their designs are cutting edge.
“I don’t think the message is out that [the company] has this design talent in house, and there are great designers working on delivering that product for you at the same time as much higher-priced competitors,” said Ken Mangone, the company’s executive vice president of product development, design and sourcing.
They’re also making exclusive designer partnerships and bringing in other companies to sell things in their stores.
But the “store-within-a-store” concept can be dangerous territory. What the store is doing is essentially promoting someone else’s brand. Besides, a chain’s product buyers should be able to look at trends and buy the right things so that they don’t have to bring in another retailer to do it for them. The buyers should be good enough to buy based on the company’s target customer.
Source: Daily Finance, September 2011