Bloomingdale’s CEO Talks Retail: 10 Take-Aways

New York -- Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO Tony Spring talked about one of the company’s top-selling products (frozen yogurt!) and much more on Tuesday at the Retail Marketing Society’s “Reinventing the Store” conference in New York.

Here are 10 take-away quotes from his presentation:

“Our Forty Carrots frozen yogurt is one of our best-selling items. We have customers who come into our store five times a week for it.”

“One of our strategic objectives is building our omnichannel commitment and that means we believe in stores, which give us the opportunity to create a tactile connection with people. “

“It’s hard to be an omnichannel retailer if you just have a website. “

“There is a halo opportunity that happens online every time we enter a market (with a physical store).”

“This is age of empowered consumers. We need to connect with customers on their terms.”

Expectations have changed in today’s complex landscape.  If customers see a great online or mobile feature at Starbucks or another brand, Spring said, they want Bloomingdale’s to have it also. "We are not just competing against Saks, Neiman and Nordstrom anymore.”

“Consumers demand personalization and privacy. It’s a push and pull thing. We must instill trust as we build our relationship with our customers. “

“We have put technology into the fitting rooms in 10 of our stores. We think it has the opportunity to be expanded to other stores.”

“In terms of technology, the most successful thing we have done (in the stores) is mobile-enabled POS.”

Asked about what keeps him up at night, Spring replied that it had to do with the company’s vendors.  

“Our vendors are our partners and suppliers. But many have also become our competitors.”

About Tony Spring:  Tony Spring became CEO and chairman of Bloomingdale’s in February 2014, succeeding the company’s longtime chief executive Michael Gould, who stepped down after 22 years on the job.  

Spring joined Bloomingdale's in 1987 as an executive trainee in the company’s store in White Plains, New York, and went to assume positions of increasing responsibility, including being appointed president and COO in 2008.

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