MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Bloomingdale’s CEO Talks Retail: 10 Take-Aways

BY Marianne Wilson

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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PetSmart CFO joins board of Crocs Inc.

BY CSA STAFF

The CFO of PetSmart Inc. has been appointed to the board of directors for Crocs Inc.

Carrie Teffner, the executive vice president and chief financial officer for PetSmart Inc., joined the board June 9.

Crocs also announced that current director Peter Jacobi is voluntarily retiring from his position.

Teffner brings more than 27 years of consumer goods and retail leadership experience to Crocs' board, most recently as the executive vice president and chief financial officer for PetSmart. After joining PetSmart in 2013, Teffner supported the company's continued growth and evolution, including its recent sale to a consortium led by London-based BC Partners for $8.7 billion.

Prior to her position at PetSmart, Teffner served in the chief financial officer role for Weber-Stephen Products, a manufacturer of grills and grill accessories, and for Timberland, a footwear manufacturer and retailer. Teffner spent the first 21 years of her career in various business and leadership roles for Sara Lee Corporation.

"Carrie brings a great deal of financial leadership experience to our board, both in the general retail sector, as well as in the footwear industry," said Thomas J. Smach, chairman of the Crocs board of directors. "Her passion for driving profitable growth combined with her impressive background will prove incredibly valuable as we continue to work toward our vision of making Crocs the world's leading casual footwear company."

As a member of the Crocs board since 2008, Peter Jacobi has played an integral role in the growth of the company, including reaching more than $1 billion in annual sales in 2011. His background in business and operations management has provided important leadership and insights to the company and its board during the past seven years.

In addition to his service at Crocs, Jacobi was employed by Levi Strauss & Company from 1970 to 1999, where he was president and chief operating officer from 1996 until his retirement.

"It has been an honor to serve on Crocs' board alongside Peter for the past seven years," said Smach. "We're grateful for his leadership and support in elevating the Crocs brand and business. On behalf of the entire board, I would like to thank Peter for his commitment to the success of Crocs and wish him all the best in his retirement."

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Blue Nile, Garden City, New York

BY CSA STAFF
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Online diamond and fine jewelry retailer Blue Nile has opened its first freestanding store, at Roosevelt Field Mall, in Garden City, N.Y. Designed by JGA, Southfield, Mich., the 325-sq.-ft. space, dubbed a “Webroom,” has a modern, inviting look.

The store features only several cases of product. Associates are equipped with tablets on which they can show customers Blue Nile's full selection of goods and assist them in making a purchase. Merchandise can be ordered and picked up at the store, which also provides free cleanings and repair.

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