FINANCE

New York City’s famed Pearl River Mart to close

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Rising rents and increased online competition have claimed one of downtown Manhattan’s most iconic retail stores, Pearl River Mart in SoHo. The Chinese department store, which opened its doors in 1971, will close at the end of its current lease in December.

"My journey with Pearl River has been a long and rewarding one," said Pearl River co-founder Ming Yi Chen. "When we first opened our doors, my colleagues and I simply wanted to create a small window into the Chinese culture. The recognition we've received over these four and a half decades has been a wonderful validation of our original vision.”

Pearl River is currently exploring ways to expand its e-commerce division. In addition to significantly lowering operational costs, the transition would allow the company to continue serving customers base while also retaining many of their current staff, the majority of whom have been with Pearl River for more than two decades.

"The decision to close our store was not easy but our current business model simply isn't sustainable in today's retail landscape," stated Pearl River president Ching Yeh Chen. "Should we decide to pursue a new direction with Pearl River, it will be imperative for us to capture the unique shopping experience that our customers know and love."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Stuart Weitzman debuts Instagram-based ad campaign

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Upscale footwear brand Stuart Weitzman has launched its first Instagram-based advertising campaign. The online campaign features Cinemagraphs, which animates a portion of a photo so that it looks like a video. It was done in collaboration with Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg of Ann Street Studio.

The Stuart Weitzman digital advertising campaign features four Cinemagraphs spotlighting key spring styles, with one of the Cinemagraphs flickering founder and designer Stuart Weitzman's image in a television set. To emphasize its omnichannel approach and strategy, Stuart Weitzman created the campaign around its proprietary hashtag #inourshoes.

"Cinemagraphs allow us to share mesmerizing moments that extend the visual vocabulary of the brand,” said Susan Duffy, chief marketing officer of Stuart Weitzman. “We are very excited to bring life to this innovative Instagram campaign, which will enable us to connect with new consumers on an intimate and aspirational level. The opportunities for engagement and organic reach are limitless."

The advertising campaign, which runs for two weeks on Instagram, targeting women aged 22 to 40 in North America. The campaign will also utilize Facebook's new reach capabilities: a supplementary media buy on the channel will retarget people who see the campaign on Instagram – a recent development that extends the storytelling capabilities across both social platforms.

Stuart Weitzman operates 45 retail stores across the United States, 75 international stores, 14 international shop-in-shops, and e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, Europe and Hong Kong.

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OPERATIONS

Kroger taps Marlene Stewart as president of Dillons

BY Staff Writer

Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. announced that Marlene Stewart has been promoted to president of the company's Dillons division. She replaces Joe Grieshaber, who was recently named president of Kroger's Columbus division.

Stewart, 59, currently serves as VP of merchandising at QFC, based in Seattle.

"Marlene combines a passion for people and proven merchandising and operations leadership," said Mike Ellis, Kroger's president and COO. "We look forward to Marlene bringing her knowledge of our customers and business, and commitment to our associates, to the Dillons team."

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