QVC makes executive appointment
West Chester, Pa. — QVC announced the appointment of Matthew Goldberg to the position of senior VP global market development. Goldberg, who will assume his new role in October 2013, will be responsible for driving global growth, reporting to Mike George, president and CEO of QVC.
Goldberg most recently served as CEO of Lonely Planet, where he drove the company’s geographic expansion into China, India, Brazil, Russia and other markets, through partnerships and local operations. He recently facilitated the sale of Lonely Planet to a private investor.
Wolverine brand opens first-ever permanent store
Rugged boot manufacturer Wolverine has opened a permanent store in New York’s Nolita at 254 Elizabeth St. The company decided to give the retail space a try following its successful New York pop-up venture in fall 2012.
"The success of the Wolverine Company Store pop-up shop exceeded our expectations and made it an easy decision to open a permanent location," said Todd Yates, president of the brand. "The store showcases our heritage, and through that story we’ve been able to make strong brand connections with so many people. We are excited to continue that momentum with the permanent location for many years to come."
Designed by BKLYN Dry Goods, the Wolverine Company Store pop-up shop was named one of the Top 10 pop-up shops by Racked NY.
"The recognition the pop-up shop received is a testament to the incredible work of BKLYN Dry Goods and our partnership to create a retail space that resonated with customers," said Christina Vernon, heritage sales manager for Wolverine. "It’s been a pleasure working with Jahn and Kurt of BKLYN Dry Goods on the permanent location and creating a concept that tells Wolverine’s brand story."
BKLYN Dry Goods created the concept and design of the permanent location, keeping familiar pop-up store features such as wooden beams that were part of Wolverine’s original tannery dating back to the late 1800s and a wall of vintage shoe lasts. The store also bears a more than 1,000-pound concrete sign from one of the company’s original factory buildings.
"After the success of the Wolverine Company Store pop-up, we were excited and honored to continue our partnership with Wolverine," said Jahn Hall of BKLYN Dry Goods. "Taking inspiration from many of the elements that made the pop-up project a success, we’re hoping to continue to inspire the look and feel of Wolverine retail and are excited to welcome Wolverine to New York City with a new, permanent home."
In addition to the full men’s and women’s collections of Wolverine 1000 Mile and Wolverine No. 1883 (including the brand’s collaborations with Samantha Pleet and Filson), the store will showcase items from other like-minded heritage brands, including Filson, Tellason denim, Samantha Pleet, Left Field NYC, Imogene + Willie and Tanner Goods, alongside an unique selection of vintage items from BKLYN Dry Goods.
Wolverine plans to host an array of events to celebrate its first permanent stand-alone presence in New York. Click here for more details.
Becker’s School Supplies Makes the Online Grade
To remain in the same e-commerce class as its peers, Pennsauken, N.J.-based Becker’s School Supplies, Inc. redeveloped and relaunched its online retail site on the WebLinc e-commerce platform.
“We needed a significant upgrade of our Web presence,” explained Robert Bonczkiewicz, catalog manager at Becker’s. “Competitors in our space are top-notch and we needed to get up to speed.”
Although Becker’s maintains a large B2B business selling school supplies to institutional customers such as schools, child care centers, and community centers, the company also operates a B2C channel that includes eight brick-and-mortar stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, as well as its e-commerce site. According to Bonczkiewicz, Becker’s originally realized that its site needed improvement and that outside assistance was necessary around 2010.
Putting the fix in
In June 2011, Becker’s decided to launch an 18-to-24-month effort to investigate and select an e-commerce platform vendor, implement technology and go live with consumers. Becker’s enlisted the aid of New Jersey-based e-commerce consulting firm FitForCommerce, which helped the company determine project scope.
“Our old site was not up to date with SEO and had generally poor search capabilities,” said Bonczkiewicz. “We had subpar merchandising.”
In July 2012, Becker’s, with assistance from Fit-for-Commerce, sent out an RFI to about 12 of a list of 20 vendors initially identified with help from FitForCommerce. The retailer spoke to eight vendors, and then narrowed that field to four and then two before finally selecting WebLinc in November 2012.
“We selected WebLinc for their design and technology capabilities,” said Bonczkiewicz. “They had good site search capability and a user-friendly content management system, which was crucial because we did not have a lot of in-house development experience.”
New school e-commerce
Becker’s launched its new e-commerce site on July 15. The benefits have come quickly.
“E-commerce revenue has more than doubled,” said Bonczkiewicz. “There has been a 70% increase in online transactions and average order value has increased 30% due to dynamic merchandising components. We can now cross-reference and upsell every product detail page for the customer.”
Becker’s has also been introducing new content like the Resource Café, which provides ideas and tips for teachers, and plans to add new content including a feedback mechanism for Resource Café as well as dedicated microsites for large accounts.
Modern education is highly competitive. This competitiveness even extends to selling educational supplies online, and Becker’s is doing what it takes to stay best-in-class.