MOBILITY

Rue La La aligns with oldest digital platform of all

BY CSA STAFF

Specialty online fashion retailer Rue La La is launching a series of themed online boutiques that tie in with the original digital consumer engagement channel – TV.

Rue La La is entering an exclusive partnership with ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars” by offering themed online shopping experiences. The first boutique, live at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, March 21, aligns with the premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" and is merchandised for a night of dancing for both men and women.

From there, three additional boutiques will launch in tandem with the show on March 28 and April 4 and 11, highlighting each episode’s theme of the night.

In addition, exclusive content will be featured on Rue Now, the retailer's newly launched fashion feed, and will include a special interview with "Dancing with the Stars" head costume designers Steven Lee and Daniela Gschwendtner. Rue La La is also running a special sweepstakes with a grand prize of two tickets to the “Dancing with the Stars” finale through March 30.

"Rue is approachable and fun with a little sass thrown in and Dancing with the Stars has embodied the same spirit for 21 seasons,” said Trisha Spillane, public relations and brand communications director, Rue La La. “For season 22, we can't wait to team up and share the stage. This is a very natural partnership for us."

Retailers are realizing they need to engage consumers in every step of the path to purchase, starting with initial product discovery. In addition, the more a retailer can become a trusted partner in a consumer’s life, the more loyalty (and ultimately sales) they will develop.

Rue La La recently increased its efforts to touch consumers at the beginning of the discovery cycle with its Rue Now content site. The retailer is now branching into one of the major sources of ideas and inspiration for consumer fashion choices – TV.

TV shows have long had a significant influence on what consumers buy, and retailers have responded with promotional efforts such as “shoppable episodes.” Rue La La’s themed, limited–time online boutiques are another example of how a consumer-facing technology that has been around since the 1920s is still highly relevant in guiding the shopper’s path to your purchases.

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C-SUITE

The Bon-Ton elects new board member

BY Gina Acosta

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. is adding some accounting expertise to its board of directors.

The company announced it has elected Debra K. Simon to its board, effective immediately, expanding its board membership to 10.

Simon, 57, the wife of Tim Grumbacher, chairman of the board and Strategic Initiatives Officer, has been a practicing CPA, and was employed by SF & Company (now known as Baker Tilly) for 32 years, retiring in 2015. She held various positions with SF & Company, including chief operating officer from 2010 to 2015. She was awarded a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Pennsylvania State University. Simon currently serves as the chair of the Susan P. Byrne Health Education Center.

“We are very pleased to welcome Debra as a member of our board of directors," said Grumbacher. "Debra has an extensive finance and accounting background as well as experience in strategic planning, human resources and operational management. We welcome her insight as we strive to execute our business strategies for profitable growth and increased shareholder value.”

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 267 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 26 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Beverly Center to get $500 million renovation that promises more food — and light

BY Marianne Wilson

The grand lady of Los Angeles retailing is getting a major facelift.

Taubman Centers is embarking on a $500 million remodel of Beverly Center this month that promises to transform every aspect of the iconic — and monolithic — eight-story center, which opened in 1982.

The major focus areas of the project include creating a bright, contemporary and highly accessible exterior and interior that engages the center with the surrounding locale. And reflecting the increasingly prominent role of food in retail, the renovation includes the development of approximately 10 new dining spots, including a multi-concept gourmet food hall called The Street.

Located on the dining terrace of the center’s top floor and offering views of downtown Los Angeles, The Street will be helmed by celebrity chef Michael Mina (he will also operate a restaurant in the center). It will serve an array of diverse cuisines from hawker stations reminiscent of grand bazaars from around the globe.

Other new additions planned for the center include:

• A continuous ribbon of skylights that will flood the entire center in natural light;

• A flexible center court with a huge LED screen and plenty of places where customers can sit, relax and plug in, along with the ability to host events, exhibitions and installations;

• A shimmering new exterior that incorporates a perforated steel façade;

•A new streetscape that combines modern architecture and drought-resistant greenery, and

• A state-of-the-art “smart: parking system.

The 886,000-sq.-ft. shopping center is expected to remain open during construction, which is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2018 holiday season.

“In re-envisioning Beverly Center, we are looking to create LA’s signature urban shopping and dining experience, as well as an exciting, pedestrian-friendly anchor to one of the most creative and diverse neighborhoods in the world,” said Robert Taubman, president, Taubman Centers. “The center is a key asset in our portfolio, and after renovation we believe it will become one of the top ten retail centers in the nation.”

The design architect for the renovation of the center is Studio Fuksas of Rome, Italy. The firm’s projects include Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport (Guangdong, China), Ferrari Operational Headquarters and Research Center (Maranello, Italy), CBD Cultural Center (Beijing, China), and New National Archives of France (Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, France).

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