It is no secret that with the rise of direct-to-consumer companies and e-commerce shopping, legacy retailers are struggling to maintain massive flagship stores and retail footprints.
While some retailers are closing their doors, others are searching for ways to reinvigorate their spaces to keep customers coming back. Earlier this year, Bloomingdale’s unveiled a completely renovated flagship experience featuring a brand-new beauty and fragrance floor. The new space features interactive technology, expanded beauty services, shop-in-shops and event programming. For Stacie Bortek, Bloomingdale’s vp and divisional merchandise manager of beauty and fragrance, the updated experience is all about evolving to meet the needs of the modern beauty consumer.
“We like to coin our beauty and fragrance area as sort of a playground,” said Borteck. “It’s on our main floor, right when you walk in the store, and we feel like beauty is the first stop on our customer’s journey throughout the store. It’s this place for energy and excitement that really radiates throughout the entire store. So the impetus for the change was partly this complete renovation of the store, but also that the beauty customer’s style of shopping has really evolved over the years, and we needed to evolve as well.”
In this week’s episode of The Glossy Beauty Podcast, beauty editor Priya Rao sits down with Borteck to discuss the major changes to the Bloomingdale’s beauty and fragrance experience, the unique events the customer has come to expect and the way beauty is expanding throughout the company’s flagship. Edited highlights are below.
The shift toward curated collections
“When we really thought of the horizon of beauty and what’s happening out there, we identified that new curated concepts were probably on the horizon, so we created these two new concepts: The first one is Glowhaus, and that’s really targeted toward our millennial-minded customer. That shop is really packed with brands that are trending on social media, and it’s housed in this really playful environment where you can try all of the products, and all of those products are under $100. We created the concept based on what we were hearing from our customers who shop the ready-to-wear floor to buy their date-night top. Those customers might not venture down to the beauty floor, so we really went on a search to find out why that was, what brands we needed in the mix and also what kind of environment we needed.”
Creating events to please a wide variety of customers
“One of the unique things about Bloomingdale’s DNA is that our energy and excitement make it an exciting place to come, and our events are a part of that. We’ve had everything from these amazing master classes that are private events — we just hosted one featuring Charlotte Tilbury — to events with national makeup artists and spa experiences. We think this is really a part of our DNA, and our idea of the experience is evolving every day.”
Merging the online and in-store strategies
“When I first came into this, we were predominately focused on print. Now, all we talk about are digital and influencers. This is definitely a big strategy for us, and we’re really careful about what we put out there, ensuring that it’s right for the brand and the customer. We’re also having more fun with that than we ever have before. We partnered with a bunch of influencers for the launch event — a few actually held their own events in the store, as well — and that synergy of doing things both online and in-store is a strategy you will see more of from us.”