Bloomingdale's (NYSE:M) and Hudson's Bay (Lord & Taylor's parent company) are looking to attract more millennial customers. Both high-end department stores want to focus on the habits of this generation, how they gather and absorb the plethora of information online, and of course, how they shop.
Millennial customers—a group willing to pay for loyalty program membership—are the company's strongest growth area, said Susan Marasco, fashion director of women's contemporary for Bloomingdale's, during a round table discussion at the Women's Wear Daily Fashion Forum. The retailer reaches out to this demographic through traditional catalogs and social media.
Particularly, Bloomingdale's is focusing on social media, which is changing the way that women shop. "She can get whatever she wants with a click," Marasco told Women's Wear Daily, "So we have to give her what she can't get anywhere else."
Nelson Mui, men's fashion director for the Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor divisions, agreed that with the spread of fashion around the Web, it seems everyone is a fashion director. Therefore, retailers are now becoming editors, tasked with narrowing down the information for the customer.
For both retailers, online is a major focus; however, brick-and-mortar stores remain essential in the companies' omnichannel initiatives. For example, Bloomingdale's parent company, Macy's, recently expanded a same-day delivery program into 14 markets and has been testing an in-store pickup program in Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores since the end of 2013.
Online and omnichannel initiatives have also proven successful for Hudson's Bay, which was ranked the fastest growing retailer in the United States in 2014, recording a year-over-year sales increase of 254 percent.
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