After years of selling me-too products, department stores are positioning themselves as unique. Part of this shift has resulted in ‘private-label’ collections that now extend to the menswear department. Writing for Women’s Wear Daily, Jean Palmieri, highlights how marketers from Bloomingdale’s to Macy’s are investing in their own branded collections. This change allows operators to better compete with vertically-integrated niche marketers such as J. Crew or Abercrombie.
Historically, private label products at department stores translated to inexpensive. But as department stores face smaller rivals and shrinking market share, they’ve invested in their own brands. Many of these shops have linked themselves to big-name designers to boost sales.
Here’s a brief list of the collections recently launched by department stores:
- Saks Fifth Avenue – Men’s Collection
- Lord & Taylor – Black Brown 1826
- Nordstrom – Napoli di Nordstrom
David Fisher, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s at Bloomingdale’s says “the world has changed permanently when it comes to value consciousness. People aren’t going to go from Neiman Marcus to H&M, but they may now spend some money at Neiman’s, some at Bloomingdale’s and some at H&M.”
Look for more department stores to promote their specialty private-label collections as they compete with vertically integrated niche retailers in 2010.[Source: Palmieri, Jean, Private Brands a Bright Spot for Men’s Retailers, Women’s Wear Daily, 12.03.09]