Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Forever 21 works on its style

I recently referenced how Forever 21's overwhelming in-store shopping experience is enough to drive a person crazy.

So when I went to the company's Union Square store in New York City the other day, I couldn't believe what I saw. Sure, the store still lacked product organization and had piles of clothing tossed about, but tucked away on the second floor was something completely unexpected.

Forever 21 often positions its men's section off to the side, but this time it was different. As I walked through a doorway leading to a separate room, it felt like I was entering a new dimension. An organized, pleasant and well-designed dimension.

Bear with me, I know these pictures are a bit blurry, but hopefully they get the point across.

The first thing I noticed was the lighting, which was dimmer than the piercing florescent lighting used on the main floor. There was open space in the middle of the room -- covered with a decorative rug -- and art hanging from the ceiling. Meanwhile, beautiful wooden tables helped display apparel.

I felt like I was in Abercrombie.

Needless to say, I was impressed. And sort of confused.

When did the men's department of Forever 21 become so chic? Now, if only the women's department could get its act together ...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Apple store backdrop for latest Web sensation

Have you seen this viral video yet of 13-year-old Nicholi White lip syncing in front a Web cam at an Apple store in Manhattan? It's become much-discussed on the Internet -- and on TV, as seen in this clip.

White is getting as much publicity as the Apple store. Just another reason to make your brick-and-mortar location a destination spot for shoppers to spend some extra time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Show it if you got it

Take it from L.L. Bean, sometimes you just gotta talk yourself up.

I'm glad to see the retailer is highlighting on its homepage that its Thinsulate Fitness Vest made Oprah's coveted "O List." Celebrity endorsements or "As Seen on TV" banners actually do influence shopper's purchasing decisions, according to a Forrester Research analyst at the recent eTail East conference in Baltimore.

Whether a product has been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama or has been written up in a magazine, let your customers know (and give it a proper shout out so all can see).

Civic duty: The quiet blog days

So yes, I've officially disappeared. Though only temporarily. I'm serving as a grand juror for the State of New York until September 1, and unfortunately, there's not too much chatter about Gen Y and e-commerce trends inside the courtroom walls these days. I hope to update the blog periodically though, so don't be shy about checking back in the meantime.

(Image via Flickr).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ice cream and shoes

If my blog entry from Friday was any indication, many women love shoes. With that in mind, Famous Footwear is cashing in on the idea with its clever new ad seen above, where women chase a shoe truck down the street as though they were running for ice cream.

The discount shoe retailer has certainly been on a roll these days with its engaging messages.

Watch and enjoy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kenneth Cole steps into midtown Manhattan

I've never seen more women in my life than I did this morning during the launch of Kenneth Cole's latest footwear collection at his Rockefeller Center store in New York City. To promote his new 925 Technology silver edition collection, the designer was signing his products for anyone brave enough to face the lengthy line.

Some customers pre-ordered their products up to a month in advance, while others shopped the store this morning before meeting Kenneth Cole. And let me tell you, you'd never know we're in a recession by the way these ladies were shopping.

To pacify those in waiting, the store hired water boys to give out free bottles and coffee. Meanwhile, Cole greeted his fans warmly with hugs and personalized autographed notes, such as "Watch your step!" and "Thanks for the support and awareness."

After meeting the designer, fans were delighted to receive a polaroid snap shot of their meet and greet.

That's me in the picture above. (Ain't it nice they let press cut the line?) Although Cole told me he doesn't have other appearance events planned in other cities yet, it's something he'd consider. "It's been such a success so far," he said.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quote of the day

"I've started shopping online at Forever 21 because whenever I go into the store, I want to kill myself." -- My friend on liking Forever 21's fashions, but disliking its chaotic in-store experience.

H&M provides welcomed shelter

H&M offered refuge to muddy, rain-soaked concert goers at last weekend's three-day Points West festival in New Jersey with its LiveLounge pavillion.

The set-up also allowed people to check e-mail, relax and drink water, and pick up a free H&M-branded chapstick.

It was one of the most popular landmarks and attracted a long line of people looking to escape the sun (and the sloppy, muddy concert grounds).

And yes, those are my dirty, muddy bare feet in the image (bottom left). Very classy.