Tony Spring, the new chairman and CEO of Bloomingdales appointed in February, sat down with Women’s Wear Daily to discuss his plans for helping the department store grow and flourish in the upcoming months and years. The hands-on CEO has worked with the store for 27 years, starting as a trainee, advancing as a home buyer, and climbed on to take on various top marketing, stores, and operations jobs.
Among his developments as CEO, the September 10 launch of what is called 100% Bloomingdale’s, might be the biggest yet. The collection features over 1,000 styles designed for and sold exclusively at Bloomingdale’s by 100 designers and labels. Designers and brands collaborated directly with Bloomingdale’s buyers and fashion directors to create products available at the department store. It should be quite exciting to see what the collection entails.
While there are currently 38 stores – 1 overseas in Dubai – and 13 outlets, Spring also revealed plans to open new locations. The stores include units in Ala Moana, Honolulu, to open in the Fall of 2015, in the Mall at Miami Worldcenter in Miami to open in the Fall of 2016, and what he called “the store of the future,” to open in Standford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA. this October. The store aims to mix more brands and have technology more involved in the shopping process. This includes opening “smart fitting rooms” that are equipped with iPads so costumers can call for employees for assistance in sizing, read product reviews, etc.
Spring talked to WWD about growing and developing, not just its flagship locations, but also developing “additional full-line stores, additional outlets, and … bloomingdales.com.” There could be more openings of smaller locations like the ones in Soho and Santa Monica.
On international expansion, Spring quotes: “We can have more stores internationally. I am not going to give you specifics. We are not pressured to open 10 more outlets, or 10 international stores by tomorrow. Looking over the next five to 10 year, I would be surprised if Bloomingdale’s doesn’t have a larger international footprint.”
The new CEO plans to focus on growth and relationships between the store and its designers and costumers. He told WWD: “There’s an evolution, not a revolution. I don’t think we need to sharpen our image – we need to sharpen our game,” Spring said, referencing the success of his predecessor as CEO Michael Gould. He continued, stating that it is his mission “to continue to build, to create a new sense of opportunity. This is not completely different. It is the next chapter in the continued successful evolution of the Bloomingdale’s brand. Change is inherent in this business.”