jerryking + lingerie   7

Les Wexner, the man behind Victoria’s Secret
Barney Jopson MARCH 30, 2018

Propped against the wall are boards from recent presentations about customer loyalty schemes and the nearby Easton open-air shopping complex, which was conceived by Wexner, a staunch and often lonely defender of bricks-and-mortar retail....Since his existential crisis, Wexner has devoted part of his time and fortune to philanthropy, funding leadership training and the Wexner Center for the Arts and Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, his alma mater.....The typical lifespan of a fashion business, Wexner says, is 15 years. Most retail chains, whatever they sell, don’t survive beyond 20 or 30 years. Yet Wexner has been in charge for 55 years. Behind him in the Fortune 500 longevity stakes is Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has run Berkshire Hathaway for a mere 53. The key to survival, Wexner says, is to reinvent yourself as your shoppers evolve. “When the customer zigs, you zig.”

But he is facing his stiffest trial yet. Amazon, which has conquered a series of retail categories, is now getting into underwear. Online-only lingerie specialists are trying to steal Victoria’s Secret customers....His eventual point is that most people want to express their individuality, which has a lot to do with sexuality, which means lingerie is loaded with powerful “emotional content” for women.......I talk about the predictive power of data and algorithms (one of Amazon’s great assets) but he pooh-poohs their relevance. The response is similarly dismissive when I ask Wexner — who did not marry his lawyer wife Abigail until he was 55 — whether he sourced lingerie ideas from the women he dated. “N-n-nooo,” he says. “You can’t ask. Fashion is about latent demand. You can’t research it. If I say, ‘what colour are you going to buy next fall?’, no one is going to say, ‘I think purple’s going to be a great colour’.”
........He says the death of shops has been greatly exaggerated. Sure, 9,000 US stores closed last year by some estimates. Sure, habits are changing. People used to wile away four hours at the mall and visit 20 stores. Now they skip the mediocre shops and make a beeline for just one or two, Wexner says. But humans are still “pack animals” who like to mingle. And where they go, they spend more. Amazon is great for buying commodity products when you know exactly what you want. But fashion stores are about stumbling upon “things you haven’t seen before”, Wexner says. The doom-mongers are looking at average sales across all shops. “I think they’re missing the wheat from the chaff,” he says.
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Leslie_Wexner  Victoria's_Secret  moguls  CEOs  entrepreneur  retailers  L_Brands  intimate_apparel  personal_care_products  lingerie  bricks-and-mortar 
april 2018 by jerryking
Brief encounters: Mark's has designs on panties - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 22, 2010 | Globe & Mail | by Marina Strauss. Mark's
is all over the panties, as well as women's camisoles, tops, jeans,
dresses and dress shoes. In its mission to court more women, the
retailer is focusing more than ever on lingerie, with a big push in 2010
on the Perfect Fit Panty. Panty sales are critical to Mark's. The math
is simple: Women shop for underwear five times a year, compared with
just twice a year for other casual clothing.“It's about getting a bigger
share of the wallet from those customers who do shop there and now can
spend money at Mark's that they might have spent elsewhere.”

Still, Mark's faces the challenge of not scaring off its loyal male
customers by dressing up its stores with panties and camisoles
Marina_Strauss  marketing  branding  brand_extension  lingerie  Mark's  intimate_apparel 
march 2010 by jerryking
Building a Better Bra Shop
November 30, 2003 | The New York Times | By HOPE REEVES. In
the two unfocused groups, IDEO invited the women -- about eight to a
group -- to talk about their good and bad experiences, which amounted to
very few in the first category and a long list in the second, then the
groups broke up into smaller units to build their ideal
underwear-shopping experience. In this segment, the women who acted as
customers expressed a desire to be advised and reassured by the women
acting as salespeople. And those salespeople responded as instructed,
producing a giggly lovefest that seemed to leave everyone satisfied and,
at least in this fantasy world, purchasing an expensive undergarment or
two.

IDEO digested this load in a series of meetings and mingled them with
brainstorming sessions conducted with technology, design and product
experts. The analysts presented their findings to Warnaco a few weeks
ago and are now entering the prototype phase.
IDEO  design  Warnaco  shopping_experience  underwear  lingerie  intimate_apparel  unfocused  prototyping 
november 2009 by jerryking
Top entrepreneurs talk about how to keep your customers, and find opportunities, in tough economic times
MAY 11, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | 5-person panel discussion
moderated by Gwendolyn Bounds. Wendy questions the group of
entrepreneurs under the theme "What’s the secret of being an
entrepreneur in these hard economic times?"....trying to stand out from the crowd. I think the best one we did, which we launched when it was about six degrees outside, was a marketing campaign that says, what this town could really use right now is a good bowl of chicken soup.

Chicken soup is one of the great comfort foods in every single culture, and we think that we need to be selling comfort right now. And chicken soup also is a way to define the restaurant. .....people are always looking for joy. They’re always looking to be connected. They’re always looking to feel generous. So Danny’s insight, which is so brilliant, is for the cost of a bowl of chicken soup, you get to feel generous. You get to feel connected. You get to feel part of the community. That story is easy to tell because we all have a memory of chicken soup growing up.......Marketing is not this blank check that lets you sell whatever you want. The challenge that we’re facing, as we enter this serious recession, is not how do we stop doing everything. It’s how do we create experiences and stories, interactions, that don’t necessarily cost a lot of money, but create value for everyone concerned.......I think that for an entrepreneur who is interested and passionate about creating something in the technology space, whether it’s a device or a service or a platform, this is an extraordinary time, because there’s an enormous lull in the Fortune 1000 with respect to innovation and new ideation. ........on the equity side, where they don’t have these types of opportunities, we look for innovative companies that actually create a disruption. The simple thing is, if you can offer the environment where we can lower your costs and improve quality, it’s a no-brainer.

But in general, we have to make certain that these entrepreneurs really know the industry, they know the customers, they know the competition and most importantly, they know thyself, they know what they can and cannot do.

So it’s interesting when you play across the capital structure, how you bifurcate this, and I think it all has to do with innovation and creating something that doesn’t exist, that fits a pent-up need.
disruption  self-awareness  Gwendolyn_Bounds  Seth_Godin  Danny_Meyer  entrepreneur  economic_downturn  hard_times  attention  innovation  ideation  ideas  underwriting  geographic_ingredient_branding  Buy_American  craftsmanship  soups  marketing  storytelling  lingerie  intimate_apparel  idea_generation  emotional_connections  small_batch  generosity  joy 
may 2009 by jerryking

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