Nordstrom Uses Influencers To Promote Safety And Draw Anxious Shoppers
Wendy Nguyen, a fashionable Instagram personality with 1.1 million followers, is regularly tapped by retailers like Macy’s and Banana Republic to promote their wares on social media. They typically want her to take a stylish photo in their apparel and enthuse about their brand and any upcoming sale or product line.
But Ms. Nguyen recently fielded what she considered an unusual and “very careful” inquiry from Nordstrom. It wanted to gauge her interest in a campaign that would require visiting the company’s seven-story flagship store in New York to highlight Nordstrom’s new safety measures and “encourage people to experience what they built,” she said.
The subsequent Instagram posts from Ms. Nguyen and a handful of other influencers were shared in the last two weeks and offer a glimpse into pandemic-era retailing and the ways stores are trying to bring shoppers back in person. The women, clad in trendy clothing and masks, were photographed in unusual and notably spacious parts of the store like the Nordstrom x Nike sneaker boutique, the so-called personalization studio and a section dubbed the “Beauty Haven.” (There was one on an escalator.) The posts all praised Nordstrom’s safety measures, like mandatory masks, abundant hand sanitizer and adherence to social distancing. Read more on The New York Times
When a Brand Stands Up For Racial Justice, Do People Buy It?
Recent protests demanding social justice and the affirmation of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have provoked a flurry of activity among corporations as they drop brands that have racist connotations, reposition other brands with ambiguous to outright offensive racial implications, explicitly state their solidarity with the movement, and donate money to racial justice causes.
But do consumers perceive these actions as authentic — especially when many of these companies are not Black-owned and/or have a lackluster history of Black corporate leadership? And will these strategies result in long-term brand loyalty? Read more on Harvard Business Review
Tailored Brands Files Ch. 11
Tailored Brands has been warning of a potential bankruptcy for months now.
In early June, the company said in a securities filing that it may have to terminate operations or seek bankruptcy protection, pointing to a dramatic sales decline of over 60% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The summer progressed with other warning signs — a Bloomberg report citing anonymous sources said the company was working with law firm Kirkland and Ellis, a law firm that has guided many prominent retail companies through the bankruptcy process. Then Men’s Wearhouse missed a $6.1 million interest payment on bonds in early July. Weeks later the company identified around 500 retail locations for permanent closure, said it would eliminate 20% of corporate positions by the end of the second quarter, and announced the exit of its CFO.
Yet, troubles with the company did not begin with the onset of a global health crisis. Revenue had declined by around 5.6% over the past two years, with the company pointing to “the continuing decline in the brick-and-mortar retail industry generally” as a reason for its stumble, according to court documents. In what could be seen as an early indicator in what was to come, the retailer sold off its Joseph Abboud trademarks in January to brand management firm WHP Global for $115 million, in part to pay down debt. Read more on Retail Dive
Etsy’s Payments Platform Now Available In Seven More Countries
Etsy is expanding its proprietary payments platform to seven new countries. The company announced on Monday (Aug. 3) that Etsy Payments will now be available in Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey and the Philippines. The new markets add to the late May announcement that Turkey, Malaysia and Mexico would migrate to the platform. The company says it will roll out to three more markets before the end of the year.
According to Etsy Chief Product Officer Kruti Patel Goyal, sellers on the platform who enroll in Etsy Payments can offer multiple payment options, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Etsy gift cards and all major credit card networks. Exclusive use of the platform is not mandated, as it is on eBay’s managed payments platform. However, in the U.S. and other markets, it is mandatory to offer Etsy Payments as an option.
The company’s value proposition for the payments platform is that sales made through Etsy Payments are eligible for Etsy’s seller protection policy, which is the company’s complaint mitigation service. Etsy also says that sellers can manage all the financial information for their shops in one place, and can take advantage of “fast and flexible deposits.” Sellers using Etsy Payments are also included in other programs, such as multi-shop checkout, shipping features and seasonal promotions. Read more on PYMNTS