The idea of combining fast fashion with traditional department stores has intrigued me ever since JCPenney went into partnership with Mango few years ago. I can’t help but be fascinated by the concept of fashion clothing that is meant to be frequently replaced by consumers, and therefore must be updated weekly in stores (just think of the supply chain implications, not to mention the labor involved in changing a sales floor weekly.) Bringing this high-turnover merchandising concept to stores known for carrying high margin/low turn merchandise is, well, fascinating.
It seems that the latest duet to try this concept is Nordstrom and Topshop, and this particular combination looks like a winner to me. Whether it will be successful in the long run is always a matter of debate, but it’s an interesting concept from a three bucket perspective. After all, Nordstrom is gaining not only the Topshop brand image, but also a fashion oriented product with a high turn rate (and great asset efficiency.) On Topshop’s side of the table, they gain a large increase in distribution and an accompanying increase in volume. (Sources: Nordstrom Dresses British With Topshop to Win Back Women: Retail; Topshop is Coming to Nordstrom)
Speaking of interesting partnerships, I’ve been reading several articles about how Neiman Marcus and Target are teaming up to create a limited edition of holiday merchandise (designed by top names such as Oscar de la Renta and Tory Burch) to be sold in both of their stores this coming December. The partnership even has its own logo – an exclamation point with a Target’s bulls eye as the dot. I understand what Target is getting out of this, but can anyone explain to me the benefit to Neiman Marcus??? (Sources: Neiman Marcus and Target join forces to create holiday gifts; Retail’s New Odd Couple)