You would think that department stores routinely link the inventory in their retail outlets with what they have in their online warehouses, but they don't. Nordstrom does, Stephanie Clifford reports, and that's a major reason it's having more success that its competitors.
In the 11 months since Nordstrom instituted the change, its same-store sales increased by an average of 8%, though other factors have had some impact, too. In the 11 months before the shift, they decreased an average of 11.9%.
Nordstrom added an option to shop and buy online and pick up the item in a store two years ago as a first step, according to Nordstrom Direct president Jamie Nordstrom. But it wanted to increase "multichannel shoppers" because they spend four times, on average, what a one-source shopper does, Nordstrom says. And if Nordstrom doesn't have it, "you're going to go back to Google and say, 'Who else has it?'" he points out.
Nordstrom as also updated its Web site, adding editorial features such as blogs about fashion and videos and photos of Nordstrom customers showing the clothes they chose. It has also improved the way that shoppers can search for products. Read the whole story...
Chrysler and partner/parent Fiat hope the subcompact Fiat 500 becomes a sales and pop-culture hit along the lines of the Mini Cooper, Jeff Bennett reports, but they are certainly driving against the traffic in thinking about establishing a new brand in the U.S. Its chief rivals, General Motors and Ford, are axing brands.
But Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Chrysler and Fiat, says that Chrysler's brands do not overlap the way that Ford and GM's did. "Jeep is unique, Dodge is a widely popular brand and Ram is about trucks," he says.
In addition, dealers are balking at the expense of building separate showrooms for the Fiat. "They are going to have to present a compelling story and product to back me investing at least $1 million to build a new showroom," says one. Other dealers, however, say they are intrigued and plan to attend a presentation in Detroit next week to learn more.
Marchionne, meanwhile, says he will shop the idea around outside the Chrysler dealer network if he doesn't get sufficient numbers from within. Read the whole story...
General Motors is considering expanding its performance line to its small cars -- such as the four-cylinder Chevrolet Cruze and the next-generation Chevrolet Aveo -- according to Jim Campbell, the marketing veteran who became vp of GM's performance vehicles and motorsports last week when Joel Ewanick hired Hyundai's Chris Perry to run Chevrolet marketing.
"Small cars and compact cars are going to be more and more important going forward, and we're looking at efficient performance," Campbell tells Jason Stein. The performance division will "cross all brands," he says, but the emphasis will be on Chevrolet and Cadillac.
Campbell wants to improve the image of each brand, creating some marketing synergy. "If you come in and see a V-Series, you might not buy it, but you might consider something else" in the Cadillac showroom, he says. Read the whole story...
As part of the sponsorship deal American Express has forged with the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament this year, its NextContenders.com site allows fans to get a behind-the-scenes look at four young players -- John Isner, Sam Querrey, Caroline Wozniacki and Melanie Oudin, Elaine Wong reports.
Viewers can watch a video about what it takes to become a rising tennis star, as well as follow tweets and posts about the players. The site will be updated during the tournament, which runs Aug. 30 - Sept. 12, with interviews from the players, their coaches and family members.
AmEx has been a sponsor of the Open for 17 years. This year's approach is designed to bring fans "closer to the sport they love with unique experiences and a fresh perspective on the game," says Jessica Igoe, AmEx's sponsorship marketing director.
Meanwhile, Barry Janoff reports in NY Sports Journalism that domestic and worldwide sponsorship spending on amateur and professional tennis tournaments, leagues and sanctioning bodies is expected to total $600 million in 2010, a 3.2% increase over 2009.
"The sport of tennis has largely replaced the fallout in spending by financial services and automobile companies with new categories, most notably beer and spirits," according to William Chipps, senior editor of IEG Sponsorship Report, which came up with the figures. Read the whole story...
The one thing Tiger Woods' most ardent fans really won't tolerate? Losing, writes Alex Sherman.
Woods hasn't won a tournament this year and is 83rd on the PGA Tour's money list. Sales of his apparel line through Nike are also slumping, according to retailers Golfsmith International Holdings, Roger Dunn Golf Shops and Golf Discount Superstore. Nike won't release figures.
"Apparel is hot right now," Laura Dowdy, the clothing buyer for Roger Dunn, tells Sherman. "Everything -- Adidas, Puma, Nike, except the Tiger brand." For its part, Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast says the company supports Tiger and would "never underestimate his abilities as a competitor ... with over 70 wins on the PGA Tour and 95 wins worldwide." Read the whole story...