Grande dame department stores in New York and London are facing up to major market challenges with an array of initiatives designed to lure customers in and engage them for longer...you’ll have no trouble understanding why these are troubling times for department stores...Mortimer Singer, president and CEO of business development and strategic consultancy firm Marvin Traub Associates, identifies several “headwinds” that the US stores are struggling with. Firstly, there is what he calls the “New Davids” – lesser-known brands, well over 200 of them, that were born online and in many cases may only be doing about $10m of business a year each, but collectively “are taking some $4.2bn out of the more established retail market”.
I started three years ago with my co-founders, Julia LeClair and Mortimer Singer, who runs a company called Traub Associates, a luxury business consulting firm. I was running strategy for Burberry under Angela Ahrendts, and I became really obsessed with this idea of marketplaces. Eventually we got together and created Orchard Mile. The way that I explain it to my girlfriends is that it’s almost like having over 130 tabs open at once, but it’s one single shopping cart and one seamless experience.