Bloomingdale’s – A Tradition of Greatness

Many New Yorkers love Bloomingdale’s for its bustling Upper East Side presence. My earliest memory is when a local bank advertised to Bloomingdale’s “Saturday Generation”; New York’s East Side has never been the same. The store has become known for its innovative and truly extraordinary promotions and events. There were elephants in the Bloomingdale’s store; another time, French designers visited the store. Over the years, it was a period of commercial and marketing effervescence that captured the attention of the whole city.

There have certainly been other luxury stores in town, but none with the flair of Bloomingdale’s. In honor of the brand’s 150th anniversarye anniversary, this article focuses on the leaders of its past 50+ years who have made Bloomingdale’s such a great store.

I start with the time of Marvin Traub. Marvin was an impresario at Bloomingdale’s. He conceived, and then personally directed, many of the events that made headlines during his tenure. Traub rose through the management ranks to become company president in 1969 and then CEO in 1979. He added new stores on the East Coast, in Florida, and in Texas. But its major efforts were most visible in the flagship store where special merchandising events from England, France, China, India and many other exotic countries were held. While branches participated in these country promotions, the focus was on the flagship store at 59e Street and Lexington Ave. These big shows did not bring in much money as the goods were often overbought by the enthusiastic shoppers in the stores. But they made a strong impression on customers. Traub retired in 1991.

It was up to Michael Gould to take the chain of stores to the next level and change the mood. A passionate trader, he raises the company’s standards. He was also passionate about customer service and his energy electrified associates who followed his example to introduce sought-after brands and top designers. From now on, it is foreign visitors who come to Bloomingdale’s to look for the latest creations. Bloomingdale’s has become a showcase for new designs and innovation with global appeal. Gould served as president for 23 years, from 1991 to 2014.

Allow me to step back in time. Lawrence Lachman predeceased Traub and served as president from 1969 to 1978. He joined Bloomingdale’s in 1950 as treasurer and held several senior management positions before being named chief executive in 1964. He was a key leader in transforming from Bloomingdale’s from a local New York specialty store. into a retail chain with stores throughout the Northeast. Bloomingdale’s has grown from 6 stores in New York to 15 stores from Boston to Washington.

He oversaw the redesign of Bloomingdale’s flagship store, transforming it from a simple department store into a destination for the shopper looking for something strange or new. Above all, it helped the company compete with stores on Fifth Avenue, the heart of retail in New York City at the time.

From now on, the brand is under the direction of Tony Spring. Spring has been CEO of Bloomingdale’s since Michael Gould retired in February 2014. He had been President and Chief Operating Officer since 2008. He began his career at Bloomingdale’s in 1987 as an executive trainee at the White Plains store, At New York. Over the next eight years, he took on increasing responsibilities before being promoted to Executive Vice President of Furniture. In 1998, Spring was promoted to executive vice president of marketing. Further promotions and greater responsibilities followed until he became chief operating officer overseeing Bloomingdale’s stores, marketing, creative services, finance, operations and restaurants. Now as Managing Director, he is responsible for all facets of the Bloomingdale’s brand, including merchandising, marketing, operations, stores and online.

Tony Spring operates with the weight of the CEOs of his predecessors on his shoulders. Bloomingdale’s is now a national institution with 36 stores from New City to San Francisco; it also has partnerships in Kuwait and two stores in Dubai in addition to 25 off-price clearance centers. Spring has revamped 59e High street flagship store, shifting entire classifications of merchandise, emphasizing footwear with a huge new department and creating a store that focuses on today’s young customers. He feels that the brand has buzz. There is personality to the Bloomingdale’s brand. People are curious about the fashion office and what fashion trends Bloomingdale believes are important.

Business over the past few years was rumored to be around $3 billion. With an increased focus on digital sales, Bloomingdale’s is now expected to bring in around $3.5 billion in the current fiscal year. When asked by WWD’s David Moin to compare himself to his predecessors, Spring replied:

“I’m a big proponent of balancing the arts and sciences. There’s so much to learn and gain through the use of analytics, AI, and machine learning. it is no substitute for judgment, taste, a merchant’s passion and willingness to twist something. It is the combination of the two that creates the most successful retail business of the future and there have been times times in history when people in finance ran businesses or a single trader ran a business. I don’t consider myself a merchant prince, a marketing prince, a finance prince. I’m a generalist who hires and promotes , and helps create synergies with highly talented specialists, who embrace an entrepreneurial spirit to build and energize a magnificent brand. I’m a humble leader. I don’t think humility means you lack skill or trust. It means you have respect for the people you work with and are more interested in seeing the brand succeed over time than anything I could personally accomplish. I don’t compare myself to other leaders. I don’t think I would be up to it. I compare myself to how the company is doing, how my people are doing, how the brand is doing. These are the things I measure up to. »

Bloomingdale’s celebrates its 150th anniversary by the holiday season. It opened as the Great East Side Bazaar in 1872. Queen Elizabeth stopped by in 1976 as the only store she chose to visit on her American Bicentennial tour. Andy Warhol dubbed Bloomingdale’s “a new kind of museum for the 80s”. The store featured “little knowns” like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs.

Clearly, Bloomingdale’s has always been a store like no other. Now they’re hosting a star-studded gala, designer pop-ups, amazing events, and an immersive and expansive digital experience. There is even a 150e Anniversary collection with over 300 limited edition exclusives. It’s a party like no other.

Congratulations to Tony Spring. The celebration is for a national institution that you have made younger, better and more exciting.

Bloomingdale’s celebrates its 150th anniversary by the holiday season. It opened as the Great East Side Bazaar in 1872. Queen Elizabeth stopped by in 1976 as the only store she chose to visit on her American Bicentennial tour. Andy Warhol dubbed Bloomingdale’s, “a new kind of museum for the 80s. The store featured ‘little knowns’ like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs.

Clearly, Bloomingdale’s has always been a store like no other. Now they’re hosting a star-studded gala, designer pop-ups, amazing events, and an immersive and expansive digital experience. There is even a 150e Anniversary collection with over 300 limited edition exclusives. It’s a party like no other.

POST SCRIPTUM : Congratulations to Tony Spring. The celebration is for a national institution that you have made younger, better and more exciting.

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