The irony of his office space decor— in comparison to the brand— seems lost on Leslie “Les” Wexner, who built Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Express and The Limited into one of America’s alltime great retail fortunes. “When I was a kid, before my first store, they talked about stores as theater and retail as theater. It still is,” says the 77-year-old. “Retailing is a free form of entertainment.” Yet this impresario shuns the spotlight. He’s the CEO of a large publicly traded company, yet he rarely speaks on earnings calls. One of the legends of his industry, yet he almost never speaks to the press. Wexner is so elusive that most assume the brains of Victoria’s Secret is surely some female visionary in the mold of a Sara Blakely or Tory Burch, or else a Hugh Hefner lothario type.
CRMC Newsletter Feature Stories – 2014
A look at retail landscape sheds light on an industry navigating unprecedented change at the hands of digital technology, which is reshaping longtime shopping habits. But the retail formats gaining and losing ground also echo larger social trends redefining consumer culture, like the disappearing middle class. Here’s a snapshot of the concepts that are both winning and losing in the retail landscape, and ones that are disrupting the consumer-shopping paradigm.
The banking group’s Australian CMO and head of customer experience discusses how she’s building stronger customer loyalty through value-based programs, targeted engagement, technology and operational innovation. At the same time, Duncombe wants to ensure growing customer analytics efforts don’t cross the line into “creepy”. Having the ability to recognise customers and personalise content and marketing through data and technology is another piece in this puzzle. “It’s about finding the balance - where does a customer see value in it, and when we can use the data to help understand them as a person and individual,” she added. In April, Citibank Australia was the eighth country to move onto the group’s global multi-channel technology management platform, which delivers customers an integrated service experience.
At a time of year when U.S. retailers should be riding the annual wave of back-to-school spending and gearing up for the bonanza of the ever-expanding holiday season, they are instead gloomily explaining continued lackluster results to Wall Street. Something has gone missing in American commerce. The passion for outsize consumption that helped drive the world’s largest economy for decades—one nation, indivisibly united by an addiction to malls, supercenters, and retail therapy—appears to have waned. After years of slow to stagnant growth, some experts worry that the entire retail sector is now shifting into a fundamental decline. Could the long American love affair with shopping finally be on the rocks?
A lot can happen in five years, especially in the marketing industry. A Greek philosopher said, “The only thing that is constant is change,” and nowhere is this timeless nugget of wisdom more relevant than in digital marketing. Change comes with the territory—- having to constantly adapt while navigating uncertain waters and attempting to predict what’s to come. It’s this sweeping consciousness of change that forces marketing professionals to constantly seek out a foothold on the future. But this article isn’t about the future; it’s about the past.