Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

Q&A with Todd Okerstrom, Director Of Personal Shopping, Bergdorf Goodman

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Todd Okerstrom has been on the front lines of luxury retail for 30 years, 25 of which he spent with the Neiman Marcus Group and the past eight years with Bergdorf Goodman. Today, as Director of Personal Shopping, Okerstrom and his staff routinely field calls and emails from clients traveling in the likes of Monte Carlo or the Maldives, or flipping through Vogue on their yacht. And when his client wants that dress on page 68 or texts him a picture of a pair of shoes seen on a street in South Africa, Okerstrom always finds the item, post-haste. With Bergdorf Goodman marking its 111th anniversary, Todd kindly took time to discuss with XOJET the challenges of shopping in the digital age and the future of the iconic luxury retailer.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121128/CG19676)

XOJET: Discuss the significance of this 111th anniversary for Bergdorf Goodman.

TO: It's a chance for Bergdorf Goodman to thank the world for the success we've had over the last 111 years. We landed on this anniversary as we have the luxury of being only one store in one amazing city and offer one extraordinary experience for our customers. It's a celebration of an individual entity within the luxury retail world.

The amount of personal attention that Bergdorf Goodman has garnered from the design community to celebrate this occasion is amazing. We have Valentino, J. Mendel, Christian Louboutin and Tom Ford—all the top names in fashion and elegance, they've all done something special for us. To imagine those business enterprises stopping to create something specifically for us is remarkable.

XOJET: Why have those designers extended themselves in that way for you?

TO: I say with the greatest possible humility that this is the center of the luxury retail world. Whether it's an established company or someone new to the scene, everyone hangs their success on the fact that they have a presence at Bergdorf Goodman.

XOJET: On that note, what is Bergdorf Goodman's customer service philosophy?

TO: Yes. (Pause.) In a word: yes. Our philosophy is we'll do whatever it takes. In terms of urgency, we have moved the delivery of a pair of pants to a heart transplant patient. I can't tell you the number of times our alterations department kind of rolls their eyes at me and says, "You really want this done in an hour?" And then they achieve it. So it's accommodating a very busy client base that has expectations above and beyond what they would expect from one of our competitors—if there is such a thing.

XOJET: How has the luxury market changed during your tenure with Bergdorf Goodman?

TO: It's become more homogenized. In terms of the broader market, fabulous design at multiple price points is now available to a broader selection of the general public. In terms of luxury, what's really coming into play is craftsmanship, handwork and limited quantities of exclusive product that's not so broadly broadcast or widely dispersed so that everyone has it.

XOJET: How do you distinguish yourself in this day as a luxury retailer?

TO: The Internet has totally changed the character of the luxury business because you can get online and get a Chanel jacket, or you can walk over to 57th Street and get a Chanel jacket, or you can walk into our beautiful boutique here and get a Chanel jacket. The biggest differentiator in that scenario is what sort of service you're going to obtain with that purchase. It's one of the downfalls of the Internet: it's a click of a button to buy, and a click of a button to return, but you don't have that interaction, that personal touch and relationship that is essential to a true luxury environment and experience. You have to build trust, and that's very difficult to do on the Internet.

XOJET: On the other hand, how has technology improved the luxury experience?

TO: I think that there's this wonderful correlation—in fact, I'm experimenting now with having a private, invitation-only conversation with key clients that I invite to get online and Skype with me about the new collections that were just shown in London, Milan, Paris and New York. What did they see on the runways that they want to wear next spring? Can we tailor our merchandising to their specific needs? In that way, the Internet is limitless in possibility and very exciting.

XOJET: With regards to the global economy and technology, given the prevalence of knockoffs, is Bergdorf's carrying more one-of-a-kind items?

TO: I think Joe Fresh polo shirts for $9.99 are great, and our clients now definitely play the high-low mix with their wardrobes. As far as exclusivity, though, believe me, when you see that Tom Ford made two lavender alligator bags for Bergdorf Goodman, you will not mistake them for any knockoff in the world.

XOJET: So what is the greatest challenge for you today?

TO: My biggest challenge is ensuring that everyone who walks through our door has a wonderful experience. Whether they buy anything or not, I want their experience here to be warm and for people to feel comfortable walking through our doors. Instilling that sense of hospitality in our team is essential to the long-term success of this business.

XOJET: Looking ahead, what do you see in Bergdorf Goodman's future?

TO: The success of our business has many facets, but I go back to the relationship we have with our customers. Whether it's working with them in-store or an invitation app sent through their iPhone, developing a level of trust and competence will be essential for the next hundred years. On the other hand, trivial as it sounds, we've got to have fun. Giving a gift from Bergdorf Goodman should be a treat; people should be as excited about giving as receiving. Considering all the incredibly serious things happening in the world today, walking through our doors should be icing on the cake.

Media Contact:

Amanda Schuon XOJET, 310-550-7200, [email protected]

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

SOURCE XOJET

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...