American Marketer


Bergdorf Goodman ranks highest for in-store engagement: report

October 30, 2014

Bergdorf window by Laura Wass Bergdorf window by Laura Wass


While Bergdorf Goodman received accolades for its in-store experience, Saks Fifth Avenue received the top spot for online experience, according to a new report by the Luxury Institute.

Neiman Marcus came in third for both online and offline engagement, according to survey respondents, suggesting a consistent omnichannel experience. As retailers work to fill in the many seen and unforeseen gaps of creating an omnichannel experience, growing pains are expected.

"These retailers sell very much the same products, so that’s not going to be the differentiator," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute, New York.

"It's going to be the people," he said. "They have a huge opportunity to improve the way that they treat the customer in terms of creating a relationship.

"Everybody knows what the best practices are, they just don’t execute on a daily basis with each customer."

Respondents were asked to rate seven luxury retailers along 31 criteria. The retailers included Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Respondents had a minimum annual income of $150,000, an average annual income of $318,000 and an average net worth of $3.1 million.

Work to do
Each retailer received a Luxury Multichannel Engagement Index, or LMEI, score based on the 31 criteria. Ultimately, most of the retailers received strong scores on the ten-point system.

For instance, while Saks received the top online score with an 8.10, Net-A-Porter received an 8.07 and Neiman Marcus received an 8.04.

Saks free shipping email

Saks Fifth Avenue free shipping email announcement

Saks received the highest score for the following criteria: matching consumer perceptions of a luxury retailer, offering guided and personalized shopping experiences online and featuring attractive and inspiring product displays.

The offline experience ratings were a little more varied, but still clustered around strong scores.

Bergdorf's top score was 8.17, followed by Barneys' 7.9 and Neiman's 7.85.

However, Mr. Pedraza emphasized that retailers still have significant work to do before they achieve an excellent omnichannel experience.

Nordstrom Instalog homepage

Nordstrom's Instalog

He also noted that retailers with outlet locations tend to receive lower scores because consumers give a rating that considers all entities.

Nordstrom was ranked the most popular of the retailers, with 26 percent of respondents claiming to shop online and 45 percent in-store.


Mr. Pedraza said that the actions of both in-store and offline associates are mutually beneficial and that an excellent omnichannel experience depends on associates traversing all potential channels. Multichannel-savvy associates will, in turn, boost loyalty.

To create a lasting impression and build loyalty amongst younger consumers, marketers no longer need to tout “youth values,” according to a new survey by Havas Worldwide.

Instead of positioning campaigns as a means to separate generations, marketing efforts will more successfully attract younger consumers by giving them the means to stand out among their peers in a positive way. These efforts will then lead to brand loyalty (see story).

"[Retailers] don’t have the multichannel relationships, and that’s a huge opportunity," Mr. Pedraza said. "That takes a culture of excellence and high performance."

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff writer on Luxury Daily, New York