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Bergdorf Goodman positions jewelry as hot commodities via direct mail

May 3, 2012


New York-based retailer Bergdorf Goodman is continuing its reign in direct mail with a new 32-page jewelry book that presents pieces from new designer collections.

The spring 2012 jewelry book shows jewelry by Wilfredo Rosado, Sylva & Cie., Cindy Chao, Martin Katz and others with many pieces taking on a dark, edgy feel. Bergdorf chose to present lesser-known designers in this book, which could be a move to position itself as a trendsetter in the jewelry industry.

“By using direct mail, Bergdorf Goodman can identify past customers who are most likely to be purchasing the product,” said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami.

“It is a traditional store in a traditional city and they are able to target their return customer with traditional mail,” he said.

“Bergdorf Goodman continues to be an iconic new York brand and there is a predisposition to buying its jewelry.”

Mr. Ramey is not affiliated with Bergdorf Goodman, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Bergdorf, which is part of Neiman Marcus Group, did not respond before press deadline.

Dark diamonds

The magazine uses a backdrop of darkness and shady rocks to present its 2012 jewelry collections.

A pair of green feathered earrings with blacken gold posts by Wilfredo Rosado appear on the book’s cover against a black background. This piece also appears inside the book.

Wilfredo Rosado earrings 

Two gold necklaces by Sylva & Cie. are shown on a brown rock. These necklaces feature a haphazard green emerald pendent and two skeleton pendants.

Sylva & Cie. necklaces 

In addition, a pair of circular earrings by Cindy Chao that take the shape of a spider’s web appear in the book.

Cindy Chao earrings 

The back cover shows a pair of Martin Katz blue sapphire earrings that are hanging on a rock formation.

Martin Katz earrings 

The dark jewelry book was most likely created to be consistent with the preferences of the retailer’s database that it is pursuing, per Mr. Ramey.

During a season of marketing efforts focused on spring and summer colors, Bergdorf may have chosen this route to stand out among other mailers.

In addition, Bergdorf is offering its jewelry book online. Consumers can view it when they are shopping within the jewelry section of the site by clicking the link on the left menu.

The book is presented online with the ability to flip pages, making it a similar experience to reading a physical catalog.

Offering the magazine online will let the retailer reach consumers who are not on their mailing list.

“Any medium can be effective, including direct mail, when used with a multichannel approach,” Mr. Ramey said.

“In 2012, most marketing is an evolution," he said. “If something works it will continue to be used."

Mail order pride

Bergdorf is known for its niche catalogs. Earlier this season, the retailer showcased its high-end spring shoe styles through an independent catalog (see story).

Most recently, the retailer chose direct mail when marketing an extremely lavish beauty event (see story).

In addition, Bergdorf used its spring magalog that it distributed via direct mail to explore themes including tailoring, new collections, patterns and New York culture through advertisements, editorial and multichannel touchpoints (see story).

“Direct mail is very efficient when you have a strong database and can match sales against a database,” Mr. Ramey said. “What is key is ensuring that a mailing list is pristine.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York