its a traffic builder, and thats what counts in
aaa replica designer handbags FIELDS KEEPS LEGEND ALIVE
A well known ad in glossy fashion magazines regularly asks, ''What becomes a legend most?''
Its a question that owner Batus Retail and executives at Chicagos venerable Marshall Field Co. have been asking for nearly two years as they struggle to rejuvenate the onetime Dowager of State Street.
This weekend, Chicagoans, for whom Fields has been as much a civic institution as a retailer for 133 years, got to see part of the answer. Four stars from NBC TVs red hot ''Miami Vice'' series launched a joint, first of its kind promotion for the stores fall high quality replica handbags china season.
Thousands watched a huge, noisy State Street motorcade honoring Chicago police and led by Mayor Harold Washington and the ''Miami Vice'' stars. Warming the cockles of a retailers heart, thousands also streamed into the State Street flagship store afterward to collect autographs, stargaze and ring in the new season at the cash registers.
Prominently showcased on the State Street side of the first floor, the
''Miami Vice'' high quality replica handbags china crowds could see more of the answer to what becomes a legend.
Sleek new boutiques for Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, in which prices start at $300 and $1,230 beaded sweaters are the order of the day, recall the retailers glory days as the citys fashion leader.
''We wanted to bring back the idea that Marshall Fields is the first to introduce anything of quality, style and substance to Chicago this isnt theater for theaters sake,'' said Fields Chairman Philip Miller, hired from Neiman Marcus in 1983.
''All this hullabaloo is really great; its what they should be doing,''
said John Landschulz, an analyst with Mesirow Co. in Chicago. ''Its a traffic builder, and thats what counts in this kind of aaa replica designer handbags competitive environment.''
But Gary Witkin, Fields executive vice president, also sees the promotions and the specialty boutiques as a way to retain the retailers traditional customers. ''If we create excitement and newness, it makes the customer cheap replica handbags who already shops with us feel good about shopping here,'' he said.
Acquired by Batus in the depths of the 1982 recession, when trade sources estimated its profit margin at less than 5 percent, sales at Fields 21 stores increased 8 percent to $750 million in 1984. More importantly, pretax profits jumped 12 percent to approximately $52 million.
Miller also says Fields has regained its 15 percent share of the metropolitan Chicago market, which at replica louis vuitton bags from china one time had slipped as much as a replica louis vuitton handbags percentage point, which is worth several million dollars in sales.
Miller, 47, credits Batus cash infusion and understanding of the retail business (Batus Retail also operates Saks Fifth Avenue, Gimbels and several smaller retailers) for much of Fields new health. He predicts that the retailer will post sales of $1 billion with a profit margin of 11 to 12 percent cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk by 1990.
''Your report card from your customers is your sales volume and whether or not youre holding your market share,'' Miller said. ''In terms of the efficiency of management, the report card is your profit line.''
The 1984 figures have left Miller whose crowded ninth floor office, with its red silk moire wallpaper, reeks of Elegant Chic so confident that Fields executives are beginning to talk about expansion.
Last week, the company announced that construction would begin immediately on a new store in San Antonio, its fourth in the highly profitable Texas market and its first new store in several years.
Fields President Burnett Donoho, recruited by Batus from its Gimbels Midwest division in Milwaukee, says Fields also is looking at new markets in other areas of the country, roughly ''a few miles on either side of a line from Houston to Chicago.''
''Our name recognition in the Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags Midwest is huge, and anytime you have that much recognition, youve got to consider building stores,'' Donoho said with a Kentucky drawl. ''Weve got cheap louis vuitton bags from china the support (from Batus) to build additional stores in the next few years, but weve got no locations yet.''
Trade sources have speculated, however, that six markets are prime contenders for the new stores, including Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Tulsa; and Kansas City, Mo.
Though Fields still is Chicagos dominant retailer, it is being severely tested by competition from a newly awakened and aggressive Carson Pirie Scott Co., from recently upgraded mass merchants such replica louis vuitton bags as Sears, Roebuck and Co. Penney Co. and from cheaper discounters and off price merchants.
''Fields remains dominant with the premier image among the most valuable shopper segments in the market,'' said a recent report on the Chicago retail market. ''Carsons strength is slightly more evident among the moderate price, less fashion oriented groups.''
Fields dominance extends beyond market share.
''You cant get some designers trunk (fashion preview) shows because Marshall Fields has them sewn up,'' said Larry Gore, who leads a group of high fashion specialty stores that includes Stanley Korshak, Ralph Lauren Polo and Brittany Ltd. ''You ask them if they wouldnt rather sell to a very exclusive specialty store, and they say no, they want Marshall Fields. They want that name in Chicago.''
Batus Retail Chairman Arnold Aronson, who once headed Saks Fifth Avenue, couldnt be more pleased at that, as well as at promises that Batus will continue high quality designer replica handbags its heavy rate of investment $100 million for the five years ending in 1988 in its newest acquisition.
''We had an obligation not just to purchase Marshall Fields but to put our blood and guts and investment into it,'' Aronson said in a telephone interview from his Rockefeller Center office in New York. ''Im very pleased with both the substance and the style of whats happening there. Theyve gone back in a contemporary way to the roots of what made Marshall Fields.''
To do that, Miller spearheaded a two pronged merchandising strategy of what he calls ''differentiation and dominance.'' Differentiation involves cultivating specialty boutiques such as Fendi, Vuitton, Chanel and Bottega Veneta, part of what Fields refers to as its ''better best'' (quality)
designer business, which reportedly averages sales of $500 a square foot, $150 a square foot above planned levels.