Bon-Ton Stores chases curated outfit craze
The Bon-Ton Stores is enabling one-click purchasing for complete outfits curated by its stylists on a weekly basis through a new online fashion solution called Style2Go, according to a company press release.
Five new on-trend Style2Go outfits are unveiled online every Friday morning, created by Bon-Ton stylists to fit a variety of lifestyles: casual, weekend, office to evening, active and special occasion. Style2Go outfits include a variety of products and accessories from shoes, tops and pants to dresses, handbags, jewelry and more.
The Bon-Ton Stores operates 261 stores in 25 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers names.
Just a few months ago, Bon-Ton underwent a major leadership change, in which it was announced Chief Operating Officer William Tracy will replace CEO Kathryn Bufano, who resigned from the post when her contract expired in April. Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, Bon-Ton is struggling financially, and not long ago it landed on a S&P's Risk Insight list of retailers described as vulnerable to bankruptcy. The company's stock price also hit a 52-week low on Thursday. Bon-Ton has been trying to figure out a way forward, either though further cost-cutting or measures to increase sales, or both.
Style2Go fits the bill for the latter as an event-oriented curation of products that aim to inspire shoppers. These kinds of curated selections are becoming increasingly common as retailers continue to be influenced by social media marketing practices. Making new Style2Go outfit releases a weekly, scheduled event is clearly intended to draw shoppers to the site with the idea that they are witnessing something special.
Historically, Bon-Ton has made some interesting and aggressive choices in its embrace of technology. The retailer was fairly early in its pursuit of mobile commerce, launching a mobile web site in 2010 and using mobile promotions to pump up in-store gift card redemptions as early as 2013.
The retailer needs much more than Style2Go to get back on track, but the mentality behind the idea is a step in the right direction. The feature is designed to get large groups of people to Bon-Ton's site at the same time, while making it easy to buy products.