October 31, 2017

Going in Opposite Directions

Country Curtains is going out of business.

Mark and Graham (click here) is a five-year-old division of Williams Sonoma.

We've been told by trade journalists and research brands and conferences that we must integrate all of our experiences. A company like Country Curtains does just that, and of what good is the strategy to them? Meanwhile Williams Sonoma launches new brands ... a new brand that is in year five now.

I know, I know, Williams Sonoma doesn't count because they're on the West Coast and if a cataloger isn't in New England it isn't part of the family (#askDuluthTradingCompany).

But honestly, Williams Sonoma is doing what catalogers used to do back in the 1990s before vendors with a megaphone demanded that everything be integrated ... they simply launched a new brand. In the time I was at Lands' End, Eddie Bauer and Nordstrom, we launched numerous sub-brands. No need to integrate everything when you can give a new brand a chance to succeed (and yes, I get it, most do not succeed). In fact, if you integrate everything, you are almost forced not to launch new brands.

It is time to stop doing what is right for vendors holding a megaphone.

It is time to do what is right for your business ... before you become Country Curtains.

P.S.:  Or you can be nasty like Burger King (click here). It's probably not a strategy for most of us, but they're doing something.

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