Bergdorf Goodman Documentary Revels in Heritage
Veteran employees of New York department store Bergdorf Goodman have emerged as the stars of a new documentary released to mark its 111th anniversary.
Eighty-five-year-old personal shopper Betty Halbreich, buyer Linda Fargo and window designer David Hoey are among the staff opening up about the iconic Fifth Avenue store in Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman, which hits cinemas in May 2013. The title comes from a cartoon in The New Yorker, which satirised the devotion of its customers.
From how its Christmas window displays are created, to bizarre purchases made by famous clients, the film offers an unusually anecdotal, personal glimpse of a store’s inner workings.
Back in August 2012, Stylus announced the full line-up of events and releases to mark the store’s 111th anniversary – including in-store pop-ups, installations and limited-edition shopping bags. For more on brands’ anniversaries prompting creative rethinks, see Commemorative Packaging.
The Goodman family come into the spotlight too, as the 90-minute documentary looks inside the 16-room penthouse they originally lived in above the store (it’s now owned by US retail group Carter Hawley Hale). It also features testimonials from renowned fashion designers including Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and Stefano Gabbana, plus an assortment of celebrity customers and stylists.
Bergdorf Goodman isn’t the only department store exploiting an entertaining back-story to engage consumers. British television drama series Mr Selfridge (aired in spring 2013) centres on the exploits (and consorts) of Gordon Selfridge – the American-born founder of the London department store.
Stylus explores how other brands (old and new) can benefit from cultivating or re-framing their history in Monetising Brand Heritage. Also see Redefining the Department Store: Store Concepts and Digital Innovations for a wider look at the apps, services and physical spaces that department stores are offering to compete in the e-commerce age.