Lord & Taylor’s Liz Rodbell On Taking the Historic Department Store Into the Modern Age of Retail

A new era of retail has made adaption a survival mandate and Liz Rodbell is up for the challenge.

The president of Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay was on hand this week for the unveiling of a new concept shop in Lord & Taylor’s flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. The shop — a collection of lifestyle products curated by makeup mogul Bobbi Brown —will be featured at select stores and online.

Rodbell said the move is part of the department store’s larger strategy to stay on pace in a rapidly evolving consumer landscape.

We are on a mission to do things differently and [in a way] that’s exciting and relevant for today’s consumer whether it’s new brand or collections or to do something innovative like this [with Bobbi],” Rodbell told Footwear News at the unveiling of the Just Bobbi shop.

In addition to the launch of her concept shop, Lord & Taylor has tapped Brown to serve as a creative consultant and plans on using her social media talents to attract a larger digital audience.

I’m going to help them with a lot of creative concepts and create new [digital] content specifically for Lord & Taylor,” Brown said. “I’ve been doing Facebook Live for the past year — interviewing all different [types of] people. So we’ll be doing a lot of things [like that].”

Rodbell said she’s banking on digital content such as Facebook Live videos to help the historic department store build a stronger connection with consumers.

I think storytelling in the digital space is so perfect because you can connect in a more complete way,” Rodbell said. “One of our biggest endeavors is to have the Facebook Live really come together with the interview format and I think the customer is going to love it.”

She added, “We’ve been doing different things with Instagram as well in terms of what the customer wants but I think this [takes things] a little deeper.”

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