« Animal Rubber Bands | Home | Frying Pan Coffee Maker Toaster Oven »

November 15, 2005

How to fail in business Bergdorf Goodman–style


It's rather easy: simply mimic this venerable retailer and you'll be bankrupt in no time flat.

Note the Jil Sander boot above, as it appeared recently in what must have a been a very expensive New York Times ad on page A2.

I initially intended this post to feature these boots, in full color after I found a nicer picture on the Bergdorf Goodman website considerately provided in the ad, with a comment about how it might make for a more considered beginning to one's day, having to take the time to painstakingly lace up each one before beginning one's activities.

I am reminded of the classic Spanish saying (translated here for your convenience): "Dress slowly — we're in a hurry." But I digress.

In fact, as I think about it, bookofjoe is one giant digression, isn't it?

One tangent after another until you have no idea where you were when you started or even why you began.

No matter.

I spent a few moments on Bergdorf's hapless website before I realized they didn't even have Jil Sander listed at all, much less under shoes or boots.

Same story over at the websites of Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, both of which pride themselves on being great places to buy women's shoes.

Not true, say I.

So I guess if you want to buy a pair of Jil Sander boots you'll just have to visit a Bergdorf Goodman store to find out that either they've never heard of them or they're sold out in your size.

Long ago I began taking the ad featuring the item I wanted to buy to the store that advertised it: much fun and games when, after asking a salesperson and getting the requisite blank stare, you pull out the ad and then watch as they start with the phone calls, ending in the same outcome: no one knows anything about it.

We call it a disconnect in our country.

The publishing industry, of course, sets the standard for dysfunctional business practices — in fact, they're the ones who put the "fun" back in "dysfunctional" — with its never–failing, brain–dead system that results in great book reviews appearing in print months before the books hit the stores, such that when they do arrive people can't remember ever having read the reviews, much less being interested in buying the books as they were when they went to the bookstore to purchase a copy the day they read the review.

That's one of the reasons for amazon's success: it's just as easy to pre–order a book not yet released as to buy one that's available.

But hey, who am I to be going on about business practices?

After all, I'm just a brain–dead blogging anesthesiologist who doesn't even have the money for a standing–room–only place on the clue–train.

Oh, OK — you're calling me a hater now, saying that I said I wouldn't say bad things, just celebrate the good, or at least offer ways to make things better.

I better put up or shut up, huh?

OK, then: all Bergdorf Goodman and its ilk have to do to transform themselves in the area of merging their print advertising campaigns and their web presences is to put a word or number in the print ad that, when you put it in the website's search box, takes you right to the item all those thousands of precious dollars went to advertise.

Gee, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Almost seems obvious.

No wonder I have to charge so much for access.

Advice like this is, well, priceless.

November 15, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How to fail in business Bergdorf Goodman–style:


The comments to this entry are closed.