New York City Retail Tour
In 2006, The David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research began hosting the annual tour of New York City. Students interested in the retail industry can tour the Big Apple during Spring Break, visiting companies such as Macy's, Build-A-Bear, Brown Shoe, Women's Wear Daily, Bloomingdales, Toys "R" Us, jcpenney and Barney's. Students also tour the garment district and have time to explore New York City on their own.
Students are responsible for all expenses: flight, hotel, food and transportation.
Rather than soaking up the sun on a Florida beach, 15 University of Florida students spent their spring break in the Big Apple for the UF David C. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research's New York City Retail Tour.
During the five-day tour from March 9 to 13, students visited more than 30 retail locations and met with a variety of retail-industry executives, including several UF alumni. The tour included visits to notable retail establishments, such as Bloomingdales, Juicy Couture, Macy's Herald Square, Saks Fifth Avenue and Toys "R" Us.
We met in New York City on Sunday, March 11th and kicked off this 5 day event with a dinner joined by several UF alumni who currently work in the retail industry.
Sixteen students visited Manhattan over spring break for a fashion tour of the Big Apple, from Monday, March 13th - Thursday, March 16th. We spent time with Brown Shoe, Macy's Herald Square, Bloomingdales, WWD, Toys "R" Us, jcpenney and walked with a tour guide through the garment district. .
Our New York City travels ended at the world-renown, often respected, and sometimes worshipped Women's Wear Daily. WWD brought our group into a conference room overlooking Third Avenue and spoke briefly about the publication. Melanie Kletter, sportswear editor, and Cecily Hall, statistics/list editor spoke about life at WWD, some of the many perks, and the restrictions throughout the company. They both spoke of the deadlines and stresses of the job, but how in the end everything is completely worth it. By the end of the presentation they handed out WWD to allow us to further understand what they had just explained. Our visit to Women?s Wear Daily would inspire anyone to be apart of WWD, who has an interest in the unique combination of journalism and fashion
I wanted to thank you both for all the hard work that went into making this experience possible for all of us. I have learned so much about the industry. Just to share with you how much the trip meant.... Before I had so many ideas running through my head about what I wanted to do after graduation, (I had absolutely no clue) but after hearing from Maggie Laver about marketing communications and Geoffry Green about Brown Shoe's ACT program I figured out what industry I want to be in and possibly what company I want to work for. This company, WWD, and all the others provided great incite into the retail and fashion industry. You couldn't get this experience in a classroom! Thanks so much and I can't wait to do it again.
During the Retail Center's trip to Manhattan, NY, we had the privilege of touring the jcpenney Virtual Store located at One Times Square. This building is better known by others outside of New York as the building where the ball drops on New Year's Day. It is one of the most expensive pieces of real estate there is, and jcpenney is taking full advantage of such an opportunity to showcase its spring line of private label brands to one of the most heavily populated areas in the U.S. Amazingly, jcpenney has taken the use of technology to a new level by opening this virtual store from March 3-March 26, 2006. The virtual store gives prospects the opportunity to come in and view models of private label clothing lines, cookware, bedding, and a host of other items. Each model was designed with a computer station tailored for that specific brand, so that customers are able to view an entire line of a specific product and order all that they want. jcpenney's key objective is to expose the people of Manhattan to its new line of fashion, home products, and cookware, as well as give them the convenience of shopping from home. jcpenney hopes to saturate a potential market in Manhattan by encouraging people to shop online at www.jcp.com, since there is not an actual jcpenney store in the area. Moreover, jcpenney has chosen one of the best places in the country to test such a promotion technique, because it is said that Manhattan has a large market of online shoppers. This groundbreaking blueprint of jcpenney only reaffirms why it has remained one of the top retailers in history for 104 longstanding years.
"If the shoe fits, buy it in every color." In a varied array of shoes streaming from Naturalizer, Carlos Santana, and yes even Dr. Scholl's, the representatives from the Brown Shoe Company explained the prospective opportunities that students had to partake in the industry. In awe, all of us listened at the exciting details accompanying the 10-week design internship they offer to provide an understanding of shoe design in a large shoe company; and a way for the company to seek outstanding students to train for future employment consideration. A chance to move to St. Louis with housing allowance provided, plus a $10 an hourly wage and 30% discount on the shoes. Every shoe lover's dream come true.
Our experience at the Brown Shoe showroom was incredibly valuable. Not only did we get to see roomfuls of future season's shoes, but we were given the opportunity to network with several top executives from the company, some who flew into New York City just for us. They set up an agenda for us that included information about their public relations, marketing strategies, internships, executive training program and much more. The information we were given was unlike anything learned in the classroom -it was current and industry-related. Overall it was a wonderful experience. All of the executives were incredibly friendly, helpful and treated us like we were retail prfessionals.
One of the highlights of our "New York Retail Tour" most definitely was our visit to the Macy's Herald Square store. It was a great experience to tour the World's largest store. Patti Lee, senior Vice President of Macy's Herald Square Store gave us a wonderful and much insightful tour. We were able to observe everything from kitchen appliances to junior apparel. Ms. Lee explained the layout of the store as well as the reason for choosing certain colors, floor designs, and different aerial ambiances. The junior section was probably the most impressive to us, with its DJs, huge dressing rooms and runway layouts. We also learned about many private labels Federated has to offer and the reasons for selecting these private labels. It was amazing to roam the store not as a shopper but as a student and engage in questions and discussions. This was for sure one of the highlights of our trip.
In New York we were given the chance to visit the famous Toys R Us located in Times Square. It is one of the most amazing stores that you will ever see. The first thing you see is the giant Ferris wheel located in the center of the store. Each car is sponsored by a toy of some type for example there is a Cabbage Patch Kid car, M&M car, and a Monopoly car. Companies pay a pretty penny to have there logo on one of the cars. In this visit were able to experience how location can completely change the way a retailer does business. Toys R Us is located in a prime spot where is it easily seen and has 4 stories of nothing but toys, toys and more toys. It is a child's dream and only in New York would spending that much money on a store pay off. It gives them a chance to get their name out there to millions of people and make themselves remembered. It was a great joy to get the chance to not only feel like a kid again, but at the same time learn about how retailing in New York's Time Square is different than it is in any other location.