By Matt Pillar, Integrated Solutions For Retailers magazine
The term "lifestyle retailer" is vague, but one need not look past Tommy Bahama for a textbook case study on the term. With its iconic corner on the "island fashion" business, Tommy Bahama identifies with a certain demographic and seeks to cater to its needs at every turn. The brand is now associated with a thriving restaurant chain, a home décor line, and a new spirit of rum.
As Tommy Bahama evolved to span multiple segments across a larger area of the country, the company was challenged to keep pace with an understanding of its customers. Rather than pay too much attention, it continued with its very generous status quo approach to CRM: doling out millions of dollars worth of gift cards to frequent shoppers. Then, the recession came along. "The downturn was one of the greatest things that every happened to us. Up until then, the business just kind of came to us," says Rob Goldberg, SVP of operations at Tommy Bahama.