Our “Nuts & Bolts of Social Media” video series carries on with a new interview between SAS’ Deb Orton and Gary King, CIO of national clothing retailer Chico’s.
Gary begins with a brief story of how Chico’s started as a small store selling folk art (Really? Yes, really.), before transforming into an apparel company with three brands (Chico's, White House | Black Market and Soma Intimates) and 1,100 stores across the US and Puerto Rico.
Gary goes on to discuss the demographics of their brands, and the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace.
“The advent of the Internet,” Gary says, “was a huge shift in the way people shopped. We spend a lot of time now browsing before we buy, and that has radically changed the concept of shopping.” The good part, for Chico’s anyway, is customers still want to touch and feel clothing – which makes Chico’s in-store experience tremendously important.
But don’t think Chico’s ignores the Internet or Social media.
On the contrary, Social media is a huge focus. All three brands are on Facebook, and have been for years.
Gary related one successful project, where their intimate apparel brand Soma hosted a four-hour Facebook pajama party where fans could “celebrate and share their thoughts about their favorite pajamas, movies, stories and recipes, as well as participate in personality quizzes and surveys and chat with Soma Intimates style experts.”
In another example, the White House | Black Market brand president incentivized people to participate in a “what color underwear are you wearing” survey on Facebook by giving away a gift card and shopping spree.
Deb and Gary went on to discuss who should ‘own’ Social media organizationally (“everyone” says Gary), what the future of Social media looks like (social media will evolve in the same way fashion does), what Social media IT implications there are (many).
Before closing, Gary offers two practical Social media tips:
- Embrace the Social media space. From an IT standpoint don’t keep it out, bring it in. And,
- Find the champions inside your organization who are the conduits to the Social media space. Partner with them to support, enable, and create the mechanisms by which they can be more effective.
Enjoy the video!