Macy's announced plans earlier this week to lay off 7,000 workers as well as cut back on employees' retirement benefits. Last month, the struggling retail chain said it would shutter 11 of its 850 stores in the U.S. But the cutbacks don't appear to be impinging on company chief Terry Lundgren's jet-set lifestyle. Although Lundgren took a $2.5 million pay cut last year, the board helped make up for it by granting him a larger chunk of stock. (He earned a total of $14.4 million in compensation.) And despite Lundgren's claim to the press this week that "this is a time when nothing should be considered a sacred cow," his perks continue to cost the company a small fortune.
Is it because there's a recession going on, or because the Times' Eric Wilson believes that nothing in the world is more important than cosmetics and skincare, that he's so very surprised about the absence of rioting in the streets yesterday morning, when department stores were giving away products in recompense for price-fixing? "The strangest thing about the scene in front of Bloomingdale's," he writes, "... was that there was no scene." Eerie! After all, why wouldn't you want to trek out in the snow for strictly one tube of mascara or jar of skin cream per customer, especially as nothing else important was going on?
♦ Mimosa yellow is the color of 2009. [Vogue]
♦ Massive discounts helped lead to a 15 percent boost in sales on Cyber Monday. [WSJ]
♦ Retailers are pulling out all the stops to lure customers to stores this holiday season. [NYT]
♦ Anna on the recession: "I see a lot of people in my industry who are over-reacting. Stores that are over-discounting, designers who are creating collections for the price and what sells rather than to reflect who they are." [Jezebel]
♦ Topshop is "definitely" opening in NYC by the end of March. Ha. [Glamour]
♦ Happy accidents: Lumigan, a drug used to treat glaucoma, makes your eyelashes longer and prettier, too. [MSNBC]
♦ Christian Siriano plans to make it work with Payless: The Project Runway winner is teaming up with the company on a line of footwear and handbags that will launch next fall. [NYP]
♦ Today was Cyber Monday, the day when online retailers kick off the holiday season with super-steep discounts. It didn't turn out to be a great day for Bloomingdale's and J. Crew: both watched their websites crash this morning. [Crain's, USA Today]
♦ In case you forgot to issue your congratulations, Anna Wintour headed off to Buckingham Palace last week to pick up whatever is it you are given when you're named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. [Vogue UK]
Have you ever looked at a Barbie doll and wished you could replicate the look for yourself? You'll be able to do just that in a few short months. Mattel is now planning to turn Barbie into an "adult fashion brand"—something the company has already done in Asia—and partnerships are already in place with Bloomingdale's, Vera Wang, and Jeremy Scott. Mattel has also negotiated a pact with the CFDA whereby the trade group will help the company locate 50 designers willing to "produce life-size outfits inspired by Barbie" in exchange for a big, fat wad of cash, and Barbie's first runway show will take place during Fashion Week in February. But there's more to come: Mattel is also launching a line of beauty products, one of which bears the very appropriate name "Plastic Smooth." [WWD, The Cut]
It's a bit outside our usual zone, so we don't really have the insight to add much to the news, but longtime Bloomingdale's fashion director Kalman Ruttenstein died today. He was a fashion legend and a retail legend and genuine New York character, and, regardless of what field they work in, it always makes us happy to have old-fashioned brilliant eccentrics still calling shots in our increasingly corporate city. He was 69, the cause was complications from cancer, and now Bloomie's is, sadly, a bit more like every other store in the world.