Bloomingdale's at Walt Whitman unveils playful makeover

A British-style theme is part of the newly

A British-style theme is part of the newly renovated Bloomingdale’s at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station. (Sept. 9, 2013) Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

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Bloomingdale's in Huntington Station has unveiled its first major makeover, aiming for a "playful" shopping experience, company officials said.

The department store, located in the Walt Whitman mall, is celebrating its completed renovation with promotions and store events such as fashion demonstrations and trunk shows that start Wednesday and run through Sept. 22.

"The fashion jewelry, fashion accessories, cosmetics, handbags and shoes have been propelling the growth of that store, so we wanted to bring them up to new standards," said Jack Hruska, executive vice president of creative services at Bloomingdale's.

Industry experts say remodeling stores is necessary to keep customers engaged. "What the look was five to ten years ago is not what may be the look of today," said Al Ferrara, national director of retail for BDO USA, a consulting firm. "You have to do something that is more exciting, something that keeps their interest."

In cosmetics, the first department that shoppers encounter when they enter the store from the mall, circular counters have been replaced by open, branded-boutique sections on either side of a black-and-white tiled walkway. The displays offer clear sight lines.

Open designs, said Karen Grant, senior beauty analyst with The NPD Group, a Port Washington market research firm, allow "more accessibility" to the products, "which consumers tell us they love because it allows them to try the product without the pressure." Consumers often spend much more time in open formats and pick up more items, she said.

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The cosmetics section also added 1,000 square feet of space and five new brands, including MAC, Trish McEvoy and Sisley-Paris. The beauty section also features London-based Illamasqua.

The store has retooled its jewelry department, adding selling space that offers several new collections such as 88 Rue Du Rhone and Gucci watches, and boutiques housing jewelry by David Yurman, Ippolita, John Hardy and Roberto Coin.

In the revamped handbag section, brands such as Fendi, Longchamp and Tory Burch, Burberry and Marc by Marc Jacobs have stand-alone spaces. The shoe department has new shelving, hardwood floors and furniture.

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