The new strategy is centered on faster deliveries and wardrobe-building collections that change monthly, not to mention a new logo and, eventually, store renovations. There's also a new marketing campaign that focuses on creating a more fashionable image — so forget Carrie Donovan and Morgan Fairchild and think models-actors instead.
Old Navy's new monthly spring 2008 collections will be previewed to the press Wednesday at the Eyebeam Atelier on Manhattan's West Side. A new marketing campaign, described as an integrated package of television, print and online ads, direct mail and in-store visuals — as well as the new logo — also will be shown.
The retailer gave WWD a first taste of what's ahead in exclusive interviews with top officials last week.
"Spring is a pivotal point, but this is really just a beginning," said Old Navy president Dawn Robertson. The turnaround strategy is making progress and will continue to evolve, she added. "We are far from arrived."
And for her, Wednesday's event marks just "the first launch of some of the fashion big ideas" — a wave of collections as opposed to the retailer's traditional item orientation.
She described the first collection, for February, as an "urban safari look" encompassing African-inspired dresses, safari suiting, tank tops with touches of lace, khakis, city shorts and plenty of red and prints.
In March, it will be all about brights and whites inspired by Palm Beach, while April's collection will have a surf appeal. For May, there's a tropical, Hawaiian point of view, and for June, it's a glitzier grouping, reflecting Old Navy's sponsorship of the MTV Music Awards.
There's been a sense of urgency at Old Navy, a division of the still-struggling Gap Inc., for the last few years. Following an exodus of talent, the chain in October 2006 installed Robertson, a former Federated executive who most recently worked as managing director of the Myer department store chain in Australia. Subsequently, Michael Cape, formerly with J.C. Penney, was named executive vice president of marketing, and new design heads in women's, men's and children's wear were recruited.