Trevor Lunn walks into his office holding two fragrance swatches. One is labeled 0-6, the other 0-7. As the chief customer officer of David’s Bridal, part of Lunn’s job is to make sure the client feels at ease the moment she walks into one of the 65-year-old retailer’s 330 stores. A welcoming signature scent is a good way to start.
I prefer 0-6, which is heavy on the rose; Lunn explains the majority is leaning toward 0-7, a subtler floral mix. “My favorite fragrance isn’t there,” he says. “But this isn’t for me. It’s about, what do we think is right for her?”
Two years ago, David’s Bridal’s signature fragrance could have been called L’Eau du Vinyl, since the scent of clear plastic garment bags filled the store. Today, however, the dresses sit on the racks uncovered so they are easy to see and covet. It’s a little thing, really, but it represents a big shift in the way David’s Bridal is doing business.
Davids Bridal Mother Of The Bride ONLY FOR YOU!
To put it indelicately, if you thought you were too good for David’s Bridal, you’re not alone. “David’s Bridal’s reputation used to be that it was the Walmart of bridal,” says CEO Pamela B. Wallack, sitting in a nondescript conference room at the retailer’s Conshohocken, Pennsylvania headquarters. The offices do not by any means compare to those of a glossy startup, although the company sure is acting like one. “We’ve changed that internally and externally.”
Wallack is the mastermind behind David’s Bridal’s ongoing transformation. The retail veteran began her career in the 1980s in Laura Ashley’s bridal division, during a moment when puffed sleeves and high-collared lace were de rigueur. After nearly a decade at the company, Wallack was then recruited by Disney to help build its retail business. She did stints at several other retailers, including Coach, where she started the same day as Reed Krakoff.
—— David Bridal