A Chat With Beth Guastella, giggle’s New President and COO, Part 1
My work here reminds me very much of my early days at Kate Spade. When I first joined it was an itty-bitty company, but Kate and Andy [Spade, founders of kate spade new york] did a great job of creating brand equity, and because of that brand strength they’ve been able to grow the brand in a very meaningful way.
In addition, even though my background isn't necessarily in baby, it is in specialty retail, and that’s exactly what giggle is and how it serves the marketplace. giggle is a specialty retailer that offers a very edited and curated “best of” assortment, and that’s very representative of the brands I’ve worked for in the past. What’s more, all of the businesses I've worked for in the past have had very complex, multichannel operations, and a lot of those key learnings and experiences can very much be applied to giggle as well.
MC: You defined giggle as a specialty retailer. Can you explain what the term specialty retailer means to you?
BG: Back in the day, Neiman Marcus said it wasn't a department store. It called itself a specialty retailer. For me, a specialty retailer is defined by the assortment — the products it carries — and the markets it serves. So for giggle, we're not the buybuy BABY or Babies“R”Us in the marketplace that serves a mass; we serve a specific segment of the consumer base and have a special product offering. Also, I think specialty retail is about the level of service and the overall experience of a brand, as well as how consumers interact with the brand.
MC: Can you discuss giggle’s direct-to-consumer sales channels?
BG: For giggle, our direct-to-consumer channels include e-commerce and our catalog. Our catalog business is very strong and will continue to be an important component of our direct business, but right now our primary focus is on growing the digital/e-commerce portion of our business. But really, both of those are very complementary of one another so they'll both remain a primary focus for future growth.