In episode 347 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Lori Conley, general merchandise manager at BHLDN, a thoughtfully curated wedding shop brought to you by Anthropologie, part of the URBN portfolio of global consumer brands. Conley discusses how the BHLDN brand is unique in the bridal industry, her professional background in retail and bridal, and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the business. She shares the shifts in bridal shopping habits she's seen in the last two years, the growth of BHLDN's digital business, and how the brand ensured customer relationships merged between physical and digital shopping experiences.
Furthermore, Conley discusses how BHLDN is preparing its business for the surge in weddings forecasted for this year, why the brand brought its design process in-house, and how customer feedback influences the retailer's unique designs. She shares the company's approach to brand partnerships, the trends she's forecasting in the bridal space for the rest of the year, and the merchandising strategy at BHLDN going forward.
Lori Conley joined BHLDN in October 2019. She has spent over a decade becoming a subject matter expert in the bridal industry, building strategies and capabilities to grow market share. As GMM, Conley is responsible for the company’s overall strategy, development, and the execution of the BHLDN aesthetic and experience. She's on the front lines of identifying emerging product trends and categories, and in tandem with the ideation of our line, leads her team in the designing and assortment planning process ensuring the right trend and value are present throughout product collections.
With over 18 years of retail experience, Conley has cultivated her merchandising and product development career with iconic brands such as David’s Bridal, Levi Strauss & Co., and Timberland. Conley is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, earning her bachelor’s in International Fashion Merchandise Management. She also attended Polimoda, a private fashion school in Florence, Italy.