Selling to Your Capabilities: Macy’s Enters the 21st Century

February 19 2014

Continuing along with one of my retail brand obsessions, I’m wondering about Macy’s intentions regarding their Fulton Mall store in Brooklyn. The retail environment on the mall is picking up speed, most recently with the addition of a Banana Republic Factory Store. As I’ve written about before, Macy’s on the mall is a sad, sad store. This Macy’s offers up a hot zero even if you were so parched for shopping that any old purchase would do.

Last month, Macy’s announced that they are going to start looking at their old downtown stores throughout the country with the intention of creating a younger, more urban concept store akin to Bloomingdale’s Soho. Apparently the Brooklyn store is going to be the testing ground for the new concept. Will it help to make our neighborhood Macy’s on the mall a shopping destination? I don’t know. Personally, I love Macy’s Herald Square for their capabilities rather than their attributes. In other words, for their prices. I go there for the crazy markdowns that make me wonder, “What is their retail margin? How do they stay in business with these kind of sales”?

What are Macy's attributes? Comprehensive and democratic (anyone can afford to shop there, particularly with those sales). The store serves every demographic, covering everything from the plus-size Macy’s woman to kids, juniors, and the Rachel Roy shopper (that would be me). Can they start to lay claim to a hipper audience, with the new urban concept, one who is interested in fast fashion, cooler design, urban culture, and sex appeal? This will be an interesting challenge for them as they fight for market share on the mall against H & M for the fast fashionistas, Banana Republic for the office gals and moms, and Century 21 for the middle-of-the-road bargain girls. As always, stay tuned.


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