Name Change Not Macy's Problem
By George Anderson
According to a report by the Pioneer Press, Frank Guzzetta, chief executive officer of Macy's North, is willing to admit the national chain has had rough going, especially when it comes to the former May Department Stores' locations. What he will not agree with, however, is that the problems relate to the company changing the names above the door on those locations.
"We didn't focus on developing new customers and explaining what Macy's was all about," he told an audience at the Carlson School of Management on Tuesday. "It was not the name."
Mr. Guzzetta points to Marshall Field's to make his point. While consumers, particularly in Chicago, have reacted negatively to the Macy's banner, the former Field's chain was struggling well before it was acquired in the deal with May.
"Field's Fan" distributing leaflets outside Macy's State Street, Chicago. Photo: RetailWire
While there is no guarantee that Chicago consumers (or others in other cities) will ever come around, Macy's believes it is making changes that will help it connect with consumers in markets across the country. Even now, stores in markets including Chicago are beginning to improve, he said.
Macy's has also had problems in Minneapolis where stores have gone through several name changes. According to Mr. Guzzetta, Macy's in downtown Minneapolis and at the Mall of America are doing well.
The national department store chain has turned to star power and familiar private labels to help it regain lost ground.
The company recently announced a new ad campaign that features celebrities with lines sold in Macy's. The highest profile celeb, from a group that includes Donald Trump, Jessica Simpson, Diddy, and Usher, is Martha Stewart.
Ms. Stewart's line, The Martha Stewart Collection, has 2,000 products including home goods, textiles, cookware and holiday decorating items. Eventually, it has been reported, the line will be broadened to home furnishings, bridal registry items and cookbooks.
Count Donald Trump among those who believe that Macy's chief Terry Lundgren has a winning strategy. He told The Enquirer, "I believe (Mr. Lundgren) is absolutely on the right track. He's a winner, and he's always been a winner. This ad campaign will be very successful."?
If the May Co. whiners who post here are representative of the workforce they inherited, is it any wonder they haven't been able to turn things around? The only employer that would tolerate this amount of whining these days is the government.
<<and The Bon Marche (a nice store that was destroyed by Macy's).>>
I think you need to look at this more objectively rather than emotionally. The Bon Marche may have a fancy French sound to it, but it was no different than Lazarus, Rich's, Goldsmith's or Burdine's. They've had most of the Federated Store brands for many years and the change in name to Macy's was merely a formality.
I agree with fedup, the May Co. store brands were of spotty quality. Some okay, but many looked like they belonged in a department store bargain basement circa late-1970's. I liked May for what it was, but May seemed like it was more JCPenney than traditional department store.
As for Field's ........ just look at the sales figures and you can see for yourself how much "Armani" and "Prada" those stores moved.
No, I relocated to the Pacific NW in 1996, so my experiences are with Meier and Frank in Portland (a mediocre store that had been May-ified for too long, but was acceptable by default) and The Bon Marche (a nice store that was destroyed by Macy's).
Questions I have usually regard the availability of Tall sizes, which fit me better but are not always available, to see if they are available either at another location in the store, at another store, or online. A good sales associate would have some knowledge of this. And sometimes I will have a question about what was or was not included in a promotion, something lots of stores have trouble being clear about. The recent Macy coupons I have seen have about 15 lines of exclusions, some of which will say "selected" lines are excluded, so yeah, I will have a question or two about that as well. Finally, I sometimes like a second opinion about if a shirt and pant combination will look good together so asking someone who sells the items for a living seems like a good idea...but although I used to be able to get that type of service, it is not to be found at Macy's. I still remember a sales associate at JCPenney that helped me select my first business suit and tie when I was in college, so I know it can be done.
And it is obvious that Macy's doesn't care what I post here or anywhere else. Otherwise their executive would not be saying that they are still trying to figure out how to reach customers, two years after owning the May stores, and a year after completing the conversion.
And your sneering comments to my posts say a lot about you. The topic was about comments made by a Macy's executive about how to improve their struggling business and I had an opinion on that and the comments you made and put it up here. Isn't that the point?
Who bought May Co. TWO years ago? FDS/Macy's!
What company launched a nationwide brand one year ago that has failed to improve store sales and profits? FDS/Macy's!
What company has had two years to get rid of all of their "bad" employees? FDS/Macy's
What management team continues to make excuses for all of its problems? Macy's!
What company's stock, profits, and sales continue to tank? Macy's!
What company continues to claim that none of it's problems are management's problem or responsibility to fix? Macy's!!
pdx were you born in 1996?
Most of us adults don't require asking questions when purchasing clothing. Do you not know your size?
If you need a price then it is the former may managers to blame. We do have signing and pricing teams to make sure the items are marked. If that isn't happening then the managers in that location are responsible.
If you feel you aren't being served then write a letter or send an e-mail. You know who responds to those,don't you? It's the worthless former may people responsible for your bad experience in the first place.
If you want to try another pointless tactic keep posting here. It has taken you this long to post your first 2 times but maybe you are thinking about actually particpating. NO ONE FROM MACY'S CARES ABOUT THE NONSENSE FOUND HERE!!!
I am just a consumer and I know what my experience is. May's store brands were not great, but Macy's are worse, and more expensive. What I have purchased of their clothing has all been donated to Goodwill or used for rags because the collars curled up and the fabric pilled. I still have some store brand items (John Ashcroft is one I can think of right now) from our local May outlet before it converted and it is still wearable, this is my ACTUAL experience and it is certainly not rosy.
Since Macy's has converted all the former May stores, I have given them chance after chance to earn my business. But I don't like the clothing and it is easier to find a price scanner than it is to find someone to answer my questions.
Rather than worrying if a former May employee is towing the company line now, Macy's management should listen to its (former) customers and make some improvements. I am not alone in having this experience and it is certainly affecting their sales. Hiring a bunch of C-list "celebrities" will not change what is being sold in the stores and is just throwing away more of their dwindling funds.