The End To An Era. It’s the Witching Hour For Marshall Field’s & Some Are NOT Too Happy. Second City Style Fashion Blog

September 8, 2006 • Magazine


Chicagoans Say Goodbye to Marshall Field’s – Chicagi Tribune, September 8, 2006

Shoppers are making a pilgrimage to the Marshall Field & Co. flagship store on State Street today, the last day before the store changes its name and Chicago, for the first since 1868, no longer has a Field’s on State.

On Saturday morning, the operating name of the 154-year-old retailer will be retired. Though the historic clocks will remain and the big brass nameplates outside will still say "Marshall Field and Company," the State Street store and 60 other Field’s around the Midwest henceforth will be called Macy’s.

"I shop at Field’s so much, I just said, ‘You know what? I just want a bag. I have a few bags at home, but I just need one more bag before you all go,’" shopper Salvatore Williams told WGN-Ch. 9 outside the State Street store.

Williams had just snagged one of the last green Field’s shopping bags, which he said he probably would frame and hang in his basement.

In preparation for the change, Macy’s coupons today were being passed out to passersby outside the store, CLTV reported. Some accepted them, while others immediately tossed them in the trash.

"The thought that this building has ‘Macy’s’ on it is despicable and disgusting," shopper Christy Alvarez told CLTV. "It seems unnecessarily greedy to try and tie it into a national chain," said another shopper, Jeanne Lamar.

Macy’s Vice President Ralph Hughes told WGN, "My hope is that (shoppers) see changes, that they see very positive changes in terms of a better assortment of merchandise (and) some enhancements to our service."

Federated Department Stores Inc., Macy’s owner, has promised a series of improvements, including new brands, boutiques and shops, refurbishments to the store’s interior and exterior, and a fresh-foods market concept still being developed for the lower level.

Already, it has installed a regional theme arcade inside the State Street store featuring goods ranging from Frango mints to Field’s cookbooks and fashions by Chicago designers, WGN reported.

Cincinnati-based Federated bought May Department Stores, Field’s former owner, last year and announced in September 2005 it would drop the Field’s name.

Field’s will not be the only regional merchant losing its longtime identity this weekend to the New York-based Macy’s. Los Angeles will lose Robinsons-May; Houston will lose Foley’s; Boston will lose Filene’s and St Louis will lose Famous-Barr. A total of 400 former May stores operating under 11 different names will be rebranded.

A number of celebratory events are planned for Saturday at the new State Street Macy’s. But some loyal Field’s customers,, have scheduled a rally for 9:30 a.m. outside the store to protest the change.

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