Retail Detail. ‘Tis The Season For Macy’s To Try To Win The Field’s Customer. Second City Style Fashion Blog

December 6, 2006 • Shopping

Macy’s on State Street, Chicago

Living in Chicago, this is a subject near and dear to our hearts. Poof. Marshall Field’s is gone, replaced by Macy’s. The Field’s customer is up for grabs this holiday season, according to a story in today’s (Twin Cities), that means deeper discounts for shoppers.

Despite a multimillion-dollar campaign aimed
at building Macy’s into a national brand, one out of five shoppers in
the Twin Cities said they will shop less at the department store this
holiday season than a year ago, when it was Marshall Field’s, according
to a survey released Tuesday by the University of St. Thomas.

Frank Guzzetta, chief
executive officer at Macy’s North, a division with 63 stores in the
Midwest, acknowledged Tuesday that the chain has not done enough to
explain the name change. "We were a little
bit egotistical," Guzzetta said. "We went into Macy’s mode, when we
should have been telling our customers what we’re doing."

an opportunity to gain market share, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney have rolled out one promotion after another in recent
weeks. Stores are offering extra savings passes
and deep discounts — including 20 percent off all purchases — to
entice customers to apply for store credit cards, which can promote

"I don’t think the pricing among department
stores can get any more aggressive than it is now," said Stan Pohmer, a
retail consultant in Minneapolis and former senior buyer at Target. "If
they get any more aggressive, they’ll have to pay me to walk through
the door."

While Macy’s doesn’t yet have the cachet of Marshall
Field’s, at least in this market, neither is it perceived as a
destination for bargains. Macy’s has launched aggressive holiday
promotions of its own — including 20% discounts and $10-off

Of those who don’t shop at Macy’s, 55% had a negative perception
of the retailer’s prices. That perception could prove
particularly harmful this holiday season, when falling home prices and
high levels of personal debt are expected to pinch consumer spending.

Guzzetta said the company has to do a better job
emphasizing what hasn’t changed. This month, Macy’s will run ads
highlighting Marshall Field’s merchandise it still carries.


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