Retail Detail. Macy’s Sucking Wind in Chicago. Second City Style Fashion Blog

May 21, 2007 • Shopping


According to an article by Sandra Jones in Saturday’s Chicago Tribune, Macy’s State Street store is not doing well. If you ask anyone who lives here, you could have guessed.

It’s been no secret since replacing the green Field’s awnings across the upper Midwest with the Macy’s name and red star in September, Federated Department Stores Inc. has been on a mission to win over Chicago-area shoppers, many of whom were attached to the hometown Field’s brand and resented Macy’s.

Federated’s chief financial officer, Karen Hoguet, said former Field’s stores are performing no worse or better than the roughly 400 regional department stores Federated acquired from St. Louis-based May Department Stores Co. in 2005 and converted to Macy’s.

But there is an exception: the Chicago store on State Street. The tourist attraction and landmark store, is "doing badly," Hoguet said, without providing specific performance data.

Taking responsibility, Hoguet said Macy’s hasn’t been doing enough to drive traffic to the store, something the retailer is working to change.

So this past weekend Macy’s advertised 50% discounts on clearance merchandise only at the State Street store.

In a move to either save face or placate Chicagoans, Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Lundgren reiterated after the meeting that Federated is close to a
decision to move Frango mint production back to Chicago. Lundgren pledged to
Mayor Richard Daley after Federated acquired Marshall Field’s and
changed its name to Macy’s that he would try to return some of the
famous chocolate-mint production to Chicago.

"We’re very committed to that store," said Lundgren, noting that rival Carson Pririe Scott a few blocks south closed its flagship store earlier this year. New owner Bon-Ton Stores decided the giant emporium was too costly to operate.

Analysts estimate the sales drop at former May stores averaged 7-10%.

Source: The Chicago Tribune

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