Macy’s Takes on Consumer Lifestyles With a Personal Touch

Macy’s Takes on Consumer Lifestyles With a Personal Touch

Macy’s Takes on Consumer Lifestyles With a Personal Touch 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

With continued sales declines, today’s department store brands continue to struggle to provide consumers a reason to shop in an ever-competitive retail landscape. Online brands and ecommerce powerhouses like Amazon have captured consumer’s desire for convenience combined with competitive pricing. But what online brands can’t offer consumers could be the success factor for retailers like Macy’s who are hoping to move the pendulum in the other direction.

Recently, the Cincinnati-based department store launched an overhaul of their Easton Town Center store as a prototype for future upgrades for its top 150 stores. The new look and layout of the 200,000 square foot space (unveiled June 25th) puts emphasis on integrated departments, lifestyle merchandising, and personal services. In our ongoing search for retail reinvention, our team recently visited to experience firsthand.

First Look

One of the first things we noticed was less registers and more sales associates. The brand hired over 100 new employees to staff the space, with 50 of those expected to only be temporary as they transition into a more service focused retail model.

Macy's new design interior shot
Macy's help kiosk

A connect @Macy’s kiosk is positioned at the store entrance for convenient one-on-one customer care. It also serves as a store pickup point for those who’ve completed purchases online complete with designated parking spots making it a quick in and out trip for those on-the-go.

Macy's BlueMercury shop-in-shop
Macy's new interior shot - makeup counter

The beauty department was tripled in size to a include Bluemercury shop-in-shop and spa services like facials and waxing, brow tinting, as well as hair, nail, and massage services. They also adopted a side-by-side selling set up to remove the barrier between the customer and associate during the consultation process. In the center of the first floor is a dedicated event space for classes and presentations by beauty brands and well-known makeup artists.

Macy's mannequin display
Macy's American Icons display - new interior shot

The new fashion runway puts key trends in prominent position with 30 mannequins marching the season’s latest must-have fashions, and with a newly refined mix of brands customers should now have an easier time finding the best-of-the best in a smaller selection in the apparel department.


Organized by activity rather than gender, both men’s and women’s products come together in the new 7,000 square foot “Restore, Nourish, and Strengthen” department complete with a Berry Blendz Smoothie Bar. Macy’s even hired an expert in nutrition and sports science to train full-time health and fitness ambassadors, and oversee the department. Taking an even stronger position on the fitness focus, the retailer has also partnered with Lifetime Fitness to offer fitness events in the Easton Oval every Friday.

The furniture and homegoods department is now a more integrated experience with accessories blended into lifestyle furniture settings. The space is also organized by color rather than the traditional brand categorization approach, which is much more in-tune with how consumers shop.

Clearance sections dubbed “Last Act” can now be prominently found with full red backdrop walls in the men’s and women’s departments. The department is an offshoot from the new off-price Macy’s Backstage stores that were successfully piloted in New York in the Fall of 2015.

Putting further emphasis on personalized service, the brand has increased their My Stylist @Macy’s offer. They now have four stylists available for personal shopping to offer in-store advice or assemble potential purchases before your store visit. And for those men who are looking for a little personal attention the service will now be made available to them too.

As a growing focus category for Macy’s trying to attract the Millennial consumer, the wedding department has also been revamped and expanded. The brand has added a dedicated stylist to consult with brides on gowns and bridal party attire, as well as added “The Tux Shop” a partnership with Men’s Warehouse to offer tuxedo rental for proms, weddings, and other special occasions.

In the jewelry department Macy’s has pivoted to concentrate on strengthening associate skills through training and compensation, as well as focusing on adding higher-quality product. The overall department was also doubled in size giving way for customers to design their own engagement rings and enjoy a new private viewing room.

“The whole concept of the store is to test new things,” said Kathi Newton, vice president and store manager. “A lot of the things we’re testing very easily could be rolled out to other stores. The focus of the renovation is to provide an all-encompassing store experience with a focus on service and merchandise experimentation. Every aspect of the design is being customized to complement the lifestyle of the Macy’s customer.”

At a time when many brands are looking to technology to recreate the retail experience, Macy’s has put the customer at the center of their focus making the experience convenient and personalized. We’ll watch closely to see how consumers respond to the new renovations, and what other concepts they test.

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