19 Photos that Show the New Magic of Macy’s

Next gen Macy’s is here!

While JC Penney rings the register on a cool $3 per square foot in sales from its new 505 home experience shops, and execs at Sears review which store cluster to unload next to raise cash, good ole Macy’s is secretly working its magic to crush them both. Now, the last time most investment folks heard from Macy’s was back in August, where it led its retail friends in blaming strong demand for autos and other durable goods for lackluster same-store sales while continuing to trumpet its buy online, ship from store initiative (I refuse to use the word “omnichannel”). Through all of the negativity, Macy’s has continued to quietly remodel its dated department stores to position itself to win over the next 10-15 years, in such places as mobile and with new affordable luxury brands that are bound to spout up and seek floor space inside a Macy’s.

The below photos are from a recently 100% remodeled Macy’s that took approximately two years to complete. An interesting sidebar here is that this Macy’s renovation spawned an entire mall makeover, from new interior flooring and plush seating areas to a revamped food court to better traffic flow patterns outside. Talk about the power of an anchor tenant!  Sears and JC Penney, you’re on notice, Macy’s has created the cheap chic department store of the future (probably were on notice five years ago…)

Quick Notes

  • The only store that technically is receiving a remodel in 2013 is the Macy’s Herald Square location.
  • The store visited below was Macy’s lone “replacement store” undertaking for 2013.
  • 3 new Macy’s will have opened in 2013, with the same number planned for 2014 (likely in a similar format to the replacement store shown below).

Photo Rundown

Large, eye-catching props like this perfume bottle make you want to try the free sample AND share it across all your social media feeds (and copy in the designer, which they love as it measures performance)…

Macy's Prop

No more having to walk around walls to reach the escalators. Look at how open this is, perfect for making the holiday rush flow better! P.S. notice how you can see the entire store.

Macy's Escalator

Wider aisles = more space to put stuff that grabs a person’s attention.

Macy's Wide Aisles

Bye-bye small mirrors on the store’s pillars, hello floor to ceiling mirrors that make you look like the bomb wearing clothes being tried on at Macy’s.

Macy's mirror

A mannequin cluster, especially family ones, show the consumer how a brand looks on all household members and how each article of clothing could be interchanged (and handed down).

Macy's Family

The ability to see the whole store raises the prospect you will shop the whole store.

Macy's See Through

Interactive signs keep you off the iPhone 5s and focused on merchandise just waiting to be bought (sorry for some blurry photos, I walk super fast).

Macy's Interactive

Clever little trick here, Macy’s.  Glass tops open up the bottom level of merchandise to be seen while selecting items from the top level.  My view: this leads to extra purchases.

Macy's glass table

Admittedly am a little disappointed in the new Finish Line shops at Macy’s.  Very small in terms of square footage and selection.  But, there is a dedicated Finish Line employee there to assist and with the limited selection of better offerings, close rates should be pretty solid.

Macy's Finish Line

Macy's Finish Line 2

Meet the new Macy’s fitting room.  It has lights at all angles. It’s spacious.  Most importantly, those lights make you look amaze.

Macy's Fitting Room

The high margin cosmetics section is closer to the entrance, and so will be the sales associates during the holiday season.  In the words of Alec Baldwin: “always be closing, ALWAYS be closing.”

Macy's Makeup

Personally, I think this new open feel to the front of the store is Macy’s laying the groundwork for holding some kind of live events to drive sales.  Runway shows that connect somehow to online experiences?

Macy's Seating

Macy's Seating 2

This is how is a home department is done, Ron Johnson (where is this guy anyway?).  Open, not small enclosed caves.  Natural lighting from the outside. Showcasing many items to be bought on sale.

Macy's Home

A Starbucks inside of Macy’s has two basic purposes: (1) keep those that came to shop in the store longer; and (2) pull in traffic from outside the mall that didn’t plan on shopping, but does need to satisfy a daily caffeine fix (and then maybe shop).

Macy's Starbucks

Wide aisles are great to keep people comfortable during the holidays. BUT, I happen to think this is Macy’s getting prepared for the influx of Babyboomers being directed around in scooters by their offspring (sad, but true).

Macy's Wide Asiles 2

Think for a second, what other store has their sign hanging on the roof of the mall so that everyone can see?  For example, specialty apparel retailers have their signs plastered to the front of the store, meaning the only way you can see (or know the store is there) it is if you walk by it.

Macy's sign

A restaurant attached to a Macy’s, isn’t that novel…

Macy's Restaurant