Macy's Herald Square is one of America's most famous department stores. Tourists visiting New York have it high on their lists of places to visit and, of course, it is the central point for the retailer's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Now, the flagship is about to get bigger and shinier with a four-year remodeling project that Macy's expects will cost $400 million.
"The excitement, size and scale of this remodel reinforces our conviction that Macy's Herald Square is and will remain a retail store in a class by itself. It is our company's most productive store, and experience shows that improvements in this location consistently result in higher customer traffic and sales volume," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc., in a press release. "Our upcoming top-to-bottom remodel represents an investment in the future growth of our business as New York City continues to evolve as a world capital and shopping destination."
Among the changes planned at the Herald Square store are an additional 100,000 square feet of selling space. (The current store is 1.2 million square feet.) Macy's plans to use space currently used for offices and stock while extending the mezzanine level in the store.
Macy's is also looking to create the world's largest women's shoe department, add a new hall of luxury brands, restoring the "great hall" on the first floor with new presentations for cosmetics and jewelry.
The Herald Square store will feature technology and new media upgrades, including interactive store directories, live video feeds of Macy's events and more. The eighth and ninth floors will continue to house home merchandise complete with an upgraded demonstration kitchen and the De Gustibus Cooking School.
"Our design of the new Macy's Herald Square reflects how a new generation of customers prefers to shop. In many cases, product will be organized by lifestyle to help customers create looks and build wardrobes across categories. On every floor and across departments, our shopping environment will be new, fresh, interesting and entertaining," Mr. Lundgren said.
While much of what Macy's is doing is focused on the new, the retailer is also paying homage to the store's history with a restoration of the "Memorial Entrance" on 34th Street. Windows along 34th Street, Broadway and Seventh Avenue that have been covered up for years will be reopened. All but one of the store's 43 wooden escalators will be preserved.
"This is a smart move at the right time," Faith Consolo, chairman of retail leasing and marketing at Prudential Douglas Elliman, told The Associated Press. "They're going to up the image. They want to be Harrods of the U.S."
How would you rate the investment Macy's is making in its Herald Square store?