Federated Takes Local Approach in Chicago
By George Anderson
It’s true that many, if not most, Chicagoans are upset over Federated Department Stores’ decision to rename Marshall Field’s Macy’s. The retailer, however, wants long-time shoppers of the flagship on State Street to know that the store will have more local flavor than it has had in years.
Federated’s CEO Terry Lundgren announced at a news conference yesterday that the renamed State Street location will be the first Macy’s in the nation to dedicate a special shop within the store to local designers.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who had dinner with Mr. Lundgren on Wednesday evening, was enthused about the Chicago Design Shop as it will be known.
“It gives them (local designers) a huge entre into the marketing field, which many of them don’t [have],” Mr. Daley was quoted as saying in the Chicago Sun-Times. “These are young designers. They start out. How do they break in? How do they sell their products?
“This way, it gives them an edge up in regards to the opportunity at Macy’s. Macy’s has quite a number of subsidiaries and stores across America, across the world. So, it gives the fashion industry right here a whole new concept of relocating, locating and staying right here in Chicago.”
Mr. Lundgren also announced plans to restore the Frango mint display kitchen on the seventh floor of the store. Mr. Lundgren said he was looking to move production of the candy back to Chicago. Former Marshall Field’s owner Dayton-Hudson, later Target Corp., moved production to Pennsylvania in 1999.
“It’s on my list of things to get done,” said Federated’s CEO.
Macy’s also said it was looking to partner with a food store such as Whole Foods to provide local area residents with an upscale grocery market that is within walking distance to their homes.
Mr. Lundgren had a message for all those who remember Marshall Field’s the way it used to be. “We’re going to make this a great store, a store you’ll be proud of.”
Moderator’s Comment: Will the renewed commitment to keeping and building on the local flavor of the State Street
store (sans the Marshall Field’s name) win Chicagoans over to the change to the Macy’s banner? What most (or least) impresses you about Federated’s announced initiatives for the
State Street flagship as reported in the Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business and elsewhere? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Field’s to get facelift – Chicago Sun-Times
- Federated plans major overhaul of Field’s – Crain’s Chicago Business
- Daley: ‘They don’t have to do this’ – Chicago Sun-Times