Lundgren Wants to Raise Nation’s Macy’s Consciousness

Discussion
Sep 09, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

As an article on the Women’s Wear Daily Web site tells it, one of Terry Lundgren’s goals upon taking over the top job at Federated Department Stores was “to bring the
Macy’s name to the national consciousness.”

With the merger of Federated and May Department Stores, Mr. Lundgren is well on his way to achieving that goal. A truly national network of stores, and an advertising program
to support it give, Mr. Lundgren and company options they did not have prior to the deal for May.

The company’s new ad campaign uses print, television, outdoor and in-store to get out Macy’s new message.

The theme of the new promotion, “What Makes You Happy,” is “a new creative direction for Macy’s,” according to Joe Feczko, executive vice president and chief creative officer
of corporate marketing for the retailer.

WWD reports that the new campaign’s ads “feature fall styles worn by animated young models, including Trish Goff, and are meant to depict crisp fashion while conveying
a sense of fun and playfulness.”

Mr. Feczko said that consumers can continue to look for new things from Macy’s such as the auction the company ran on thisisit.com where consumers could purchase one-of-a-kind
jeans with the proceeds going to charity.

“More and more, you’ll see us developing these kinds of fashion ideas,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you see as the opportunities and challenges Macy’s faces in becoming a truly national department store?
George Anderson – Moderator

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7 Comments on "Lundgren Wants to Raise Nation’s Macy’s Consciousness"


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Craig Sundstrom
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

Touching on DD’s comments, I too see a fundamental contradiction here: on the one hand, we have all the (presumed) advantages that size brings – economies of scale, leverage, etc.; while on the other hand, we have the complaint that department stores are “boring, generic,” etc…. But is not the latter the end result of the former ?

There’s also a fallacy of composition: Macy’s name meant something because it was synonymous w/the glamour and excitement of New York (even if the store itself actually catered to the middle-class); in short, it had cachet because of that association… it will have little if it’s ubiquitous. Hopefully Field’s can retain its identity and serve as a laboratory.

Ultimately, of course, Federated will succeed only if the shopping experience validates the expectation that an ad creates.

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 5 months ago
From a full-page Macy’s ad in The NY Times, page A7, 7/27/2005: “25% – 75% off savings & clearances plus values Now through Sunday, EXTRA 15% OFF when you use your Macy’s Star Rewards Card on sale & clearance purchases* in apparel & accessories (10% off shoes; swim & intimates for her, men’s coats, suits & sportcoats) *Excludes Home, jewelry & specials; others apply; see below. Star REWARDS DISCOUNT OFFER IN EFFECT 7/27 – 7/31/05. SALE PRICES IN EFFECT THROUGH 8/7/05. Sorry, no phone orders. * Excludes DEPARTMENTS: The Home Store, cosmetics, fragrances, junior denim, Impulse, bridge sportswear, cashmere, bridge/designer shoes & handbags, designer lingerie/designer sleepwear, small electrics, personal care electrics, technology, furniture, mattresses, rugs. DESIGNERS: Textiles, Ralph Lauren/Polo/Lauren, Tommy H/Hilfiger, Tommy Bahama, Michael Kors, Dooney & Burke, Coach, DKNY, Kate Spade, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein: and Diesel, Buffalo, Perry Ellis, Joseph Abboud, Hugo Boss, Hart Schaffner & Marx, Kenneth Cole, Guess, Nautica, and Claiborne for men/kids. COLLECTIONS: INC, Tasso Elba, American Rag, jewelry, watches, Waterford Crystal/Bedding, Lladro, All Clad, Louis Vuitton, Henckels, Frango; and… Read more »
Jay McSpadden
Guest
Jay McSpadden
15 years 5 months ago
Our family always shopped at Macy’s for every holidays and special occasions, but then, about 6 – 7 years ago, they just stopped carrying the brands and styles that we had always bought – Liz Petites and many more – and replaced them with their own private label. They were like the Kroger of department stores. Now, the only time that we go into a Macy’s is to enter from the parking lot to get to the inside of the mall. They have got to put back the lines that people went there to buy. It’s really that simple. If you don’t have what people want to buy, they will go elsewhere, and then it takes a ton of money and effort to get even half of them back. That’s why I have always wondered why companies make these kinds of decisions without ever asking the consumers what they think. It amazes me to this day, and yet there are retailers out there that will do the exact same thing, knowing that it devastated one… Read more »
Don Delzell
Guest
Don Delzell
15 years 5 months ago
Stop the Macy’s bashing! If they were so very terrible at running a department store chain, why would they be the Last One Standing? Yet, there are very real forces, apparently contradictory, that will probably lead to an uneven performance for awhile. On the one hand are the synergistic forces that drove the expansion into a national chain in the first place. Economies in advertising, distribution, supply chain, product development, buying, and back office support. These take on a life of their own, forcing the organization toward “sameness;” toward an attitude of “leverage.” The very use of the term “national” in internal press releases about the Macy’s name brings with it a fallacy. At the high-moderate and above level of retail, particularly in fashion driven merchandise (which accounts for the vast majority of Federated volume), the consumer has no actual NEED to look exactly the same in NY as they do in LA. Macy’s “gets” this already, to some extent. Yet, it is very difficult to sustain regional and local market differentiation in merchandise assortment… Read more »
Carol Spieckerman
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

Mark’s ad excerpt is hilarious and painful at the same time! Macy’s Herald Square creates so much buzz and is a destination for tourists from all over the world. They might want to consider opening one or two more flagship stores. . .say one on the west coast and one in Dallas? Keep store events and retailtainment going in those locations to create buzz around the brand and encourage destination shopping that will spread the word to other parts of the country.

James Tenser
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

It’s tough being a mainstream department store chain in this day and age, what with discounters on one flank and specialty chains on the other. It’s also tough building a national brand in any day and age. Macy’s is pursuing both goals at once, and it has a lot going in its favor – including unprecedented scale and uncommon leadership.

We admire Mr. Lundgren very much here at the University of Arizona, where he has been a generous benefactor. I believe he has a coherent vision for the newly-merged Macy’s that will deliver positive results. For the first time, we have a department store entity, under one banner, with sufficient scale to attend to both operational and merchandising excellence.

The branding campaign is a beginning, but Macy’s won’t win on style alone. The proof will be in the substance – well managed business practices that support superior merchandising, service quality and value.

Stephan Kouzomis
Guest
Stephan Kouzomis
15 years 5 months ago

The advertising campaign title is “on target,” but we don’t know if that means only new fashions and products all the time; or a superior consumer shopping experience; and / or pre-showing to the top shoppers; or valet service, etc.

The point is, Macy’s must be more than a fashion and up-to-date department chain that is abreast of the trends and what the shoppers are looking for. Macy’s must deliver on the shopping experience, and true service level within the store, like Nordstrom.

I don’t want to look for a sales associate, I want the associate to come up to me, and say “have you seen our new line of whatever.” Or “today, we are showing our line worn by me and other associates.”

Consumers are being very picky, and are spending where they receive the personalized service touch. Hmmmmmmm

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