Macy’s Looks to Make Shopping Eventful
By Tom Ryan
Like others, Macy’s has scoured for cost-savings during the recession.
But one area apparently spared has been its event marketing, such as its annual
Flower Show that started this past weekend.
Under the theme, "Spring Is in the Air," about 35,000 varieties of
flowers, plants and trees floral landscapes are being displayed over the next
two weeks at five Macy’s stores: Herald Square in New York City, Center City
in Philadelphia, State Street in Chicago, Downtown Minneapolis and Union Square
in San Francisco. The indoor gardens will cover a quarter-million square feet
while also featuring hot air balloons, giant bugs, biplanes and kites hovering
above. Free guided-tours with flora experts will be offered every hour.
Speaking to NY-1, Robin Hall, the show’s executive director, said the
flower show, which Macy’s been holding in some form since 1947, brings
guests closer to the Herald Square store.
"It’s the only show that we have that actually happens in the store. We
have the fireworks and the parade, that all happens outside. This one actually
brings people in," said Mr. Hall. "We can share the beauty of the
architecture here, but we can also transform it with these beautiful, beautiful
Also last Sunday, Macy’s held its 13th annual Petacular Fair. Over
100 pets in costume strutted with their owners down a runway as part of a ‘Pets
on Parade’ fashion show in front of its Herald Square flagship. Hosted by the
famous drag queen Lady Bunny, the event also featured Sadie, the Scottish terrier
winner of recent Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show; a theater show; a kids book
reading; an animal trainer; and cast members of the 101 Dalmatians Musical.
Macy’s also holds numerous similar-sized smaller one-off events as well
as regular fashion shows, culinary events and celebrity appearances at its
stores. Its two signature events are the Thanksgiving Parade (since 1924) and
the 4th of July Fireworks (since 1976) that both get national broadcast coverage.
Other major annual events include the Passport fashion show that supports HIV/AIDS
research (last year it was presided over by Elizabeth Taylor); its Glamorama
fundraiser held in Minneapolis and Chicago; the Puppet Theater show; as well
as Santaland at Herald Square, and the Tree Lighting ceremony in San Francisco.
Discussion Questions: How much of a differentiator is the production of
small and large store event marketing efforts for Macy’s? With the consumer
focus on value, should Macy’s be cutting events to apply to the cost of good?
Should other retail chains try to compete for the public’s attention on this
- Annual Flower Show Blooms At Macy’s – ny1.com
- Macy’s Downtown Flagships Showcase a Floral Spectacular in New York, Philadelphia,
Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco – Macy’s
- Macy’s Flower Show – Macy’s
- Macy’s Event Marketing – Macy’s