MACY’S NEW CONCEPT
Macy’s Hopes New Concept Will Reinvent Its Retail Experience
Macy’s Inc. is rolling out a new store within a store called Story at Macy’s, which is debuting at 36 Macy’s locations across the country. The shop is the latest chapter in Macy’s multiyear effort to reinvent its 640 department stores.
The Story unveiling started on April 10 at select Macy’s across the country, including California locations at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Fashion Island in Newport Beach, Union Square in San Francisco and Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara. David Stark Design and Production crafted unique looks at the stores, which average 1,500 square feet and feature details such as faux-fur columns. The idea behind the store is that the store designs and merchandise change every two months.
In recent years, Macy’s has been experimenting with other retail concepts. In 2015, it introduced its off-price Backstage stores in more than 120 Macy’s. Beauty store Bluemercury joined Macy’s in 2015 and has expanded as stand-alone stores as well as Bluemercury sections inside Macy’s stores. There are currently 163 Bluemercury stores.
Macy’s acquired Story in May 2018 for an undisclosed amount from Story Founder Rachel Shechtman, who was hired to be Macy’s brand experience officer and to shape the Macy’s experience outside of Story shops.
Shechtman gained notoriety when she started Story in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood in 2011. Her novel merchandising sense inspired a bricks-and-mortar retail market still reeling from the effects of a deep industry downturn during the Great Recession and a mounting challenge from digital commerce.
Story relied on whimsy and novelty to attract consumers. According to the company’s website, it sold like a retailer but changed frequently like an art gallery and curated themes like a magazine. Story reinvented the look of its stores and how it changed its merchandise every month to two months.
The first theme for Story at Macy’s is Color. The shop will feature clothes from children’s brands Primary and Levi’s Kids. Other brands will include Crayola crayons, MAC Cosmetics’ “Make Your Own” palette stations and candy bars from Compartes.
In a recent statement, Shechtman said that Story was to be driven by a new sense of shopping. “The Story at Macy’s experience feels a lot like a real-life version of scrolling through Instagram. You discover things you weren’t looking for but are inspired by all the fun finds—the second you see it, you need it! We aspire to create that feeling with the breadth of the narrative-driven merchandise edit we are bringing to life with the launch of Story at Macy’s across the country.”
Photos by Carlos Delgado/AP Images for Macy’s