macy’s

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Macys Millenial Moms
Image source: Macy’s

Trading on the still-growing consumer appetite for out-of-season retail, US department store chain Macy’s has simultaneously debuted three off-price outlet concepts called Backstage in New York’s outer boroughs of Brooklyn, Long Island and Queens.

Averaging about 30,000 sq ft, the locations sell a wide range of previous-season products, including apparel, accessories, home decor and beauty, as well as exclusive newer items at up to an 80% discount.

According to Vanessa LeFebvre, senior vice-president and general merchandise manager of Backstage, the new concept was developed to attract the millennial mother, who it hopes will “graduate” to shopping at full-priced Macy’s stores as she gains more disposable income. Travel-sized products are used as a form of brand introduction, while the weekly influx of new merchandise encourages repeat visits.

Trading explicitly on the social media savvy of its millennial audience, “pin it, snap it, share it” stickers on store mirrors encourage shoppers to share the “treasure hunt” experience of discount discoveries. Additional amenities for this on-the-move generation include mobile checkout handheld devices for employees, as well as sit-down charging stations dubbed “juice bars” located just outside fitting rooms.

Social media also heavily influences the visual merchandising of the Backstage stores. Each features a single prominent display known as the “centre stage” which showcases a weekly product trend, such as ‘Country Life’. These themes are carried throughout the store on multiple Pinterest-esque product display boards.

Three more Backstage stores are set to open in 2015 in an additional Long Island location, the Bronx and New Jersey.

Guest post Stylus.com by Katie Baron

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“Department stores have been having a hard go of it lately. With modern day humans more likely to browse for goods on Amazon than go rifling through the crowded racks of a cavernous retail chain, stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears are suffering immensely.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Macy's x Fashion Show
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“Macy’s may be a national go-to for accessible style, but it’s explored more high-fashion territory multiple times before, like when it partnered with Made Fashion Week for an ongoing collaboration and with Karl Lagerfeld for a much-hyped capsule collection. But now, the retail giant is set to take on New York Fashion Week, with a runway show of its own at one of the city’s largest, best-known venues, the Theater at Madison Square Garden.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Macy's x NYFW
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“A recent note to investors by Cowen analysts includes a prediction that Amazon.com AMZN +0.66% will become the leading apparel retailer in the U.S. by 2017, topping Macy’s by a comfortable margin. Time will tell if the prediction is accurate, but it’s clear from Macy’s M +1.52% actions, including expansion of its same-day delivery service and other omnichannel initiatives, that the department store chain isn’t planning on just handing its crown to Amazon.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Macy's x Amazon
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“Department stores continue their trend of downward decline, with the latest news from financial consultants Cowen that Amazon will overtake Macy’s as the top U.S. apparel retailer by 2017. Amazon’s lack of physical overhead costs has allowed it to undercut department stores in the price of its offerings, with accessories like handbags and jewelry doing an especially roaring trade.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Amazon x Macy's
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“Psychelia Terry, was an entrepreneur with a dream of starting an intimate apparel company for women with curves. In 2009, she acted on her desire and launched Urban Intimates, offering affordable and luxury lingerie, and skin care products. In just a couple of years after her launch, Terry says she struggled to keep the purely web-based business afloat.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Macys
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“In Century City, San Francisco, and Palo Alto, CA, Short Hills, NJ, and Garden City, NY, Bloomingdale’s has installed wall-mounted Apple iPads in its dressing rooms as part of a smart-fitting testing phase. The tablets connect to the company’s inventory-management systems, and can locate garments in store, as well as throughout its multimillion-item inventory network.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Bloomingdale's
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“Macy’s Inc. on Tuesday offered its customers a digital wallet option to store and manage Macy’s offers as well as payment options online. Users first need to fill out a profile, and once the individual is signed into that profile, the person can then choose My Wallet on the navigation menu. Users who register their Macy’s credit card will see Star Passes promotions automatically added to the wallet. Users can add up to 10 credit card options.”

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Macys

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The much anticipated National Retail Federation took place this week, introducing ways to improve the retail industry; some of these included the incorporation of social media and consumer feedback. Fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff explained this during one of her presentations: “Right now, social media is key to building a community around a brand. Now I can post a picture of a bag on Instagram and get automatic feedback on what my customers like, love and are utterly obsessed with. User feedback is vital to growing a lifestyle brand.”

Not only was this year’s event bigger than ever, it was also filled with special announcements from the 500 exhibiting companies. Since Fashion-Tech is our thing, we thought we should go over some of the highlights…

Many companies have chosen 2014 as the year to launch their first fashion app. These include Guess Inc. which, has recently launched an app that offers its users a personalized shopping experience as well as customer service and promotions. New app developments include SAP, Starmount and Manthan; all of them dedicated to establish a more detailed target market and give consumers a unique and personalized shopping experience along with loyalty programs.

Macy’s also shared some news during NRF. The company is implementing a new technology which allows it to increase efficiency as well as inventory accuracy. This RFID technology also enables Macy’s to enhance customer experience and drive sales. The name of this technology – TrueVue Inventory Display Execution by Tyco Retail Solutions.

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The biggest buzz was created by Microsoft as it announced its partnership with Vantiv, a payment processing vendor. This new merging will allow for easier payment collection via mobile, individual direct sales transactions, as well as improved customer experiences.

One of the most influential panels this year was moderated by CNBC Power Lunch co-anchor Sue Herrera, featuring fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff, President of Nordstrom Inc., Blake Nordstrom, founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, Rick Caruso and founder of Sprinkles Cupcake, Candance Nelson. The theme of the panel was Re-imagining Main Street – How Brick and Mortar Retail Will Thrive in the 21st Century.

Many ideas and opinions were discussed throughout the panel but in the end, the verdict was unbiased.

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In order to thrive as a retailer, whether it be an e-commerce platform or a brick-and-mortar store, the company must try to gain customer loyalty by offering consumers a unique shopping experience that is both interesting and customizable.

 

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