Emilie Jackson

I am a filmmaker, marketing student,
cook, and debutante from
New York City.

Jun 26, 2008 3:33pm

Macy’s National Approach: Go Local

 I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Macy’s marketing strategy.  Federated Department Stores, which became Macy’s Inc. last June, has slowly been buying up local department stores since the early 90s.  In 2006 Macy’s Inc. stopped production of all local department store brands, such as Marshall Fields and Strawbridge’s, and renamed most of their stores as Macy’s.   Its marketing strategy, however, is moving away from the idea of corporate and towards beloved local-chain department store.
    Macy’s will now let local Macy’s store merchants customize 15% of their merchandise to local preferences.  “Frankly, we need to get the “My Macy’s” organization set up, and let them begin to localize those [merchandise] assortments. Once they have done that then the marketing will follow. …We can do that through the Internet, by locally targeting ads to a ZIP code. And I can do it in terms of newsprint as well,” Macy’s chief marketing officer and chairman of Macy’s online division Peter Sachse said.

    Macy’s whole strategy of local marketing I think reflects societies’, somewhat 90s view of, anti-corporation.  When I think of big box stores I think of K-mart, Wal-Mart, Target-mart.  I do not think of Macy’s, Bloomingdales or Neiman Marcus.  They really are all the same though. 
I don’t know if Macy’s thinks it will trick us into thinking that it is local.  I do think that their marketing ideas are at least innovative in a so-simple-I-thought-it-was-common-knowledge-yet-no-one-has-done-it-before kind of way.  Make corporations appear local, buy skis in Colorado, buy bathing suits in Florida.  It all makes perfect sense.  It seems so simple so why are they the first ones doing it? Or are they just the first corporation to be mentioned in the press?

    Peter Sachse also talks about having celebrities in the commercials and how that really boosts sales.  I think this is their one-up on the local Mom ‘N’ Pop department stores who can’t afford Maria Carey.  After being blinded by Maria’s shiny hair and Macy’s strategic local marketing, I can’t really tell the difference anymore. 

    At least that is what Donald Trump told me to think when he said that he made this tie clip just for me.  I can find it in MY MACY’S!


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