Macy’s Goes From Malls to Micro-Mini Model

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Are mega department stores like Macy’s becoming a thing of the past?

Although big box multi-location (MULO) stores in some categories like home improvement and groceries still make sense, the mall-based department stores may be due for a reconfiguration.

Macy’s just announced that it is opening 30 small format stores. Leveraging the timeless reputation (founded in 1858), they are realizing that real estate, labor, and inventory costs can be crushing, even for a big brand.

Macy’s already operates 15 smaller format stores around the country.

Their press announcement is reflective of the keys to survival for larger brands. It says that Macy’s will “operate one of retail’s largest e-commerce businesses integrated with a nationwide footprint to deliver the most convenient and seamless shopping experience.”

The fact that they lead with their digital promise rather than brick-and-mortar would reflect that their management is embracing how today’s consumer shops and is responding to that trend.

As mall leases expire, we expect to see more pickleball courts and new eatertainment concepts that require large footprints.

But we still want to see that parade on Thanksgiving, Macy’s.

Some traditions just can’t be moved online!


Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.