Macy’s bought Story a year ago. Story is a New York retailer that focuses on ideas and themes. All the merchandise revolves around that and changes every few months. The mood inside this Chelsea neighborhood store is like nowhere else – colorful, upbeat, and unique, where experience is valued more than just stuff.
Macy’s bought Story and did nothing with it for a year, but now we are beginning to see the grand plan. This Wednesday the retailer announced it’s opening Story shops in 36 of Macy’s locations across the country. This comes as no surprise – Macy’s, like most other department stores, has been going through some tough times with many shoppers buying online and many stores having extra space left empty.
The big hope for Macy’s is that new Story shops will attract young customers with their eclectic and always changing inventory, local brands, and products not available anywhere else. Shoppers will be able to buy unique kids clothing, artisan chocolate, and make up that is not always available for mass production, just to name a few.
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Story might encourage new customers to stop by and ensure that old ones keep coming back for more.
Beauty products are represented by more than 200 brands
The first theme of all 36 Story shops will be Color, and will last from this Wednesday to June 26. Expect to find colorful make up from MAC Cosmetics, Crayola clothing line in collaboration with Levi’s, and tens of local businesses with blends of products. That’s about 400 items in each shop.
Levi's brand synonymous with jeans
Changing times pose changing challenges for retailers like Macy’s. People are no longer looking for just products; they can find plenty of that online. They are looking for experiences and expect to have their feelings engaged. The merchants have to become animated and offer almost like an event feeling to attract and retain customers at their physical locations. Macy’s is going after such experience with Story. The new store will be relevant and will appeal to all – from a 5 year old to a 70 year old.
The flagship Story shop will be located at Macy’s Herald Square store. It will occupy over 7,500 square feet, which is about 3 ½ times larger than other Story locations. The space like that will accommodate everything Macy’s wants to put in its Story: expect interactive experiences, the largest in the world Lite-Brite light-up display, ping pong tables, and many similar attractions. This will be a place for you to visit and take it to Instagram.
Almost 300 new employees are trained to open and operate new Story locations in various states. They are able to build a new shop, hold events, find suppliers, and talk to customers. These are not your usual Macy’s employees; they have to tell a story, appeal to emotions, and create an experience. This and only this will bring people back.
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This new strategy just might work for Macy’s and help them avoid the fate of Bon-Ton, Sears, and JC Penney, all of which are going through extremely hard times. Nordstrom and Kohl’s are still staying strong thanks to various innovative strategies and changes.
Many brands, like Nike and Coach, are expending their direct consumer reach, so stores like Macy’s have to find new ways to be relevant, be different, and be attractive.
Story founder Rachel Shechtman is still involved in daily operations and is working with Macy’s to make sure this hot new ticket succeeds. She is trying new things, testing new methods and products with full support of Macy’s. If Story proves successful, it might be taken nationwide in the near future.
The store staff are very oriented in the assortment of goods
For now it will operate 36 Story shops in the biggest cities of the biggest states, but nothing stands in a way of 300 more if they take off as expected and hoped for.
Most Story shops will be located in California, New York, and Florida. For the full list and locations near you, visit Macys.com.