Terry Lundgren needs to improve Macy's

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Thoughts on Macy’s April 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericwillcockson @ 4:37 am

Like I wrote about in my earlier post, Macy’s has so much tradition and such a storied past.  How could it deteriorate so much?  I always thought Macy’s was a nice store when I was younger.  Their past seems to help stay on people’s minds but what are they doing to really make themselves stand out as the choice department store or what makes them one of the best?  Merchandise?  Service?  Price?  Pleasant experience?

I’m definitely unhappy with Macy’s.  I know that friends of mine and other people that I talk to aren’t too happy or impressed with them either.  I’m trying to help Macy’s because I’d like to see them become a power in the retailing business like they used to be.  I’d like to see some competition between them and Nordstrom and others so that consumers can have a better shopping experience.  Just like competition makes things better with other business, I feel that if Macy’s were to step up to the plate and really become competitive with the likes of Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, then people could find great clothing and other merchandise at a great price and these stores would still be turning a profit.  It would be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Mr. Lundgren, I challenge you to upgrade the Macy’s experience, your stores and the benefits you offer employees so that they create a better experience for shoppers.  Publish a customer bill of rights so that the public knows that Macy’s is serious in trying to restructure their business model and serious about their customers.  Only then will Macy’s become a truly great store and the world will really be able to “discover the magic of Macy’s.”


Glory Days of Macy’s

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericwillcockson @ 4:23 am

Back in the day, Macy’s used to be THE premier department store.  The Macy’s symbol with the red star just looks classy and brings a warm feeling to you whenever you see it.  Every year they have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which is big, kicks off the Christmas selling season, and has been a tradition since 1924.  They even promoted it in the movie “Miracle on 34th Street.”  In fact the movie seemed to revolve around the parade.  But that star next to the Macy’s name doesn’t seem as big or as bright as it used to.

Their commercials on television promote “discovering the magic of Macy’s” but I don’t see it at all.  In the early 20th century, Macy’s used to test everything they sold.  When you walked into a Macy’s you knew what you were getting because they had put their stamp of approval on it.  That’s why it was in their stores, because it was good quality.  They knew their products and they knew them well.  Macy’s was the premier store and everyone knew that.  It’s nowhere near that level now and I’m wondering why.

I’ve never visited the flagship store in New York, but I imagine it as a beautiful emporium with a lot of merchandise that any shopper can appreciate.


Macy's on 34th Street in New York


I have heard their West Coast flagship store in San Fransisco is giant and absolutely stunning.


Macy's flagship store in San Fransisco


I understand every Macy’s can’t be like these two stores, but they should all be of a certain quality and caliber.  It seems like some are just so uninspiring.  Something needs to be done.


Inventory April 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericwillcockson @ 4:40 am

I saw a commercial the other day for Macy’s and it referenced a sale they are having at the moment.  It seems like they are always having some type of sale, which is a good thing for consumers.  But their prices aren’t really that great on most items.  Shoppers like Macy’s because they have something for everyone.  They have some of the cheaper brands available but also some higher end products as well.  That’s great.

I went to a Ross store this morning and found a couple of dress shirts that are the same shirts you can find at Macy’s, but at a significantly lower price.  At Macy’s, a Geoffrey Beene shirt retails for $49.50 but it’s on sale for $32.99.  The same one I found at Ross for $14.99.  I also found Van Heusen dress shirts at Ross for $12.99 and $17.99.  Van Heusen shirts at Macy’s are $40 regular price and on sale right now for $26.99.

Why on earth would I go to Macy’s to buy cheap dress shirts when I can go to Ross and get the same thing?  Why would I buy a more expensive shirt at Macy’s when I can get something similar at Nordstrom or Bloomingdales for around the same price?  And I definitely won’t have an employee giving me a hard time for trying on a shirt at either of those stores.

I think I’ve answered my own questions.


Salespeople Part 4 April 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericwillcockson @ 3:17 am

The expertise of the salespeople is below average in my opinion.  They may know where products are located on the floor but that’s about it.  They are worthless to the consumer except they can ring up whatever you’re buying and re-rack items on displays.  And I don’t even think they really want to do that as evidenced by that woman who gave me such a hard time for simply trying on a shirt.

At Nordstrom the employees know their inventory.  If I have a question about colors, styles, a brand, whatever it may be, they know it and they are on top of their game.  When it comes to expertise, I’ve gone to the Rail at Nordstrom and asked about a pair of jeans and the employees knew that they didn’t carry them and gave me suggestions as to where I could find them.  I don’t anticipate such help at Macy’s.

Nordstrom’s is more “upscale” then Macy’s.  But I feel that Macy’s prices are almost equal to Nordstrom. It’s just that Nordstrom may carry a few more brands that are more expensive compared to Macy’s.  Macy’s and Nordstrom are in the same mall thus shoppers can compare prices.

The other day when I was at Macy’s, I was walking through one level and saw in the woman’s department a display of clothing for Marc by Marc Jacobs.  This surprised me a little considering Macy’s carries some pretty inexpensive brands.  But I must give some credit to Macy’s because they do carry all kinds of different brands and they have something for everyone.  For me though, I’m not interested in buying Ecko Unlimited or Sean John, so if I’m in the mood to buy something from Ralph Lauren, I am going to go to Bloomingdale’s or other upscale shops because I’m just so turned off by the negative image that Macy’s presents.


Salespeople Part 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericwillcockson @ 2:57 am

To expand on the attitude of salespeople and employees at Macy’s, it’s like they don’t even want to be there.  Their attitude and body language makes it seem as though they definitely are not happy to be at work.

They take no initiative at all.  In other words they don’t offer suggestions or go out of their way for you.  The salespeople wait for you to come up to them if you need help or have questions.  You might as well walk out of the store and find another venue where they are more interested in you.

Is there any training of employees at Macy’s?  If there is, there certainly isn’t much supervision by upper management or by shareholders.  This place needs some shaking up by someone if it isn’t going to be done by the CEO.  The salespeople are not welcoming and not necessarily friendly either.  You might come across the occasional employee who is decent, but for such a big company is this normal?  No salespeople go out of their way for you which makes me wonder why I ever spend any time or money there and why anyone else does either.

Mr. Lundgren, are you going to give your employees some satisfaction other than a paycheck on Friday afternoon?

Check out Macy’s employee benefits vs. Nordstrom employee benefits and the way the pages are layed out.






Salespeople Part 2 April 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericwillcockson @ 1:02 am

When I go into a Nordstrom’s for instance, there are plenty of salespeople around and they are all friendly and ready to help you. When you walk into a Macy’s it’s a crapshoot whether you will run into a salesperson right away.  The salespeople at Macy’s stand around and act like they make minimum wage with no commission.  I don’t mind the people at Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s who stand around and talk with each other and when you walk by they are friendly and want to know if they can help you.  That used to bother me because it felt like they were trying a little too hard to have me buy something.  But I understand.  At least they can help. I know if I have questions they will have the answers.  I’m the type of shopper whom I don’t really need someone hovering over me.  I know what I’m looking for and what I want.  But it is much more convenient and enjoyable to have someone nearby and who is knowledgeable then someone who doesn’t really know anything or care.

Inside of a Nordstrom store


Salespeople Part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericwillcockson @ 12:55 am

I feel like elaborating on the knowledge, attitude and expertise of the salespeople on the Macy’s floor.  First things first, why is it there are so few of them?  I go into these Macy’s stores and I just can’t find anyone to talk to.  As a consumer I have questions and I’m not getting answers.

About 3 weeks ago I was thinking about getting a pair of slacks for an upcoming event.  I was thinking Hugo Boss because I like the way their products fit me.  It’s good quality.  My dad had mentioned seeing in the Macy’s newspaper circular that they had Joseph Abboud slacks for an excellent price.  Almost too good of a price.  I like to shop so I figured I’d take a look at them.  I went to the premier mall in Orange County.  I assumed their Macy’s had a good men’s department.  I noticed they had a huge section of suits, slacks and sport coats.  I had to track down a salesperson as the only other ones I could find were busy completing a sale.  When I finally caught the man’s attention I asked him about these slacks and where they were.  He thought he knew and took me around the whole store before saying he wasn’t sure where they were located.  He handed me off to another employee who then told me they don’t carry Joseph Abboud slacks.  I thought to myself this is crazy.  It’s in the Macy’s advertisements yet this store doesn’t even carry them??  Ridiculous.

I ended up going to Nordstrom’s, paying more, but having a much better experience.