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What Macy's Should Have Done

Yesterday, Macy's announced that they are laying off 2,000 employees and closing 150 stores by 2026, completing more than 350 store closings overall. They will also be adding approximately 45 new Bloomingdale's stores as well as their Bluemercury outlets.

When Hillary Clinton ran for President in 2016, she faced the reality that Americans already had a fixed perception of who she is and what she stands for. The statement she made in the early 90's, "What do you want me to do, stay home and bake cookies?" became permanently ingrained in the minds of those who heard it. It is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to change the perception of oneself to those who have known them a certain way for decades.

In my opinion, Macy's will never become a luxury brand.

"Fine" you say. "What should they have done?" They should have strategically transformed their stores into part experience and part product sales. By offering influencer boutiques within stores and creating influencer experiences in real time, they could attract customers who value experiences over material possessions. Influencer X does the Macy's tour. Ten stores in ten days.

People are increasingly spending their money on experiences rather than products. And while they are in the experience, they are spending cash on products. Coachella. U.S. Tennis Open. Yep, tons of dollars spent in swag. No one headed to Bloomies to buy tennis clothes. They bought them at the U.S. Open with their logo front and center.

Macy's decision to lay off employees and close stores without fundamentally changing their business model is comparable to the Titanic's band playing on the deck as the ship sank. They should be adapting to the changing world by offering experiences that cater to modern consumer preferences.

If Macy's continues on this path, I predict that in four years, they will meet the same fate as Blockbuster and Xerox, fading into oblivion due to their inability to evolve.

-- Christine Merser , Founder, Blue 2 Media


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