Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber shares her successful marketing strategies.

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What Has Happened to Macy's?

I realized the other day how much my buying habits have changed. I have a feeling that I do at least 30% of my shopping online, and I can’t imagine life without Amazon Prime anymore.

One thing I do still buy in person is clothes, and no one loves a sale more than I do so yesterday I thought I’d venture out to the mall and see what deals I could find.

Shopping during the week mid day is one of the perks of working for yourself - I can usually avoid the crowds. Being a decisive shopper helps too - when you shop for a living you want to do it as efficiently as possible.

Macy’s has always been an easy place to shop so I thought I’d start there. I’m heading to Orlando, Florida this week and thought I’d get a new pair of slacks. There were lots of employees milling around, but I’m going to assume they aren’t on commission, because no one seemed in a hurry to help me.

When I got to what I thought would be the logical department, I couldn’t believe what I saw. All of the sizes were mixed together, things were off of hangers and the worst - there were clothes lying all over the floor. This wasn’t because they were having a super sale and there was a mad rush to grab things - I have a feeling those garments had been on the floor for awhile.

It was the same way in almost every department I visited. This store was in a very high end area of Dallas, and it definitely wasn’t an outlet mall. Is this what shopping at a major retailer has become?

Today there was a news story about Macy’s closing 68 stores across the country, eliminating 10,000 jobs, and this wasn’t even one of them. And they aren’t the only ones in trouble - JCPenney announced that they had sold their corporate headquarters this week, and Sears is closing 150 of their stores as well. I can’t help but think if their employees had a better attitude and took ownership in making these stores successful we might be hearing a different message.

The sales process has changed a lot lately, and how customers want to be treated is evolving every day. It’s now not about selling, it’s about educating. Consumers have access to data that they never had in the past including being able to shop the price of a product with your competitors when they are standing in your store. It’s less about price, and more about the education and experience.

Time will tell if the big department stores can adapt and stay in business, or if they go the way of stores like Woolworths and Montgomery Wards.

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