Yea or Nay: Macy’s Department Store

It’s official.

Macy’s now rules the world.

Federated Department Stores, parent company of pretty much every department store in the nation (Bloomingdales, Macys, etc) and the company that is responsible for destroying my childhood memories when it closed Marshall Fields, announced last week that the company was officially changing its name to Macy’s.

This seems to be one point in a very long list of retail mishaps that continue to plague the company.  For example, I still don’t get why they got rid of the Marshall Fields brand and rebranded them all Macys. And neither do customers. Sales at ex-Marshall Field stores have been dismal at best.  Furthermore, any store that gives Nicky Hilton, who is more of a “somewhat” girl than an “It” girl, a clothing line is a store that really needs to rethink it’s retail strategy. 

So, what do you think of Macys and their push to rule the department store world? For those of you who live in the midwest, are your Macys as good as your Marshall Fields? For those of us on the East Coast, what do you think about Macy’s?

P.S. I wrote an post about 1 1/2 years ago full of fall predictions (Vera Wang at Kohls, etc) and one of the predictions was that Macys would take over every department store in the world.

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Comments

  1. says

    I think they blew their chances in Chicago with the rebranding.  Marshall Fields was more than just a store in Chicago…it was an institution.

  2. Lori says

    NAY!  The best thing about Federated taking over the Marshall Fields & Hecht’s stores & changing them to Macy’s is that I am now debt-free.  I don’t know who their buyer is purchasing for, but a lot of the clothes look “mature,” and mind you, I’m in my 40s.

  3. Xsyntriq says

    I’m in southeastern Virginia – I think Macy’s pretty much sucks and I want my Hecht’s back. Why do I think Macy’s sucks? Their prices are too high, their sales aren’t worth hitting, their selection of clothing in the WOMEN’S department is dismal and depressing, and their clearance racks are over-priced.

  4. BD says

    They did the same thing in Seattle with the Bon Marche. For a while they called it Bon-Macy’s, and now it’s just Macy’s. Everyone still calls it “the Bon” though, and hates Macy’s.

  5. Kristen says

    NAY! they took Lazarus (based out of Columbus, OH) in addition to Hecht’s. Don’t we deserve to have some diversity?

  6. bd2 says

    I am a native Chicagoan living in New York.  I visit home quite often, and I must say, seeing Macy’s on State Street absolutely breaks my heart.  First off, the brands and collections carried in the Chicago stores are sub-par. Secondly, Macy’s is New York; Marshall Field’s is Chicago.  To Federated: Stop trying to homogenize the wonderful world of shopping!

  7. caroline says

    Macy’s, Costco, Walmart. I hate the unistore thing.  I am in California and still miss Bullocks, I Magnin, Joseph Magnin. I was appalled at the end of Marshall Fields—a huge retailing mistake. We CAN vote with our dollars and only buy at local stores (or outlets and catalogs if pressed).

  8. Filenes says

    There is such a trend here … I am from New England where Filene’s (not the basement) ruled.  As previously mentioned with regard to another department store, it was an insitution.  Above that, it had great sales. Macy’s took over and the only cool thing that came of it was the out of control sale before Filene’s closed.

  9. says

    Being a Chicagoan, I (along with many others I know) were very displeased with their decision to change the name of the Marshall Fields (esp. the State St. flagship store) to Macy’s. I have to say that not many of us are willing to shop there now.

  10. Andrea says

    In Colorado Macy’s took over Foley’s last year. Foley’s was a dismal, messy, cluttered store with rude, unhelpful salespeople. The transformation since Macy’s took over has been nothing short of amazing.

  11. JULIE says

    Granted I am aware of the sorrow you feel for the name change. But I am a MACY’s Shopper form the WEST COST and I love Macy’s. I disagree with not finding a good deal there. I am a shopaholic and I love to find good deal’s. I love when they have 50% off on a Addtn’l 50% and you are still able to use a Addtn’l coupon if you have it. Where can you go wrong. The quality in SOME Macy’s is not worth it I give you that. But that is unfortunately due to area market that it maybe in. I live in a area where with in 75 miles there is at least 5 Macy’s and granted yes I may not find the same thing if not more. I go to a higher end Macy’s but I would not say be mad at their quality or their prices. All you need to do is write to them and I understand that is not a quick fix but it can let them know that the selling market they are serving is not being met. And to go back and comment on their plus sizes. I hate to say it but yes some Macys have a better selection than others and I am aware that most do not have the luxury to check another Macy’s out. But Most of my clothes, shoes, purses, households are from Macy’s. The only issue I think some may have is that they may have a bad experience but don’t let that mean that all of Macy’s stores are the same. Give them a chance I believe you will love shopping there..

  12. TSS says

    The same thing has happened here in Los Angeles. We used to have I.Magnin, Bullocks, Bullocks Wilshire, Robinsons, May Company, Buffums…all are gone. We only have Macy’s now and their buyers are terrible. I don’t think I have found anything decent to wear there since 1999. I’m not kidding. 1999.

  13. katie says

    the funny thing is, here in toledo we only even had a marshall fields for like 3 years… it was hudson’s when i was growing up. i still hate macys, though… i don’t know why. maybe because when i go in there, they barely have anything (literally, like barely enough racks to cover the floor space, spread out to cover for how meager it is) and it’s all overpriced…

  14. cathy says

    BD, I live in Seattle, too, and I miss the Bon. I thought it was particularly stupid when they called it “Bon-Macy’s”.

  15. megan says

    Macy’s is a piece of crap. Marshall Fields held dignity. The revamped Maciezed stores kinda suck there is something missing.

  16. Kris says

    Down here in Augusta, GA.. at our mall… years ago Macy’s closed.  Then, a bit later, Rich’s became Macy’s.  They weren’t much different, but it was still nice to have 4 department stores (no, i am not counting Sears) in our mall instead of just 3.  Compared to our other options (Dillards and JC Penny) I actually like our Macy’s. But honestly it is the condition of our JC Penny, and the lack of anything that ever fits me at Dillards (I am stuck inbetween juniors and womens sizes). 
    As for them taking over so many other stores.. I’d have to say NAY.  We need options and diversity in our lives.

  17. says

    I don’t know who these folks pay for their marketing efforts, but they have surely blown it here in the Windy City. The building itself, with it’s green facade, and beautifully ornamented clocks…is a constant reminder of the very special place that was. Macy’s, can you say ‘focus group’?

  18. Irma says

    i like to shop at macy’s
    and macy’s is not a tj maxx

    but the death of MARSHALL FIELDS
    oh that sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Marshall Fields is a CHICAGO icon
    the place to see and be seen
    when you think of window dressings and IT wear – marshall fields is where you get it
    think of rhoda morganstern – and her window dressings – marshall fields and bloomie’s is what you think of, not macy’s
    Renaming Marshall Fields to MACY’S that would be like renaming SEE’S candy a San Francisco icon to GODIVA
    or FAO SCHWARTZ to toys r us
    or ghiradelli to hershey’s
    each are good but not the same
    DIVERSITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Irma says

    i like to shop at macy’s
    and macy’s is not a tj maxx

    but the death of MARSHALL FIELDS
    oh that sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Marshall Fields is a CHICAGO icon
    the place to see and be seen
    when you think of window dressings and IT wear – marshall fields is where you get it
    think of rhoda morganstern – and her window dressings – marshall fields and bloomie’s is what you think of, not macy’s
    Renaming Marshall Fields to MACY’S that would be like renaming SEE’S candy a San Francisco icon to GODIVA
    or FAO SCHWARTZ to toys r us
    or ghiradelli to hershey’s
    each are good but not the same
    DIVERSITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Mouse says

    I do most of my shopping at Macy’s, but it’s more out of habit of shopping in that location than liking the store.  When we had both Rich’s and Macy’s, I only shopped at Rich’s (in Atlanta), I thought Macy’s was overpriced.  Now they took over Rich’s so I have no choice. 

    I don’t know, I like their INC brand and get some good deals on the sales racks once in a while, particularly at the higher-volume stores.  But I would never consider myself a loyal shopper.

  21. Carmen says

    Michiganders feel the same about the Field’s-Macy’s changeover.  The brands offered at Macy’s are awful, not to mention the sales are never as significant!

  22. Z30 says

    SACRILEGE!!

    Oh, the humanity! You may think I’m being sarcastic, but I have to tell you, Fields was always a symbol of class and good breeding, and knowing good workmanship from cheap floor fillers.

    I have been to Macy’s, both in New York and here in Chi, and I can report, that I have seen with my own eyes, that Macy’s specializes, glorifies and revels in floor fillers.

    When I see that stupid Macy’s red star it makes me want to scream.

  23. CRJ says

    TBF: What can we do as consumers to put pressure on Macy’s to return the Marshall Fields name and branding? Is there a person at Macy’s corporate to write, etc?

  24. kfc says

    We had a JCPenny the moved (came back about 7 years later though) and the site became Famous Barr. I actually MUCH preferred Famous Barr. As opposed to Penny’s, the clothes were cute and they always had a bargin somewhere. Then they changed the names to Macy’s. Supposedly it was name only, but the only thing that stayed the same was the shoes and the men’s section. EVERYTHING else changed…for the worst. Now when I go in the store my mom and I are like “That’s really ugly, who’s gonna buy that?” And the Junior’s section seems to have an unexplainable Baby Phat fetish.

    I want Famous Barr back!! Guess I’ll just shop at Bergeners.

  25. Lisa says

    Macy’s is horrible…  I’m one of the original Chicago boycotters but the only problem is that Macy’s is the only store around Chicago that carries Lush products…  For anyone who is concerned as I am, I spoke with one of the Lushies and they pay rent to Macy’s but the cash we spend goes direct to Lush.  I won’t spend a dime on anything else at Macy’s, I went to the WaterTower store just this week, the selection of items is dumpy, overpriced, and even the store itself is going to pot.  It’s like since NOONE is shopping there (on a Friday evening, the store was ghostly) they’re also not taking care of the property.  It’s just terribly terribly sad.  Poor Mr. Fields is turning over in his grave!

  26. Lisa says

    In response to Julie’s comment too about West coast Macy’s….  I totally agree with you.  I’ve spend a good chunk of time in LA and they Macy’s department stores there were fantastic…  I don’t know what they did to MF here in Chicago, but it sucks…

  27. hsk says

    Boy, we all have lot’s of opinions on this!
    For what it is worth…since I really didn’t know Marshall Fields’s and don’t shop Macy’s (I am from the southwest) the closest I can come to relating is when Dillard’s bought out the John A. Brown store in Oklahoma City…Now John A. Brown…THAT was a classy store! And so many memories with my Gram when I was a little girl. I felt so refined and cared for when shopping there with her. And the smell and taste of the fresh roasted nuts and snacks in the kiosks on the first and second floor was to die for…I will never forget that experience. Couldn’t wait for school shopping and spring dress shopping every year. Dillard’s is nice but just not the same :(

  28. andy says

    I live in South Florida and we used to have Burdines Department Store, which was a nice store.  Now Macys has taken over and it sucks.  At first, they had very little stock and it seemed maybe the store where I live was going out of business.  Their plus department was postage stamp sized.

    Now, they have expanded their plus size department and it is a little better, but let me ask a question.  Why do they make plus size women walk by the petites and junior departments to get to the department.  Really makes one feel great – walking by all those teeny clothes.

    I liked Burdines and do not like that Macys is taking over the department store market.  Of course, my favorite department store is Dillards, but that is a whole other story.

  29. Jon says

    For those of you who are not aware, there is a great website/weblog at http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org.  The site has new postings daily and is filled with all kinds of information about how poorly macy’s is doing.  We invite all of you across the U.S. to log on and to comment about your own store experiences and feelings. The critical mistake to change not only the Marshall Field’s name (and other department store brand names) to macy’s, but to also ruin the unique traditions, fine service, high quality of designer merchandise and all the fine extras that made for fun shopping adventures, will go down as the worst retailing mistake in business of the century!
    Remember: http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org
    Please join us, no matter where you live.

  30. Tk says

    I’m in New England and I used to work at a Kaufmann’s that’s now a Macy’s. The sales aren’t as good, the merchandise is priced more up-market without actually being better quality, but I don’t think the sales experience has changed much. It’s still the best department store in the area – you’ve either got way overpriced for my budget at Lord & Taylors (which Federated owns) or crappy Penny’s and Bon-Tons and Sears. It’s a little chaotic but I don’t mind the chaos if I can find $5 pants.

    I think it dilutes the Macy’s brand because Macy’s in Podunk Town is never going to be Macy’s in NYC. I would prefer to save the Macy’s name for that upscale experience and let local department stores be just that: local. 

    But I’ve talked to people who’ve stuck around through 3 ownership changes and 1 name change in the last 4 years and the employee experience apparently totally sucks now. (like making you work 19.8 hours/wk so you can’t claim benefits and vacation time.)

  31. Kate says

    The last time I went to shop at Macy’s, the customer service was so horrendous I walked out and went across the street to Nordstrom’s, where the salespeople were professional and courteous.

  32. says

    I’m in Seattle where Macy’s bought The Bon a few years back.  They have never been the same.  It now feels like a clean Ross instead of a nice department store.  It breaks my heart every time I walk in there.

  33. Lesa says

    We used to have Meier and Frank here in Oregon, which was a local company that was taken over by May Co. and so on. At least it was allowed to keep the M&F name and local flavor. Now it’s turned into Macy’s, and lost any sense of what it used to be.  I’ve shopped there once since they turned it into Macy’s and vowed never to shop there again.

  34. says

    I was terribly upset when they closed A & S and made them into Macy’s.  I’m on the east coast.  Macy’s stinks…They have no help; the clothing is either on the floor or jammed into the racks.  The main floor is set up nice, but when you go upstairs it is terrible. You would think that you were shopping in John’s Bargain stores (showing my age!)  I now only go to Lord & Taylors, and they are limited.

    SoHo Accessories

  35. Robert says

    The changeover from Marshall Field’s to Macy’s was the biggest marketing mistake since the introduction of “New Coke” in 1985.  Why would they replace an upscale brand with one that is decidedly downscale?  The stores are banal and ugly, the merchandise mix is lackluster.  Name brands are gone…I have no reason to shop there.  The Marshall Field’s brand needs to be dusted-off and restored in the upper Midwest, or at least in Chicago, where it has strong resonance.

  36. Kelly says

    I’m from Connecticut and my mom and I shopped at G. Fox when I was growing up.  Then the name changed to Filene’s, but because we liked Fox’s and were kind of ticked that it was changing, we still called the Filene’s Fox’s.  THEN Filene’s changed to Macy’s. 

    We loved Fox’s.  We liked Filene’s.  We tolerate Macy’s.  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

  37. Jenn says

    Macy’s is a mess … they should not take over anything else until they figure out how to keep their stores neat & clean and their staff friendly.  I don’t shop at Macy’s for this reason and hate the fact that they are taking over more stores.  We will have no where to shop anymore but messy stores that have nothing unique about them except cheap prices.

  38. Kendra S. says

    Macys just took over Foleys here…not that Foleys was a wonderful store.  Macys is living up (or down) to the same poor quality/customer service that Foleys provided.  Nothing has changed for the better, just a new name. If the company was coming in and making improvements, that would be great, but they’re not; they are just simply taking over.

  39. Martie says

    Sitting around the giant Christmas tree with your Marshall Fields’s mug.  The Christmas window displays that went on for a whole block.  Meeting someone under the “Field’s” clock.  Traditions!!
    I cut al ties as soon as those green bags disapeared.  It was never the same, the service was never the same.
    I’ve since moved. We have VonMaur, their customer service ROCKS! If my wallet is a little tight, Gap and Target will do.  Lots of other options.
    BOYCOTT MACYS!

  40. San Diego Gal says

    I’m in southern Calilfornia, but originally from Chicagoland. I will NEVER set foot in a Macy’s again because of what they did to Marshall Field’s. Sales have tanked there, especially at State St., Old Orchard, Oakbrook and Northbrook. I predict Macy’s will close the stores and sell off the properties. I hear people are mad in Fla (Burdines) and other places, too, where local names disappeared. Here in San Diego, I can buy at Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Target, and host of smaller stores and easily avoid the Evil Empire of Macy’s. That’s what I’ve taught my 6-year-old to call Macy’s – the Evil Empire.

  41. TBF says

    Well.. sales at the ex marshall fields stores continue to tank in the chicago land area. I’m originally from Minessota were we had Dayton’s before Marshalls Fields. Both daytons and Marshalls Fields were more comparable with Bloomingdales, than with Macys, so when I heard they were changing the names, I just couldn’t believe it. I think it’s just another example of retailers listening more to uninformed consultants than shoppers.

  42. says

    Since my office is a mere two blocks from the Chicago State St. store, I’ve been in there enough to see that there’s no clear cut differences in the merchandize offered (other than the private label brands.) Unfortunately the sales staff is obviously commission-based…and they let you know it by relentlessly asking who helped you on the floor when at the register. Once a cashier actually re-rang my purchase when another associate came up to claim credit for my transaction. I missed my bus!

  43. A says

    Rich’s used to be an institution in Atlanta… until Macy’s took them over.  All I ever hear is about how everyone misses Rich’s, not how anyone loves Macy’s.

  44. Lisa Bacques says

    Hi there,
    I’m from New Orleans and had to weigh in on the Macy’s comments.  Before Hurricane Katrina, there were 2 Macy’s in the metro area.  Now, Macy’s does not have plans to rebuild those stores, and I am pretty upset about it.  Thanks for letting me vent!
    Lisa Bacques

  45. Rebecca Schmitt says

    I love my Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia. Sometimes I go to look there just for fun! The building is beautiful inside and most of the merchandise is very nice. It’s very classy.

  46. Erica says

    I am a born and bred midwestern girl and I absolutely do not like Macy’s. I have many fond memories of taking trips to Marshall Fields on State street as a child and as an adult. Macy’s does not compare. Their clothes seem cheap (as in poor quality) and uninspired. I feel like I find better fashions at Target and even Walmart. And on top of everything else, their prices are higher. I along with many other home grown Midwestern folks that I know have vowed never to set foot in a Macy’s.

  47. Karen says

    In Chicago it is obvious that Macy’s is going down the tubes.  They thought our protest would die down after the September 9th name change from Marshall Field’s to Macy’s, but our boycott continues to have a strong impact.  The formerly great Marshall Field’s store on State Street is like an off-season resort— empty and depressing.  I used to spend thousands at Marshall Field’s a year, but now I’m going to Nordstrom (stock way up), Von Maur, and lots of other little shops in the cool neighborhoods.  Occasionally I’ll shop at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, where I get more value than at Macy’s.  When 60,000 signatures were sent to Federated Department stores begging them not to change the name, they ignored us and said their market research showed people would adjust.  That was 9 months ago, and since then, the sales have slumped, the stock has gone down, and now the shareholders are suing Federated for inflating the values by not informing them of the low sales at the former May Company stores!  our boycott is working and will continue to work until we bring Macy’s to their knees.  Lundgren can burn in hell.

  48. Sarah says

    I was so sad to hear about Marshall Fields turning to a Macy’s. I went to one on State Street. You could feel so much history in that building! Please say they kept the Walnut Room! I loved eating there. Why does everything have to be so generic now? So sad!

  49. says

    Personally, I try to avoid all department stores in general, and just stick to the little boutiques. I don’t like that mass marketed look that they provide. But when I was younger, I was never a really big fan of Macy’s. I always preferred shopping at Nordstrom’s. And you right, any store that would give Nick Hilton a clothing line, obviously doesn’t know what their doing.
    http://www.frojewelry.com

  50. Becky says

    I am going to stand up and show my age here.  When I was growing up here in Nashville, TN in the late 60s /70s, we had a wonderful local department store chain called Castner Knott.  THe merchandise was good, the prices were fair, the sales were terrific.  But best of all was the customer service.  I have never experienced the kind of personal attention I was afforded at their stores, and I suspect I never will again.  When I found out they were selling to the Proffitt’s chain in 1998 shortly after the births of my sons, I raced over to Castner’s to but each of them coming home and Christmas outfits so that they could each have something that came from my beloved Castner’s.  Well, in a few years Proffitt’s became a Hecht’s, which last year became a Macy’s .  I never shop in there because the merchandise quality is lousy and I can never find anyone knowledgeable to help me.  However, on one occasion I did find something I wanted at a reasonable price and was helped by a wonderful and obviously experienced older clerk.  When I asked if she had ever worked for Castner’s, she smiled and asked, “How did you know?”  I replied, “I grew up here and I have never received that outstanding quality of service anywhere else.  I can just tell when I am being assisted by someone who understand the Castner Knott customer service model.”  I guess I sound really old, but I am just 41 years old.  This whole story bums me out and illustrates why I avoid department stores anymore.

  51. jimmygimbels says

    Macy; susre isn’t Marshall Fields.

    There just is nothing of interest in Macy’s to bring me into the stores. Dull men’s merchandise and overpriced, poorly-made clothing. Now add incredibly poor service and it is no wonder why Nordstrom, Von Maur, JCPenney, Kohls and Carson’s having booming sales. People have left Macy’s by the thousands got value and service.

    What on earth was Federated thinking? Interesting how stock holders are now suing the company for misreporting financial data.

  52. Kathy says

    I am in Northeast Florida and we have few options for department stores.  Macy’s has been advertising in the area for quite a while, but we have no stores.  It is good to hear that I am not missing anything!

  53. Lisa says

    I live in Atlanta, GA, and Macys sucks. Their clothes are not even really good quality and, yet they are still expensive.

  54. says

    I’ve always hated Macy’s and I will never forgive them for taking over Detroit’s iconic Hudson’s department store. My grandmother used to tell me stories about going there as a girl and having the doorman (who remembered everyone’s name) walk her up a red carpet into the store. That level of service, a personal connection between a city and “their” department store, doesn’t exist anymore because of Macy’s and it’s very sad.

    I wrote a post at my own blog called “Why I Hate Macy’s” and I got an angry e-mail from them. Not that I cared, but you can read the full post here if you’re interested:

    http://fakinggoodbreeding.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-i-hate-macys.html

  55. KatieM says

    Macy’s clothing is no where near the quality of Nordstroms, yet (at least online) they are more expensive and for the person talking about Macy’s coupons to use for sales, that is coming to an end too.  That was in the news just last week, that Macy’s will try to eliminate their customers dependence on the sales coupon, in order to boost profits. I was looking for a Tommy Bahama shirt on sale for my DH and I check Macy’s, Nordstom’s & Von Maur and Nordy had the VERY best price at $55.00, then Von Maur $65.00.  Macy’s was the most expensive at $74.00, their sale price was a joke.  Feel free to check for yourselves.

  56. Don Pardo says

    NAY, When Federated Department Stores took over Macy’s, they turned it into just another boring midwestern type department store.  It no longer represents New York or San Francisco, it’s now Ohio.  How dull.

  57. Michael says

    I live in Atlanta, where we lost Rich’s to the Macy’s steamroller.  The service is awful – the one story I like to tell is how I stood at the register in Better Sportswear for twenty minutes while watching the only salesperson in the area browsing the clearance racks looking for something to buy with her discount!

    After Rich’s became Rich’s-Macy’s, my love for Field’s became stronger.  I would buy bed linens and towels there (from the same person, always) and have them shipped rather than spend money at Macy’s.

    Macy’s introduced “improvements” like shopping carts and price code scanners, which are clearly designed to reduce the need for sales staff.  Macy’s employees aren’t salespeople, they’re cashiers.  All of the high-end designer brands are gone, and State Street has a lipstick-on-a-pig feeling… they put their low-quality merchandise in a landmark building and expected people to not notice the difference.

  58. Stacey says

    I live in North County San Diego – and frankly, Macy’s is one of the top department stores (um.. hello Dooney& Burke at Sears?).  They carry the clothes you can’t find with out going to specialty stores and at prices you don’t feel guilty telling your husband about.  I have been to the King of Prussia store – and MAN – time warp.  So I can honestly say – different locals bring you different store merchandise and experiences.
    As for their stores themselves,  a notch above Sears, Kohls, Mervyns, H&M, and of course JCPenneys.  But a far stretch from Nordstroms or Neimans.  SO…. Yea on the taking over the world of the mediocre dep. stores….  I can do without the JcPenneys of our world.

  59. g says

    Nothing in the world could ever cause me to shop at Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s.  Bring back Marshall Field’s.  Bring back Chicago’s pride in having the best department store in the world.

  60. laurie says

    The verdict is in and it’s pretty unanimous by now that Terry Lundgren made the biggest marketing error of this century by destroying the Marshall Field’s name and the store behind the name. As others have said, Macy’s is not much better than a T. J. Maxx (which at least is honest about its type of merchandise). Chicagoans have voted with their pocketbooks along with other Midwesterners whose stores were destroyed.

    The pendulum swings and one can hope that elegance will make a comeback along with stores worthy of architectural gems such as Marshall Field’s. Macy’s, go back to New York with the likes of Donald Trump.

  61. Ashley says

    I miss my Hechts as well… I definitely agree with the more ‘mature’ comment… I went there looking for a cocktail dress last weekend and everything seemed so stuffy… and OVERPRICED! NAY!

  62. thriftygrrrl says

    Wel, I think I’m in the minority, but wheer I live I am THRILLED Macy’s replaced Hecht’s. The Hecht’s near me (outside D.C.) was messy, disorganized and filled with rude or at least unhelpful staff (on almost every trip I had to hunt to find an open register). Upstairs in Juniors/womens, the woman’s clothing racks were so close together it was difficult to maneuver and the store brand merch was full of polyester. Macy’s came in, widened the aisles, spruced up the decor, either retrained or replaced staff and brought in their slightly more stylish store brands (and brands like City DKNY & Kenneth Cole). Maye it was just this store, but the transformation was so drastic I actually go there once a month or so (Hecht’s was so depressing I only went there for wedding gifts or rock-bottom sales). I can imagine the loss of something historic like Marshall Fields being a tragic loss, but Hecht’s – good riddance!

  63. Craig says

    Well it is clear nobody on this blog likes Macy’s, but please get the info right about who took over who.  Federated, Dillard’s, Bon Ton, Carson’s parent pre Bon Ton, May Company, etc all have done the same as Federated / Macy’s…buy out a company and change the name, only keeping those that to them made sense!  May Company first bought Wanamaker’s, and when that purchase (and name change to Hecht’s failed), forced enough pressure on Strawbridge & Clothier in order to get that institution only to run it too into the ground!  S&C was smart…it sold all its premier merchandise prior to May taking the keys to the store.  May Company then ran the stores into the ground!  Guess who’s running Macy’s North…the former head of the May Company’s East Coast division (Filene’s, Kaufmann’s, Hecht’s (and the sub store Strawbridges as a division of Hecht’s)).  He should be very good at running the former Marshall Field’s Stores into the ground like he did with the East Coast May stores.

    But the history of retail says Macy’s will not give up…and when stores do not perform, will close them.  Federated / Macy’s controls the Marshall Field trademark name…reintroduction of the “Field Gear” line preserves the name in the Federated / Macy’s camp, so it is legally unlikely that the Marshall Field name will be rechristened on stores any time soon.  A VERY sad reality, but one nonetheless.

    As for the Macy’s Center City Philadelphia….that is an abomination, particularly when it does not have the full complement of departments one expects at a department store!  I adored John Wanamaker when 9+ floors…even 5 floors after the remodel under the Woodward & Lothrop reign, but am appalled at less than 3 now as Macy’s.  Granted the May Company lost even more floors at that location when they shrunk the store for Lord & Taylor, but Macy’s has done NOTHING to restore the grandeur of that location, except live in the Wanamaker image.  It is a beautiful store, but not Macy’s!  (News Flash:  Macy’s no longer owns Lord & Taylor…that store is now owned by NRDC Equity Partners…the same people who own Linens n Things.)

    I would LOVE to see Marshall Field’s come back, but the sad reality of 2007 is that it is HIGHLY unlikely to happen.  Department store retail history has yet to restore a nameplate to a store after a takeover and subsequent change..

  64. Barb says

    Macy’s mall merchandise is overpriced and underwhelming. The ambiance lacks appeal, feeling shoddy and disordered. 
        The NYC flagship fares slightly better but is declining in some departments that once promised value and cachet.
        That the venerable Marshall Fields in The Loop has been supplanted is an historic travesty.
        Macy’s will no longer be a retail destination for me.

  65. Mkode says

    I absolutely miss my Marshall Fields! My Mother used to take me there for our girly lunches when I was a child and then we would enjoy a day of shopping! She’s the reason I’m addicted to shopping now! I also miss those beautiful green shopping bags with Marshall Fields written across them. When the store was closing, I made sure to get a few of them to have as keepsakes!  That’s how much I truly loved that store!  I grew up in Chicago and have also lived in Toledo, so I remember the Hudsons to Marshall Fields and now Macy’s conversion. I really hate that Macy’s is taking over! I actually worked for Federated as a sales manager when they had Lazarus stores in the Columbus, Ohio area. Many folks were extremely upset when Lazarus became Macy’ s, because just like Marshall Fields was to Chicago, Lazarus was iconic to people in Ohio! My Grandmother swore by Lazarus and she absolutely despises Macy’s and she’s 86 years old! I now live in Atlanta literally 5 minutes away from Federated headquarters and some days I just want to let them have it!

  66. Lynn says

    FYI for Lisa who wants a Lush outlet in Chicago…Lush is opening a store in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

  67. Sasha says

    The same thing happenend in the Seattle area with the Bon and Macy’s came in.  They did bring in some more designers and change things up a little but the service sucks and there is not much selection.  The teenage department seems too young and cheap looking in clothes and the other sections are really pricey.  The sale rackes lately I have noticed are still really pricey- no way to get a really good deal.

  68. Radiah says

    I’m in Milwaukee, WI and Macy’s took over our Marshall Fields here too. There wasn’t a lot of protesting about it here but Macy’s is missing the boat on a lot of things. I wasn’t a regular Marshall Field’s shopper but I did love the high style atmosphere, the restaurant downstairs. Marshall Fields at least had sales (Field’s Days) and coupons. Macy’s doesn’t have any of that. There’s absolutely nothing that draws you in to the store. They rarely have ads in the Sunday paper. Macy’s just seems boring and the women’s clothing is horrible. When Macy’s started running their tv ads here, they were so vague about the sales. For example, the ad would say “Save 20% to 30% off on fabulous merchandise thoughout the store but they don’t tell you WHAT exactly is on sale. People like to know what’s on sale. I’ve been to Macy’s on a Saturday afternoon and it hasn’t been crowded like Marshall Fields use to be. I can’t say that I’ve sworn off Macy’s completely but I’ve always been a Boston Store(Carson’s) shopper for years anyway and that probably won’t change. They should have brought Nordstrom’s here instead.

  69. Mouse says

    So today I went to Macy’s to kill some time because it was pouring.  Found some things I wanted to try on and headed to the fitting rooms.  The store had started a 3 items in the fitting room policy and was enforcing it with an attendant.  3 items?!  Are you kidding me?  How do they hope to sell more with a policy like that?

    If this continues, I won’t be back.  It’s bad enough you charge me more, I will not be inconvenienced this badly.

  70. Wendell says

    I’m another Chicagoan who has lived in NYC for many years.  Marshall Fields was the only store I shopped at when I went back home.  Macy’s Herald Square used to be a bit more unique several years ago – almost the Marshall fields of NYC -now it is homogenous, with cheap, generic clothes and overstuffed, tacky, low-end department store feel.  I see nothing distinctive or compelling, so I no longer set foot inthestore I miss Marshall Fields.  If I want cheap I’ll go to Forever 21 or H&M.  I now shop Zara and Anthropologie for mid-range clothes, and for a department store in NYC, Lord and Taylor has the cashe and fun that Macy’s Herald Square used to have.  Macy’s Corporation is a disappointing idea destined to sink into mediocrity.

  71. says

    i just had to write in and say how much i do not like macy’s.

    my first impression of macy’s was when i was in new york in 1998: awful.  honestly, i could care less about this store.  i was and still am unimpressed with their selection and quality of merchindise.

    i am from the detroit, mi area and i remember a time when there was a magical place called hudson’s.  while i never did set foot in the original downtown detroit store, my mom did and she would tell me the marvelous things about it. 

    i do remember going to hudson’s at the various malls in the area.  i was always impressed with the quality of merchindise and the helpfullness of the sales staff.

    when the change to marshall fields happened i was upset but at least i was still willing to go there.  the named changed but the quality, merchindise offerings and sales staff were still there.

    when macy’s took over, i was already expressing my discontent for the store. 

    i hate macy’s.  i really miss marshall fields.  the green shopping bags.  and the ever popular santabears.  too bad macy’s have overshadowed the greatness that’s marshall fields and shows the lackluster of macy’s.

  72. anon says

    I am from NY and I am not a fan of Macy’s. In all of their stores, Herald Square included, there is no sales help, the stores are a mess, and the crowds are overwhelming.  I’d much rather shop at Lord and Taylor (whom Federated purchased through May, but as of yet hasn’t ruined) or Nordstroms.

  73. Ina says

    Do not like Macy’s.  Store is boring, always empty of customers..and the quality is no where near what it was when Marshall Fields. No longer shop at any stores that were previously Fields, and are now Macy’s. Forget it.

  74. B says

    Macy’s took over Filene’s here in Massachusetts.  Granted, I live in the “country”, but everytime I go to a sale, I end up walking in circles, looking for ‘my’ department.  I can find the teen dept and the ‘mature’ women’s dept, but they have absolutely nothing for a 30-something professional woman.  It’s very disappointing and no wonder I shop online.

  75. Susan says

    Macy’s swallowed up every better dep’t store here in Southern California except for Nordstroms. I don’t like the lines their buyers offer. I don’t like not having a choice.

    Not giving me a choice forces me to make a choice… to NOT shop at Macy’s and to shop instead at Nordstroms and independent shops.

    I refuse to shop there and will take my money elsewhere.

  76. Sheila says

    Suck, thy name is Macy’s.

    Here in Pittsburgh (where we do not like change in the extreme), their takeover of May Co’s Kaufmann’s has resulted in less selection, higher prices and as I just witnessed, a nearly empty at lunchtime downtown store.  When it was Kaufmann’s, no matter if there was a sale or not, the store was always busy at lunch. 

    I thought perhaps we were getting shafted because Pgh wasn’t considered “important” enough, but then I visited the NYC flagship when I was there and was completely unthrilled by the low quality clothing and high prices.  I said to my friend “let’s leave, I can go to Macy’s any old time.”  They’ve made a huge mistake in diluting their brand.

  77. Lola says

    Let me just say that since Macys took over Filenes, the quality of merchandise has deteriorated. Secondly, Macys does not care about their employees. All Macys cares about is promoting their credit program and selling crap merchandise at high prices. DOWN WITH MACYS!! I hope it fails miserably!

  78. Jon says

    I invite all fans of the former department stores which macy’s has invaded and ruined to to the website: http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org and also join us in front of the Marshall Field Flagship department store building…(temporarily called macy’s with a small “m”)…to protest the takeover and degradation of merchandise and selection to another discount store along the lines of Wal-Mart and K-Mart.  September 9th, Sunday, at 111 N. State Street, Chicago is the site at 1:00 p.m. under the famous MF clock at State and Washington Streets.  That date marks the full year that macy’s has had to ruin and destroy everything that made Field’s what it was in tradition, service, merchandise and selection. Remember, please go to: http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org
    We need you to show the macy’s execs that we never will shop ANYWHERE at macy’s…or Bloomingdales, which macy’s owns, by the way! Continue the boycott.  It IS working! Come one, Come all!

  79. says

    I live in Springfield, Missouri where Famous Barr fell to the all mighty Macy’s… I have to say it was an improvement, but not much… At least the store is cleaner.  I worked there when it was Famous Barr and was layed off before the take over.  As for good department stores here?  We have none left… not since 1987 have we had any decent department stores.  Heer’s was it.  After Allied Stores Inc. sold Heer’s to a local group they ran it into the ground in 3 years and then it became a discount store until 1995 when it closed for good… just plain bad management in the end.  I feel for everyone in their hometowns that have lost their local department stores.  The local department store is a town or city’s identity.  Also I refuse to even shop at Macy’s now since they changed Marshall Fields.  Urgh!

  80. hatedadasd says

    i hate macys. hate hate hate hate. I had worked there for almost two years at the san francisco flagship store. That store was a disgrace. Housekeeping doesn’t do their job so the place is just dusty, the fixtures look like they have been thrown in the dumb to later be taken out to use. The clothing is treated lke #### in the stock room, even their nicer “impulse” department clothes like dolce and gabana, marc jacobs etc are treated like ####.

    There are never any sales associates and if there are they dont give a #### because they get paid NOTHING to try and sell their damn credit accounts. NO I DON’T WANT A MACYS CREDIT ACCOUNT PLEASE.

    the managers act like they rule the world. Dude, you work at Macys. this isn’t Barney’s. chill out and be curteous to your staff.

    even the corporate offices are shoddy and full of 1970s wood panneling.

    i hate it there and no one should shop there. that star is death

  81. AMEM says

    I too grew up in the Nashville, TN area. Another poster described Castner Knott perfectly. Castner’s was very much in-tune with the market and the selection and service were both outstanding. Macy’s is better than hecht’s and proffitt’s but it is for sure WORLDS AWAY from Castner Knott’s level of expertise.

    Decisions like this are the reason the department store sector is performing so badly.

  82. jade meiai says

    Just to add confirmation to another New Yorker’s statement:

    It has been my experience also that overall New Yorkers hate Macy’s. They typically go there only as a last resort and coem out cursing.  Macy’s is a dump here too for the exact same reasons as it is elsewhere.

  83. MizHalsegan says

    Nay. The Macy’s stuff is cheap-looking, overpriced, and they are always having a huge sale. When you get there, it seems there’s nothing to choose from. Here in Cleveland we miss Higbee’s and Halle Bros. But they have been gone for a long, long time. At least I can bop over to Nordstrom if I want real service and selection. We also have a Saks, but it has never impressed me. The one in NYC is the best! Margaret

  84. Debbie says

    I was born and raised in Philadelphia,
    home to John Wanamakers, Strawbridge & Clothier. The entire “Macy’s brand” and their systematic take over of Philly institutions like those mentioned above is a travesty.  Macy’s now occupies the old Wanamakers in Center City Philly. Strawbridge’s is closed/obliterated altogether. I can also personally attest to the arrogance of Macy’s officers and executives.  I was working at Strawbridge’s until the end.  Many of us were transfered to Macy’s – and the adjustment has not yet happened.  I doubt that it ever will.  I am, as are most people in this area, thoroughly disgusted.

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