Macy’s Name Changes: Good Bye Marshall Fields, Hello Mediocrity

Bye, Bye Hecht….

Sayonara Marshall Field’s….

Peace out Lazarus….

Today, September 9, 2006,  is the day that pretty much every department store in America becomes a Macy’s.

Even though we signed petitions ( collected close to 60,000, yes 60,000 names), that wasn’t good enough for the corporate heads.  According to a fashion industry friend of this blog, Macy’s “researched” the names on the petitions and found that the people on the list were “old” (I’m 30) and we all know that “old” people don’t shop. They sit around eating creamed corn,  playing scrabble, and ordering the entire spring collection of the Suzanne Somers line on QVC, letting those “crazy kids”  deal with all that fashion babaloo.

A couple of thoughts….

1. Macy’s and Marshall Field’s are not the same place. I grew up in the Midwest, in a city that had both a Macy’s and a Marshall Field’s.  Fields is more on par with Bloomingdales than Macy’s.

2. Target is better than Macy’s. Not only are the products better designed, less expensive, and come with a more flexible return policy (90 days),  Target is a lot more tech savvy than Macy’s. Try returning something you bought online to a local Macy’s and you’ll see the difference. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so…. Target has been growing at a steady pace, while Macy’s (and department stores in general) have been struggling.

3. People who live in NYC don’t like Macy’s. Every New Yorker I know avoids the Macy’s Herald Square location like the plague and rarely have anything positive to say about the store. While, every Chicagoian (sp?)  I know, has fond memories of shopping at the State Street Marshall Field’s, especially during the christmas season.

4. Macy’s is better than Hecht. I’ve been to quite a few Hecht and I must say that the boys at Federated Department Stores was on the money changing this one over to a Macy’s.

For more on the good fight—head to

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    I was born in Chicago and remember the days when you could purchase toys, appliances, fabric, and eat at the ice cream parlor, in addition to buying a moderately priced winter coat or a designer wedding gown at Marshall Fields.  A trip to Fields was a shopping event!  I was later transplanted to the East Coast where I was faithful to Hecht’s and the long-gone Woodward & Lothrop, but sang Field’s praise’s to anyone that would listen.  A visit to Macy’s Herald Square paled in comparison to Field’s State Street store.  It was/is a sad day in the retail industry when Field is no more and the only dept. store most of us can easily visit is a Macy’s!

    I will have to disagree with the Hecht’s comment, while some of the smaller Hecht’s are not worth the visit in the DC area the larger Hecht’s stores are much better than Macy’s. The Hecht’s brands were as good and priced much like the Target brands.  We (Washington DC) are very sad to see Hecht’s go.


    I cant quite believe that the Fields in downtown Chicago will now be a Macys? Macys is a middling department store at best—I completely agree that Target is much better at that game.

    I grew up in Detroit where Hudson’s evoked the sentiments that you and the previous poster seem to share about Marshall Field’s. A few years ago Hudson’s changed to Marshall Fields. Personally, I don’t like Marshall Fields as much as Hudson’s because I rarely find a good sale there. Additionally, Hudson’s was a part of Detroit history so changing the name to Marshall Field’s abruptly ended an era. After coming to school in DC, I was introduced to Macy’s. I was (and still am) always able to find quality clothing at affordable prices – that is after they have been put on sale. I am very interested to see how Macy’s fairs in my hometown.

    BTW, I am not a Hecht’s fan either nor do I care much for the Macy’s Herald square.

    In Houston, all of our Foley’s stores (started in 1900!) turned into Macy’s. Macy’s backed out of the Houston market, except for one store, ten years ago. Foley’s was a staple here and all generations could find their niche. Shocking to see the new signs…

    Hmm. I’ve lived in New York for 12 years ( so I know ALOT of New Yorkers and because of the nature of my work, I probably know more than you even) and I’ve shopped at Macy’s Herald Square. I do love sales, but if as all readers of this site know I focus more on value than just price. I don’t care if it’s $5 bucks, if I won’t wear it then it’s $5 bucks wasted. The quality of Macy’s products (particularly their store brand Style & Co. which is well below IM at Target in terms of quality) is poor, the staff is always rude at that store, the store is always a mess (ALWAYS, no matter what time of day it is) and, because of it’s location, always filled with tourists. 

    I also didn’t say that New Yorkers don’t shop there, I said that New Yorkers don’t LIKE to shop there. That doesn’t mean that New Yorkers, including myself, don’t shop at other Macy locations.. just not Herald Square.

    The reason why I bought up Macy’s Herald Square is because the folks at FDS compared it to Marshall Field’s on State Street in Chicago. I’ve been to both, alot, and there is absolutely no comparison. Maybe Macy’s 20 years ago was the spot (and I remember coming to NYC to visit relatives and it was nice) but for the past 10 to 15 years it hasn’t been that way, while Marshall Field’s continued to generate warm shopping feelings well into the new millenium.

    P.S. Field’s sales were legendary (once bought a turtleneck shirt for $.99- no kidding and bought a formal dress for $24.99) and on stuff you actually want to wear.

    I just hope Macy’s doesn’t get rid of the Franco Mints at Field’s! Those are the best:) It’s just so sad, all my Chicago memories are fading away.

    Uh… how many New Yorkers do you know, 10, 20, 100? I’m a native NYer and I go to Macy’s all the time, as do a lot of NYers. The Herald Sq location is always full and I know I can’t be the only non-tourist in there.

    Besides I thought you liked sales, Macy’s has one every freakin’ week! If I wait awhile, I usually get a lot of clothes for 75% off. I don’t know about MF, but that does not happen at most department stores. And the return policy is 180 days- isn’t that better than Target’s? Besides everything you said about MF is what I experienced with Macy’s as a kid.

    I do agree that Marshall Fields shouldn’t be replaced. That does suck but maybe only the name will change, while the merchandise will stay the same.

    Here, Here!

    As a former NY’er I avoided Macy’s like the plague. Too many tourists and just trying to walk in that building was a nightmare.  I got into many arguements with the perfume counter staff who douse you in perfume even when you told them not too. What a horrible place.

    I’m a 33-year-old New Yorker, born and bred, and while, as a child, I remember Macy’s being a fantastic, fun place, I won’t go near it anymore.  Last time I popped in (about three years ago) it was a mess, everything looked cheap, the sales staff was as rude as anything you can imagine, and it was mobbed with loud, obnoxious tourists and bridge-and-tunnelers.  Even Bloomingdales is better than this.  I’ll take Target anyday over Macy’s.

    I have to agree and disagree with some of the comments on here.  I am from South Jersey in the Philadelphia metro area.  I am also a former Macy’s employee.  While I can appreciate the love for Marshall’s Fields, I do disagree with the comment that the quality of Macy

    I have to agree and disagree with some of the comments on here.  I am from South Jersey in the Philadelphia metro area.  I am also a former Macy’s employee.  While I can appreciate the love for Marshall’s Fields, I do disagree with the comment that the quality of Macy�s products is poor.  However, I do agree that Marshall Field’s should remain in Chicago.  Although I have never been to a Marshall Fields, each city should have something that is distinctly apart of the cultural fabric of the area. 

    Additionally, I would also like to mention that here in the Metro Philadelphia area, the Strawbridge’s flagship store was closed in preference for Macy’s.  I will agree that the stores that Federated Department Stores are closing or converting to Macy’s are not comparable to the Macy’s brand.  The idea of comparing Macy’s to Strawbridge’s is like comparing an apple to an orange.  I am sure that is the same with trying comparing Macy’s to Marshall Field’s.  However, I think the real culprit in this Macy’s debacle is the government for allowing Macy’s to change these stores and in essence lost the culture of the different regions that it affects.

    What planet do you come from?

    How in the world could Target be better then Macy’s. Because of a return policy?

    When you purchase quality clothes you dont have to return them! Plus Macy’s has no return policy, you can return at anytime at a store with full money back. Trust me I have returned things years later. (we must not be talking about clothing because there is no way Target in those cheap fabrics and pleather shoes compares to Macy’s)

    Everytime I go in Target there’s a rude red shirt wearing females who lets me stand on the line for over 25 minutes and then says “sorry my line is closed- going to lunch” They are just as rude.

    And yes we hate Harold Square but we also hate times square. Not because we dont like to shop but because of all the damn tourists- how can we get in the door. Thats why we go to BK or other locations- they are smaller and easier to get to what you want. The Harold Square store is bascially to target tourist like any other store in midtown

    Well, here in Philadelphia, Federated closed Lord & Taylor and made it into a Macy’s.  Before that, it was a Hecht’s.  I have to say, the floors and merch look no different except that now there is a BeneFit Cosmetics counter where there wasn’t before.  Macy’s is OK, but nothing worth going out of my way for.  I agree with whoever said it’s mediocre at best.  What a shame.  I shop at Target or online mostly; it’s rare that I actually go to a mall.

    RIP Marshall Field’s!  Long live helpful salespeople, spectacular sales, merchandise to fit every price-point, dark green bags and packages wrapped with string and wooden handles and most of all Frango Mints!

    I live in Chicago, where the demise of Field’s is a painful topic of conversation, and I only wish the store had been financially solvent enough to stay in business. Very sad.

    That said, Macy’s return policy is actually a bit more generous than Target’s:’s Macys FAQ has this to say about its policy: “We will accept for exchange or return merchandise that does not completely satisfy you for up to 180 days after you purchase it.” Target only offers 90 days.

    Regardless, I’m far more likely to shop at Target (they make returns an efficient, hassle-free experience) than Macys.

    I love Marshall Fields.  I have SOOOO many memories.  Life won’t be the same….the cloeslaw with the peanuts, the day old, half price giant chocolate chip cookies in bags, fighting joyfully and pulling garments from piles all over the floor under racks in the bargain basement, the frosted Mistletoe Bear cookies, the little elves, Oillilly and other designer brand kid’s clothing, 450.00 hats, gorgeous and unique better costume jewelry, on sale in boxes on the counter, my first Betsey Johnson dress on sale for 12.00,  the little miniature doll sized fake food on little plates with little doilies in the toy dept, 18 brands of gourmet chocolate to sample, the little X-mas elves who went around dancing, cozy cloud cottage, videos from year to year with Santa, portraits, the old waiting room on 3 with wooden benches and cold frozen coconut milk. My favorite X-mas was 94 (I think), when they did a German theme.  I bought and ate so much Liebkuchen, and bought beautiful, hand carved Noah’s Ark animals by the Christmas ornaments, all on sale, of course, the day after Christmas!!!

    Their research showed that people who shopped at Marshall Fields were OLD??? It was at the age of 28 that I got married, paid off my house, and thanks to my dear husband, started to have LOTS of disposable income.  I am one of the people who happened to shop A LOT at Marshall Fields and I miss the store terribly!  I am 30 years of age and do not consider myself OLD! 

    I had looked forward to continuing special traditions such as shopping at the State Street store for Christmas, as started by my own parents.  We live in the burbs.  Thanks for taking that away macy.

    I have cancelled my credit card and will never shop at that store.  I can get anything I need at another store.  I hope Nordstrom and the other biggies see this and do something about it, us former Marshall Field shoppers are looking for a new place to shop! 

    Like me, my friends (of all ages) say they won’t step foot in these stores and have vowed to never shop there.  If you are a former Marshall Fields shopper I hope you will do the same because each of us counts.  If we don’t others will see it as a message that all of our beloved cultural/city icons are not apprecaited and the will slowly be destroyed.  There are many other places to shop, places that will appreciate your business and respect you.

    target? Is overpriced crap, like an upscale k-mart.  I could find designer jeans on sale for the same price or less than mossimo jeans at target.  Are you serious?  Target has improved over the years but all thier clothing designers are sell outs and has beens.

    I work for Lancome in Macy’s. I have only worked there a few months but, since I’ve been there, we have not had a problem returning anything at our counter. Being in cosmetics, I rarely get over to the clothing departments, but I can honestly say that every brand that has a counter in cosmetics keeps their area clean and clutter-free. Also, everying in my area is NICE and ACCOMMODATING. How can you say Target is better? While I like their merchandise, their floor team is rude and unkempt. We are professional far superior.

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