Here’s a tip for Macy’s boss Terry Lundgren: Shoppers like their hometown stores. They like chain stores, too, but they grow particularly attached to homegrown stores. And another thing: In this day when one city looks pretty much like the next one — with its lineup of chain restaurants, chain department stores and chain specialty stores — a special hometown store is a particular treasure.
Hometown stores evoke memories of days gone by. They remind shoppers of simpler times, more youthful times, fun times and maybe even their parents. You take that away, and your shoppers feel a loss.
Chicago aficionados of that city’s venerable Marshall Field’s — which Lundgren recently turned into a Macy’s — are resisting the chain store that replaced their beloved Marshall Field’s. Lundgren, incidentally, is CEO of Macy’s parent company, Federated Department Stores.
According to today’s Chicago Sun-Times, Lundgren has taken to writing e-mails to customers to try and win their hearts.
There’s nothing wrong with Macy’s, Mr. Lundgren, except that it ain’t Marshall Field’s. Here’s another tip for you: Give Chicago back it’s memories. Restore the Marshall Field’s name and ambiance. Celebrate the history of that State Street icon. C’mon. Is it really so important that every one of your stores carry the Macy’s logo? Step out outside the lines and feel the love.
You took Atlanta’s beloved Rich’s. Maybe there weren’t enough native Atlantans left to make a stink like the one being made by Chicago shoppers. We still miss Rich’s, but we have accepted its fate. Why not reverse the fate of Marshall Field’s?
Heck, I shopped at the State Street Marshall Field’s only once, and I still remember that shopping trip and what I bought that day in the 1970s. It takes quite a store to make a memory that lasts for 30 years.