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Almost a year after acquiring Story — a New York City-based concept store that regularly changes its theme and inventory and offers curated experiences — Macy’s has announced that it’s adding spaces dedicated to Story at 36 Macy’s locations.
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The spaces will take up 1,500 square feet, on average. Bringing the concept to Macy’s stores is a play to drive more consistent traffic with Story’s experiential and rotating offerings.
Here’s what it means: “Story at Macy’s” adds new products and experiences to the department store and could eventually be rolled out to all Macy’s locations.
- Story at Macy’s immediately brings new products and events to 36 stores. For example, the first theme for Story at Macy’s — each theme will last a “few months” — is “Color,” which will run April 10 to June 26 and includes bright and colorful décor (see below) and 400 curated products ranging from apparel to gourmet chocolate bars from a number of different businesses and brands. It will also feature experiences like a “Make Your Own” palette station and beauty classes from MAC Cosmetics, as well as workshops from Crayola where consumers can make art with melted crayons.
- If Story proves successful at these stores, Macy’s may expand it to all of its locations. The company’s initial plan for Story is to “cover the bases, do a number that can result in processes that can scale, then reassess,” Story founder and Macy’s brand experience officer Rachel Shechtman told CNBC when asked about rolling Story out to Macy’s nationwide. She did note that “whatever process we create for 36 is the same process we can use to go to 200,” so it’s certainly possible that the retailer will bring the concept to all its stores. Macy’s may take some time to see how Story at Macy’s performs before making a decision on its future plans, but it’ll likely be closely monitoring traffic and sales at its locations in the meantime.
The bigger picture: Story at Macy’s has a blueprint to work with that includes specific training tactics for employees, which may help it and Macy’s succeed.
Story at Macy’s is the department store’s latest effort to improve its in-store performance, and its focus on store associates may help it stand above the rest. Macy’s has launched “The Market @ Macy’s,” a space for pop-up shops, in 12 stores and is also downsizing underperforming locations while enhancing its best stores with more staff and new technologies.
Just like Story at Macy’s, these efforts are meant to drive traffic and sales, but because the launch of Story at Macy’s included training over 270 employees specifically for the concept, it may be primed to succeed. The initiative has enticing offerings to draw in consumers, but having expert store associates can give consumers the quality and personalized help they seek in order to drive lasting loyalty and interest.
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