Experts Weigh In: Macy’s to close 100 stores
“I'm sad to see this news. Macy's is an iconic retailer with a long history of success, and one of many victims of Amazon success. In the same week that Jeff Bezos pockets roughly $800 million personal dollars, Macy's is forced to suffer a tremendous physical retail loss.
“The marketplace momentum of Amazon and eBay is undeniable. You either believe there is a world where many retailers exist, or you believe there's increasingly only Amazon.com. I believe in a world where such a monopoly does not exist, and these iconic retailers not only survive but thrive. But they need to embrace the marketplace model to do so." – Adrien Nussenbaum, U.S. CEO and co-founder, Mirakl
“Macy's has been facing a lot of challenges in the past few years. Declining traffic, increased competition, changes in consumer shopping habits, the e-commerce shift, and too many stores are a combination that can be difficult to overcome. I think one of the biggest challenges for Macy's is that they were slow to respond to shifts in consumer shopping habits. While its online business was thriving (Macys.com is #15 on the list of top shopping site in the U.S.), brick-and-mortar wasn't keeping pace.
“Now that Macy's is taking the steps to reevaluate its business and shut down underperforming stores, it might be able to turn things around. But the company will need to change a lot of its processes to be able to thrive. My advice to Macy's as they try to restructure is to focus on the fundamentals, finding ways to utilize technology and store data to better streamline the organization, create a more open flow of communication, and generate new opportunities within the company.” – Chris Taylor, CEO and founder, Square Root
“Macy’s and other large department stores have been trimming their store counts over the past few years. With store foot traffic falling and online sales rising, closing stores to focus on online sales is the best option for many of these retailers to remain profitable.
“Over the next few years, store closures and downsizes are expected to continue, especially for big-box stores with extensive square footage. The department store industry is poised to decline at an annualized 1.6%, as falling brick-and-mortar store sales cut into industry operators’ profitability. Macy’s accounts for a 12.6% share of the $167.8 billion department store industry.” – Madeline Hurley, retail industry analyst, IBIS Worldwide
"Macy's can be no more in its current form. The brand can survive but the current model cannot. Macy's needs to shift and these store closings are just the first part of a messy process. Legacy retailers like Macy's are like cargo ships in a speed boat race. They cannot accelerate or maneuver as quickly so they're dumping excess weight off the top, trying to catch up. But the ship is a hulking mass of archaic systems, structures, teams, and processes built to support a cargo ship. So no matter how much they offload, it’s still the same old ship.
“Companies like Macy’s need to fundamentally rethink how they manage their technical and business architectures in order to be more nimble,responsive, engaging and relevant to the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s customers." – Dianne Inniss, customer experience and innovation strategist, ThoughtWorks Retail
Big box department stores are dinosaurs.
Pottery Barn’s evolving store design has green tints
Pottery Barn opened its redesigned store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California.
The 17,293-sq.-ft. store is influenced by the Spanish Mediterranean architecture found throughout Orange County, blending traditional and contemporary elements to create a refined and relaxed environment. As part of Pottery Barn’s commitment to sustainability, the store features LED lighting to reduce energy consumption and low VOC paints to reduce toxins.
The store features grand-scale steel framed windows and rustic wood barn doors with hand-forged metal accents that open into a warm and bright interior. Inside, beams made of reclaimed cedar and shelves made of oak salvaged from old barns add character while concrete and brick walls add texture through the use of mixed materials. Additionally, an expanded design studio offers new tools and resources to assist customers in visualizing and customizing interior design and home furnishings projects.
“South Coast Plaza is the second installment of our new store design and showcases our inviting and timeless home furnishings and décor in a refreshing new light,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO, Williams-Sonoma, parent company of Pottery Barn. “This exciting update provides an opportunity to create a localized store experience that encourages a sense of discovery, makes shopping easy and fun, and offers tailored services to help our customers create their dream homes.”
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Wal-Mart in deal with Liverpool
Wal-Mart Stores’ Mexican unit is shedding its apparel store chain.
Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB (Walmex) is selling its Suburbia chain to El Puerto de Liverpool SAB, one of the largest department store operators in Mexico, in a deal valued at 19 billion pesos ($1.03 billion), Bloomberg reported.
The deal lets Walmex concentrate on its core operations.
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