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Macy’s Herald Square debuts ‘World’s Largest Shoe Floor’

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Never to be outdone during the holiday season, Macy’s Herald Square has unveiled its new “World’s Largest Shoe Floor,” featuring more than 250,000 pairs of women’s shoes in a new 63,000-sq.-ft. space on the second floor.

The $400 million renovation project boasts luxury shoe shops, a designer shoe salon, shoe closets inspired by New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods and a new coffee, champagne and chocolate bar. The project, which spans the iconic flagship’s entire second floor, also offers a nod to the building’s history. The windows have been renovated and made visible to the public for the first time in decades.

The selection of shoe brands includes Stuart Weitzman, RACHEL Rachel Roy, Dolce Vita, Vince Camuto, Lucky, Sperry, Nine West, I.N.C., Lauren, Nike, Puma, Keds, Clarks and Naturalizer. New shops from Calvin Klein, Coach, Michael Kors and Cole Haan round out the selection in the designer shoe salon and 29 new vendors will be located on the second floor, including French Sole’ Juicy Couture, L.A.M.B., La Fenice, Seven for All Mankind and Truth or Dare by Madonna. Prices range from $49 to $1,600 and sizes range from 5-12.

In conjunction with the renovation project, Macy’s introduced a new Macy’s Herald Square app to assist customers in navigating the Shoe Salon, as well as the rest of Macy’s Herald Square. In addition to the app, employees are equipped with state-of-the-art mobile scanning devices that give them access to inventory and allows them to determine the availability of a given size and style instantly. The floor also features 21 LCD monitors and four LED screens showcasing key trends, brands and styles, as well as Macy’s iconic brand imagery.

The Herald Square Café serves varieties of Starbucks Reserve coffees, champagne from Moët & Chandon, hand-crafted chocolates by Vosges Haut-Chocolat and an assortment of menu items. The café spans 1,434 sq.-ft. and seats 45. A grand clock fashioned after the original timepiece that overlooks Broadway Blvd. overlooks the communal champagne tasting table.

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DSW steps up growth plan

BY CSA STAFF

Leading footwear retailer DSW said it would open between 25 and 30 new stores next year, adding to an existing base of 364 units.

The company disclosed its expansion plans in conjunction with the release of third quarter results that saw same store sales advance a hefty 6.1% and profits grow by double digits. Adjusted net income increased 17% to $46.6 million, or $1.02 per share, compared to $39.8 million, or $0.88 per share.

DSW president and CEO Mike MacDonald said the company was pleased with the results which extended to 13 the number of quarters in which same store sales have been in positive territory.

"During the quarter, we opened a record 26 new stores," MacDonald said. "We also paid a special dividend of $2.00 per share to DSW shareholders this quarter, the second such dividend in the last 13 months. Finally, we continued to make strategic investments that will enable DSW to maintain its growth trajectory."

Total sales for the period increased 11.7% to $593 million and through the first nine months of the company’s fiscal year sales are up 10.1% to nearly $1.67 billion.

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Lowe’s picks Best Buy exec Kumar for strategy role

BY CSA STAFF

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s has named former Best Buy executive Marise Kumar SVP of strategy and modeling. In her new capacity, Kumar will report to Robert J. Gfeller, customer experience design executive.

Kumar will identify opportunities that positively impact the customer experience. She will work closely with leaders in customer experience and across the organization to ensure opportunities are practical, financially valid and create a compelling experience for customers across all channels.

“We want to be trusted advisers for consumers at each step of their home improvement process, by helping deliver better experiences for them whenever and wherever they shop with Lowe’s,” Gfeller said. “We’re excited to have Marise’s deep expertise in understanding consumer expectations and translating those insights into experiences that make a difference to consumers and our business.”

Kumar has more than 25 years of experience in brand management, general management and executive leadership, serving most recently as chief customer experience officer and CMO for Best Buy. Before her retail experience with Best Buy, she spent 13 years with Whirlpool Corporation, where she managed emerging brands and businesses in the United States before leading strategic planning for North America and global customer loyalty. She began her career in packaged goods, where she spent more than 10 years in Asia with Colgate Palmolive.

Kumar holds a B.A. degree in economics and statistics from Elphinstone College in Bombay, India, and earned an M.B.A. from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta.

Her appointment comes one day after Lowe’s reported third-quarter results showing and improvement in the quarter’s profits, which were up 76%. Lowe’s president and CEO Robert Niblock called the results solid and said the company is focused on improving execution, delivering value and increasing product differentiation. Niblock also noted that 12 of 14 product categories ended the quarter with a positive comp. And nearly 2/3 of the categories generated comps above the company average, including big-ticket categories such as cabinets and appliances. Building materials was the only significant drag in the quarter, which resulted from a strong comparison to the prior.

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