Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Macy's changes course (or do they?)

Macy's is announcing that they will be doing more localization, both in merchandise and marketing.
The retailer will eliminate its current structure -- a relic of its May Co. acquisition that had stand-alone divisions such as Macy's Central and Macy's Florida -- and streamline functions into two corporate offices. Marketing, merchandise planning, buying and stores' senior management will be located in New York, while finance, human resources, legal and real estate will be housed in Cincinnati.
That's cool. But this is just an extension of a change they announced a year ago, and that I commented on last April. They don't exactly turn on a dime, do they?

The real concern is the one I expressed last April (though I was no doubt too harsh -- I must have been feeling really crabby that day): The raison d'etre of the merger that created Macy's was nationalization (national advertising, national merchandising, economies of scale). Now they are abandoning that, and going back to having 69 regional marketing/merchandising plans. Macy's is the bellwether of the department store channel and they are demonstrating that they really have no vision or direction for the channel.

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