Macy's revamps fashion, omnichannel pushes for the holidays
- Macy’s had another down quarter for sales and CEO Jeff Gennette said a renewed marketing push is the key to bringing shoppers into its stores, per MediaPost. The retailer is planning a new campaign around rebuilding its credibility in fashion that will launch at the end of September while a new loyalty program will debut the first week of October. Macy’s also intends to shift marketing spending from TV into print and digital.
- Macy’s turnaround will also hinge on its BOPS – buy online, pick up in store – program, the retailer revealed during a conference call with analysts to discuss its Q2 results. Gennette said the retailer's omnichannel strategy includes ramping up in-store inventory to reflect what Macy’s offers for sale online, broader availability of a mobile app feature that lets customers see the inventory available in their local store called “Shop Your Store” and moving the location for pick up to a main store entrance. Macy’s goal is to grow BOPS through the fall season, he said.
- Another initiative is ship from store to offer same-day delivery in more markets. This also requires more store inventory, said Gennette.
Macy’s Q2 earning report highlights the challenges facing the long-time retail brand. The retailer posted a 5.4% decline in sales for the quarter and has been shutting some stores. In the earnings call, Gennette described Macy’s marketplace as “intense and disruptive” and acknowledged that “our shoppers have more options than ever.” It has been a tumultuous year so far for traditional retailers, with numerous store closings and brands going out of business.
Macy’s is banking, in part, on marketing to pull it out of its sales doldrums. The retailer has traditionally been a big TV spender and is moving budget away from the channel and into print and digital at a time when other major advertisers like P&G and Unilever are cutting back on digital ad spending. Mall-based apparel retailers, in particular, have been hard hit by the shift to digital shopping options and with Amazon ramping up its fashion sales and shopping technology, brands like Macy's will need to have a stronger presence online to grab the attention of shoppers.
Macy's initiatives around bridging the online and in-store experience illustrate the operational challenges facing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers as sales move online. Not only are malls, which department stores like Macy’s have traditionally anchored, in a free-fall as traffic declines, people are looking for shopping convenience more than experiences. Hence the need for options like buy online, pick up in store and having to use retail locations as shipping venues for same-day delivery of inventory that is never even slated to hit the shelves.