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R.H. Macy & Company

<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center; padding:16px 0 16px 0;">Image:Macys redstar.gif</td></tr>

Type Subsidiary of Federated Department Stores
Founded 1858 New York, New York, USA
Headquarters New York, New York, USA

<tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Industry</th><td>Retail</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Products</th><td>Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Parent</th><td>Federated Department Stores</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Website</th><td></td></tr>

Macy's is a chain of American department stores with its flagship store in Herald Square, New York City, which has been billed as the "world's largest store" since completion of the Seventh Avenue addition in 1924. The company also operates two other national flagship stores, at San Francisco's Union Square and the former Marshall Field's flagship on State Street in the Chicago Loop [1].

The company also has divisional flagship stores in Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Seattle.

The company is also well-known for sponsoring Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a parade held on the streets of New York City annually since 1924.

The company is part of Federated Department Stores and competes on an average price level above J.C. Penney and Sears, on level with Dillard's, but below Nordstrom and sister chain Bloomingdale's.


[edit] History

Macy's was founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy, who in 1851 established a dry goods store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts, after moving to New York City and establishing a new store named "R.H. Macy & Company" on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, which later moved to 18th Street and Broadway on the "Ladies' Mile", the 19th century elite shopping district, where it remained for nearly forty years.

The Macy's flagship department store with the famous brownstone at 34th and Broadway.

In 1896, Macy's was acquired by Isidor Straus and his brother Nathan, who had previously sold merchandise in the store. In 1902 the flagship store moved slightly uptown to Herald Square at 34th Street and Broadway. Although the store initially consisted of just one building, it expanded through new construction and merging, eventually occupying almost the entire block bounded by 7th Avenue on the west, Broadway on the east, 34th Street on the south, and 35th Street on the north. The only exception is one small brownstone on the corner of 34th and Broadway, which remains a separate property. Macy's rents it annually for a legendary sum and camouflages it with giant signs.

The same problem presented itself when Macy's built a store on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens, New York. This resulted in an architecturally unique round department store on 90 percent of the lot, with a small privately owned house on the corner.

Guinness World Records lists Macy's Herald Square flagship as the world's largest department store building, with 198,500 m² (2,150,000 ft²) of selling floor. However, some claim that other stores are larger, such as the GUM store in Moscow, or Tobu's Ikebukuro branch in Tokyo.

[edit] Expansion

Macy's underwent a period of expansion during the 1920s and 1930s. The company went public in 1922 and began to open up branch stores around New York and Long Island. Acquisitions were also made outside of the New York City region. Department stores in Toledo (LaSalle & Koch 1924), Atlanta (Davison-Paxon-Stokes 1929), Newark, New Jersey (L. Bamberger & Co. 1929), San Francisco (O'Connor Moffat & Company 1945), and Kansas City (John Taylor Dry Goods Co. 1947) were purchased during this time. O'Connor Moffat was renamed Macy's San Francisco in 1947, later becoming Macy's California, and John Taylor was renamed Macy's Missouri-Kansas in the 1950s.

Macy's New York began opening stores outside of its historic New York City–Long Island trade area in 1983 with a location at Aventura Mall in Aventura, Florida (a suburb of Miami), followed by several locations in Houston, New Orleans, and Dallas. Davison's in Atlanta was renamed Macy's Atlanta in early 1985 with the consolidation of an early incarnation of Macy's Midwest (former Taylor and LaSalle's stores in Kansas City and Toledo, respectively), but late in 1985, Macy's turned around and sold the former Midwest locations. Bamberger's, which had aggressively expanded throughout New Jersey, into the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area in the 1960s and 1970s, and into the Baltimore Metropolitan area in the early 1980s, was renamed Macy's New Jersey in 1986.

[edit] Management buyout

In 1986 Edward Finkelstein, Chairman & CEO of R.H. Macy & Co., Inc., led a leveraged buy-out of the company and subsequently engaged in a takeover battle for Federated Department Stores, Inc., in 1988 that he lost to Canada's Campeau Corp. As part its settlement with Campeau, Macy's purchased Federated's California-based, fashion-oriented Bullock's and its high-end Bullocks Wilshire and I. Magnin divisions. It followed with a reorganization of its divisions into Macy's Northeast (former Macy's New York and Macy's New Jersey), Macy's South/Bullock's (Macy's Atlanta stores plus Macy's New York's operations in Texas, Florida and Louisiana), and Macy's California, the later including a semi-autonomous I. Magnin/Bullocks Wilshire organization. The Bullocks Wilshire stores were renamed I. Magnin in 1989.

Subsequently, R.H. Macy & Co., Inc., filed for bankruptcy on January 27, 1992, after which point its banks brought in a new management team, which shut several underperforming stores, jettisoned two-thirds of the luxury I. Magnin chain, and reduced Macy's to two divisions; Macy's East and Macy's West.

[edit] Federated Department Stores merger

The Macy's in downtown Cincinnati, home of Federated Department Stores.

At the start of 1994, Federated began pursuing a merger with Macy's. After a long and difficult courtship, R.H. Macy & Co. finally merged with Federated Department Stores on December 19, 1994. Federated promptly shut down the remainder of the I. Magnin chain, converting several to Macy's or Bullock's and selling four in Carmel, Beverly Hills, San Diego and Phoenix to Saks Fifth Avenue. Federated also merged its Abraham & Straus/Jordan Marsh division with the new "Macy's East" organization based in New York, renaming the Abraham & Straus stores in metropolitan New York with the Macy's nameplate in 1995, and then erasing the Jordan Marsh moniker in New England in early 1996.

Federated followed that by leading a bid in mid-1995 bid to acquire the bankrupt Woodward & Lothrop/John Wanamaker organization in the mid-Atlantic region, a bid it lost to rival group led by long-time rival and future acquisition target May Department Stores. Instead Federated soon agreed to purchase Broadway Stores, Inc. (owner of The Broadway, Emporium and Weinstock's stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico), from its majority shareholder, Samuel Zell, thereby gaining a leading position in Southern California and a dominant one in the Northern California marketplace. In early 1996 Federated dissolved Broadway Stores, incorporating the majority of its locations into Macy's West, rebadging them as Macy's and using the opportunity to retire the Bullock's name. Several of the redundant Broadway locations were used to establish Bloomingdale's on the West Coast, while many other were sold to Sears.

In 2001 Federated dissolved its Stern's division in the New York metropolitan area, with the bulk of the stores being absorbed into Macy's East. Additionally, in July 2001 it acquired the Liberty House chain with department and specialty stores in Hawaii and Guam, consolidating it with Macy's West.

In early 2003 Federated closed the majority of its historic Davison's franchise in Atlanta (operating as Macy's since 1985), rebranding its other Atlanta division Rich's with the unwieldy name, Rich's–Macy's. The original Macy's Lenox Square and Perimeter Mall locations were extensively remodeled and opened in October 2003 as the first Bloomingdale's stores in Atlanta. The company rapidly followed suit in May 2003 with similar rebranding announcements for its other nameplates, Burdines in Florida, Goldsmith's in Memphis, Lazarus in the lower Midwest, and The Bon Marché in the Pacific Northwest.

On March 6, 2005, the Bon-Macy's, Burdines-Macy's, Goldsmith's-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's, and Rich's-Macy's stores were renamed as simply "Macy's", the first two as the new Macy's Northwest and Macy's Florida divisions respectively and the later three as part of the Macy's Central division. As of July 2005, Macy's had 424 stores throughout the U.S.[2]

[edit] Merger with May Department Stores

On February 28, 2005, Federated agreed to terms of a deal under which it would acquire May Department Stores for $11 billion in stock, creating the nation's second largest department store chain with $30 billion in annual sales and over 1,000 stores.

On July 28 of that same year, Federated announced that, based on the success of converting its own regional brands to the Macy's name, it proposed to similarly convert 330 regional department stores owned by the May Company (as May Department Stores was generally referred to) to the Macy's nameplate. This included May's Famous-Barr, Filene's, Foley's, Hecht's, The Jones Store, Kaufmann's, L.S. Ayres, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May, and Strawbridge's chains, pending approval of the merger by federal regulators. This was met with negative reaction in many of the local areas of these department stores because they were considered local institutions in those regions. Where Macy's stores were in close proximity to May Company stores, some redundant stores would be closed while others would be converted to Bloomingdale's, Federated's luxury chain.

On September 20, 2005, Federated announced that all of its Marshall Field's stores (including the legendary State Street store in Chicago) would become Macy's by the end of 2006, becoming the new Macy's North division. This last announcement was met with negative publicity as Marshall Field's had long been considered a Chicago institution.

On January 12, 2006, Federated announced its plans to divest May Company's Lord & Taylor division by the end of 2006 after concluding that chain did not fit with their strategic focus for building the Macy's and Bloomingdale's national brands. By June 22, 2006, it was announced that NDRC Equity Partners, LLC would purchase Lord & Taylor for $1.2 billion.[3], a sale which was completed in October 2006.

In February 2006, Macy's appointed a new chief marketing officer, Anne MacDonald, to oversee the transformation of Macy's into a "national department store."

As of September 9, 2006, when the former May Company locations were officially renamed, Macy's operated approximately 850 stores in the United States.

[edit] Divisions

As of February 2006, Macy's stores were organized into seven divisions with store locations in 45 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam; only Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi and Nebraska had no Macy's stores. The seven current Macy's divisions include five former divisions existing as of 2005, plus the six former regional May Company divisions. [4] (Bloomingdale's is an eighth retail division of Federated. There are also seven administrative divisions that provide corporate support services.)

Image:Macy's at Town Center at Boca Raton.JPG
The exterior of a typical Macy's department store (formerly Burdines) at Town Center at Boca Raton located in Boca Raton, Florida.

[edit] Controversy

Image:Gay Window.jpg
The "homosexual mannequins" that appeared in the window display of the Macy's East store in downtown Boston.

A Macy's East store in downtown Boston (former Jordan Marsh flagship) touched off a local public relations controversy on June 6, 2006, when it removed two mannequins from a window display promoting Boston's annual gay pride celebration. The move was apparently in response to pressure from MassResistance, a local group opposed to same-sex marriage, whose members had complained the mannequins were "homosexual". The removal of the mannequins was widely condemned by residents and officials, including Thomas Menino, the mayor of Boston, who was quoted as saying:

"I’m very surprised that Macy’s would bend to that type of pressure. Macy’s was celebrating a part of our community, gay Pride, and they should be proud of the gay community, and I’m proud of the gay community and gay Pride. Once again it’s the radical right wing that’s doing this." [5]

Also removed from the display was the website address for a local AIDS Action Committee. AIDS prevention continues to be a major theme of the Boston Pride celebration. The website address was later restored, while the mannequins never made a reappearance. Ron Klein, chairman of Macy's East, issued a public apology in InNewsweekly, a local newspaper frequently read by the Boston gay community. Klein described the incident as a result of internal miscommunication and said it was regrettable that some would doubt Macy's commitment to diversity as a result. [6]

[edit] Trivia and pop culture

  • The star in the Macy's logo comes from a tattoo that Mr. Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship.<ref>L.H. Robbins, "The City Department Store: Evolution of 75 Years," New York Times, 12 February 1933, 130.</ref>
  • Isidor Straus, the longtime co-owner of Macy's, was one of the most well-known casualties on the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Although Straus and his wife Ida had a chance to get on one of the lifeboats, Isidor refused, saying that he wouldn't go ahead of the younger men, and Ida, not wanting to leave her husband behind, stayed with him on the ship. The moment was immortalized in the 1958 film A Night to Remember, and was later used in both the 1997 film and the Broadway musical.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the most famous and most watched Santa Claus Parade, has been sponsored by Macy's for 80 years. Among New Yorkers, it is often referred to as "The Macy Day Parade". The first Macy's parade was held in Haverhill in 1854, but was only attended by about 100 people.
  • When the Pennsylvania Turnpike bypassed two tunnels in 1968, the new section opened just in time for Thanksgiving. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission offered Macy's, for one year, to have their annual parade on the then-recently closed bypassed section (now commonly known as the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike), but Macy's promptly declined. [7]
  • Since 1976, Macy's has sponsored the annual "Macy's Fireworks Spectacular", New York City's Independence Day fireworks display.
  • The phrase "Does Macy's tell Gimbel's?" was used in the USA as a put-off to inquiring people (the implication being that a company does not give information out to its competitors).[citation needed] Gimbel's was the other large department store directly across 34th Street from Macy's. It has since folded.
  • The classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is set in Macy's 34th Street flagship store. Subsequent remakes of the film for television (1955, 1959, and 1973) are also set in Macy's. However, a 1994 remake of the film was set in the fictional "Cole's" department store after Macy's refused to have its name used in the remake of the original film.
  • In the 2003 film Elf (starring Will Ferrell) the exterior shots of Gimbel's department store is actually a digitally altered view of the flagship 34th Street Macy's. Gimbel's, which was also located on Herald Square, was Macy's chief competitor in New York City. Gimbel's Herald Square closed in 1987.
  • The U.S. version for the music video "Heard 'Em Say" by Kanye West and Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5) was filmed inside Macy's Herald Square. The video features West and homeless children playing inside a closed Macy's at night, when Levine, as a store manager, lets them in.
  • In 1971 the San Francisco flagship location adopted the cellar theme to market gourmet kitchenware. "The cellar" private label is carried in Macy's Housewares departments, and the larger stores have basements dedicated to this theme.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] References


Federated Department Stores

Terry J. Lundgren (Chairman, President and CEO)

Bloomingdale's | Macy's (East | Florida | Midwest | North | Northwest | South | West |

Bridal Group: After Hours Formalwear | David's Bridal | Priscilla of Boston
<p style="font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0">Chains Converted in 2006: Famous-Barr | Filene's | Foley's | Hecht's | The Jones Store | Kaufmann's | L.S. Ayres | Marshall Field's | Meier & Frank | Robinsons-May | Strawbridge's

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Annual Revenue:Image:Green Arrow Up.svg $1.406 billion USD (FY 2005)
Employees: 232,000
Stock Symbol: NYSE: FD

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