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What's Killing Macy's? Hint: It's Not Amazon

Big Matt

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Macy's quality has gone down significantly in the last 25 years in terms of brands and level of employee. I used to buy almost all of my clothing there and now I might buy socks. Many of the employees dress poorly and you can tell that it's not what they are really wanting to do all day. The reason from what I understand is that commissions in the men's and women's department were shrunk or eliminated and the true sales folks took off. Nordstrom's is still better, but declining. Very sad.
 

jme

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Macy's quality has gone down significantly in the last 25 years in terms of brands and level of employee. I used to buy almost all of my clothing there and now I might buy socks. Many of the employees dress poorly and you can tell that it's not what they are really wanting to do all day. The reason from what I understand is that commissions in the men's and women's department were shrunk or eliminated and the true sales folks took off. Nordstrom's is still better, but declining. Very sad.
I don't even go into Macy's much anymore, and when I do a walk-thru "just to see what they have", it's pathetic.

Dillard's, on the other hand, is now the better anchor store around our town. Great clothes for both M & W and nice other stuff.

We don't actually shop retail so much anymore, now it's mostly online or Outlet Malls, but we do when we need something specific.
For other finer retail stores we have to be somewhere like Atlanta or whatever (Boston comes to mind).
(Big Matt, Williamsburg isn't too shabby, also..... some very nice small old-fashioned men's shops & women's boutiques.)

But retail in general doesn't have a great future, in spite of our love for the experience we enjoyed in years past.
Shopping is a great pastime.
 

WVBaker

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"It’s the customer…who decides whether a business is going to succeed or fail. The customer can fire everybody in the company…simply by spending money somewhere else. Everything we do…is directed with this one objective clearly in mind—pleasing the customer.”
Sam M. Walton

“Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind... and that's been changing.” And so it goes for the retail business. It’s a state of mind, and change appears to have passed Macy’s by altogether."

And therein lies the problem. One which Macy's, as well as others, ignored. The customer.
It's sad that what were once high end retail behemoths failed to change their thinking, as the times changed.
 

DaveNW

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For me, there is a huge difference between "shopping" and "buying." If I know I'm after a specific item, and I know where to get it, I'll go to that store, buy the item, and leave. I might meander through the store a bit, but not seriously looking for anything.

If I'm not sure what I want, in my smaller town, I need to decide who may have it, and at what cost. That starts the ordeal, to go store to store, hoping I can find the item I think I want. I'm not a fan of the time and effort. It's usually easier to jump online, go to the store I expect will have the item, get it, and be done with it. Retail "Shopping" has become an inconvenience.

Yesterday I dropped my cell phone, and chipped the protective glass. Within a few minutes it had cracked all the way across. I put that screen on it, so knew it could be replaced. I jumped on Amazon, a few mouse clicks later, and I was done. The replacement screen (in a multi-pack) will be delivered today. I like Amazon Prime a lot for that. If I'd had to wander around town trying to locate the right screen protector for my phone, who knows how long it would take, and at what cost.

Macy's in my town is a good store, with nice items, but it's increasingly harder to find anything there I want to buy. The Men's Clothing section is often overloaded with Clearance Sale racks I'd expect to see at a discount department store. There are few salespeople around, and those who are there don't seem to know what they're supposed to be selling. As I sit and think about it, the only thing I've purchased at Macy's lately was a kitchen cooking stock pot, that matched a quality set I've owned for a long time. I'd misplaced the one I had, and wanted another. Macy's carries that brand, and I was able to replace the pot. It happens that a few days later I found the old one. Jeez... ;)

Nordstom's continues to outshine Macy's here in the Seattle area.

Dave
 

Luanne

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We have no big, major department stores in Santa Fe. We have a Dillards, but I rarely shop there, usually only for certain items.

I still love Macy's but I only shop the ones in San Francisco and NYC. Love Nordstrom as well, but the ones I've been in lately have gone quite upscale and very expensive. I used to buy all of my work shoes (nice comfortable heels) there as they had a store brand that was comfortable, and reasonable in price.

I tend to do most of my shopping online, or I'll pick up items when I see something that appeals to me when we're traveling.
 

SteelerGal

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I only shopped at Macy’s in their Shoe Department. The one near my job stocks higher end designers because of the Clientele.(The mall is like shopping NYC 5th Ave or Rodeo). However truth be told, I rather go to Saks, special occasion, or Nordstrom. I rarely shop online for myself unless I own the designer and have tried on their clothing.
 

Bucky

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I’ve never been a fan of Macy’s but my wife used to be. She said a few years ago though they changed the style of clothes they carried so she just quit going to them. Far too many retail options out there to lament over one lost store.
 

Passepartout

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I love Amazon Prime, but can't ignore traditional department stores and other local retailers closing and empty storefronts around town. Talking with a friend - a local retailer- and he said, "Amazon will NEVER buy your kid's Little League uniforms." That says a lot. I doubt Macy's will either, but maybe Hudson's shoe store or Bill's Muffler shop will, and THAT'S the business to support.

Jim
 

WinniWoman

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For me, there is a huge difference between "shopping" and "buying." If I know I'm after a specific item, and I know where to get it, I'll go to that store, buy the item, and leave. I might meander through the store a bit, but not seriously looking for anything.

If I'm not sure what I want, in my smaller town, I need to decide who may have it, and at what cost. That starts the ordeal, to go store to store, hoping I can find the item I think I want. I'm not a fan of the time and effort. It's usually easier to jump online, go to the store I expect will have the item, get it, and be done with it. Retail "Shopping" has become an inconvenience.

Yesterday I dropped my cell phone, and chipped the protective glass. Within a few minutes it had cracked all the way across. I put that screen on it, so knew it could be replaced. I jumped on Amazon, a few mouse clicks later, and I was done. The replacement screen (in a multi-pack) will be delivered today. I like Amazon Prime a lot for that. If I'd had to wander around town trying to locate the right screen protector for my phone, who knows how long it would take, and at what cost.

Macy's in my town is a good store, with nice items, but it's increasingly harder to find anything there I want to buy. The Men's Clothing section is often overloaded with Clearance Sale racks I'd expect to see at a discount department store. There are few salespeople around, and those who are there don't seem to know what they're supposed to be selling. As I sit and think about it, the only thing I've purchased at Macy's lately was a kitchen cooking stock pot, that matched a quality set I've owned for a long time. I'd misplaced the one I had, and wanted another. Macy's carries that brand, and I was able to replace the pot. It happens that a few days later I found the old one. Jeez... ;)

Nordstom's continues to outshine Macy's here in the Seattle area.

Dave

Exactly, Dave. I am the same. I have no patience or time for driving to and from a store only to find out they don't even have what I want or need. I rarely shop in person for anything except food.

Clothes are hard for me at this age and weight, so I rarely even buy them in person or on line! Needless to say, I have a small wardrobe.
 

vacationhopeful

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I used to wear BUSINESS status clothing at my Philadelphia Center City corporate job ... just a 1 minute walk to the City Hall complex. 9 years at that job and another 3.5 years at a different BIGGER corporate company in Wilmington, DE which ended later 1987. 32 years ago.

I wear summer shorts and cotten Tee Shirts with sneakers and crew socks on my feet.

The last of my leather Coach pocketbooks wore out several years ago.

As for visiting "the Mall" .... been many years. But I go to Home Depot almost every work day.
 

IngridN

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I used to do all of my clothes shopping (except for shorts/t's/capris and the like which are from Costco) at Macy's. No more because you can't find a salesperson. Now I go to Nordstrom. Was there the other day shopping for a couple of items for our upcoming Med cruise. Told the salesperson what I was looking for and she scoured the various departments and not only brought me those items but also a couple of other things that I might be interested in...which I bought! So Nordstrom for high end items and Costco for the rest! Works for me.

Ingrid
 

rickandcindy23

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The prices of clothing is what is killing Macy's. I cannot afford anything at that store.
 

linsj

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Some people in the Chicago area have never forgiven Macy's for buying out Marshall Fields and changing the merchandise. And that was more than a decade ago.
 

bbodb1

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I love Amazon Prime, but can't ignore traditional department stores and other local retailers closing and empty storefronts around town. Talking with a friend - a local retailer- and he said, "Amazon will NEVER buy your kid's Little League uniforms." That says a lot. I doubt Macy's will either, but maybe Hudson's shoe store or Bill's Muffler shop will, and THAT'S the business to support.

Jim
Or Chico's Bail Bonds! :D
 

Luanne

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The prices of clothing is what is killing Macy's. I cannot afford anything at that store.
It seems everything I buy there is on sale. I've found great stuff at reasonable prices. Much more so than Nordstrom.
 

Quilter

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Some people in the Chicago area have never forgiven Macy's for buying out Marshall Fields and changing the merchandise. And that was more than a decade ago.
That was a very disappointing transition. An era gone.
 

Quilter

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As for visiting "the Mall" .... been many years. But I go to Home Depot almost every work day.
Home Depot is high on my list. We were just at my DD’s for the birth of our first grandchild (9 lb. 2oz. 22” grandson BTW). They are military and renting a small house. I’m a designer of spaces and can’t help myself assessing how to organize for efficient function. During the 5 days we were waiting around for the birth I was roaming Walmart, Target, Lowes and Home Depot for garage shelves and cupboard organizers.

Home Depot was far superior to Lowes. In each area of the store I was asked if I was finding what I needed. I ended up with a terrific shelving unit that fit perfectly in their garage. Best thing about it was it was 24” deep. All their suitcases fit on the top shelf. Bags to keep suitcases clean and bug free are on their way from Amazon. The only tool we needed for assembly was a rubber mallet which the kids had in their tool bag.

The final straw that led to my ire with Lowes was my last trip for replacement lamp shades. A woman at a local furniture store said Lowes lighting department was better than Home Depots. At Lowes I waited for the lighting person to finish with a phone call and then asked him for help finding a shade for the lamp I brought with me. He said I needed a bracket and waved me toward a display of parts. I looked over the parts, had no idea what he suggested and went back for him to show me. I had to ask him to show me what he was suggesting. He went over and couldn’t find anything. I finally asked if he was saying the store didn’t have a shade to fit the lamp, which he affirmed.

I went straight to Home Depot, found some women with orange aprons who were more than willing to call someone to help me. The guy came, took one look at the lamp, grabbed a shade and said all I needed to do was insert a bulb to hold it on.
 

dioxide45

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Home Depot is high on my list. We were just at my DD’s for the birth of our first grandchild (9 lb. 2oz. 22” grandson BTW). They are military and renting a small house. I’m a designer of spaces and can’t help myself assessing how to organize for efficient function. During the 5 days we were waiting around for the birth I was roaming Walmart, Target, Lowes and Home Depot for garage shelves and cupboard organizers.

Home Depot was far superior to Lowes. In each area of the store I was asked if I was finding what I needed. I ended up with a terrific shelving unit that fit perfectly in their garage. Best thing about it was it was 24” deep. All their suitcases fit on the top shelf. Bags to keep suitcases clean and bug free are on their way from Amazon. The only tool we needed for assembly was a rubber mallet which the kids had in their tool bag.

The final straw that led to my ire with Lowes was my last trip for replacement lamp shades. A woman at a local furniture store said Lowes lighting department was better than Home Depots. At Lowes I waited for the lighting person to finish with a phone call and then asked him for help finding a shade for the lamp I brought with me. He said I needed a bracket and waved me toward a display of parts. I looked over the parts, had no idea what he suggested and went back for him to show me. I had to ask him to show me what he was suggesting. He went over and couldn’t find anything. I finally asked if he was saying the store didn’t have a shade to fit the lamp, which he affirmed.

I went straight to Home Depot, found some women with orange aprons who were more than willing to call someone to help me. The guy came, took one look at the lamp, grabbed a shade and said all I needed to do was insert a bulb to hold it on.
So far our experience is completely the opposite with Lowes and Home Depot. I would much rather go in to a Lowes where I can push a button and someone shows up to help me. I had to hunt someone down at Home Depot and said "you don't have buttons to push" and he said, "we aren't Lowes". You got that right, I can actually get someone's attention at Lowes. In the Home Depot there isn't anyone to be found!
 

easyrider

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Macy's quality has gone down significantly in the last 25 years in terms of brands and level of employee. I used to buy almost all of my clothing there and now I might buy socks. Many of the employees dress poorly and you can tell that it's not what they are really wanting to do all day. The reason from what I understand is that commissions in the men's and women's department were shrunk or eliminated and the true sales folks took off. Nordstrom's is still better, but declining. Very sad.
I agree with the quality going down. Our last couch and love seat had power recliners and the works. We were told it was leather. The price suggested top quality. What we bought were very slow power recliners and leather tops. The sides were a fake leather called bonded leather and they cracked and peeled.

I still get some clothing at Macys but not too often. I like the Tommy Bahama stuff is about it.

Bill
 

Passepartout

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Macy's folded their tent at our mall a year or so ago. It's a Hobby Lobby now and we haven't darkened their door. I'd pretty much given up on Macy's after they bought out Bon Marche'. liked 'The Bon' which was a Northwest chain, but never warmed to Macy's which we perceived to be a 'New York' store. Hardly what's going to go over in Idaho.

Jim
 
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