Macy's Flagship Store Is The Next To Get An Apple Makeover & It's Ticking Some People Off

Spending $400 million on a makeover is something only an established store with a worldwide brand should attempt — but is it worth it if you’re just turning it into yet another Apple-esque space? Macy’s is the next to go for the shiny, sleek and super-white Apple look at its famous flagship store in New York City, but some traditionalists say in this case, change isn’t good.

Preservationists say Macy’s doesn’t need to change its classic Beaux Arts and Art Deco feel just to cater to today’s popular store styles — because if there’s a trendy store on the block to visit, everyone’s gonna say Apple.

“Macy’s has Apple fever,” a New York preservation activist told the Associated Press. “Everyone is jealous of Apple, and thinks the secret to the company’s success is this beautiful, elegant minimalist design vocabulary they have. But this is about protection of our heritage.”

The overhaul of the store will be finished in 2015, with an added 100,000 square feet for a total of 1.2 million square feet of retail space. The women’s shoe section is already completed, boasting 280,000 pairs of shoes in a pristine white setting.

Macy’s says it will be a “spectacular place to shop at an iconic New York City destination.” Every year around 20 million shoppers traipse through the store’s nine floors that sit on almost an entire city block in Manhattan. Built in 1902 in the Beaux Arts style, when it added on sections in the 1930s they were done with Art Deco details.

That’s the Macy’s we all know and love, the one critics say will be lost with this Appleification.

“I was stunned they were doing this, making it look like everywhere else in America when they have a little treasure here,” said a preservationist for the Architecture of the City. The store doesn’t have a landmark designation, which means it can be changed.

As other stores have done, Macy’s denies that it’s trying to be like Apple, and that that judgment can’t be levied yet as the store is a work in progress. In fact, the store says it’s going to be reviving its classic features.

“Macy’s asked us to bring back the grandeur of the original store, and whenever there’s true historic fabric, to restore it,” said the chief architect in charge of the renovation.

If there’s a way to change the store so that I don’t get heart palpitations by having to deal with the constant crowds shoving into elevators and bumping into me every two seconds, I’m all in favor.

Macy’s $400M makeover dressing beloved, old-fashioned NYC icon in sleek 21st century style [Associated Press]

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  1. SpeakR40Dead says:

    When everyone is special (looking like Apple), then no one really is.

  2. triana says:

    And I bet nobody working in a Macy’s store will get a raise this year because of this.

    • Chuft-Captain says:

      They weren’t getting one anyway, most likely. After all, that would require the C-Level execs to allow a little money to leak from their tightly clenched anuses.

  3. Almighty Peanut says:

    not sure how this relates to apple… it just looks like they’re redoing a store to have a more upscale image. kind of like nordstrom or any specialty boutique. i was unaware apple had a patent on bright light and white for a decorating scheme.

    • SpeakR40Dead says:

      They don’t that is why stores can (and will) make these changes. It is because people (voting with their money) have said that they are willing to buy ANYTHING apple. So naturally stores want in on that ‘apple’ feeling.

    • SpeakR40Dead says:

      Even if they ‘claim’ it was just up scaling it’s image, the fact is that people still see it as ‘apple’ because they have associated that look and feel to all of their customers. It is like branding, without an actual logo.

      And when other people use it… it is still marketing for them because people still think ‘apple.’

      • Almighty Peanut says:

        nordstrom had a similar setup, without as much bright lights, for years before apple did. i just don’t like how sites want to involve apple in there somewhere.

    • JEDIDIAH says:

      I don’t associate “fad design” with upscale. I associate classic design with upscale. When something is built well you can use it long after that cheap trash from Walmart is long buried in your local landfill. It’s a lot harder to do that if the aesthetics are obviously dated.

      The design fad will pass and Macy’s will look like a dated eyesore.

  4. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    If all these ‘preservationists’ are so concerned, then they should come up with the private funding to purchase the building from Macy’s and then feel free to preserve whatever they want, however they want, with their private funds.

    I’m not sure where they get off telling other entities what to do with their property and money.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      Right, because no one should ever complain about a publicly visible icon being updated for any reason unless they own it.

      • SpeakR40Dead says:

        Even if the whole city complained they don’t have to do anything. Not unless it has potential for slowing the gravy-train. THEN, they’ll change their tune.

      • Rachacha says:

        Macy’s (based on the article) is simply upgrading the interior. There is nothing special or iconic about grey carpeting and white linoleum tile and a drop ceiling. The Macy’s NYC store appears to me to be a hodge podge of several expansions and additions that do not flow well. There are a number of iconic items (like the wooden escalators, teh old elevators and some of the lighting fixtures and details on the first floor, but once you look beyond that, the store looks just like the Macy’s in your local mall.

  5. nopirates says:

    macy’s is over a million square feet. every department looks a bit different. go though the women’s juniors section, it looks like an 80s music video exploded at a 90s rave. the store is crowded, cramped, and in some areas downright decrepit. i’m curious about what they will do but in a store where most of the inventory is on the floor, i wouldn’t expect anything about it to be ‘minimalist’.

  6. HomerSimpson says:

    Guess they be ditching the wooden escalators then?

  7. Jacquilynne says:

    The pictures on that AP story look nothing like an Apple store to me. Very few of the decor elements are even actually white — most of them are beige.

  8. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Future article – Apple sues Macy’s for infringement of patented interior design.

  9. JaundiceJames says:

    I hope they don’t get rid of the cool, old-timey narrow wooden escalator at the top!

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    • Kisses4Katie says:

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  11. quail20 says:

    Please, Macy’s, don’t get rid of those original 1920s wooden escalators towards the back of the store. One of my fondest memories of NY City was finding those.