Macy's To Be Bought Out?

According to Women’s Wear Daily, struggling, Cincinnati-based retailer Macy’s may be the target of a buyout. Despite grand plans to become a nationwide discount department store, Macy’s has been struggling to make any money.

From BusinessWeek:

Last week, the Cincinnati-based retailer posted a larger-than-expected 2.7% drop in same-store sales for June from a year ago, warned of flat to lower sales for July and cut its profit forecast for the second quarter by 33% to 20 to 30 cents a share, excluding merger expenses.

Nearly two years after its $17 billion acquisition of the May Department Store Co., Macy’s is still struggling to integrate the new stores and wrestling with how to retain customers of such upscale chains as Marshall Fields even as it overhauls its merchandise strategy to target lower-end consumers.

Macy’s has previously been subjected to the leveraged buyout treatment… it resulted in a bankruptcy filing in 1990.

Personally, we hate Macy’s (and are irrationally bitchy about them) for taking away Marshall Field’s, a store with decent customer service that we actually liked… but that’s just us. Do you guys like Macy’s?

Macy’s: In the Buyout Bin?
(Photo:Ben Popken)


Edit Your Comment

  1. romannose says:

    I was thinking the same thing about Marshal Field’s. I’ve only been to chicago a few times but I was really impressed with the throwback amazingness that was MF’s (esp around X-mas)and was very disheartend to see it turn to boring suburban macy’s. I’m glad the market is working to punish boring yet still expenisve places like macy’s and reward retailers like H&M.

  2. bluesunburn says:

    Well, they do give us that parade every Thanksgiving…

  3. bambino says:

    Something doesn’t compute. Here in TX, as far as I’m aware, Macy’s is considered slightly more ‘upscale’ while MF is considered ‘thrifty’? I’ve never heard of macy’s referred to as a ‘discount department store’.

  4. DeeJayQueue says:

    I like Macys because they have Fossil and Diesel watches that even the fossil or diesel store doesn’t have, and they often have Doc Martens on sale for $10 cheaper than any other store in the mall.

  5. rdldr1 says:


    I hope the buyers gut each and every Macy’s store and turn it into something even crappier–just like it did with Marshall Fields.

    The only thing Macys is good for is using their escalators and elevators when traveling through the local mall.

    Thats New York City’s imperialism for ya…

  6. voteccow says:

    A little birdie told me that the acquisition was going to be by Sears Holding Company AKA K-Mart, but that may just be a rumor…

  7. Toof_75_75 says:

    I hate Macy’s…Every customer service experience I’ve ever had personally or been told about has always been terrible! I was there one night 10-15 minutes before they were closing with the sole purpose of picking up a shirt and tie I had already decided on the day before and as I walked past the relative area of the register with the shirt in my hands (on my way to pick up the tie) the associate says, “Are you ready yet?” Note: I hadn’t been in the store for even a minute yet. I say no and keep walking and he says very loudly, “Oh come on…I’ve been here all day.” To which I reply, quite simply, “I don’t care, do your job.” He went on to continue complaining about how he’d been at work so long that day and so by the time I walked up to the register, I was so tired of hearing him that I told him if I heard another word about it he was going to get the shirt and tie I was holding in my hand bounced off his face. He was really nice to me after that.

  8. The Stork says:

    @romannose: Macy released results several months ago that showed most of the old Fields stores flat, while the State Street location was down…big time. With all the protests that were held against stripping the landmark downtown store of its heritage, Macy’s probably would have better off leaving just that store as Fields (along with the green bags and Fields labeled credit cards) and making it a destination for Midwest shoppers. Keeping the old brands along with the new Macys brands that weren’t in Fields before would have given suburbanites a reason to come into the city to shop; afterall, the reason that the grand old downtown flagship stores have seen sales lagging is because they don’t offer anything that the suburban mall stores with better parking do. Make it a destination, and the shoppers will come.

  9. Slytherin says:

    I like Macy’s. It’s the only place I can afford new designer clothes at clearance prices.

  10. ahursh says:

    Personally, I hate Marshall Field’s. They took away our Dayton’s a
    decade ago, and I have not enjoyed department shopping since. When
    Marshall Field’s was bought by Macy’s I was both delighted and
    disgusted by the replacement of one evil conglomerate with another. I’d
    be more than happy to see Macy’s go under, just to watch them take the
    brand new Macy’s sign off our mall. No matter what goes into that spot
    next, however, I (and many other Minnesotans) will continue to call it
    by its true name: Dayton’s

  11. wring says:

    i used to work at macy’s. hated it! felt like I was working for the devil, brainwashing people into ruining their credit by opening macy’s credit cards that have 21% apr. I needed to open at least 2 accounts a day to keep my manager happy (and I was working part time). they would give us 2, 3 dollars at most for each account opened. All of this and I was making just $1.50 more than minimum wage! It’s total bullshit. Macy’s shouldn’t have acquired all those stores and just concentrated on providing “outstanding customer service” AND try to keep its employees happy. They can’t provide outstanding customer service if the turnover was high.

  12. ARP says:

    I agree- I’m still bitter about them destroying the MF’s brand. Also the market niche they’re trying to capture seems impossibly small- a discount upscale department store? People will go to H&M, Ross, Filenes, TJM, etc. for discount or they’re go to Nordstrom’s (one of the few department stores that still overs true customer services) for upscale.

  13. Lewis says:

    Yeah, this isn’t surprising.

    Wait, @RDLDR1 “Thats New York City’s imperialism for ya…”

    Huh? Macys is based in Ohio.

    Anyhow, this isn’t surprising. They spent a shitload of $ in the 90s and early 2000s in M&A and genericized former local institutions… Abraham & Straus (NY), Jordan Marsh (New England), Burdines, etc. Then they went and did the same thing more recently with the buyout of MDSC (Marshall Fields, Hechts, Filene’s, etc.) I think of all of the local-flavored department stores which were a part of FDS/MDSC/Macys, only the Macys, Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor nameplates survive today.

    Not to monday-morning qb the M&A and branding guys, but how could they not have seen a backlash to the destruction of local legends in favor of the generic Macys nameplate? Especially in a time when US department stores are under incredible pressure from high-end malls, specialty boutiques (Abercrombie much?) and of course the Internet.

  14. Kung Fu Cantona says:

    macys has a fantastic housewares dept., they have great prices on all clad cookware.

  15. bnosach says:

    Personally, I hate Macy’s for taking away Meier & Frank and replacing it with unreasonably expensive shopping experience at their chain stores.

  16. acambras says:

    I think I had more luck finding nice (and affordable) clothes at Filene’s (here in New England) before Macy’s bought them out. Now at the mall nearest to me (between home and the office), the only anchor stores are Sear’s (crappy), JCPenney (crappy), and Macy’s. :-(

  17. ribex says:

    I would not shed a single tear if anything happened to Macy’s. I was annoyed that the acquisition of the May Company stores led to the loss of the Filene’s (where I live) and Strawbridge (where I used to live) names. I refuse to spend any money at a Macy’s store, which isn’t hard, because it was never a store I wanted to shop anyway. Would another company be purchasing Macy’s? I’m not sure I understand the definition of “being bought out” – is that related to company shares instead?

  18. roche says:

    @bambino: The last time I went to a Macys in Dallas everything was horribly overpriced. If 100 dollars for a pair of pants is a discount, then what do you consider overpriced?

  19. DavidInSeattle says:

    It’s great to see this management team with its tail between its legs.

    Those of use in Seattle watched helplessly as Macy’s (f/k/a/ Federated Department Stores) systematically dismantled what was once a great NW store and tradition, The Bon Marché.

    One wonders how long it will be before the current management team simply eliminates all sales positions in a desperate, last minute gasp to mimic Wal-Mart.

  20. Melov says:

    Corperate is based in ohio, executive is in NY.

  21. Major-General says:

    Macy’s, discount? Only compared to Nordstrom’s. Macy’s to me has always been towards the upper end, as was FDS stores Robinsons-May and Foleys.

    Then Dillard’s, J.C. Penney’s, then Sears/Montgomery Wards.

  22. SaraAB87 says:

    Macy’s is horribly overpriced here. Macy’s used to be Kaufmann’s which was a really good store with lots of clothing clearances and very nice clothing. However all the Kaufmann’s stores turned into Macy’s now leaving them all horribly overpriced and with a poorer selection of clothing. So yes I hate Macy’s, now these stores have nothing but the 100$ pairs of pants in them. In malls where stores like Journey’s, Hot Topic, Hollister and Abercrombie rule, no wonder no one shops in them, no one wants any of their overpriced, out of fashion merchandise!

  23. laurenl842 says:

    I think that Macy’s is overpriced as well. Wasn’t there an article a little while ago about them jacking up regular prices and then putting things on “sale”?

    I have been looking at the china on our wedding registry (it’s open stock) and found that Macy’s is selling the dinner plates for $22 each. They go on sale about once a month for $17.

    The Lenox website has them listed at $17 regularly priced. WTF is that all about?

  24. KelbornCmd says:

    I miss the old Filene’s, being a New Englander. Macy’s just isn’t quite as pleasant to shop in. The good news is, I so rarely shop for clothes anyways, that I don’t much care either way.

  25. peejaybee says:

    @bambino: Sure you’re not thinking Marshall’s, as opposed to Marshall Field?

    Because Marshall Field’s was a pretty upscale, Chicago-area chain, while Marshall’s is a national, downscale chain.

    And yeah, Macy’s can suck it. I didn’t shop at MF all that often, but I’ll never shop Macy’s.

  26. oneTee says:

    there’s nothing like Macy’s Hearld Square here in NYC. the place is HUGE and they always have great deals. Everytime I go in there I save at least 15% just by using my Macy’s Card.

  27. romannose says:

    @pstork: glad to hear that. I was really impressed with MF’s and I think your dead on in that in some markets downtown flagship stores can still draw in people from all over. As for talk of Macy’s being upscale or not I’ve noticed (and this is purely anecdotal)that many people in my age group (20’s) tend to shop at really high end places ala nordstroms and discount chains (hm, zora) and pay no mind to places that cover the center like Macy’s. Of course there is always the upiquitous AA and urban outfitters.

  28. kad9k says:

    This is the best news I’ve heard all day. Since it bought out Hecht’s, Macy’s is the most upscale department store we have in Nashville. And while in other markets it carries designer brands, high-end denim, etc., here we get nothing but martini-printed capri pants and those stiff acrylic sweaters. My friends and I have even considered writing the buyer to say, “Hey, we’re not all hicks down here!” They seem to have no clue what they’re doing.

    Worse, I used to live in Chicago and had a love affair with Marshall Fields. I once bought a t-shirt for my boyfriend, and the saleslady wrapped it in tissue and boxed it up as if it were an expensive watch. My mom had the same experience buying an inexpensive leather bag, which they painstakingly polished for her. Their CS was the best in the business.

  29. quagmire0 says:

    This would be quite awesome if they got sold and the new company decided to bring back Fields! :) It’s not that I shopped there much, but it’s that it was a Chicago institution.

  30. Melov says:

    I work for Macy’s credit customer service (formerly FACS Group), the call center. It’s not a bad place to work at all. Just poor upper managment I would suppose. Bad marketing ideas. The prices aren’t bad at all. I think they’re reasonable to an extent. Have you ever shopped at Bloomingdales? Now that is overpriced.

    We kind of knew something might have been going one once they changed the Federated name to Macy’s Inc. It was pretty random and uncalled for.

    I just hope I don’t lose my job. This place is great. They are extremely flexible with my work schedule while I go to school, they pay more than any other job I could get around here, plus there are ton’s of opportunities to move up, which I’ve definitely been taking advantage of. Some of the people that have been here for 15 years don’t seem to think they’ll get rid of us, but I guess only time will tell. we did afterall survive bankruptcy, I don’t see why we won’t survive this.

    The thing that bugs me most about Marshall Fields is people fail to realize that if Macy’s didn’t buy May Co, then there would be no Marshall Fields, period. Yeah thats right…Completely gone. May Co was in a huge slump. So in a way I guess you should be greatful that the stores are still around, but at the same time sad at what they have become.

  31. BillyShears says:

    I’m still trying to comprehend how such an institution of New York is now based in freakin’ Ohio.

  32. Melov says:


    The new company wouldn’t bring back fields. In fact they’ve probably sell most of the buildings. Why are people interested in buying Macy’s you might ask? The answer is simple. A LOT of the big city stores sit on extremely valuable real estate, and the profit is greater than turning the retail around.

  33. STrRedWolf says:

    It’s terrible that they bought out Hecht’s, which was a fairly decent store. Now here in Maryland, if there was a Hecht’s and Macy’s, it’ just the Macy’s and a Boscov’s where Hecht’s was. Free-standing Hecht’s got turned into Macy’s. Ether way, the good down-to-home products Hecht’s had are nowhere to be found.

  34. Melov says:

    That’s is kind of why May Co went out of business. They were bad at managing money. With their credit cards, if a customer said they were supposed to get $xxx.xx off of a purchase, they’d do it no questions asked. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff if I told you.

    May Co – Bad money management
    Macy’s – Bad Marketing/Retail Strategys

  35. bambino says:

    @roche: Do you enjoy repeating what I say?

  36. mccxxiii says:

    Who would buy out Macy’s? What dept store chain is large/rich enough to do that. I always thought that Macy’s itself was THE big one that bought out everybody else.

  37. texasannie says:

    Macy’s bought out the Foley’s chain in Texas. Foley’s was a somewhat upscale department store, and my limited prior experience with Macy’s gave me the impression that it was more upscale than Foley’s. I haven’t been in one of their stores since the brand conversion because I assumed they were selling clothes I generally don’t like at prices I can’t afford. So while I’m avoiding the stores, their upscale customers are fleeing to avoid the new downscale target audience (that’s me!). No wonder they have problems — they’ve frightened away ALL their potential customers.

  38. Melov says:


    Other department stores aren’t interested in buying macy’s out. Private Equity firms are interested in buying Macy’s. They have TONS of money. They specialize in buying companys and turning them around. The big thing about Macy’s is a lot of the Macy’s stores in downtown big cities sit on extremely valuable real estage. Macy’s has 900 stores. Herald Square alone is worth over $900 million. What they would do is buy Macy’s, sell a lot of the real estate, and then work on turning the retail portion around.

  39. Melov says:

    For a while most stores remained unchanged, but that changed. The prices in Macy’s really aren’t that bad. It depends on what you are looking for.

  40. Die Macy’s Die! It’s their karmic punishment for eating Marshall Field’s.

    All you had to do, assholes, was call it “Marshall Field’s by Macy’s.” Macy’s makes baby Jesus cry. Because baby Jesus liked Xmas at State Street Field’s too.

  41. amyP says:

    Try being from Minnesota, where Dayton’s used to be one of the nicest places to shop. Dayton’s (which was part of Target Corporation) bought out Marshall Field in the early 90s and proceeded to changed the name of all the stores to M. Fields because of their total Minnesota lack of self-respect. But we all got used to it, because Fields was a similar style of store.

    Then Target decides a company that only make 5 billion dollars a year isn’t worth their effort, so they sell out to the May Company. But all stores retain their Fields name. Less than a year later it is sold to Macy’s and they change the name of all the stores. And it has all been downhill in flyover land ever since.

    Now a name change is not that big of deal but Macy’s immediately start cutting the rewards program for those of us who spent a certain amount of money there per year. What is the first thing to go? Why the 6 oz. free cup of coffee and cokes. God knows how much that saved them in dollars and contributed to their bottom line! A six oz cup of coffee? A Diet Coke? What a joke.

    The best thing of the rewards program was a one day 15% discount valid on virutally everything. Coach, Kate Spade, cosmetics. It was a great. But they had to change it so that essentially anything you really wanted to buy was not eligible for the 15% discount, let along cosmetics.

    Don’t charge department store prices and pretend that you are providing some high end shopping experience when you so clearly are not. Lower than a year ago in sales are you Macy’s? Gee, I wonder why.

    If Nordstrom wasn’t at that God-awful Mall of America I’d shop there more often, because they do have more than five people working there at a time and at least pretend like you are getting what you are paying for.

  42. Melov says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    Macy’s used to do that with Burdines, Bon, Lazarus, etc. It just got too confusing for customers, so a universal name was definitely the right choice.

  43. etinterrapax says:

    I wouldn’t be sorry to see them go. They bought out Filene’s. And Jordan Marsh. And everyone else, but I only care-care about the local stores. I would like to see some regional influence in B&M stores. Now that anything is available anywhere on the internet, it’s more important than ever that I have a reason to shop locally, and Macy’s wasn’t giving it to me, or anyone. They did have good sales on Fiestaware, I’ll give them that. Housewares are all I’ve bought from them in a decade or so.

  44. I hate macys for a similar reason that you do Meg: they absorbed Burdines, a reasonably priced Florida institution. Man I miss those stores.

    For a long time we had burdines/macys chimeras, with the fittings and goofy palm trees of a burdines but the overpriced crap of a macys. They’ve slowly been redoing them, unfortunately for the worse.

    I still shop at macys occasionally, but only when there are sales.

  45. NickRB says:

    I WILL NOT shop at the Macy’s in Chicago. That used to be THE Marshall Fields flagship store. Gorgeous and beautiful with excellent customer service and nice high end products. I don’t mind that Macy’s bought them, but I hate that they bought it to destroy it and remake it as a Macy’s.

  46. rkm12 says:

    At least here in Michigan we had Hudsons, which I loved, which became Marshall Fields, which was ok and now it’s Macy’s, which I hate. Sad.

  47. MameDennis says:

    I’ll never quite forgive them for killing Kaufmann’s. I know it’s lame and silly, but I wish they wouldn’t have made the name change.

    Their mid-range women’s clothing is nowhere near as high-quality as the May Co. stuff. I used to be able to buy really well-made, natural-fiber, work-appropriate clothes at a reasonable price. Now, there’s a whole lot of icky fabric and visibly poor stitching. (The decent stuff is mostly on the “designer” floor. I refuse to pay $120 for a nice but unremarkable skirt.)

    So, personally, I’m shifting more towards other clothing sources.

    That said, it’s still a good place to kill an afternoon, but it’s not the fun adventure that Downtown department store shopping used to be.

  48. Bye says:

    Wow, such vitriol for macy*s.

    I’m surprised only because I’ve had excellent experiences with them for over 11 years here in L.A. except for a short period a couple of years ago before they improved their Customer Service training.

    That said, we pretty much only buy things on clearance there which result in amazing deals.

  49. heronswift says:

    LEWISNYC way upthread is spot on: “…how could they not have seen a backlash to the destruction of local legends in favor of the generic Macys nameplate?” The near-universal tide of resentment here is, I think, representative of how the general public feels about having their local traditions cavalierly scrapped. (And yeah, I’m another Minnesotan who’s still bitter about Dayton’s.)

    That said, I really have a hard time seeing much future for the old-style department store as a business model anyway. Between WalMart and the other discounters on one hand, the more specialized chains you find at every mall on the other, and the internet on the third, why would I want to go to a place like Macy’s, where it takes half an hour to wander all over women’s clothing trying to find all the places they might have stashed any of the seventeen varieties of overpriced white blouses (for example)?

  50. hoo_foot says:

    I used to have a lot of luck finding deals at my local department store chain Kaufmann’s; that is, until Macy’s bought them out and converted the stores. The clothing options and customer service have gone downhill to the point where I no longer visit Macy’s.

    Additionally, there was a Macy’s in my hometown before their massive expansion. The clothes and sales were decent and the customer service was fine. I still wear articles of clothing that I bought from this particular store over a decade ago. This store also went downhill when Macy’s began it’s expansion, so not only did they ruin my local department stores, but they neglected their own successful stores.

    The fact that they’re failing makes me happy, although I don’t think a buyout will improve its dismal state.

  51. V-effekt says:

    Most of the stores sell the same merchandise anyway, so the name is not that important ultimately, but the association people have with stores, the personal feeling is quite important. I feel ill toward Wal-Mart and often pay more to purchase products elsewhere. Macy’s has become very large indeed. The only way for them to increase profits is 1: Sell more stuff
    2: Reduce costs

    They tried #2 (no pun intended) by combining stores and reducing redundancies in their operations. If that isn’t working, the next option is simply to fire people and cut costs that way. Sad for the people who work there if that happens. I have no problem with Macy’s, probably because I had no loyalty toward Lazarus when it was bought out.

  52. DjDynasty says:

    Not to mention Macy’s own store brands which are marked up beyond belief, and are 95% pure profit for the store. They are made in sweat shop conditions and make the Kathy Lee clothing company look like they treat their employee’s good!

  53. Youthier says:

    I can hear the victory cheers of Chicago from across the lake. Eat it, Macy’s!

  54. curmudgeon5 says:

    Something has felt “off” about Macys for a while, at least here in the D.C. area. Their stores are always somewhat unkempt and the fitting rooms are dirty. It’s not all that pleasant to shop there. It feels much more down-market than it actually is.

    Also, as a woman in my early 30s, the clothes they try to market to my age group aren’t quite right. They try to do a professional spin on trendy, but they don’t quite hit the mark.

  55. uricmu says:

    They’ve replaced Kaufmanns, a Pittsburgh institution (and Pittsburgh is defined by hese), which had better selection than most department stores, with their generic overpriced stuff. Not a fan.

  56. ExGC says:

    It’s astonishing to me that these misguided fucknuts ever thought that the road to success was (i) alienating every loyal customer that the stores they bought ever had and then (ii) making sure that there was nothing special about what came after the name change. They never realized that outside of NY (and maybe there for all I know), the name “Macy’s” has always symbolized low end schlock. I’ll never spend a dollar in any Macy’s store on principle alone. Oh, and to the CSR who’s view is that MF wouldn’t exist? There would have been another buyer and even if not, the name change wasn’t required after the purchase. I hope KKR does buy them and rightsizes every last one of them.

  57. hyperlexis says:

    All of Chicago, and indeed thousands of people across the country, will literally dance in the streets the day such a hopeful announcement is made! Last year on the day when the Tribune headline read “Field’s No More!” people were literally crying, shaking with grief and rage. Field’s was our Harrods, our pride and joy for over 150 years. Many people, deeply, viscerally, hate Federated/Lundgren/Macy’s for what they have done — not just to Marshall Field’s, but to all the historic nameplates they eliminated, like Filene’s, I. Magnin, Burdine’s, Foley’s, Rich’s, Famous Barr, etc., etc. Over 60,000 people signed an online petition, warning, pleading, begging Federated not to change the name of Marshall Field’s but they refused to listen, — claiming that Macy’s “surveys” showed no one cared about a name change! Ha! Now most Chicagoans proudly boycott Macy’s – (I have seen a few people carrying Macy’s bags openly sneered at or confronted.) People actually have bumper stickers on their cars saying “Field’s is Chicago, Boycott Macys!” About four protest rallies have already been held over the past year. Macy’s was warned publicly, even by Roger Ebert, that they would experience a consumer backlash unseen since New Coke, and that Field’s would one day be reborn. Gd-willing, by this coming Monday, Macy’s will have gone into labor.

  58. JustAGuy2 says:


    FYI, Dayton’s bought Marshall Field’s. Not the other way around.

  59. Melov says:

    There MIGHT have been another buyer. No one knows. Even if there was another buyer theres no guarantee they would have kept the stores. Like I said, private equity firms love department store real estate.

  60. Melov says:

    imo Chicago is full of a bunch of cry babies.

  61. texasannie says:


    This is the first I’ve heard of it. I’m glad to know it and willing to give them a shot, but I think this illustrates the reasons they’re having problems.

  62. formergr says:

    I moved from Chicago last month and while there (since 2000) never understood the obsession with Marshall Fields. Before it was bought out, no one I knew shopped there, and when I did I could never find anything because of poor layout, and I didn’t find the customer service anything close to special (definitely no where near as good as Nordstrom’s).

    Could one of the numerous posters here who say they wouldn’t have cared that Macy’s bought MF as long as they didn’t change the name explain this to me? It’s the same store, on the same State St. corner, with the same green clock outside and high ceiling inside. Who cares if it’s now called Macy’s. Now I get those that object to the clothing lines Macy’s replaced and other changes, but for those who said it’s only the changed name that bothers them, I just don’t get it? And I’m genuinely asking, not snarking…

  63. Meg Marco says:

    @formergr: Marshall Field, the actual guy, matters to Chicago. It’s part of Chicago history and Chicagoans are really testy about their history for some reason. []

  64. Ola says:

    I used to think Macy’s was more upscale, definitely not “discount department store”! Now, I still think it’s overpriced, but without the upscale. I’ve never been asked if I needed help in a Macy’s, and it seems very Robinsons-May, but with better merchandise, now. They’re usually hard-to-navigate too (like any department store).

    I have also heard that Macy’s has the slats in the dressing room doors going the opposite way (up instead of down) so the workers can see into the rooms to make sure no one’s shoplifting. And that with some rooms facing the public areas. That’s pretty low. They seem to have fallen, sort of like Sears, but on a higher level.

  65. Artemis2011 says:

    How badly has Macy’s screwed up MF? Why are Chicagoans (and quite a few folks in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan, I might add) making such a big deal over this? Here are but a few reasons:

    1) Obnoxious “Way to shop!” slogan and Red Star of Communism.

    2) Tacky red color palate instead of classic green.

    3) Something called “Alfani” in place of Armani.

    4) Donald Trump suits.

    5) New York-centric holiday windows in ’06

    6) Inability to properly spell Chicago streets on store directory

    7) Macy’s execs routinely dismissing MF as “just a name”.

    8) The other made-up brands, such as “INC” and “Style & Co.”

    9) “Affordable Luxury” that is not particularly affordable nor particularly luxurious (see “Alfani”).

    10) “Sales” that really aren’t.

    11) The loss of certain store-within-store concepts such as Dolce & Gabbana boutique.

    12) Mass-distribution of Frango’s to the point where I am sorry to say that I never want to see another box.

    13) Failure to fix broken escalators/signage in suburban locations.

    Note: For the record, I’m not a native Chicagoan. I moved to the area five years ago from DC, but came to appreciate Marshall Field’s.

  66. @Melov: That’s what Macy’s said, but given the rabid opposition of Chicago to the name change and the historic importance of the State Street store, Macy’s could probably have ACTUAL SHOPPERS at State Street had they just called it “Marshall Field’s by Macy’s.” It was something of a special case, as they have discovered to their detriment.

    Like many other Illinois shoppers, I won’t shop at Macy’s locations that used to be NOT-Field’s because I’m so pissed about Field’s.

  67. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Besides my absolute hatred for that slimeball Lundgren changing the name of Field’s, there’s the matter of that godawful Macy logo!
    Will somebody explain to me why Macy’s logo is the red star of the Soviet Army?
    Field’s had a classy logo, all script, Macy’s is something like Helvetica, the same typeface used for the NYC subway.
    I miss the understated green of the Field’s awnings, I hate the ugly black ones that replaced them.
    Lundgren dangled moving the Frango Mint production back to Chicago as a lure to get people to shop at Macy’s. But that didn’t mean it would be made on the tenth floor of the State St. store as it used to be.
    It’s also obvious that someone at Federated didn’t think the name change was going to stick. The green Field’s delivery trucks haven’t been repainted with the Macy name, they just have a vinyl sheet covering each side.

  68. twigg says:

    Macy’s. Way to Flop!

  69. fieldsfan2006 says:

    I used to be indifferent to macy’s but now I hate it. I haven’t set foot in the store formerly known as Marshall Fields since Macy’s took it over and changed the name and will never, ever set foot in a Messy’s–I mean Macy’s– in New York or anywhere else.

  70. Snakeophelia says:

    Yeah, Macy’s got rid of our local Strawbridges, which I loved, and I can’t say I’m that impressed with anything I see in the existing Macy’s stores. If I want quality, I’ll order from Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom’s; otherwise, I’ll just hit Filene’s Basement.

    And I hate that you can’t go in a Macy’s without getting bugged for those stupid store cards. The only store card I ever had was my beloved Dillard’s card, and I cried when I had to get rid of it up here (no Dillard’s stores north of Virginia). I was seriously attached to that store.

  71. FLConsumer says:

    Still mourning the loss of Burdines departments stores in FL (bought out by Macy’s).

  72. dantsea says:

    I worked for pre-takeover, pre-Federated Macys in the early 90s, in the buyer support offices for Macys West in San Francisco. It was fun to find out the company declared bankruptcy by having the teller at Bank of America tell me my paycheck had bounced.

    I hate the way they obliterated all their regional brands like The Bon Marche, Broadway Southwest, etc.

  73. TSS says:

    Living in Los Angeles has made me HATE Macy’s. They are the only department store left. We had Buffums, I.Magnin, Joseph Magnin, Broadway, Bullock’s, Bullock’s Wilshire, Robinson’s, May Company, Robinsons-May. All are gone.

    This is why I buy my clothes at TJ Maxx. It’s the same amount of mess as my local Macy’s, but with lower prices.

  74. Melov says:

    I’m hoping they tell us about a buyout at least before everyone else finds out…but my hopes are not high.

  75. crankymediaguy says:


    From December 1969 to April 1971, I had the “pleasure” of working in the 17th floor stock department of the Herald Square Macy store (the one with the parade every year).

    Then (and perhaps still), New York State law said that an item had to be for sale at the higher price for 30 days before a store could advertise it as being X% off that price.

    We would send a representative sample of men’s shirts down to the sales floor to sell at, say, $10 (knowing that few would sell at that for-then high price) before bringing them back up to 17 after 30 days where I would take a red pen and cross out “$10” and write “$5” on the tags of hundreds of them. Voila, 50% off!

    It was legal, but, I thought, sleazy.

  76. chefmatty says:

    Did you know that at the Herald Square store (in NYC) they have guard dogs patrol the store at night. They keep them in cages on the upper floors. I always thought that was the coolest thing !!!

  77. hyperlexis says:

    Sheesh! What do the dogs actually guard? Priceless couture in the Donald Trump Collection area? Or maybe safeguarding Alfani baubles? Good puppy! Good boy!

  78. Flackette Goes Retro says:

    I greatly prefer Macy’s to my other local option, Dillard’s. Same merchandise, better sales.

  79. DjDynasty says:

    @formergr: The other reason is because Chicago has always been referred to as the “Second City” by New York, So *ANYTHING* New York rarely survives in Chicago. Another reason is when Chicago Burned down, it was Mr. Field’s personal wealth that financed most of the rebuilding of Chicago. Had it not been for Mr. Field’s personal wealth, we would ended up some 3rd rate city like Denver, or Omaha. When people say they are from Chicago, it is “Chicago PERIOD” No Coma before Illinois. When Chicago was first planned, we followed NYC’s grid system, that doesn’t work well in the Midwest, So thanks to the city being burned down, We designed a proper grid system that works.

  80. numba1shopper says:

    I for one am a HUGE fan of Macys! I can always find designer clothes at discounted prices. And whenever I use my Macy’s card I save even more! Wake up people! Has anyone ever shopped at Bloomingdales or Nordstroms, those stores are extremely over priced and I still dont know what their definition of SALE is! And if Macy’s is gone, all we’ll have all those over priced dept. stores. And you’ll all be complaining even more cuz you won’t have any good quality clothes.

  81. Schmack says:

    I’ve been boycotting Macy’s since they refused to budge on my store credit card APR. It was in the mid-20’s, even though I had been “upgraded” to Gold or whatever. I called to request a reduction and explained that I had no motivation to use it if even my worst Visa charged 16%. They wouldn’t budge so I told them I’d never spend another dollar in their stores, let alone put in on their card. The account is still open and they’ve raised my limit a few times since, but my rate is still over 20% and I’m still ignoring them.

  82. gretch9er says:

    Personally, on the VERRRY rare occasion that I have to stop in a Macy’s, I still use my Marshall Field’s card, as a personal protest. Once the name change took place, I was sent a replacement charge card with the Macy*s logo, and I simply refuse to use it. I’m mostly sentimental about the State St. store (which, as a downtown Chicagoan, is the most accessible store)…the Tiffany stained glass ceiling, the Walnut Room, the (eerily) unique green lighting in the Eslalator alcove…It was a truly unique place. Not that those things are gone (save for the lighting), but they couldn’t even be bothered to replace the classic gold-lettered street signs with their crappy black and red ones correctly (they literally hung every street-identification sign over the wrong door). The brands that Macy*s has used as replacements are terrible (and terribly overpriced considering the crappy quality).

  83. nidolke says:

    Since when was Macy’s “discount?” They’re expensive as hell.

  84. dextrone says:

    @Nidolke: YES they are, infact almost EVERYTHING is made in CHINA……go figure.

  85. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    Ever since they have infested the Greater Cleveland area, I have only this to say about them:

    “FUCK MACY’S!!!”

    There, I said it. No turkey for you!

  86. AcidReign says:

        I can’t afford to shop at Macy’s. I occasionally buy wedding gifts there, if the couple is registered, and one relative likes Macy gift cards. Other than that… Better places to buy housewares: Bed, Bath and Beyond; or Williams-Sonoma. Better place to buy furniture: La-Z-Boy. Better place to buy clothes: Goody’s.

        Unless you sneak into Macy’s from the back side, they make you walk through the stink section (cosmetics counter). That’s my biggest complaint on them!

  87. Walkallovaya says:

    OMG, people have alot of angst about this topic. There’s a hundred posts here from shoppers who “hate” Macy’s for “taking away” whatever more local brand was in their city.

    I hate to say this but the “local” department stores (Dayton’s, Filene’s, Marshall Fields, Burdine’s, etcetera) were just companies. One company bought another company. It was just a business and now it is just a business.

    Interesting that the old local department stores had marketing, public relations, and advertising that was so GREAT that people still have an affinity to their brand, even A.D. of their company.

    That’s our America. Please people, it’s sad.

  88. Walkallovaya says:

    @formergr: I totally agree with your point about the “if they had kept the name” crowd.

    Sorry, it just seems like way too much energy spent on hating Macy’s because they have a different layout, different decorations, and different slogans. There’s alot of people who have been “boycotting” (aka not shopping) there because of some silly, arcane reason.

    Ahhh, the fickle consumer…

    Just use your energies on something that actually matters!

  89. Melov says:


    You’re a liar because your marshall field’s card won’t work. They stopped working almost an entire year ago.

    Go away tool.

  90. Melov says:


    You’re an idiot…Name 1 department store that will negotiate the APR. NONE

    Macy’s APR is high, but so is everyone elses…christ

  91. kpom says:

    @Formergr, Chicagoans have nostalgia for Marshall Field’s as it was about 15 years ago. Field’s actually began its downward spiral after Dayton-Hudson’s bought it in the early 1990s and began its own conversion into Target. It was then when the merchandise went slightly downmarket and the return policies became more restrictive. However, after their own little PR fiasco when they tried to eliminate Field’s signature green bags, Target never again messed with any more Field’s traditions. Just before they sold Field’s, Target actually took the store a lot more upscale (winning back customers), only to see the new owners take it even further downmarket. It’s no accident Nordstrom has never had it better in Chicago.

    The ironic part is that Macy’s actually has a slightly more liberal return policy than Field’s did in the Target days. All they really had to do to fix what ailed Field’s was “nothing.” Their lower operating costs alone would have made them more profitable. Instead, they took the stores further downscale in the classic attempt to extract more blood from the turnip.

  92. kpom says:


    Macy’s did allow customers to continue using their “old” store cards. It was a last-minute “goodwill gesture” aimed at retaining existing cardholders.

    Most stores (with the notable exception of Target) have sold their credit card accounts to one of the big banks. Therefore, they are pretty much all the same now as far as APR and terms and conditions.

  93. jazzy062 says:

    Macy’s took over Foley’s in Austin, and I have been disappointed in the merchandise and the prices. Foley’s was by far superior in quality and price in my opinion. Foley’s also carried Valerie Steven’s which was a Foley’s brand that was nice quality that was reasonably priced. Since Foley’s is gone I now only have Dillard’s to shop at for moderately priced items.

  94. hyperlexis says:

    Fabulous news article on Macy’s and its possible fate (i.e. failure) here in Chicago:


  95. hyperlexis says:

    ughhhh sorry its not doing the whole link – just remove the spaces. It’s from WLS TV here in Chicago. = h t t p :/ / a b c l ocal. go. com / wls /story?section = local &id=5511343

  96. LivingNCalifornia says:

    People bag on Macy’s but as a native of the Bay Area, Macy’s all through the 80’s and 90’s and up through 2001 or until Lundgren took over was a sharp store. Macy’s was a mid priced to very high end store. I could buy something moderate like a pair of Levis or something costly like an Armani dress, it was all there. The stores were very neat and elegant. What Bloomingdales is now Macy’s was then. The cancer started when Lundgren tried to dumb it down and go after the Kohl’s/Penney’s/Mervyens customer. That customer isn’t going to spend $77.00 on a man’s shirt with a private store label when you can get a similar shirt at Target for $19.99 or at Kohl’s. The traditional Macy/Field’s customer has moved on. So who is their customer then?? The stores by me are dumps, that are in sad need of renovation what you see is burned out lighting, stained walls, clothes strewn all over the floor, worn out carpets with stains, that looked like they haven’t been vacumed in ages with electrical tape in places, clutter everywhere yet the prices are way up there. There is this don’t care attitude also all the cool brands are gone and replaced with the overpriced designer knockoff store brands. Say what you want about Field’s but Field’s never sunk as low as Macy’s is now. People don’t realize how good they have it until it’s gone. As someone who has known Macy’s all their life I honestly can’t see how Macy’s can ever be defended as being better than Field’s. Macy’s circa 1990 was very sharp…now? Don’t make me laugh!

  97. DetroitBob says:

    Although the name change to Macy’s from the Marshall Field brand was a significant problem to Chicago, those of us in Detroit took it in stride. I have shopped at Marshall Fields for years when visiting Chicago 20 plus times a year and during the early Target ownership, Fields State Street and Water Tower continued to carry above average goods and designers that got the ax in Detroit at then JL Hudsons. When Target decided to rename Daytons and Hudsons to the Fields name plate, the merchandise lines actually improved dramatically.

    My arguement with Macy’s and Lundgren is the dumbing down of Fields merchandise. Polo for men and little else remains. At the very upscale Somerset Mall in Troy Mi, Joseph Abboud just hit the 75% off racks and will not be carried for the fall lines.

    I swear someone at Macy’s stays up at night thinking up ways to destroy business by dropping good labels/brands. There IS a diffence in Waterford made in Ireland and Waterford made in the former Soviet satellites. There IS a difference between Armani and Alfani! With business at the converted Fields stores down 30 percent plus, you can’t blame it on

    What Macy’s ill fated “Macy’s Way to Shop” kick off campaign told me was they don’t want my business any more!

  98. Seth L says:

    Macy’s being bought out won’t bring back my beloved Meier and Frank.

    But it will feel really really good.

  99. ursonate says:

    No matter how bad Macy’s is, Dillard’s is worse. Takeovers like these are really real estate transactions. The only things department stores really make money from are shoes, cosmetics and real estate.

  100. opinionismine says:

    Seems MF would not have needed the money to sell out if all you complainers would have spent some money there. The store doesn’t exist for a reason. They were broke.