Former Marshall Field's Customers Take To The Chicago Streets To Protest Macy's

Chicagoans don’t like change. (Take Wrigley Field, for example, in all its jumbotron-less glory.) Yes, they are a strange, stubborn people who do not eat ketchup on hot dogs and who put the sauce on top of their pizza. And they don’t like Macy’s. Why? Because Macy’s did away with Marshall Field’s.

From the Chicago Tribune:

One year after Marshall Field’s became Macy’s, more than 200 “Field’s Fans” stood under the store’s clock on State Street for a moment of silence Sunday, hoping their passion might resurrect a name for the sake of Chicago pride and childhood memories.

The change in corporate ownership aside, these people missed their Marshall Field’s Frango mints, their Walnut Room lunches, the charm of following a Christmas story from one decorated window to another. All of those things remain, in some version, but the people who gathered said it is simply not the same.

“You don’t give up on something that you like,” said Rosario Probo of Pilsen. “Just the [name] itself — you say Marshall Field’s, people know where you’re at. Everybody knows Marshall Field’s is Chicago.”

Macy’s former Marshall Field’s stores (particularly in Chicago) continue to languish under the new Macy’s brand. The costs involved in converting Marshall Field’s and other local department stores are often cited as the reason Macy’s continues to under-perform. From Bloomberg:

The company is paying a price for alienating Chicago customers, even though second-quarter profit exceeded analyst estimates. Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet acknowledged May 18 that sales at the State Street store were “doing badly, but we feel we can turn around the performance.”

Shares of Cincinnati-based Macy’s have fallen 26 percent since it dropped the Marshall Field’s name, from $40.41 last Sept. 11 to $29.76 at the close of New York Stock Exchange composite trading on Sept. 9.
“It’s a very unorthodox and major mistake to give the Marshall Field’s name the death penalty in Chicago,” said Burt Flickinger, managing director of New York-based consulting firm Strategic Resource Group.

Despite the protest and the lagging stock, Macy’s says it will not consider reviving Marshall Field’s:

“The decision is 100 percent decided,” said McNamara, whose chain is second only to Sears Holdings Corp. in the U.S. based on annual sales. “It was made well over a year ago and we believe it was the right decision to make for our company.”

“We researched 40,000 of our customers.” McNamara said. “They don’t want to be stuck in the past.”

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports that protesters were happy about Macy’s poor sales and were hoping someone would buy them out and bring Field’s back.

Though many said they had never participated in a protest, they thought they might actually have an impact because Macy’s sales have been down, especially in Chicago.

“We have more hope now than we did a year ago,” said Marianne Nathan as she pulled a green-clad mannequin on a rolling cart. Nathan, 58, of Oak Park reasoned that Macy’s won’t likely change the name but perhaps the company would be bought out and the Marshall Field’s name restored.

Darrid Morris of Columbus, Ohio, said he’s shopped from coast to coast but has never found a store with the level of service and quality of Marshall Field’s. He’s dedicated a Web site,, to his love for the store.

“It’s standing up for what you believe in,” said Morris. “I believe a Chicago icon should remain a Chicago icon.”

Ahh, Chicago. We love you.

A year later, Field’s enthusiasts still fighting for name [Chicago Tribune]
Macy’s Finds Chicago Indignant on Marshall Field’s (Update1) [Bloomberg]
(Photo:Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune)


Edit Your Comment

  1. rbb says:

    Marshall Fields did the same thing to the Frederick and Nelson chain in the Pacific Northwest many years ago. Where do you think they stole the Frango recipe from?

  2. not_seth_brundle says:

    Macy’s researched 40,000 of its customers? Creepy.

    I’m a proud Chicagoan and I appreciate the history of Marshall Field and Field’s and what the store meant to Chicago, but still… some people have too much time on their hands.

  3. girly says:

    It doesn’t matter what the store says on it, they can still call it Marshall Fields if they want to.

    I could see a protest if Marshall Fields was truly a local business, but it’s been bought and sold. It’s just a name now.

  4. enm4r says:

    As a Chicago transplant, I feel no real ties to Marshall Fields. However, I love watching Macys fail due to good ol’ “vote with the dollar” actions. Macys can be as stubborn as they want, but the bottom line will reflect that.

  5. forever_knight says:

    note to self: avoid chicago. seems to be inhabited by a strange breed of humans.

  6. wndrwmn24 says:

    Now these people care about history, but when they took over the Hudson’s brand in Detroit, a part of Detroit history, it was a different story. Can anyone say karma?

  7. Buran says:

    Hate to tell these people this but they don’t give a fuck about you. Their “focus groups”, which were probably held in other cities that have nothing to do with this, naturally don’t give a shit about Chicagoans, so of course they’ve got this skewed perception of reality. And as long as their “marketing data” tells them that you don’t matter to them, they won’t do a damn thing to make you happy.

    Apparently, not even taking your business elsewhere until changes are made makes a whit of difference to businesses that get too big for their britches.

  8. @Buran: “Apparently, not even taking your business elsewhere until changes are made makes a whit of difference to businesses that get too big for their britches.”

    Actually they’re suffering bad from the property taxes on that big beautiful building in its prime real estate location with historic protection so they can only do so much renovation and can’t rent parts out as office space. If THAT PARTICULAR STORE doesn’t start doing some major business (like it used to do when it was Field’s and part of the Chicago psyche), they’ll have to drop THAT STORE. They might be able to limp alone with Field’s-turned-Macy’s in suburban malls, but that flagship on State Street is very expensive to run.

    @forever_knight: “seems to be inhabited by a strange breed of humans.”

    Why do you think the Superfans were Chicagoans? ;)

  9. Moneypenny says:

    Before Macy’s took over the Flagship store in Chicago, the stores in Columbus were taken over by Kauffman’s. They canceled all the Columbus cardholders’ accounts and mailed them Kauffman’s credit cards, without any consultation. My mother had a MF charge plate from when she was first married – it was a matter of pride for her – the first time she and my dad had truly gained “credit” and could have a credit account at any store. And it was -poof- gone.

  10. lesbiansayswhat says:

    Chicago native and not rich enough to shop at any downtown establishment or care about whose logo is on the building but can we remember that Macy’s is the source of some of the most ridiculous ‘screw you customer’ coupons? There’s really nothing to like about the company.

  11. humphrmi says:

    @rbb: Uh, dude, MF was making Frangos in the basement of their Chicago store before Donald Frederick was selling second-hand furniture in downtown Seattle. F&N licensed the recipe from MF for some years before the takeover.

    Don’t get jiggy on my Frangos, man.

  12. Buran says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: How did you reply to a comment that I did indeed make but can’t see now?

  13. quagmire0 says:

    Please, anyone from outside Chicago, understand that this reflects the people of Chicago and its suburbs about as much as the nazi party represents German people everywhere.

  14. Falconfire says:

    you get your teeth stomped in for putting ketchup on hotdogs in Jersey. Ketchup on a hotdog is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard.

  15. @quagmire0: Thanks for speaking for all of us in Chicago and the Burbs (Note Sarcasm).

    @Falconfire: Ketchup doesn’t belong on a hotdog. In Chicagoland the bun better be poppy and steamed too!

    @Meg: Sox Fan? :-P

  16. Meg Marco says:

    @Falconfire: I completely agree with you, but this has not been my experience anywhere on the East Coast.

  17. Meg Marco says:

    @AngrySicilian: I’m one of those hated people who likes both teams and therefore has no friends and is picked on.

  18. medief says:

    @falconfire: Ketchup on a hot dog might be the most disgusting thing ever heard, but from what I hear about how they make hot dogs, that would be a close second! :)

  19. rbb says:

    @humphrmi: Sorry dude. Marshalls got the recipe from Frederick and Nelsons

    [] “Historically associated with the Midwestern and Pacific Northwest regions of the United States, the candy is sold in outlets throughout the country. Created originally by Seattle, Washington department store company Frederick & Nelson in 1918, the company and Frango trademarks were both acquired by Chicago, Illinois company Marshall Field’s which introduced its own recipe in 1929.”

    You mid-Westerners do not know what a real Frango tastes like ;)

  20. wring says:

    weirdos. they should just support EXISTING local stores.

  21. rbb says:

    I forgot to add, it was the candy makers from Frederick and Nelson who went to Chicago in 1929 to create the lesser version of the Frango. Bottom line – F&N had it first ;)

  22. Rupan says:

    Nothing at all to do with the post but there is nothing like ketchup, mustard and relish on a hotdog. Unless of course it is a Detroit coney with chili and mustard. No ketchup in that case.

    Then again no one outside of Detroit knows what a Detroit coney is anyways. Oh well…

  23. rockosolido says:

    You know what? To hell with Marshall Field’s, THEY took Hudson’s away from ME!
    You go get ’em, Macy’s…with your gutted sales coupons, lack of decent brands, and piss poor customer service. You go get ’em!

  24. juri squared says:

    I had to buy a fancy-schmancy wedding present the other day and was extremely sad I had no Marshall Field’s to buy it from.

    Yes, I am a nutty Chicagoan.

  25. killavanilla says:

    As a Chicago resident (born and raised) I am mystified by the morons who stand around the Macy’s and claim regret. Sales at Marshall Fields stores slowly declined and they sold to Macy’s. Macy’s changed the name.
    Um, idiot. WHO THE HELL CARES about Marshall Fields? They sold crap. It was expensive. It went out of business.
    Macy’s was well within their rights to do what they should have done, which was kill the brand and sell the property. Instead, they chose to change the marshall fields over to a macy’s.
    So how do customers repay Macy’s with their massive investment into Chicago? By NOT shopping there and NOT supporting them. Macy’s brought back Frango mints, and customers don’t care.
    I am amazed that 200 people managed to show up. That sounds like the exact number of people who are ‘upset’ that Macy’s bought Fields. Get a clue, losers. Most of us have better things to do than complain about something as meaningless as the Marshall Fields brand. It was purchased in 1990 by the same company that owned Target. Then things got really funny.
    Oh boo hoo! Marshall Fields is gone. Oh waaaah! Oh lord, how will life go on with the same products being sold at the same mark-ups but WITHOUT A NAME THAT MEANS NOTHING??!?!?!?!?
    I’ve lived in Chicago for all 32 years of my life and simply don’t give a crap.
    This waste of emotional connection to a retailer is amazing, but incredibly stupid and shallow.
    Wow. I actually feel a little better now.
    Thanks for the quick smack on the Cubs. I was a fan until years of bartending made me watch most of the games. How many years of heartbreak can you stick with a team if you aren’t only interested in going to the games to get drunk and flirt with other, like-minded fans?
    I can’t wait for the Cubs to bought. Maybe people will cry and moan and protest when they change Wrigley Field to Motorola Park?
    Ugh. Branding.

  26. @killavanilla: TL;DR

  27. foghat81 says:

    ketchup on a hot dog seemed so natural to me just 5 minutes ago. now I’m questioning EVERYTHING!

  28. dazette says:

    Considering that Macy’s profits are down 77%–yes you read that right–I’d guess maybe there are just a few more than 200 protesters who hate Macy’s and refuse to shop there.

  29. killavanilla says:

    I’m sure that means something….
    Please share.
    Did you want me to throw in my opinion on hotdogs?
    Sure. Happy to!
    A Chicago hot dog (the best in the world) has Mustard, Relish, Onions, Tomato, Pickle, Hot Peppers and Celery salt. It must be on a steamed, poppy seed bun.
    The only people who should be eating Ketchup on a dog are under the age of 14.
    I also tend to go for steamed dogs over grilled, but have been known to have a char dog with mustard and grilled onions (which is all you should ever have on a Polish!).

  30. killavanilla says:

    Yeah. But the question is: why?
    Does it have anything to do with old people who remember the ‘old days’ when Marshall Fields was actually Marshall Fields or is it due to another, totally unrelated reason?
    I’m going to guess that Macy’s has more stores than the State street store….
    And more customers than downtown Chicago.

  31. ancientsociety says:

    It’s the shallow, materialistic mindset like this that is making me leave Chicago within the next year or two, after living her my entire life. As more suburbanites and out-of-staters come to live in Chicago, the city is becoming a mess of cookie-cutter condos/bars/”boutiques”/restaurants. They care more about stores and shopping than real issues.

    The CTA is facing a huge budget crisis (partly of their own making) and is making service cuts and fare increases for the 3rd time in as many years. Are people demanding change? Are they protesting? Nope. But, heaven forbid, one faceless corporation take over another “historic”, yet now faceless corporation….

  32. Nick says:

    @killavanilla: Settle down there, chief. The hatred of Macy’s has more to do with the stripping of local history by giant corporations rather than the name printed on the shopping bag.

  33. Landru says:

    Killavanilla , I’d just like to say that is is annoying for when serveral blank returns are added at end of a post.

    Thank you.

  34. killavanilla says:

    I agree.
    For some reason, when I post, they add themselves.
    I do not hit return a whole bunch of times and I can’t figure out why it does it to me….
    I SWEAR I am not hitting return a whole bunch of times. I type and then click submit….
    Not sure why that keeps happening! Sorry.

  35. killavanilla says:

    WHAT history?
    I mean, obviously there is history there but what is their connection?
    The thing that baffles my brain is that Marshall Fields was a store, where people bought goods. End of history. I shopped there. I bought stuff there. I even enjoyed the Frango mints! But when Marshall Fields became Macy’s, I didn’t care and still don’t.
    And Marshall Fields WAS a giant corporation. When they were bought out, they were valued at over $3 billion dollars.
    Did people cry a river when HP bought Compaq?
    Maybe I’m not getting something here, but it appears to me that one giant mega-corp simply bought out another giant mega-corp.
    You don’t see people weeping over Chryslers sale to Mercedes-Benz (and then Cerebus)….
    Sorry, the history argument is weak. the mega-corp buyout thing is even flimsier.
    Before Marshall Fields became Macy’s, it was owned by the folks that became Target. before that, another group. I fail to see the point of protesting something as empty and vapid as the name of a store changing.

  36. DjDynasty says:

    @killavanilla: Don’t forget Vienna Beef!! If it’s not Vienna, it’s NOT Chicago. I went somewhere in Denver that claimed they served Chicago Style on Nathan’s hotdogs, NO!!! I handed them the hotdog back and asked for a refund after 1 bite.

  37. ChristopherDavis says:

    @killavanilla asks “Did people cry a river when HP bought Compaq?”: Well, not so much then as when Compaq bought DEC, though since HP was the owner when they finally stopped selling Alpha systems…yes.

  38. killavanilla says:

    Almost forgot.
    Altough, Best Kosher makes a crazy good Chicago style dog….
    Nathans just doesn’t compare.

  39. SybilDisobedience says:

    Can someone please enlighten me as to what the hell a “frango” is?
    I’m from Detroit and we made occasional jaunts to Chicago (not TOO often – it’s a healthy drive!), but never went to Marshall Field’s.
    However, as a shipping clerk for a men’s clothing chain, I remember when Marshall Field’s became Macy’s, because all the rules changed for handling their freight on our end. Changed, as in, “got a lot more complicated.”

  40. hwyengr says:

    @ChristopherDavis: Dang it, you stole my witty retort about Digital.

    And you Hudson’s/Dayton’s folks, Hudson/Dayton (Target) BOUGHT Fields, and used their newly owned name to convert their old stores. Don’t blame us.

  41. MarcAnthony says:

    Ummm…Please get over Marshall Fields like yesterday! Marshall Fields hasn’t been itself in years! Have we forgot about the Target relationship, and how badly it became a discount shopping plaza! All 13 floors! Before Target came into play, it still sucked! Greedy commissioned sales people who didnt care about how you looked in the garments they were selling you infested the place! Get serious, move on! I’m not a Macy’s fan either, but Marshall Fields died long time ago. I hope they demolish the building or it catches fire one day! It’s an ugly eye sore in the middle of some pretty new and beutiful buildings that surround it.

  42. hyperlexis says:

    @killavanilla: Hey there, if you care so little about anything and anyone in your community, other than your 32-year-old self apparently, why don’t you just take another bong hit, call up Remax and move the f–k to Cincinatti. Macy’s evil empire lives there and you’ll be so happy being nearby. They may even give you some Alfani chinos to welcome you to town. I’m sure your Chicago neighbors will be happy to help you pack up and move the hell away.

  43. Youthier says:

    Hee… I know some (maybe even most) think these people should just get over it but it makes me laugh everytime there’s a Field’s article in the Tribune and people start commenting in the online edition. You can say a lot about them, but Chicagoans aren’t quitters (except for Grossman and he’s a transplant).

  44. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Actually Field’s made the Frango’s on the 10th floor of the State Street store, not the basement.

  45. killavanilla says:

    Let me get this straight – because I don’t give a crap what they call a company that was sold years ago for billions of dollars, I don’t care about anything?
    Or anyone?
    I should take a ‘bong hit’, then move? You think my neighbors don’t want me here? All because I don’t give two shits about Macy’s or Marshall Fields?
    You’ve got some nerve, jackass.
    Here the deal, hyperlexis, you don’t know squat about me save for the very reasonable fact that I could give a crap about what they call the Macy’s on State street.
    I am a great neighbor. I DO care about other things.
    Allow me to retort to your empty, stupid comment that displays to the world the fact that you are clearly an idiot who cares TOO much about the name of a f*cking store!
    Blow me.
    I LIVE in Chicago. I have for my entire life.
    I don’t smoke a ‘bong’ and I do care about other people and other things.
    Go fug yourself. Maybe if you weren’t such a reactionary freak, you’d realize that kicking someone out of town over Marshall Gul-durn Fields being bought, bastardized, bought again, then turned into a Macy’s isn’t a bid deal, unless of course your IQ is smaller than your average puppy.
    I’m so sorry that you place such great importance on the names of your retail stores.
    Clearly, you belong to a small group of morons who think the same as you.
    Honestly, I have been insulted by morons like you in the past, but never told to move out of the City I have lived in my whole life over what amounts to a name change disagreement.
    Tell you what! I’ve changed my mind. Everything would be so much better in this world if only the greedy bastards who own Macy’s made an incredibly stupid decision and changed the name of the store they bought back to Marshall Fields. That way, knuckledraggers like you could be fooled into thinking all is right with the world again.
    I’m staying in Chicago.
    And you’ve just inspired me: the next time these idiots with too much time on their hands decide to waste their day protesting Macy’s over A NAME, I’ll head on over and hold up a sign that says:
    “The people around me are stupid. They think the name of this store matters.”
    Fair enough?

  46. killavanilla says:

    A frango is a chocolate candy.
    the most popular seller was the frango mint, which had a layer of chocolate, a layer of mint chocolate, and another layer of chocolate.
    They are pretty durn tasty.

  47. spevman says:

    I live in Chicago and one of my friends was among the protestors outside the State Street Macy’s. When he told me ha was planning on being part of the protest, I kind of internally rolled my eyes. I never really shopped at Marshall Field’s. I actually miss the State Street Carson Pirie Scott store more.

    On a related note, I read in today’s Tribune that one of the protestors had a sign that read:

    “Macy’s. Oprah dosen’t shop here anymore.”

    Now that’s just funny.

  48. killavanilla says:

    One more thing –
    I know this never occured to you, but the truth is I spent most of Sunday volunteering at my local homeless shelter. Apparently, I should have been protesting a name change for a company that not only changed it’s name months ago, but was bought and sold twice since the ‘old days’….
    My bad.
    I’ll stop showing up and volunteering so I can devote more of my time protesting Macy’s decision to turn their billions of dollars of investment capital into a full fledged Macy’s store.

  49. hyperlexis says:

    Yes, thats right Killa. Everyone in the world is wrong, but you. It’s all a big conspiracy. That’s right. And Arabs didn’t cause 9-11 either…. Maybe you care about, oh I dunno, your dinner? Or maybe the weather. Certainly not your community. (Anyone who says that crap about the Cubs/Sox here in the city is either from the burbs or somewhere else, mentally or physically, or feels ok taking his life into his own hands….) But for people who can actually make an intelligent comment about something rather than ranting and swearing and carrying on like a 12-year-old, here is an interesting article about how Macy’s stock is tanking.


  50. Nick says:

    @killavanilla: Killa, I hope you appreciate the irony that you seem to be more worked up over this than anyone else.

  51. formergr says:

    Having just moved from Chicago I do understand some of Killa’s frustration. I too, seriously never got the whole Marshall Fields obession/Macy’s obsession. Before Macy’s bought it, all I ever heard from people was bitching about how hard it was to find clothes to buy at the Field’s State Street store due to its bizarre organization, so they didn’t like to shop there. The store was usually pretty empty.

    To those who say that they are upset because Macy’s has ruined their decades-long tradition of going to Marshall Fields at Christmas to look at the windows and the trees?
    1) They will still be there at Christmas, as will the clock outside. The name doesn’t change ANY OF THIS!

    2) Maybe if all those times you went at Christmas you actually bought stuff, the brand wouldn’t have been bought out. Stores exist to make money, not to create someone’s holiday traditions. If you want free holiday traditions, watch the parade or something.

  52. bohemian says:

    Our stores used to be Daytons. That is what I remembered growing up and all the traditions they had at the original downtown Minneapolis store around the holidays.
    We took our kids there after it was turned into Marshall Fields and all the holiday stuff was exactly the same.
    What I have noticed was that the store in our corner of the backwater started to suck as Daytons before the merger. Then the Marshall Fields started to suck before Macys bought them out and it has continued to suck under Macys. What annoys the hell out of me is that the Macys at the Maul of America actually has a decent selection. But out local store has only carried crap for years and the staff are about the calabur of the local Walmart.
    The last time I got anything resembling actual service in a department store was Nordstrom about ten years ago, and Williams Sonoma generally still does.
    Our current local Macys is about the same level as JcPenney with the exception of over priced Ralph Lauren clothes.

  53. killavanilla says:

    I’m the bad guy because I got upset that you have so far told me to get the hell out of Chicago over a name change.
    And because I’m not a Cubs fan (I’m a converted Sox fan, thank you very much), you assume I’m from the suburb, somewhere else, or should feel threatened over it.
    I decided to take a look at your posting history – know what I found?
    Most of your posts are about Macy’s.
    You are a marshall fields groupie. Just admit it. You ONLY seem to care about Macy’s….
    And I still don’t get what you mean. My post wasn’t about Macy’s as a company. My post was mocking the idiots who spent their sunday protesting, well – I’m not sure what.
    My point is and has always been that Macy’s owns the store. Period. Marshall Fields hasn’t been owned by a relative (or anyone who cared about anything more than profit) for what, 15 years?
    You want to freak out and give a crap about the importance of a name. Me? I spent my Sunday volunteering at a homeless shelter, feeding the homeless and talking to them.
    As I said before – there are more important things in life than Marshall Fields (which was in name only for 15+ years or so).
    For this, you’ve called me heartless and told me to get out of Chicago.
    Yes, Macy’s is experiencing financial trouble. But again – This guy doesn’t give two craps about them.
    You seem to, though. What statement are you sending the world when the most important thing in your life is Macy’s and what they do with a store they bought.
    BTW, I asked my girlfriend what she thought about Macy’s – she said that she likes it better because they have better stuff. If morons stopped protesting and actually went inside, and slacker news reporters reported actual news instead of making a big deal about it, they might actually do well in Chicago.
    Her words, not mine. All I did was ask.
    You are mentally unstable if you think that Macy’s or Marshall Fields is what really matters in this life.

  54. killavanilla says:

    Yeah. I got that.
    The only thing I have to say is that I’m not worked up about Macy’s.
    I don’t care about them.
    I just don’t like being called selfish and told I should move out of Chicago because I find it ridiculous that people protest Macy’s for changing Marshall Fields to Macy’s.
    Especially offensive? Being told I don’t care about my community or anyone else besides myself when I spent my Sunday volunteering at a homeless shelter.

  55. hwyengr says:

    @killavanilla: Make sure you mention the homeless shelter a couple of more times. I’m sure the Mayor’s office will see it soon and commend you on your fine upstanding citzenry.

  56. killavanilla says:

    homeless shelter…
    Homeless shelter…
    Homeless shelter…
    Sorry bout that.
    My computer didn’t update so I thought it was lost in cyberworld. I just went back and saw that it was in fact posted.

  57. swalve says:

    Marshall Fields failed because it was an oddity- you go in there during Christmas to ogle and see how the rich folks do things, and then everyone goes to Carson’s to buy the same stuff at 2/3 the price.

  58. azntg says:

    @killavanilla: Geez man, calm down a bit. Point is taken and rest assured you’re doing a good service for Chicago as a whole. And if I was a Chicago native, I would definitely mock the very logic of people protesting for Fields.

  59. morganlh85 says:

    We were pretty mad in Pittsburgh that they took away Kaufmann’s, too.

  60. edgarj455 says:

    Megh,what have you done.Some very passionate people.look I lived in Chitown all my life and Macy’s made a marketing bobo big time. So they will,
    in here corporate wisdom fix it, or perhaps a new CEO,hay all good. Anyway, the most important question is this, did the Crazy Quilt Dragon, Cinnamon Bear, and Uncle Mistletoe get severance pay? and could they role there 401K? oh did they every find that star? also I know as a fact they never put catsup on a hot dog. You don’t put marinara sauce on Italian beef. Not in Chicago,, I had to say that,sorry.

  61. Chicago7 says:

    I’ve lived in Chicago for 40 years and I love Chicago hot dogs AT LEAST as much as the next person, but if you want to put ketchup on your hot dog, go ahead.

    Marshall Fields was no big bonus of a store. It’s mostly just memories of Christmas for former little kids now grown up to be 80 and senile.

    I never saw the point of standing around in 5 degree weather and looking into the Marshall Fields windows at Christmas, either. Maybe in 1910, this was the height of entertainment, but now? I think not.

  62. sroelofs says:


    Sweetie, it was Dayton-Hudson who bought Marshall Field’s and then changed the names of its existing Dayton’s and Hudson’s to Field’s. Not the other way around. Research your facts before you start talking smack.

  63. BigPatrick says:

    The real problem is that the Field’s that these people want back hasn’t existed for probably 25 years. As a small kid, the highlight of every birthday was a trip “Downtown” to Field’s on the El, a trip through the toy department (when they actually had one), and lunch at the Blackhawk, followed by a trip to the top of the Prudential Building (yeah, I’m THAT old).

    My parents swore by the “old” Field’s. My mother would call them up and order what she wanted, sight unseen — and get exactly what she wanted. They paid a bit more, but they considered it a convenience fee.

    So I suspect for many of us, there is some bit of DNA that misses the store that used to be — and those placard-holding fans pine for those old days. Problem is, there are very few stores that can afford that level of service and quality. In these Wal-Mart days, we seem to care more about price than the crap that we’re being sold.

  64. LeahPogo says:

    Those of you who say that people in Chicago should just get over the change in the NAME are missing the point. You have also clearly never searched high and low for jeans that don’t make your hips look funny, only to have your favorite brand disappear when you need a new pair.

    Here in Western NY all of the Kauffman’s stores were switched over to Macy’s, and I have yet to make a purchase. I’m not protesting anything (heck, I keep going in hoping to spend money), there is just not a single item that I want to buy. All of my favorite brands have gone the way of the dodo, and I’m left with… well shopping somewhere else.

    The thing that really ticks me off though, is the huge fanfare with which Macy’s changed over all of the Kauffman’s stores. It was as if Macy’s came in and told all of us hicks here in Rochester in Buffalo that we don’t really know want we want and MACY’S will show us the light with a more upscale shopping experience, but the carpet in the dressing rooms is still ripped.

    Sure, there are better things to protest than the changing of one department store to another, but I appreciate someone speaking out against the homogenization of the American retail experience. Besides looking for jeans can make people do crazy things.

  65. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @AngrySicilian: IAWTC

  66. killavanilla: “And Marshall Fields WAS a giant corporation.”

    It was OUR giant corporation. Field’s and Chicago have a long history, as you may note by the FIELD MUSEUM, just as one example. The family was Chicago, the store was Chicago, it was local, and it was ours.

    If you don’t give a shit about the local history that makes Chicago unique, that’s fine, but don’t hold yourself up as a lover of Chicago while not caring when it’s made like every other cookie cutter metropolis in the country and its traditions and unique local character are ripped away from it.

  67. kable2 says:

    I like ketchup, relish, mustard (sometimes bacon bits and onions) on a hot dog. What is up with you people trying to tell someone that ketchup is wrong haha

    Also I like gravy on my fries with salt, vinegar and ketchup yummmmy

  68. killavanilla says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    I do care about the local history that makes Chicago unique.
    What I don’t care about is a company that was sold by anyone related to the Fields family back in 1982 to a tobacco company.
    Get it straight, folks. Marshall Fields WAS a part of our history. It was family owned until 1982, not 2007. Since 1982, Marshall Fields has been on a slow decline. It stopped being a part of true Chicago in 1982, and continued down that road. In 1990, it was sold to the company that became Target Corp. Target is not a Chicago company either.
    So all this over a name that was bought and sold twice. That makes it part of Chicago history in name only.
    Simply put, Marshall Fields stopped being a true ‘Chicago’ institution in 1982 and was further removed in 1990. The brand sunk slowly as self-professed loyalists continued to play lip service to it’s heritage while shopping elsewhere and flat out not supporting the brand.
    So spare me your historical nonsense. It’s revisionist history at best.
    Since you people seem so interested in history and so willing to protest over nothing, I would like to take a moment to point out that no stink was made over Montgomery Wards, also a Chicago based company that innovated the mail-order business model. Aaron Montgomery Ward actually invented the mail order business. Wards was the first mail order business in the world.
    Did you protest when they folded? How about when the Wards building was turned into condos? Were you standing outside in tears, shaking your fist at god for allowing such a gem to fade away into nothingness?
    No. You weren’t. And that was a Chicago business that stayed family owned from 1872 until 1976.
    Spare me your riteous indignation. Marshall Fields was a huge company that hadn’t been a true Chicago company since 1982.
    Get over it. Macy’s bought them and have every right to do as they please with the state street store. There is nothing uniquely Chicago about Marshall Fields anymore. The brand is dead. Quit crying. The city has plenty of character and true Chicago history. Instead of looking to mega-global corporation for your culture, try shopping at one of those locally owned, small shops. Support LOCAL businesses and for gods sake get on with your lives.

  69. killavanilla says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    Furthermore, since you seem to be tied up on Chicago history, do you buy all your computers from CDW instead of Dell? Do you only fly Delta? Do you only drive Ford Five Hundreds (now taurus)? Do you only eat at McDonalds? Do you still shop at Sears?
    I just don’t buy it. I can understand being unhappy with the loss of Marshall Fields. what I cannot understand is that some of you seem to think that Macy’s owes you. They own the stores and bought the brand. It is their choice to operate as they see fit.

  70. killavanilla says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    Were you upset when Eli’s place for steak closed?
    Do you even know what that is? They were a downtown Chicago restaurant. I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a few meals there. The created the Eli’s Cheesecake. When they closed, no one protested. Isn’t that odd that a part of Chicago culture went away for business reasons? All the tears shed! How awful!
    And when Berghoffs closed, people cried for months!
    Hogwash. Nonsense. Selective outrage!

  71. Sudonum says:

    Not to start another flame war but according to this [] Benjamin Franklin started the first mail order business in 1744.

    Further reading will show that Hammacher Schlemmer is the oldest continuously operating mail order business established in 1848.

    Aaron Montgomery Ward is credited with printing the first mail order catalog in 1872.

    I am sure that the catalog that Ward publish did indeed revolutionize the mail order business. But he was not the first.

    These facts do not in any way diminish your point about Marshall Fields and other Chicago landmarks going by the wayside with barely a whimper from the general populace. Now if something happens to the original Pizzaria Uno on Ohio, then we have a situation worth protesting over.

  72. sroelofs says:

    Funny how all these people who think the pro-Field’s / anti-Macy’s protesters need to get a life and find more important things to protest find the time themselves to write a comment. Why are you even bothering to read the article if you don’t care? Losers. Just a bunch of negative losers too busy busybodying themselves in other people’s lives. Well you are the people who need to get a life, or at least get out of mine.

  73. killavanilla says:

    Sorry to tell you this, but Pizzareia Uno has been bastardized, packaged and sold all over the country….
    How sad. The food is still good at the downtown location, but the spirit is gone.
    When I was between jobs in the restaurant biz (back when I was still in), I had just left a restaurant that did $2 million a year – around what Uno’s was doing. A recruiter sent me over to an Uno’s to interview. I met with a district manager, a regional manager and a HR person. I was embarrassed by the way I was interviewed. These people shows me zero respect and asked me questions inappropriately with a condescending tone. I walked out, called the recruiter, and told her that I wouldn’t work for them if they paid me $150,000 a year and bought me car. I expressed my disgust with the restaurant company and told her, in no uncertain terms:
    1) No one should be made to feel bad about themselves over an interview
    2) If they didn’t want to interview me, they shouldn’t have
    3) I would NEVER frequent a restaurant bearing the Uno’s name again
    Here’s an example:
    Them: Why do you think you are qualified to run an Uno’s as a GM?
    Me: well, my experience is pretty extensive, especially for my age. I have turned around failing restaurants in the past, increased profitability and efficiency in every store I’ve ever managed, and run units with similar volume and menu’s.
    Them: So what makes you think you can run a place like Uno’s?
    Me: Well, my last restaurant did similar volumes and a good chunk of the food came from our Pizza menu. We had a brick oven and did some impressive volume.
    Them: (laughing at me now) So you think you know what kind of volume we do?
    Me: based on my experience, yes. The size of the restaurant and location leads me to believe that this restaurant that we are sitting in likely did somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million a year.
    Them: (condescending now) Nice try. We did $1.2 million here.
    Me: Well then, I’d say you were underperforming. Frankly speaking, if you do a cost analysis of the square footage and number of seats, you could be doing more. That kind of push is what you get with me – a desire to grow and increase your business.
    Them: (now harsh) So you think you know how to run this place better?
    Me: To be honest with you, it’s pretty clear that the culture around here is broken. I’ve interviewed at least 100 people before and so far, you have made me uncomfortable, been condescending, and insinuated that I don’t know how to do my job. This interview is over unless you start treating me with some basic respect.

    That’s how the interview ended.
    Sadly, that restaurant had been taken over by guys in flashy suits who don’t understand that theirs is a people business.
    Maybe things have changed, but I still don’t go there.

  74. killavanilla says:

    No flame war! :-)
    But wiki is confused!
    “Montgomery Ward (later known as Wards) is an online retailer and a former American department store chain, founded as the world’s first mail order business in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward. “
    Close enough…. They still innovated.
    Perhaps you are correct!
    Who knows…

  75. killavanilla says:

    Because part of the joy of this site is helping others resolve issues and the other part is making fun of people who protest what companies do with their property.
    Come on, you don’t think it’s hilarious that in 2007 people are protesting that Macy’s, who bought the brand from Target, who bought the brand from a tobacco company in 1982 are wasting their time trying to get a brand revived that stopped being a true Chicago name long ago?

  76. killavanilla says:

    sorry about the excess space.
    I have no idea why it keeps inserting it.
    maybe it’s the pc I use?

  77. Sudonum says:

    @killavanilla: I apent a year in Chicago doing a major hotel renovation. I won’t tell you what property, we just called it the “Mistake By The Lake”. It was on Michigan near Ohio. I have fond memories of that Pizzaria Uno.

    After I finished the Chicago job, I had to go to Orlando. There I found one of the chain (or franchisee, whatever the case may be) and was appalled at the difference. FWIW I can buy frozen Pizzaria Uno’s in the freezer section of my local grocery. So no doubt the suits have taken over.

  78. sabrinad says:

    Who cares about the name. The fact of the matter is that the State Street store completely sucks now. Whether or not immediately-pre-Macy’s Fields was better or worse than pre-Target Fields is immaterial; we’re never getting pre-Target Fields back — but post-Macy’s Fields is noticeably worse than pre-Macy’s Fields.

    If the store was the same, I would still find the name change tacky and annoying in that “I don’t /want/ to pretend I’m cool because I shop at a ‘New York’ store” way, but I’d still shop there, which is all they would care about. As it is, the store is stocked with crap, like their Martha Stewart stuff — a “name brand” I could get at K-Mart? Are you serious? If I am going to go to a reasonably upscale department store — it’s sure not going to be Macy’s. And if I wanted Old Navy quality, I’d hit the Old Navy across the street.

    P.S. I haven’t been back to Unos (or Dues) since the first time I was roadtripping out east someplace and stopped at a turnpike rest area, and they had an Unos! I laughed my fool head off.

  79. killavanilla says:

    Next time you come to Chi-town, check out Gino’s east.
    Or Lou Malnati’s.
    Pretty much the same recipe. From what I understand, they all worked in the same kitchen that created Chicago Style Deep dish and then some of them went to start their own restaurant.
    You can get a frozen Lou Malnati’s, and I’d bet it’s better than Uno’s….
    It was sad to see Uno’s turn into a corporate pig, but the day of that interview I decided that interviews go both ways.
    Just as they are interviewing me, I am interviewing them. That attitude made my last few interviews immensely successful.

  80. Raanne says:

    I know its been said earlier in this thread, but it bears repeating – i’d feel a lot more sorry for them if they hadn’t just done the same thing to Hudson’s.

  81. shesaidwhat says:

    It’s the loss of diversity that is one of the major problems. Every
    single shopping area looks the same and carries the same stuff. It
    feels like Macy’s is shutting down choices: ultimately the mall will
    just be one big Macy’s.

    No wonder they are losing money. Tourists don’t go to Chicago to shop at Macy’s. That is going to be a major loss of revenue.

    During the holidays people don’t have the generations of family that have traditionally gone downtown to see the Macy’s windows.

    The icon of Chicago isn’t the Macy’s clock it is the Marshall Field’s clock.

    I live in California but I have stopped shopping at Macy’s because I am so mad at them for changing the name.