New Macy’s CEO Tasked With Saving Company, Entire Idea Of Department Stores

Image courtesy of The Caldor Rainbow

Can department stores become relevant again? Figuring that out will be the job of the next CEO of Macy’s, Jeff Gennette. He currently serves as the company’s president, and will take over as CEO in early 2017. His job will be to get the company through a tough period as middle-class shoppers seem to be questioning the whole department store business model and hitting off-price and discount stores instead.

Most mall clothing retailers aren’t doing great right now, though they were able to blame plummeting sales on unseasonably warm weather at the beginning of the year. Macy’s is trying to go where its customers are, opening its own off-price chain, Macy’s Backstage, and putting mini Backstage stores inside existing Macy’s stores.

Gennette is the executive behind some of the company’s innovations that we’ve discussed here, like its Millennial Bargainless Basement (not the project’s actual name) at the flagship Manhattan store, and placing mini Finish Line stores inside Macy’s stores.

He’s been with the company since 1983, and has worked on both the merchandise and operations sides of the business. One of his priorities will be to create more entertainment in stores and simplify pricing, though he hasn’t explained exactly what either of those things means yet.

Macy’s New Chief Aims to Liven Up Department-Store Chain [Wall Street Journal]