Fashion Brands Don’t Want To Go To Macy’s, Either

Image courtesy of J.G. Park

We’ve been discussing lately about how customers don’t seem to want to shop in department stores, which means that malls don’t want or need them to draw customers. It turns out that brands have soured on department stores too, since having items inevitably end up on sale cheapens their brands everywhere. Where does that leave department stores? Closing a lot of stores and figuring out how to go forward.

It’s not a coincidence that in the last week, while Macy’s announced plans to close 100 stores, starting with its standalone menswear store in San Francisco, handbag brand Coach and fashion brand Michael Kors announced plans to pull their merchandise from department stores.

Shoppers simply weren’t buying huge amounts of merchandise, and the jam-packed clearance sections of the last year or so have fashion brands nervous. While some brands are scaling back their department store presence, new companies are starting up without putting their products in department stores at all. You won’t find brands like Everlane at your local Macy’s: new-generation fashion companies not only want to keep more control over their pricing, but release new items closer to when people will actually wear them.

The current problem with the department-store model is that while the chain shoves dozens of brands together on a jumbled clearance rack, the store itself lacks a strong brand identity. It has house brands, but those are normally secondary to the recognizable brand names.

Consumers are not the only ones leaving Macy’s; brands are too [San Francisco Chronicle]
What Is the Direct-to-Consumer Sales Model and Why Should You Care? [Racked]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.