[3/16/17]  Dive Brief:

  • Incoming Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette, speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Consumer and Retail Technology Conference on Tuesday, said the department store will take a page from the likes of Kohl’s and J.C. Penney and bring in more stores-within-stores; It plans to boost the number of its own Bluemercury concessions and expand Lens Crafters to 500 stores, according to accounts from CNBC and The Street.
  • Bluemercury’s approach is closer to that of Sephora and Ulta, which have shaken up the beauty industry by doing away with the old-fashioned department store beauty counter. Gennette said the retailer is similarly expanding self-service racks in its shoe departments, akin to shoe buying at many off-price retailers.
  • Gennette also said, according to notes from the Fly, that while Macy’s will always be “promotional,” it’s changing up how it presents good deals to customers. It’s expanding its “Last Call” clearance areas from 10 of its stores to another 30 locations this year. In place of one-day sales, which Gennette says have undermined Macy’s fashion authority, the department store will introduce “Macy’s Money” coupons (like “$10 off of $50”) rather than brand-specific discounts, which have rattled Coach, Michael Kors and others.

Dive Insight:

Gennette said on Tuesday that he and other Macy’s executives “don’t have our heads in the sand,” painting a picture of a department store that is sharpening its focus and solidifying its approach as a middle-market or even a discount retailer.

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