Macy’s $400m Revamp To Spotlight Shoes

Already known as the “World’s Largest Store”, Macy’s at Herald Square is getting a facelift that will result in the world’s largest women’s shoe department.

“We did measure it so we’re confident of that [claim],” said Jeffrey Gennette, chief merchandising officer of Macy’s, at a press event on Tuesday.

Footwear, which will span 39,000 square feet on the second floor versus 36,000 square feet over the fourth and fifth floors, will get prime placement in the new space.

Macy’s is spending $400 million over four years to makeover the Manhattan flagship, and will add 100,000 sq ft of selling space, bringing the total square footage to 1.2 million.

Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s Inc, said at the event that the particular spotlight on women’s shoes is threefold.

“Once you get a woman in a shoe, [the game is] over. She’ll definitely become loyal to the store [in which] she likes to shop for shoes,” Lundgren said.

“Two, [after you] get her into the shoe, we have a lot of apparel, handbags, accessories and jewelry to sell her as well. Three, without revealing a specific number, [footwear] is a very fast growing category [at Macy’s],” the exec added.

Macy’s new shoe department, when finished, will stock 300,000 pairs of shoes at any one time, and boast a much wider range of products, brands and price points, the firm said.

The department itself will be merchandized into sub-sections, and include a space for a bar serving wine, coffee and chocolate.

“It’s really important that we lifestyle the presentation. It will be rooms of shoes catering to specific customer groupings,” said Amy Hanson, EVP of property development, credit and customer services at Macy’s Inc.

Hanson added that technology, including mobile point-of-sale devices for easy checkout, will be a big focus in the new shoe department.

“It’s about leveraging information from Macys.com, showing [the customer] quickly what we have in stock, if it’s in her size, suggest [other things she may like],” said Hanson.

The shoe department will be one of the first ones to be completed, just in time for the holidays in 2012, the firm said.

“We’re relocating some escalators to bring customers straight to the second floor. We’re very excited about shoes,” said Gennette.

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