Macy’s is officially putting its experiential bet to the test.
A year after acquiring New York City-based concept shop Story, the department store chain has debuted the 1,500-square-foot boutiques at 36 of its locations in 15 states across the country, including its Herald Square flagship.
For the inaugural theme, the stores are opening with “Color,” featuring a curated assortment of giftable products including fashion accessories, tech products, home decor and more merchandise — all sectioned by unifying blues, pinks and other colors of the rainbow.
“The discovery-led narrative experience of Story gives new customers a fresh reason to visit our stores and gives the current Macy’s customer even more reason to come back again and again throughout the year,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chairman and CEO.
Story CEO and founder Rachel Shechtman even compared the shopping experience to the “real-life version of scrolling through Instagram.”
“You discover things you weren’t looking for but are inspired by all the fun finds — the second you see it, you need it,” she explained. “We aspire to create that feeling with the breadth of the narrative-driven merchandise edit we are bringing to life.”
Leading up to the launch, more than 270 managers and so-called storytellers took part in an experiential retail training program that focuses on customer engagement and event production. Renowned designer David Stark also assisted in the creative color scheme.
Story bases its retail model on the viewpoint of a magazine and features a changing array of designs like a gallery. In that same vein, every few months, the space at Macy’s will undergo an inventory and interior design overhaul to highlight a new theme. (Story’s Chelsea outpost continues to operate as usual.)
Along with the acquisition in May, Macy’s also named Shechtman as its brand experience officer, reporting directly to the retailer’s president, Hal Lawton. In the role, Shechtman is responsible for in-store customer experiences — the centerpiece that has allowed the Manhattan boutique to thrive in today’s digital world.
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