Smaller stores used primarily as showrooms to display product; fixtures that show actual and virtual items and allow customers to search dot-com and store inventory; testing a full-line store in an outlet mall, and finding new ways to extract and apply information from the My Macy’s localization program were all among the topics discussed at the Macy’s Inc. investor meeting Tuesday.
“I can imagine certain stores that haven’t carried a full inventory of textiles [bedding and other products that take a lot of room to display] may be able to sample those products now,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s. “We will have great confidence in fast delivery. We may be able to have smaller-sized stores that are largely for samples.
“We will try everything,” Lundgren continued. “We’ll try 10 things and if two work, we’ll follow through on them.”
Another test: a Macy’s full-line store at the Gurnee Mills outlet center in Gurnee, Ill., which could become a template for a new concept. “If this works, it will obviously open up new ideas to think about, such as expansion in those centers with smaller footprint stores,” Lundgren said. Macy’s isn’t interested in opening bona-fide outlet stores because Macy’s sale prices and outlet store price points are very close.
“We’re testing [fixtures] that allow customers to see physical product and search all the inventory between dot-com and stores,” he said. “We’re investing big time in mobile devices. We have a mobile app, but there’s a lot more we can do to leverage that experience to blend technology with in-store to facilitate the purchase.”
During the question-and-answer session, Lundgren was asked if the company could support another $1 billion of debt. Karen Houget, chief financial officer, said, “We do have capacity to add some debt.” “Good observation,” Lundgren told the analyst. The ever-cautious Houget said, “Could be.”
The next question seemed logical: “As you look at the retail landscape, what is your appetite for mergers and acquisitions?” “You never know, but I don’t really see signs of opportunity for us in America,” Lundgren said. “There could be something elsewhere. We have close to 800 Macy’s boxes. There’s opportunity for Bloomingdale’s to grow. We’re in most of the key markets. If we acquired something [in the U.S.], it would be duplicative on the Macy’s side.”
Speaking of international, Michael Gould, chairman and ceo of Bloomingdale’s, which opened its first unit outside the U.S. in Dubai five years ago, sounded fairly bullish, but said everything depended on finding the right partner. “This is not just a concession business,” Gould said of the store. “Every major creative issue goes through us. I go twice a year.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye