NEW YORK — Macy’s Herald Square has never been more ready for back-to-school.

The Macy’s East flagship has completely revamped its more than 42,000 square foot fourth-floor junior department, adding more brands and categories, hoping to attract all types of teens from the young prep to the skateboarder to the lover of streetwear.

The floor, which used to be mainly a mishmash of brands clumped together in the center, surrounded by such shop-in-shops as XOXO, Rampage, Guess and DKNY Jeans, has added more in-store shops to make it easier for the customer to find a particular brand.

“I want this to be the young, hip destination in the junior business,” said Robert Jezowski, executive vice president and general merchandise manager for Macy’s East. “We have the largest junior department in New York, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be the best. It has to have a certain energy — a lot like when you walk into Topshop in London.”

In order to create that energy, the floor not only offers the hottest apparel labels in the junior arena, but also offers cosmetics from such brands as MAC and Clinique; shoes from Skechers and Steve Madden, and accessories from Diesel. There’s a full-time DJ spinning all the latest and loudest tunes from rappers like Nelly to rockers like Sublime. The fitting rooms have been completely redone with new floors, lighting and booths to make it more pleasant to try on clothes.

And that’s not all. Jezowski said in October the store will add at least three food vendors that appeal to teen shoppers, as it already has McDonald’s on the children’s floor and Starbucks on the contemporary floor.

But apparel is naturally the main priority on the junior floor. That’s why Jezowski added new street labels that it never carried before, such as Triple 555 Soul, Kangol, G-III and Lady Enyce. He also added a Baby Phat shop and is making room for Eve’s Fetish line, which will hit the floor in a couple of weeks. Jezowski said he is most proud of American Rag, which also has its own shop and is the brand that he hopes will draw the Abercrombie & Fitch shopper into the store.“It’s such a great brand that will appeal to that Abercrombie shopper,” he explained of the Los Angeles-based brand that carries vintage-inspired graphic T-shirts and an array of jeans styles. “We have this exclusively on the East Coast. It has a real rock ’n’ roll feel. I think this is going to be huge for us.”

Jezowski said by the end of the month Macy’s will do about $2.5 million on the junior floor, even before the heart of the b-t-s season, since most schools do not begin until early September.

“We started this renovation in March, and we couldn’t finish it soon enough,” he said. “We were beginning to fall behind in juniors when young men’s became so big for us, so now we are back on track.”

Jezowski said the decision to pull in more streetwear brands to add to the ones the store already carries — Ecko Red, Fubu Ladies and Rocawear — is important.

“The street category is so important right now, there’s so much happening there,” he said. “JLo is just getting better and better, when in the beginning it didn’t do so well at all.”

While his top performer is still XOXO, Jezowski said the streetwear category is only getting larger and he is always thinking of making more room for these brands. The hair salon that was located on the junior floor was knocked out, creating room for Kangol, Rocawear and G-III.

“The ladies getting their hair done there would always complain about the loud music,” he said. “So we just decided it was better to get rid of it and make more room for the clothes.”

THE TOP FIVE

Macy’s East has the largest junior department of any department store in New York. Here, the five best-selling brands on the fourth floor:


1. XOXO
2. Guess
3. DKNY Jeans
4. Tommy Jeans
5. JLo by Jennifer Lopez

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