Macy’s doesn’t sell mops, but there was Joy Mangano on the eighth floor of the Herald Square flagship watching demonstrators in purple “Joy” shirts pushing the vehicle she’s ridden to fame and fortune across the floor.
Mangano may be the only woman in America who can make a mop sound sexy. The story of her invention, the Miracle Mop, was seductive enough to entice Hollywood director David O. Russell to make a movie about her life, in which the mop plays a leading role.
On Sunday night, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Mangano in the film, “Joy,” won a Golden Globe for best actress.
Mangano typically sells her products on HSN, which bought her company, Ingenious Designs LLC, in 1999, and where her hourly sales regularly exceed $1 million. During the course of her career, she’s sold $3 billion worth of products.
This time, Mangano’s new and improved Miracle Mop launched on HSN on Jan. 3, but she’s also adding brick-and-mortar to her distribution. “I believe in the circle of commerce,” she said. “This is very strategic. I know how to choose partners that are creative.”
In addition to Macy’s, the Joy collection will be sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond, the Container Store and Target.
Mangano arrives at Macy’s at a time when the core department store business — anchored by women’s fashion, which represents about a quarter of the total volume — seems to be a limited or no-growth proposition.
Tourism and Macy’s stock price are down, and the forecast for 2016 is for reduced earnings. It’s no wonder chairman and chief executive officer Terry J. Lundgren is looking for the unconventional and a little of Mangano’s fairy dust.
“Macy’s is an absolute institution,” Mangano said. Of the retailer’s troubles, she added, “The entire economy is a pendulum. I’m here because it’s the discovery of Macy’s and all those customers I’ve never reached before. I’ve been shopping at Macy’s for decades.”
Mangano said she’ll partner with Macy’s on exclusive products, adding, “With a partnership with Macy’s, we could do so much together. I cross all categories. This is so exciting.
“When I design something it’s not from a category point of view but where I see a need,” said Mangano, who holds more than 100 patents. “The Macy’s customer is going to be in for some fun when you see the beautiful Joy brand get bigger.”
Mangano met Lundgren at an industry function several years ago, but it wasn’t until March that she and the ceo sat down to discuss her products and the possibilities at Macy’s.
“I was talking and he said, ‘This is very exciting. This is really very exciting,” Mangano said of the meeting.
When Lundgren sat down with Mangano in March, he said,“It took about three minutes for me to think, ‘This woman has something. Ten minutes later, I said, ‘I want to buy something for you.’”
“Later, I nonchalantly said, ‘They’re making this movie about me,’” Mangano said. “Terry said, ‘Is that really true? But I believe you, I really believe you.’”
“We’re excited to see what the possibilities of this partnership between Macy’s and Joy will bring to both of our national brands,” Lundgren said. “With her innovative designs, she has been at the forefront in the home category and she brings with her a new audience and expanded product options to Macy’s Home Store.
“As we cater to an omnichannel customer, we are very excited to have her product line enhance our Macy’s Home Store offerings for our online and bricks-and-mortar shopper,” Lundgren added. “Joy’s appeal is extensive and her story inspirational. Having Joy here with us at Macy’s Herald Square to launch her collection that’s available for the first time in stores is a great moment for not only Macy’s and the Joy brand, but for our customers and her TV audience who shop with us, too.”
Macy’s created a shop-in-shop for the Joy collection, which includes Better Beauty Cases, Huggable Hangers, My Little Steamers, Forever Fragrant, Memory Cloud pillows and Miracle Mops in purple, turquoise, pink, white and black.
Mangano told the Macy’s customers gathered how over dinner, several years ago, a producer vowed to write her life story. She thought nothing of it until Russell called. While the director told Mangano that “Joy” would be “half-fiction” and not a biopic, she completely recognized it as her own story. “I severely inspired that movie,” she said. “David captured so many emotional touch points. David O. Russell actually created a tribute to an industry — television home shopping — which made my path possible.
“There were several ‘A-ha’ moments [in developing the Miracle Mop],” Mangano said. “But, it was quite a task to get that mop to market.
“Go find that mop,” she told the customers congregated on Macy’s eighth floor. “It’s a movie star.”