NEW YORK — Macy’s East is revved up and ready for back-to-school.

The retailer held its third annual junior vendor day here on Wednesday at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street. About 1,000 store associates and vendors in the juniors, young men’s and children’s areas turned up to learn the trends, hear feedback from Macy’s executives and get pumped to face customers shopping for the b-t-s season.

“I am pleased with our progress,” said Ron Klein, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s East. “But I think there is a lot of work to be done over the next 30 to 60 days.”

Klein noted the importance of this year’s event, especially with the newly integrated stores from the Federated Department Stores-May Department Stores merger. He said that since many of these associates will see whole new departments in their stores, the event was an opportunity for them to learn about the merchandise they will be selling.

After introductions from Klein and Randy Scalise, executive vice president, director of stores, for Macy’s East, guests heard a pep talk from designer Marc Ecko and watched a performance from Kevin Covais, an “American Idol” finalist, as well as a fashion show and dance performance. They then walked the floor, meeting with vendors in their various booths.

“This year is critical because of the transition,” Scalise said. “These [young] customers have more spending power than ever before.”

Scalise said sales associates must understand the concerns of their customers, who are looking for fashion direction. They need to learn about fit, finish and how to wear the complete outfit.

“No customer should leave the store with one T-shirt or one pair of jeans,” he said. “If we do it well, they will leave with more.”

This story first appeared in the July 20, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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