MACY’S WANTS ‘MORE YOU’

Byline: Kristin Young

LOS ANGELES — Macy’s West unveiled Sunday a new spring advertising campaign bearing the tag line “More You” to convey more consistent merchandising of top vendors throughout the 102-unit chain, chairman and chief executive officer Jeremiah Sullivan told WWD.
The multimillion-dollar campaign features a clean, modern font and marks the first time the department store has used short, kicky tag lines.
Ads began appearing Sunday in seven newspapers, 34 30-second television spots in four markets and in six magazines, thereby reaching an estimated audience of 7.4 million. Newspaper ads feature thick, black bars with the words “More Polished…Macy’s More You. ” or “More Pizzazz…Macy’s More You.”
One TV spot features a woman trying on shoes and saying to herself, “I wish I had a really big purse so I could carry different pairs of shoes around,” and thinking about a lot of other things going on in her life. The “Macy’s. More You” tag line ends the spot.
The theme is also slowly being put on in-store signs, shopping bags and electronic gift cards, the company said. Beginning March 26, macy’s.com and the Macy’s West catalog will feature the new look.
“Besides branding and coming up with a different look, we found something that was more,” said Sullivan. “[Customers] are going to find more recognizable brands. Now, when we say ‘More,’ [the customer] may find it in a small store near their house. Otherwise, [the campaign] wouldn’t stand for so much.”
Macy’s West said it is delivering more to the customer in two ways: First, by focusing on 150 core vendors in all stores, as part of a Federated corporate strategy — previously, a store in Los Angeles might have carried a top vendor such as Calvin Klein, for example, while a store in Arizona might not have — thus insuring that the latest fashions, including private labels, are distributed to all stores, not just those in major metropolitan areas. “We’ve really taken a strong viewpoint about having private label represented in every door, be it a moderate or better door,” said Sullivan. Key private labels include INC, Charter Club and Style & Co. “We’re now introducing new product in San Francisco at the same time we’re introducing it in Texas.”
The campaign was partly inspired by a three-year study of 1,200 consumers, including those who shop Macy’s West and those who don’t. Above all, they wanted to be able to trust the store, find the merchandise they like easily, come back often and feel good about their purchases.
“The biggest challenge was looking for the key attributes the customer was looking for when they make their shopping decisions,” said Sheila Field, senior vice president of marketing and sales promotion, who supervised the study. “It gave us a barometer on what we need to do to improve performance in the customers’ minds.”
Specifically, Macy’s West will pay greater attention to consistently buying and marketing new merchandise and exclusive product; making shopping easier by improving technology to speed check-outs; enhancing service, such as personal shopping, and increasing training programs, flexible work schedules and performance awards for its employees.
Macy’s West, a division of Federated Department Stores, redirected millions of dollars in funds to support the new campaign, said Sullivan, declining to specify the amount.
“Our hope is that the redirection of dollars will result in better sales performance and therefore we’ll be able to continue to fund those products that perform,” he said.
George Strachan, an analyst with Goldman, Sachs & Co., believes the strategy could work. “Getting top vendors into more stores is a good differentiating strategy,” he said, noting that retail sales on the West Coast continue to be “pretty good.”
“If you can inject some excitement by bringing in the brands, more power to them,” he said. “The question is whether the demographics can support these [in many cases better and bridge brands] in any given market.”
Federated said it has not decided whether the ads would roll out to other divisions.