"Macy’s new concept store seems to have been conceived by dutifully checking off boxes on a “hot retail trends” list.
On June 25, the struggling department store chain will unveil a new prototype in a renovated store at the Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio, filled with lifestyle shops that play up services.
The mix of in-store shops includes the Restore, Nourish and Strengthen boutique, stocked with athletic wear such as Finish Line footwear, Fitbit watches and even a juice and smoothie bar, according to The Columbus Dispatch. With the shop, staffed with health and fitness “ambassadors,” Macy’s is angling for a piece of the only robust part of the apparel market, while capitalizing on the nation’s ever burgeoning health and wellness trend.
The store will also debut a free personal-shopper service dubbed, My Stylist @Macy’s; a LensCrafters eyeglass shop with licensed opticians; and a Bluemercury spa by the beauty chain Macy’s acquired last year, offering facials and waxings. Bluemercury reflects Macy’s move to modernize its beauty business along the lines of hot — and hipper — freestanding concepts like Sephora .
A revamped wedding services department is also on tap, clearly a bid by Macy's M +2.59% to appeal to Millennials, the coveted generation that’s displaced Baby Boomers as the nation’s biggest buying group and is projected to generate $1.4 trillion in sales by 2020, according to Accenture ACN +0.00%.
Macy’s efforts to offer lifestyle shops spiced up with services and on-staff experts points to an urgent push to counter the encroachment of e-commerce by giving consumers something online shopping can’t: tangible experiences and in-person pampering.
Macy’s will be watching closely how shoppers take to the new prototype to see what can be rolled out to other stores. And management is crossing their fingers. ”Instead of teaching someone to ring a register, we’re hiring people who understand the lifestyle,” said Kathi Newton, vice president and store manager told the Columbus Dispatch. “I think this is going to be a real game-changer.” We’ll see."
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