Macy’s Herald Square tests a new concept

Macy’s giant flagship store in New York is devoting a big chunk of its lower level to a new concept shop called “One Below.” While it’s supposedly aimed at Millennials, the description sounds more like a glorified juniors’ and young men’s concept. Here’s my point of view, from a recent RetailWire panel discussion:

Millennials are often considered to be born between 1980 and 1995 (I have three of them), which puts their ages at 20 to 35. It’s arguable that One Below is actually targeted at “Generation Z” shoppers under the age of 20, or in reality aimed at the huge influx of tourists of all ages walking through Macy’s Herald Square.

Bottom line: The concept as described sounds like it is mis-targeted if Macy’s is trying to draw more Gen Y shoppers into its stores. Yes, these shoppers are more tech-savvy and interested in customization than their parents but are not necessarily driven by gimmicks or club music. You can argue that Apple is the antithesis of a gimmick-driven store.

It’s important that Macy’s capture the biggest segment of the population (in terms of numbers today, in terms of buying power soon), but this may not be the answer. I think the test results are going to be misleading — again, based on the sheer amount of traffic funneling through the flagship store.

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