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In-Store Review

Home Textiles Today continues this series critiquing branded private and captured label programs at retail, shopping one particular store as well as the website for a specific store. Rankings are from one star (least) to five stars (most) with the overall score an average of the five individual evaluations. Disclaimer: The reviewer Julian Tomchin worked for Macy's for eight years from 1993 to 2001 as a senior vice president and a specific area of responsibility for him was the redesign and renovation of the home textiles floor at the flagship Union Square store. He has not worked at the store for 11 years and was not involved in the Martha Stewart program in any way.
Design
"The Martha Stewart Collection people are pros. There is literally something for just about everybody if you are willing to do the search around the floor. The core bedding styles are eminently dramatic, utilizing metallic thread, opulent embroidery, quilting and soutache and even silver bugle beads on the accessories. It can be a pre-packaged hope chest for anyone with bridal illusions. Generally not my taste, but I would have no trouble making selections."
Rating: ★★★★★
Visual Presentation
"The floor looks great. I can now look at it with relatively fresh eyes, and happily, it's as I remember it. It's clean, well-stocked and maintained and there's enough selling staff to keep offering to be helpful. The only confusion is with the multiple barely adjacent Martha Stewart offerings. Portions of the collection are placed independently so it requires some effort to appreciate the total scope. A better merchandising scheme uniting the solid color offerings could be helpful."
Rating: ★★★★★
Packaging
"Basic packaging is neat and serviceable if a little vague on fabric content and quality. Collection Bedding at 400TC is labeled ‘wrinkle resistant.' Does that mean percale?"
Rating: ★★★★
Relevance to Store Customer
"Macy's has defined itself as America's moderate store, so in that context nationally this line is very appropriate. This particular store has always been a grade up from the standard, so it's a judgment call."
Rating: ★★★★
Relative Value
"It seems to me to be the opening price point for ‘designer label' merchandise so the value is there for what's being offered. It's a tough comparison to large spaces for Lauren, Calvin Klein, Natori and especially their own Hotel Collection but I guess it serves a purpose. I personally believe that taking the three very strong and distinctive statements of the Trousseau, solid and quilts programs and merchandising them showing their relatively with adjacency, signage and graphics could create a greater increase in value for this customer and a stronger motivation to buy. If they did that, it could be worth four and one-half stars."
Rating: ★★★★
Overall Rating: 4 ★★★★

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