Macy's luxury linens high on Millennial customer lists

Retail Editor 2, March 13, 2013

New York - Macy's Inc. described its home business as "exciting" and one the department store remains keen on, especially with Millennial generation customers in mind.

That is what Macy's Inc.'s shared with investors and analysts during its presentation this morning at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 Consumer & Retail Conference in New York City.

Housewares, especially items like blenders, were called out as highlights. But luxury textiles is another key category Macy's customers continue to "expect" and demand, noted Jeffrey Gennette, chief merchandising officer.

"The whole luxury, 800 thread count and all sundry bedding is a big, big growth category for us," he elaborated.

Also helping home overall, Gennette added, is Macy's bridal registry business.

"We are very focused on our bridal business," he said. "The whole conversation about the Millennial customer, when you think about that life stage, bridal is very important for us."

Also key to courting its Millennial shopper is the ability to offer more depth in the home business, which Macy's is doing via

"Often times we were restricting our [bedding] assortments that our customers wanted from us by not having the space in our key doors," Gennette said. "So what we've done in our online assortment is that we've gotten into categories that we will not probably get into in our stores."

Youth bedding, "which has turned out to be a very potent business for us" is an example of a soft home area that has been expanded online because "we didn't have the space or the dollars per bed that we would enjoy in store."

By using its online business, Gennette continued, "we are able to get at extended patterns in brands that we do have in stores - much more in pattern work, and we're working with our in-store technology to get at those extra patterns."

Macy's Hotel "is our most potent brand, where we might have 15 styles online but only four in a particular door - we're getting at that."

In some cases, Macy's is offering online-only stock products.

"We might have beds on the floor and then we can order from online, [based on] demand, from our fulfillment centers - that is increasing our profitability."

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