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Macy's Home Goes French

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, July 25, 2005

New York —Macy's first full fledged home store fashion event — with the style and romance of France's Provence area — organized by Macy's Home Store division, launched this past weekend with a private sale and opens later this week to the public.

The company produced three catalogs — an 88-page book for full-line stores with complete home furnishings departments including furniture, rugs and mattresses; a furniture, rugs and mattress book for the company's 58 furniture galleries; and a version for stores without furniture and mattresses, said Lester Gribetz, senior vice president, fashion and trend merchandising.

While the catalogs reflect the beginnings of the trading up across home lines, “The merchandises mix still addresses our existing customers with affordable luxury and moderate prices,” Gribetz said.

The merchandise in this catalog reflects the company's move to more private branding, much internally sourced, as well as exclusive merchandise from key suppliers like Lauren Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan Home.

“We cannot win in the low-priced world,” Gribetz emphasized, citing Lauren Ralph Lauren and Provence products, especially Avignon, as setting the product pace for upgrading. “The customer is out there,” he added. “The product is the first thing that has to be addressed — a combination of distinctive product and value.”

Special events also are important elements of the promotional event and include personal appearances by leading chefs in specific locales. The company's bridal registry — now national in scope — also is prominently featured.

The Provence theme marks the second home furnishing theme statement spearheaded by Gribetz since the formation of the Macy's Home Store last year.

In January, the company launched its first Macy's Home Store book that reflected the beginnings of the efforts outlined by Gribetz and the merchants brought together to form the new organization. “On the Riviera” — an inside gatefold — set the color theme of blue, yellow and bronze across the entire home store.

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