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Macy’s editing assortments to go bigger

New York – Macy’s store executives are assessing its assortments in 26 categories and will trim back items so that it can make a more forceful statement with key merchandise.

“There are areas where we have too many ideas and too many competing ideas,” said Jeff Gennett, chief merchandising officer, during the company’s Analyst Day meeting here this morning.

The problem, dubbed “Edit for Growth,” will reduce sku count in targeted areas by 15% to 30%, with reduction decisions made door by door. The affected sub-categories will represent areas where Macy’s sees opportunity to make significant market share gains – “not just 10% growth, but 50% growth,” said Gennett.

The changes will beginning appearing on the floor during the third quarter and will continue into the fourth, he said.

In addition to looking at where Macy’s is missing a trend, the company is also evaluating areas where it lacks trend consistency, he said.

“If contemporary is good in sportswear we make sure we have it accessories or in the home component,” he said.

Private labels and exclusive brands “are winning right now” across the store, according to Tim Adams, chief private brand officer. The Martha Stewart Collection label “is now the single biggest brand in our home store and doing very, very well,” he added.

As part of the My Macy’s localization initiative, the company has purchased new software that will allow it to adjust product pricing by store level and will begin testing it later in the year. Another pricing test underway since February in the Minneapolis market provides a clearer price message on tags, providing full price, percentage off and discounted price.

My Macy’s is “not a one-year journey. It’s a multi-year journey,” chief stores officer Ronald Klein noted, meaning positive results are expected to be gradual as the project enters its second year this spring.

But as Macy’s sharpens its knowledge about its diverse customer base and tailors each unit’s assortment to its specific demographic, the retailer is making strides with My Macy’s, he said.

Chief merchandise planning officer Julie Greiner explained that the company is working more closely with each of its units, with the retailer’s merchandising and store teams giving close attention to the specific needs of each unit in terms of climate, demographics, income level of shoppers and other attributes to make its in-store products better appeal to shoppers within each region.

An example of this, Greiner said, was the recent sales spike in palm tree-themed bedding and bath textiles in Florida-based Macy’s stores and fleur-de-lis patterned bedding in Louisiana units.

To alert shoppers about recent product assortment expansions related to their specific needs, some stores are placing “You asked for it, you got it” posters on the selling floor

 

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