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Macy’s going local, liking Martha  

Cincinnati – Within the 8-month-old Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s, high-end luxury home textiles are “just tremendous,” asserted Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo of Macy’s Inc.

Housewares and the recently introduced tabletop line from Wedgwood are also success stories in the exclusive program. In contrast, opening price point home textiles “didn’t work,” Lundgren said during a press conference following the company’s annual shareholder meeting here today.

 “We tried to fill a void with bed in a bag, and we’re reworking through that,” he added. “Martha is a big business and one we’re going to grow.”

Discussing the My Macy’s program – designed to assort stores to suit regional tastes –Lundgren said the concept evolved from an analysis that showed the top 50 doors in each district doing great. “Go past that, and it drops off,” he said. “The managers in the lower-performing stores request things electronically and often are not responded to.”

Launched over the past few weeks in more than 230 stores, My Macy’s currently encompasses the Macy’s North, Macy’s Midwest and Macy’s Northwest divisions. Ultimately, each of 20 districts with 10 stores each will be headed by a senior district merchant, aided by individual merchants for the home, apparel, men’s and core segments.

Because of the existing Macy’s Home Store organization, based in New York, “We originally thought we would not include home, but home wanted to be included. After all, pattern, color, weights and fabrics in home textiles, for example, are different in different areas. They’re just as variable as apparel,” said Lundgren.

In addition to merchants, the My Macy’s organization will include planners and people leading the teams. Team members will live in the regions.

Elsewhere in home, Macy’s Herald Square store in New York last week launched a new mattress department emphasizing luxury goods. “Mattresses were a big challenge a few years ago. You could find a gas station, a liquor store and a mattress store everywhere. Over time, comfort, durability and quality really have become important, and the luxury premium mattress business is really significant. The business has been fantastic, and mattresses are one of our best performing businesses,” said Lundgren, adding, “We will still have opening price points.”

Expansion of the concept beyond Herald Square will be a My Macy’s organization decision, he said: “There are a lot of potential stores.”

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