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Macy's turns attention to "Millennial" generation with new strategy

New York - Seeking to better develop and grow its reach to the younger set of shoppers, ages 13 to 30, Macy's Inc. today unveiled a new initiative that calls for boosts to the retailer's merchandise mix and shopping experience. It is set to roll out gradually in stores and online.

"We believe we have great opportunity to accelerate sales growth among customers in this generation. Doing so requires us to think from the customer's point of view about our assortments and store experience, and to align our internal resources so we can move quickly and with focus," said Jeffrey Gennette, chief merchandising officer.

This younger set of shoppers, known as the "Millennial" generation, is "now America's largest and most diverse generation, spending an estimated $65 billion each year for the type of goods sold at Macy's," the company noted.

With that in mind, Macy's Millennial strategy -- to be implemented in progressive stages over the next three years -- includes a series of steps to significantly enhance Macy's assortment and shopping experience in mstylelab (the merchandise area primarily serving customers ages 13 to 22) and Impulse (primarily serving customers ages 19 to 30).

Key elements of strategy include:

--Identifying Customer Lifestyles: Millennials comprise a highly diverse generation. Macy's extensive research into Millennial customers, their shopping preferences and buying habits demonstrates significant variation in what Millennial customers want and expect from their favorite store. Recognizing this, Macy's has developed four customer lifestyle profiles for both Millennial women and men. These lifestyles express how the customers see themselves, primarily along the spectrum of their interest in fashion and newness, and will be used internally by Macy's buying, planning, private brands, marketing and visual merchandising teams to better understand the customer so they can make informed decisions going forward.

--Enhancing and Localizing Merchandise Assortments: Based on the understanding that brands are very important to Millennial customers, as well as a hallmark of Macy's, the company will be further developing its assortments of brands that appeal to each of the customer lifestyles for women and men in mstylelab and Impulse. Some of Macy's anchor brands for Millennials will be familiar names. In addition, the buying and planning organization will be working with its private brands organization and market vendors to bring fresh and exciting new brands and lines to the Millennial customer at Macy's in apparel, accessories, beauty and home.

--Relevant Omnichannel Environments: Macy's will continue to use new and emerging technologies, as well as enhanced in-store and online environments, to create a "fun, interesting and convenient shopping experience," it said, for Millennial customers. Macy's will engage Millennials through mobile and digital channels, including social media. The use of QR codes, tablets, texting, tap-and-go transaction processing and offers delivered via mobile will be refined. Local events will appeal to the sense of style and fast fashion that Millennial customers seek.

--In-Store Improvements: Macy's stores will use adjacencies, signage and technology to make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for. Associates will be better trained to offer advice and direction to help customers accessorize from head to toe. Visual merchandising will be refreshed more often, with presentations and displays that emphasize brands and lifestyles. Value will continue to be an important part of the equation in mstylelab and Impulse.

--Organizational Structure: Macy's is adjusting its organizational structure to support the Millennial strategy with speed in decision-making and product development, and to ensure that all thinking and resources are aligned. These adjustments will allow central office buyers, planners, marketers, private brand developers, visual merchandisers and support teams to collaborate more closely across functions to execute strategies and drive the business.

"Our Millennial initiative will help Macy's to build this fast-paced business and better serve a large and dynamic group of customers," Gennette said.

 

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