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Out With the Old: Macy’s Unveils New Concept in Ohio

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Macy’s has an idea to turn around its mainline business.

The department store retailer, which saw sales slide 7.4% to $5.77 billion in the first quarter, is hell-bent on bringing shoppers back into its stores by improving customer service. How: with a brand-new concept, slated to open June 25 at the Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Macy’s wants to woo customers with a wealth of one-on-one services, according to local media reports. The new-and-improved 200,000-square-foot store will feature the state’s first Connect @Macy’s, which includes MyStylist @Macy’s. While the store had two stylists on staff before, there will now be four, including one focused on weddings. In addition, the Nautica brand will have its own dedicated stylist in the menswear department.

“Services have become just as important as the product,” Andrea Schwartz, vice president of media relations and cause marketing, told the Columbus Business Journal.

Taking a leaf out of Ron Johnson’s playbook for J.C. Penney, Macy’s is moving away from a traditional layout and shifting to lifestyle-focused shop-in-shops, like LensCrafters, Bluemercurcy, Papyrus and Tux Shop at Macy’s, as well as expanded areas for weddings and engagements, and athletic wear.

The latter will now comprise 7,000 square feet of space on the first floor and includes apparel, accessories, Finish Line shoes, Locker Room by Lids hats, a Blendz smoothie bar and full-time health and fitness “ambassadors.”

“There’s so much we’re testing in this building,” Kathi Newton, store manager, told Columbus Business Journal. “Some of it may crash and burn, but you have to listen to the consumers.”

Paying attention to shoppers is also what’s led to Macy’s cutting back on its selection of juniors brands in this particular store, though the retailer declined to name names, and keeping the store’s clearance section, Last Act, on the first floor.

While the Easton store is a test model, it could be rolled out to more locations nationwide if successful.

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