Macy’s CEO discusses mobile checkouts and other planned changes
In a keynote session at Shoptalk in Las Vegas, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette announced some significant changes and upgrades coming in 2018 meant to build on the company’s momentum from last quarter and catch up with today’s customers.
Perhaps the most unexpected solution Macy’s plans to deploy is in furniture — an area in which Macy’s hopes to scale. The solution allows customers to lay out a virtual version of their home on-screen. The user then puts on a VR helmet and can navigate the furnished virtual room to get a feel for how the furniture will look in the real physical space. In the pilot of the solution, Macy’s found that using the VR significantly increased customer transaction size.
Further in the tech realm, Macy’s will be adding a scan/pay/go solution into its mobile app. For those using the app, the only point at which store staff will be involved in the checkout process is when they remove the security tags after payment.
Mr. Gennette also announced a 2018 redesign of Macys.com and the Macy’s mobile experience.
“Our customer’s phone is the front window to Macy’s and we consider it a flagship,” Mr. Gennette said. “It needs to have the same level of creativity and inspiration as the Macy’s window at Herald’s Square in New York.”
The chain also plans to make significant changes to its assortment, adding more exclusive Macy’s-only products and more limited-edition capsule collections.
“When we get the fashion right, our customer is willing and ready to pay higher prices,” Mr. Gennette said.
Online, the chain plans to offer a drastic increase in product selection, doubling the website’s inventory through the expansion of vendor direct.
In marketing, the company intends to continue cleaning up and simplifying the promotional calendar and getting the customer out of what Mr. Gennette called “Macy’s Math Gymnastics.” It will also revamp the chain’s loyalty program.
And finally, Macy’s is planning more than 100 new Backstage locations, including in premium malls, and will be expanding the off-price concept to the West Coast.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do the planned changes announced by Macy’s represent an opportunity for the chain to improve its competitive position? Which improvement do you expect to have the strongest impact on Macy’s future and why?