Retail mash-up: What if Macy’s and Disney had a baby?
Retailers are facing an unprecedented number of challenges and trying to meet them in new and creative ways. But neither mobile apps, omnichannel initiatives nor even drone delivery may be creative enough.
Imagine, if you will, a new retail concept born of two existing brands — not a merger, but a product of the two, one which takes the best of each to form a new kind of retail entity.
In this case it’s a mash-up of a master of magical experiences and a dyed in the wool merchant capable of executing and delivering those experiences to the right audience.
What if Macy’s and Disney had a baby?
Macy’s problems are well known. Stores are too big and shoppers find the over-complicated layouts overwhelming. Shoppers say they are frustrated by Macy’s inattentive staff, and despite recent efforts, Macy’s omnichannel “seams” are still showing. And yet Macy’s strengths are less often outlined.
Macy’s has a deep well of merchants and relationships with suppliers. Its size and scale offer give the company leverage for favorable bargaining terms.
Disney, for its part, holds key real estate locations that give the chain long reach into middle America and middle class shoppers. Just turning over a portion of each store to the new concept would solve some problems for both brands. But Disney’s foray into retail has had its fits and starts.
The company began opening stores in 1987 but struggled to achieve profitability. The stores were sold to Children’s Place in 2004 and repurchased by Disney just four years later. Today there are some 340 stores globally and 700 shops within J.C. Penney stores. Flagship stores are located largely on tony, high traffic shopping avenues popular with tourists.
Not only is Disney a master of experience, it also excels at separating parents from their money in ways that leave little room for shopper remorse. The experience, most say, is worth every penny.
Would a Macy’s and Disney baby focus on licensed or store-brand merchandise or would Macy’s help extend Disney’s reach to other products that appeal to core shoppers? How might Macy’s learn from Disney’s more curated selection to breathe life into lagging categories like apparel, and expand logically into toys and games? How might Disney’s hospitality expertise, coupled with Macy’s merchant chops, create an entirely new kind of retail experience?
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What would the perfect Macy’s + Disney baby look like? What strong DNA would include from each operation? What “deficient genes” would you leave out?