Will a new private label be a good fit for Macy’s customers?
Macy’s has long been searching for a way to become fashionable and relevant again. In the past few years it has implemented in-store VR-based furniture design and promised omnichannel acceleration. The apparel chain’s latest attempt, though, is about the product.
Macy’s is launching a new private label brand called “And Now This,” according to a press release. The retailer is touting the clothing line as fashion-forward and contemporary and has planned related events in New York City, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale throughout late July.
This is not Macy’s only recent attempt to appeal to a new, more fashion conscious consumer. The retailer announced in May the launch of a Macy’s-exclusive plus-sized collection, designed in conjunction with TV host Nina Parker.
Macy’s recent fashion rollouts look to be an attempt to capitalize on the tailwinds of vaccination-related economic reopenings across the U.S.
The retailer reported a same-store sales gain in the first quarter of 2021 with CEO Jeff Gennette stating that the chain did not view the business improvement as merely a short-term pop. Mr. Gennette pointed to 4.6 million new customers acquired during that quarter, a 23 percent increase from 2019. Forty-seven percent of Macy’s customers bought online from the retailer for the first time during that period.
Numerous factors have led to Macy’s loss of relevance in recent years. Waning foot traffic in malls has been rough on the retailer. Amazon.com’s encroachment in the apparel category with its own private label brands, often introduced quietly on its website, is also thought to have played a role.
Other once popular mall-based brands also continue to struggle to reinvent themselves to meet the demands of a new retail ecosystem. The once highly-fashionable Gap, for instance, has suffered significantly over the past decade or more. Like Macy’s, the chain became well known for deep discounts during this time period. Most recently, Gap has begun forming unexpected partnerships to get its products to a new consumer base. The retailer inked a deal to have its Gap Home line of home essentials appear both on walmart.com and, eventually, Walmart’s physical shelves.
- Macy’s Launches ‘And Now This’ for the Fashion-Forward, Contemporary Shopper – Business Wire
- Shop TV Host Nina Parker’s Exclusive New Plus Size Collection for Macy’s Today – Business Wire
- Macy’s and Marxent Partner On Largest Virtual Reality Rollout In Retail History – Macy’s
- Macy’s says it will recover and rebuild coming off a tough 2020 – RetailWire
- Macy’s CEO says recent gains are real and better things are ahead – RetailWire
- Will Walmart and Gap be good partners or strange bedfellows? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think adding private label lines like And Now This can help Macy’s become fashionable with customers again? What does a retailer in a position like Macy’s have to do to make its new private label a success?