Will Macy’s be thankful it brought back its parade this year?
The Macy’s 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade, like plenty of celebrations worldwide, was scaled down significantly. This year New York City is preparing for the return of the event and a crowd of spectators to watch in person.
In a statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be returning in its full form this year, ABC News reported.
In 2020, the threat of spreading the novel coronavirus — for which there was not yet a vaccine — forced the city to confine the parade to the area immediately surrounding the Macy’s Herald Square flagship location. This year, organizers will have COVID-19 mitigation measures in place, such as requiring parade volunteers and staff members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination. Face coverings will also be required, with the exception of some performers.
Mr. de Blasio expressed hope during a press briefing that holding the event could represent a comeback moment for the city, the New York Post reported.
The rerouting of the parade in 2020 was hardly the only setback that Macy’s experienced due to the pandemic.
In addition to the shutdowns nationwide that affected most or all apparel retailers, the chain had to modify other iconic seasonal offerings specifically available at its flagship stores. In December of 2020, Macy’s removed people in Santa Claus costumes from its Herald Square store as well its Chicago and San Francisco locations. The popular attraction, which reportedly pulls in a quarter of a million customers each Christmas season, had been in place every year since 1861. Macy’s replaced it with online interactive experiences.
Though Macy’s is sometimes seen as mired in the murky middle of apparel retail and tethered to an antiquated shopping mall model, the chain has recently been reporting positive news.
In mid-August the retailer raised both its profit and sales outlook for 2021 after beating Q2 analyst expectations, according to CNBC. The retailer says that its turnaround strategy is working and is bringing new, younger customers into Macy’s stores.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving parade returns to New York City streets – ABC News
- Full-fledged Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will likely return this year: de Blasio – New York Post
- Sorry Virginia, there will be no Santa at Macy’s – RetailWire
- Macy’s shares soar as earnings trounce estimates, retailer says it’s gaining new customers online – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Did Macy’s made-for-TV-only 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade hurt the chain’s sales last year? Will the return of the full, live event have any impact on the public’s perception of the retailer and its sales during this year’s Christmas selling season?