An interactive Lite Brite installation, rainbow archways and customizable MAC Cosmetics palettes were all part of Macy’s unveiling for retail and merchandising concept Story Wednesday morning at the department store’s flagship in Herald Square. Macy’s acquired Story in 2018 and subsequently named Founder Rachel Shectman the chain’s Brand Experience Officer.
Perched on a level above the store’s main floor—which previously held handbags—the flagship’s Story measures 7,500-square-feet, and in true Story form is devoted to items no one necessarily needs, but everyone finds irresistible. From small leather zipper pouches to colorful water bottles to sequined note books to glitter socks, the current version of Story, called Color Story, is meant to dazzle, delight and inspire. Color Story has rolled out to 36 Macy’s stores in 15 states and merchandises products by color theme in a vividly-designed space created by David Stark. The average Story measures 1,500-square-feet and carries more than 70 independent small brands in the beauty, fashion, home, kid’s, men’s and women’s categories. Color Story will operate until Wednesday, June 26, at which point a new theme will be developed.
Story has several key objectives, including creating a fun retail space, bringing on new vendors and changing consumer behavior. — Jeff Gennette, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Macy’s
“This is a real test and learn opportunity. We can differentiate what we are doing from other retailers in 36 stores before rolling it out to scale. We approached this as a blank canvas and met with all the other different departments [within Macy’s] to see where the opportunities were,” Rachel said, crediting a team of more than 300 Macy’s colleagues for the successful rollout of Story in less than eight months.
Jeff Gennette, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Macy’s, said while Story isn’t going to move the overall sales needle there are several key objectives, including creating a fun retail space, bringing on new vendors and changing consumer behavior.
“Everyone when they walk into a Story is going to want to have something,” Jeff said. Story will likely have shoppers increasing visits too, Jeff said.
Using brands that have never worked with Macy’s before, such as Crayola, and combining them with brand partners, such as Levi’s and MAC, creates “lots of strategic opportunities” Rachel said. MAC, Crayola and Levi’s Kids are brand partners for the launch of Color Story at Macy’s, debuting palette customizations, DIY Levi’s Kids Jean Jackets with patches and paint, and melted crayon card making for Mother’s Day.
In connection with this launch, the original Chelsea location will close and relocate to Herald Square, a space that is nearly four times larger than the original.
“Color Story was one of the first stories Story did in 2012. We chose it because it’s versatile, universal, engaging. We can all relate to it,” Rachel said.