• Retail Dive

Macy's revamps menswear department at Herald Square

Dive Brief:
  • Macy's on Friday unveiled a 14,500-square-foot menswear destination on the main floor of its Herald Square flagship in New York City, with a rotating, curated space within it dubbed "The Park."

  • The department store has dedicated 4,500 square feet to The Park's "on-trend, cutting edge men's fashion" to be refreshed every eight to 12 weeks, according to a company press release. At the moment the space features brands Desigual, Avirex, Paisley & Gray, INC Onyx, Goorin Bros and Brooklyn Brigade, among others, the retailer said.

  • The new merchandising approach will be brought to the retailer's other flagships as well, with an assortment that includes new additions Scotch & Soda and Coach men's apparel, and a premium denim zone with J BRAND, 7 For All Mankind, Fidelity and Naked & Famous Denim, per the release.

Dive Insight:

This new effort recalls a similar one from Macy's partner b8ta, which this week announced an expansion into fashion and lifestyle curation in a Los Angeles store called "Forum."

The department store joins several other retailers in amplifying men's fashion. Last year, Nordstrom opened a men's-only store in New York to great fanfare, well before the opening of its New York flagship next week. Saks Fifth Avenue left open its men's store in Manhattan's financial district last year, as it closed its women's store there, and this year opened a luxe men's footwear space at its own newly renovated flagship. J. Crew-owned Madewell, in its race to grow ahead of its proposed initial public offering, recently released its first-ever men's fall collection.

Even Target has made a play for men's apparel dollars in building an assortment across categories around its Goodfellow & Co. private label apparel by adding grooming products. That's a strong play that GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders earlier this year said could conceivably evolve into a stand-alone banner.

But some analysts question the way Macy's is relegating many of its improvements, like the men's revamp announced Friday, to certain stores. Macy's last year revealed a three-tier system to managing its fleet, with flagships and "magnets" (also now known as "Growth 150" stores) getting prime attention. But that segmented approach is a risk, according to Doug Stephens, author of "Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a Post-Digital World."

"The problem is you still have this negative message in all these other stores across the U.S. Department stores traditionally were places where customers really felt that they were going to be treated to something, but they've evolved into being purveyors of largely mid-tier products widely available in other places," he told Retail Dive recently. "This notion of staging experiences should be what department stores are good at."

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