20 Oct, 2017

The Evolution Of Macy’s Digital Transformation


With our Digital Retail Transformation taking place in Salt Lake City, we figured it would be a perfect opportunity to discuss the success and progress of retail giant Macy’s, being that our Keynote Speaker is Martine Reardon, Macy’s former CMO.

Macy’s has seen many different trends in the retail industry take place, adapting and growing with each one.

Where It Started…

The retail giant referred to as Macy’s all began in New York City, as a small corner store selling dry goods. You would never guess that as you walk into a Macy’s on Madison Avenue in New York City today. As you walk past the massive perfume counters, racks and racks of clothing, shoes, home decor, cosmetics and much more…. you are transitioned into a world that only once knew how to conduct business in a more simpler way.

Although Macy’s business operations are more complex now, no matter what the year, Macy’s has always been innovative when it comes to creative efforts on the forefront of the business.

Rowland Hussey Macy was determined to make Macy’s exactly what it is today. After the creation of the red star, Macy’s was in business. By the end of the full first year of business, Macy’s sales grew to be $85,000. This alone transitioned Macy’s to become a department store.

“Always the innovator, Macy’s is known for several firsts that changed the retail industry. Macy’s was the first retailer to promote a woman, Margaret Getchell, to an executive position, making business history. Macy’s pioneered such revolutionary business practices as the one-price system, in which the same item was sold to every customer at one price, and quoting specific prices for goods in newspaper advertising.” Macy’s reports.

Before the world knew it, Macy’s occupied a larger space, and people internationally would visit to shop. It was known as “the worlds largest store” as it was made up of 1 million square feet of space.

As years went on, Macy’s went through different transitions to become where they are today. Different business transactions such as moving space to San Fransisco, the creation of the first Christmas Parade, which is now known as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which celebrates American heritage occurred over a 60-year span.


Now, Macy’s has over 670 stores in most of the major geographic locations in the United States. In the year of digital transformation, Macy’s is focusing its efforts on digital initiatives.

“Macy’s has announced a slew of measures revolving around stores closures, cost containment, real estate strategy and investment in omnichannel capabilities to enhance sales, profitability and cash flows. Additionally, management is developing e-commerce business, Macy’s Backstage off-price business along with expanding Bluemercury and online order fulfillment centers.” Nasdaq reports.

In January, Macy’s closed 60 of its stores in order to shift their business operations to become more digital. This move put $550 million into funding for digital businesses, Business Insider reported.

The company saw promise in digital initiatives, as its revenue doubled from macys.com. In order to expand the success, the company was dedicated to becoming digitally forward. The funding went into different components like data, in-store pickup options, online orders, and analytics.

Since brick and mortar stores took a hit as e-commerce grew, so did foot traffic into Macy’s storefronts. Building digital operations in order to further implement technology has kept Macy’s above the competition and above the digital wave.

“The ongoing shift in focus toward digital channels comes with a high cost for legacy retailers — Macy’s said that it expects to lose $575 million in sales this year because of the 68 store closings — but investing sufficiently in a digital presence is no longer optional as the e-commerce market grows larger.” BusinessInsider reports.

In June, Macy’s further integrated digital efforts as they named two new leaders to lead the company’s digital team. Yasir Anwar became the new executive VP and CTO in which he is in charge of all things technology, such as mobile capabilities.

Anwar will oversee all e-commerce operations, which is only predicted to grow, as the retail landscape continues to shift.

Mike Robinson was also named an executive VP of product management and customer experience. Since the customer experience is migrating toward digital, he will oversee all aspects of user experiences, through omnichannel systems.

“Maximizing our technology capabilities and continuing the strong growth of our digital and mobile platforms is a high priority for Macy’s, and we are restructuring our technology teams to support these efforts,” said Macy’s president and CEO Jeff Gennette.”Chainstoreage reports.

Macy’s is a retail powerhouse that offers customers an omnichannel experience, both instore and online. Starting from a cornerstone in NYC, Macy’s has transitioned to be one of the world’s biggest retailer. It is an international brand, that sells a variety of items, tapping into many different industries and disruptors.

We are honored to have Macy’s former CMO Martine Reardon at our event in Salt Lake City.


C-Level experts from across North America’s retail industry are coming together February 15-16, 2018 at The Park Hyatt Aviara in San Diego, CA to anticipate the highly complex digital environment that will develop over the next few years.

Download the 2018 Digital Retail Transformation Assembly Prospectus for more information >>

Retailers are uniquely positioned to leverage new digital technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and more to deliver enhanced, personalized customer experiences.

Retailers are constantly adapting to new technologies in order to stay ahead of the digital wave and into the world of e-commerce. Macy’s is an example of one retailer who has taken digital initiatives in order to move forward into the future. It is important for retailers to stay ahead of digital trends, in order to stay relevant and up to date with technology.

Through a cutting-edge program designed by the industry, for the industry, we will provide a fresh and up-to-date insight to help move your organization to the next level of digital leadership. A series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.

This is not just another “Retail” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Enquire about attendance here!

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