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Macy’s new Story: Department store buying into experiential retail

 

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A new chapter is beginning for US department store Macy’s, with the retailer acquiring New York City concept store, Story.

Founded in 2011 by brand consultant Rachel Shechtman, Story takes the view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store.

It reinvents itself every four to eight weeks—from the store design to the merchandise—with the aim of highlighting a new theme or ‘story’. Past stories include ‘Disrupt’, which was sponsored by the TV show Mr Robot and ‘Beauty’, sponsored by beauty brand Coty.

Along with selling product, Story creates engaging in-store experiences that have included everything from virtual reality meditation to a hot towel shave station.

As part of the acquisition, Story’s 2000-square-foot space in Chelsea will remain open, while Shechtman will join Macy’s as a brand experience officer. She will be tasked with bringing Story’s interactive experiences to Macy’s stores.

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Macy's has acquired New York retail store Story

Buying into experiential retail

Like many legacy bricks-and-mortar operators, Macy’s is taking steps to remain competitive in a landscape increasingly dominated by online retailers. It has closed unprofitable stores and is selling off real estate, while investing in more innovative retail concepts.

CEO and chairman Jeff Gennette said Shechtman’s experience and perspective will help Macy’s create more enriched and engaging in-store experiences and brand activations.

“Rachel is a unique and innovative voice in retail, and we are thrilled to have the Story team join the Macy’s family,” he said. “We are committed to growth in 2018, and this is one important step along the way.”

For Shechtman, partnering with Macy’s means she can have an impact on a national stage.

“It’s exciting to have a national stage to leverage Story’s learnings and relationships to create impact at scale,” she said.

“I’m energised by the opportunity to further build new customer experiences across the Macy’s portfolio, while also continuing to pursue new business models and brand partnerships.”

 

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