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Thread: Another in the dustbin: Marshall Field's to be renamed Macy's

  1. #1
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Another in the dustbin: Marshall Field's to be renamed Macy's

    Late breaking news (sorta) is that Federated Department Stores to rename the recent May Company acquisitions to either Macy's or Bloomingdale's.

    Here is the Chicago Tribune article. For those needing to login use these:Username: cyburbia10, Password: cyburbia

    Now, what does this say about the current trends in upper-middle and high end retailing. This is could be preceived as a negative by-product of the retail consolidation, but not really because the consolidation has already occurred and this is simply a name change in most instances.

    Here in Chicagoland, there is sure to be a minor backlash due to the emontional attachment many people have toward the name "Marshall Field"s" , but I think people will get over it soon. This happened in Michigan about 10 years ago when May Company, then owners of Marshall Field"s and Hudson's (Hudson's was the premiere department store in Michigan), changed all the Hudson's to Marshall Field's people had a problem with it but got over it and shopped there anyhow (though some would still absent-mindedly refer to it as Hudson's).

    So, essentially what are your thoughts on this trend in general and specifically for Chicagolanders, do you have a problem with the name change, and would you stop shopping in the State St. store when it's renamed Macy's?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Don't matter to me, we don't have either of those in the Centennial State

  3. #3

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    I hated the name change in Michigan from Hudson's to Marshall Fields, and I hate this change from Marshall Fields to Macy's. But I'll get over it, as will others.

    This just underscores the fact that acquisitions and mergers will lead to only one brand name per market niche among retailers. Worse yet, there might be only one retailer -- Wal-Mart.

  4. #4

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    This is happening in Indiana, also, with the disappearance of the "L. S. Ayres" name. Practical results: none, really. Just another nail in the coffin of regional distinctiveness, though (a pretty minor nail, but still)

  5. #5
    A Department Store by any other name....

    Here in Cincinnati, the corporate home of Federated, there once was a department store named Shillitos, which became Shillito/Rikes, then Lazarus, then Lazarus/Macy's and now Macy's. I miss the old Shillitos.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Marcshall Fields has an iconic status in many parts of Chicagoland. I hate to see the name go and I think there will be a significant backlash. Moreover, I hate to see this trend to consolidate, as the merchandise in all of the stores is starting to look all the same.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    From what I hear, all Marshal Fields in Michigan and a few other states will be closed.
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  8. #8
    I'm sorry to see them go. They used to run huge, classy ads in the newspapers.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    All of our Burdine's department stores (which used to be Jordan Marsh) were changed recently to Macy's. I'm not real thrilled with the change so I've been going to Dillard's instead.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    As a lifelong Chicagoan who loves the flagship downtown store, that is utterly disgusting. To hell with Macy's, it will always be Marshall Field's to me!!
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    As a lifelong Chicagoan who loves the flagship downtown store, that is utterly disgusting. To hell with Macy's, it will always be Marshall Field's to me!!
    Kind of like how the eatons centre in toronto is now the sears centre. I can't see people ever calling it anything else. I'll always tell people to meet me at timmy's toes, even though the statue is gone.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Close the Hudson Stores?? Man that would cause chaos in Detroit, nearly every mall has at least one as an anchor! Whoop I meant Marshall Fields, I wish Dayton-Hudson still existed and owned Target. Not spin it off..

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I don't care what they call the department store, just as long as they still stock Frangos!!!

  14. #14
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    Regional Loyalty vs. Benefits of Name Consolidation

    I have to wonder whether or not the benefis that result from name consolidation outweigh what's lost when you lose a certain amount of regional loyalty.

    No doubt, money is to be saved by going national with advertising, and being able to market under the same name. This is particularly true nowadays with today's generations being more mobile than generations past. Whether you are in the midwest, east, south, or west, you will have a general idea of what a McDonald's or Burger King is. However, if I, a midwesterner, were to move to CA, I'd have no clue what to expect from In-and-Out, and might not shop there when there is a known quantity that is a reasonable substitute. Though fast food is pretty simplistic, when I was a child in Michigan, I knew what distinguished JCPenney from Sears from Hudson's. One would know what niche each brand sat in, and would shop accordingly. I suppose that by consolidating names, a big bonus is to be found by having brand/tier recognition across state/regional lines. Given that they already share a common parent company, I wouldn't doubt the supply chain was already pretty integrated, so I wouldn't expect *too much* marginal efficiency by simply changing names.

    On the other hand, I think there is a certain amount of regional backlash, especially when a brand is as beloved as Hudson's or Marshall Field's. Given a choice between two brands offering a similar product at a similar price, purely subjective tastes and preferences will win out. Oftentimes, people shop at the local/regional store when this is the case out of a sense of loyalty or familiarity. Given a reasonably equal choice between Macy's and rival Brand X, I will choose Brand X out of spite to Macy's. I lose nothing by shopping at Brand X so long as it's a substitute. Look to the person in this thread who mentioned Dillard's as an example.

    In essence, I wonder if what's gained by consolidating names is more than what's lost by offending regional loyalties and sensibilities. I'd imagine it is, given moves to do so.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Everyman
    I lose nothing by shopping at Brand X so long as it's a substitute. Look to the person in this thread who mentioned Dillard's as an example.

    In essence, I wonder if what's gained by consolidating names is more than what's lost by offending regional loyalties and sensibilities. I'd imagine it is, given moves to do so.
    I am only going to Dillard's because the remake as Macy's sucks. I got over another name change because the store continued the brands/selection. I don't have that much loyalty to the name, but to the selection. I'm not 20 anymore, and that seems to be where they're headed. I think also that part of my problem is that I have to shop in the height-impaired (petite) dept and Macy's doesn't seem to think that's a priority. As it is, it's about 1/10 the size of the juniors or misses dept.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    I am only going to Dillard's because the remake as Macy's sucks......
    I've always liked Macy's. Must be a west coast thing. My alternative here is Killard's *sigh*.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Here in Toledo we went through the department store consolidation and closing dance a number of years ago.....

    Tiedtke's was the big local store, on the riverfront downtown. When the store died in the 1970's (as all of downtown Toledo retail died) they tried a suburban store. No dice, and they are long gone.

    Lasalle's was one (1) of the major department stores downtown. Even when their downtown giant closed, they moved to or near the "then new" suburban shopping venues. Eventually, Elder-Beerman gobbled them up. I think they have just a couple Toledo stores.

    The Lion Store was the other major department store downtown. The Lion Store may have been single-handedly supported by this Bear's Mother. When they closed their CBD store they moved to suburban stores. They were taken over by Dillard's.

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    I have been in the downtown Chicago Marshall Field's numerous times. I even dropped a peanut from about the eighth floor down to a sales lady in cosmetics. She never knew what hit her. (Grow up, Bear.)

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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Here is a comment from Morning News Beat, a daily digest of retail information:

    What’s In A Name?

    Federated Department Stores announced yesterday that it is converting its Marshall Field’s stores to the Macy’s banner by autumn of next year.

    "We have great respect for the legacy and traditions of Marshall Field's, and we carefully researched customer preferences and studied alternatives before making this decision to incorporate Marshall Field's into the nationwide Macy's brand," Federated CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement.

    The company also announced that it is “studying its options” for its Lord & Taylor division.

    KC's View: With all due respect, we think this is a load of crap.

    We think that the only research that matters to Federated in this case is that done into its accountants’ preferences. The guys with the eyeshades no doubt believe that one brand name will cut down on advertising and marketing costs.

    But we cannot imagine any circumstances under which it makes sense to stop using a grand old retailing name with so much consumer resonance and history in America’s Midwest.

    It so happens that we’re in Seattle, where we spoke at a conference sponsored by Associated Grocers. A similar change took place here, when Federated converted the Bon Marche chain to the Macy’s name – and there wasn’t one person in the audience who seemed to think it had been a good idea. One person said that it only meant that the store had to offer more promotions to get people in the front door. (We’re not from Seattle, but even to us the Macy’s name on the building looks a little odd.)

    This kind of centralization almost never makes sense, because it is based on the needs and the desires of the company – not the needs and desires of local consumers.
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    This is insane. Marshall Fields is a much better name than Macy's. I used to buy christmas presents at the Fields' on State because the building is so wonderful and it was actually nice giving something in a Fields' box. With all the promotion Target was giving them--especially the improvements on State--Fields' was on the verge of becoming a high-end name. Now they're throwing it all away.

    I can say that I will never shop at Macy's, especially on State Street, just out of principle.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    In Buffalo the Kaufmanns name will be changing to Macy's. Kaufmann's was founded in Pittsburgh and it was the Kaufmann family for whom Wright's Falling Water was built. The Kaufmann's name was brought to Buffalo when another chain was bought out about 15 years ago. I don't see the Macy's name change as being a big deal in Buffalo as Kaufmann's wasn't really here all that long and certainly doen't have the tradition that Field's in Chicago does. Personally I feel that the Macy's name carries a bit of prestige and may even attract new customers.

  21. #21
    I do not think a change form Marshal Fields to Macy's will be a big deal even in Chicago. The only store in the chain that really has any meaning and nostalgia to people is the State Street store. The store will still be there and it will not change substantially. People will forget especially younger generations and the many many people in the Chicago area that have come here form other places. People in Chicago can be very parochial. They do not understand that Fields is not that big of a name outside this area. Macy's on the other hand is a huge name and most places will like the prestige of having a Macy's.

    In the past every city even small ones had their own local major department stores. They have gradually disappeared to the point that very very few local stores exist. All those names have dissappeared and people got over it. Fields will be no different

  22. #22
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel
    I do not think a change form Marshal Fields to Macy's will be a big deal even in Chicago. The only store in the chain that really has any meaning and nostalgia to people is the State Street store. The store will still be there and it will not change substantially. People will forget especially younger generations and the many many people in the Chicago area that have come here form other places. People in Chicago can be very parochial. They do not understand that Fields is not that big of a name outside this area. Macy's on the other hand is a huge name and most places will like the prestige of having a Macy's.

    In the past every city even small ones had their own local major department stores. They have gradually disappeared to the point that very very few local stores exist. All those names have dissappeared and people got over it. Fields will be no different
    Yeah, well we liked Marshall Field's because it wasn't a national corporate mogul. We liked the Chicago-only type thing. Now we're not special anymore. We're not better than New York anymore.

    No, instead we get to see everything Macyized. It is absolutely disgusting.
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  23. #23
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Yeah, well we liked Marshall Field's because it wasn't a national corporate mogul. We liked the Chicago-only type thing.
    Well....Marshall Field's hasn't been a Chicago headquartered business for at least a decade. It has been a name in the stable of a non-Chicago headquartered company.

    I think the better thing for Federated would have been to leave the State St. store as Marshall Field's, but rename all the other locations throughout the Midwest.
    Last edited by mendelman; 21 Sep 2005 at 2:18 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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