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Macy’s buys concept store to spice up shopping experience

The retail space has turned into a warzone, with alliances being formed everywhere to stay powerful and relevant in the Amazon (AMZN) era. One of the closely-followed update from the sector this week was Macy’s (M) acquisition of New York-based concept store Story. The lone store under the Story brand will continue to operate from its current location in downtown Manhattan. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Along with the multi-thematic store, Macy’s has also added Story’s founder – CEO Rachel Shechtman to its fold to take up the role of brand experience officer. It is learned that under the Macy’s team, Story will get a new look altogether, and cater to a larger community at a national level in the long term.

Picture Courtesy: Mike Mozart

Though the acquisition of Story may seem insignificant for an established retailer like Macy’s, it could become a game-changing association if the latter brings Story’s unique concept to more stores. It is indeed a bold attempt to retain customers in the long run, because for many, shopping has become much more than getting what they want at the neighborhood department store.

Meanwhile, the widespread digital push and the changed retail scenario where customer experience is of prime importance could make it a challenging task for Macy’s.

What makes Story a perfect choice for Macy’s is its theme-based concept that is unique in the sector. The store keeps changing its theme every three months and replaces inventory with fresh items that fit the new theme, thereby offering customers a new experience on every visit. In other words, every time shoppers visit Story after a gap of three months, they will feel like entering the store for the first time. The idea is to instill an irresistible urge in customers to visit the store again.

As per the agreement, Story’s founder and CEO Rachel Shechtman will take up the role of brand experience officer

Moreover, the store gets a new design every time it changes the theme, while maintaining its magazine-editorial concept. To Macy’s advantage, some of the leading brands and store operators have tie-ups with Story to have their select items included in its theme-based promotional activities. Interestingly, such partnerships are the primary source of revenue for Story.

The deal comes on the heel of Macy’s adding its successful Backstage units to more locations in the first quarter. As many as 80 new Backstage stores, which offer the company’s popular brands at heavily discounted rates, will be rolled out by the year-end.

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