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Can Macy's Claims The Title Of "America's Department Store"?

Can Macy's Claims The Title Of "America's Department Store"?

macy's american icons catalogue.jpg

Macy's Launches "American Icons" Promotion For The Forth Of July

The title of "America's Department Store" is up for grabs among the heavy-hitters.

With Lord & Taylor, the nation’s oldest department store, playing “The Star Spangled Banner” daily to open its Fifth Avenue flagship; Bloomingdale’s displaying the U.S. flag and those of other nations on its facade, and J.C. Penney with a red, white and blue logo evoking Old Glory, Macy's is pulling out all the stops with their "American Icons" promotion.

American Icons will be billed as a tribute to America’s great outdoors, historic destinations, pastimes and traditions like drive-in movies, baseball and grilling in the backyard — and of course, American fashion designers. 

“Macy’s is America’s department store, and through this campaign we’re celebrating the unique people, places and things that make our country great,” Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer, told WWD. “This is one icon celebrating a lot of other icons.”

Is this Macy's response to Penney’s, which aside from its red, white and blue logo is attempting to reinvent itself under chief executive Ron Johnson into “America’s favorite store.” So far the theme hasn’t resonated as the Plano, Tex.-based chain has been losing popularity and market share. 

When asked by WWD if American Icons is a broadside at Penney’s, Macy’s Reardon replied, “Absolutely not. This is all about Macy’s country approach.” 

Levi's exclusive for Macy’s American Icons campaign.

Levi's exclusive for Macy’s American Icons campaign.

For "American Icons", Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Levi’s are among large vendors participating with promotion-specific product.

Each designer and brand has its own interpretation of what encompasses the American Iconic ideal. Some found inspiration from the flag, others from different regions of the country, such as the desert, or from a great monument, such as Mount Rushmore. Macy’s private brands will be “just as important,” Reardon added. 

The event will encompass women’s, men’s, children’s and home. Casual merchandise like denim, strappy sandals and T-shirts will be a major component. Macy’s will be distributing two catalogues for their American Icons campaign, shot in locations including Miami, New York, Napa Valley and Washington. 

In 20 mall parking lots, Macy’s will put up screens to show classic American films for free, simulating the near-extinct drive-in movie. Macy’s will also have events at some still functioning drive-ins.

The pin to support veterans.

The pin to support veterans.

To support the Got Your 6 veteran initiative and its nonprofit partners, the store is introducing a savings pass with the goal of raising $3 million.

Beginning May 12, customers can give $3 at any register or buy a $6 Got Your 6 pin to get a savings pass for a day. The Megan and Liz music duo will take a cross-country road trip in a Ford Mustang to explore the musical history of America. The journey can be followed online at macys.com/icons.

Martha Stewart, who some consider an American icon, is also participating in the promotion, in a Macy’s sweepstakes involving submitting recipes to win an “exclusive experience” with the home diva. She’s scheduled to be on hand at Macy’s Herald Square on May 17 to discuss and demonstrate recipes from “Martha’s American Food,” a book featuring her favorite national dishes. Her participation is an interesting twist considering she’s in a contract dispute with Macy’s over the right to sell Penney’s certain categories of products. Some Martha Stewart product lines, including window coverings and party goods, will be sold at Penney’s in a few weeks, while some core categories, such as bedding, remain contested.

Between June 3 and 16, Macy’s will be up on stadium scoreboards announcing giveaways at 10 major league and 35 minor league baseball games. The store is also having a grilling contest, whereby recipes can be submitted on Macy’s Facebook page April 9 to 27, and six finalists will compete in a “sizzle showdown” on June 8 in Atlanta, judged by chefs from Macy’s Culinary Council. One winner will be crowned “America’s Greatest Grill Guru” and receive $10,000 and a trip to Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks display. 

While celebrating all that is American, Macy’s officials noted that American Icons is not a campaign to promote Made in the USA.

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