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With the rise of ultra-convenient ecommerce, many traditional retailers are experimenting with not-so-traditional in-store experiences. Consumers, after all, are willing to forego the latest in convenience if they feel there’s a compelling reason to set foot in a physical store. Now, one of the US’s most historic retailers is trying its hand at a unique in-store experience.
STORY, the narrative-driven retail concept shop, will bring to life an editorial approach to retail in 36 Macy’s stores nationwide. Opening with “Color” as its inaugural theme, STORY at Macy’s invites customers across the country to explore and experience color through a rainbow of curated, giftable products and through a range of more than 300 fun, color-inspired events.
“The discovery-led, narrative experience of STORY gives new customers a fresh reason to visit our stores and gives the current Macy’s customer even more reason to come back again and again throughout the year,” says Jeff Gennette, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Macy’s. “We’re excited about the potential for STORY and are happy to be launching Color STORY in 36 stores today.”
With themes changing every few months, STORY will deliver new concepts through a blend of unique collaborations, narrative-driven merchandising, and dynamic event programming. “The simultaneous launch of STORY in 36 stores across 15 states is the successful outcome of a reimagined approach to cross-functional collaboration and the work of more than 300 Macy’s colleagues who contributed to creating this new, scalable business model nationwide,” says Rachel Shechtman, founder of STORY and Macy’s Brand Experience Officer. “I’m so proud of the work this team did and look forward to continuing the STORY journey at Macy’s.”
In the lead up to launch, more than 270 dedicated STORY Managers and STORYtellers were hired and participated in “Know + Tell,” an experiential retail training program that immerses staff with integrated roles on everything from building fixtures to customer engagement and event production. To bring the Color theme to the forefront, the team assembled a creative collective of industry leaders to design an unforgettable in-store experience.
Award-winning NYC designer David Stark was given a blank canvas to envision a way to introduce the STORY brand at scale through a vibrant experience. Longtime STORY partner FLOR enlivens the space with a custom pixelated patterned carpet, creating an organizing principle to help navigate guests across a spectrum of color and cross-category merchandise.
To provide a versatile and easily adaptable canvas for its merchandise assortment, STORY leaned on its partnership with Italian fixture company ALU. ALU customized one of its signature fixture systems to serve STORY at Macy’s ever-changing model while offering a fresh look for the Macy’s shopper.
“The STORY at Macy’s experience feels a lot like a real-life version of scrolling through Instagram” says Schechtman. “You discover things you weren’t looking for, but are inspired by all the fun finds—the second you see it, you need it! We aspire to create that feeling with the breadth of the narrative-driven merchandise edit we are bringing to life with the launch of STORY at Macy’s across the country.”
For Color STORY, Macy’s brings its feed to life via a bright journey expressed through a curated assortment of merchandise for men, women, kids and the home. More than 70 small businesses featuring more than 400 products come together to make the experience a gifting destination. From the national in-store debut of Primary, an online, kids-wear brand, to gourmet chocolate bars in unique flavors like coffee and doughnuts from LA-based chocolatiers Compartes, there is truly something for everyone. To further bring color authority to the conversation through color-inspired events and experiences, MAC Cosmetics, Crayola, and Levi’s Kids contribute an exciting lineup of events and integrated merchandise moments.
It’s satisfying to see a legacy brand doing something so creative. We look forward to seeing how consumers react to this innovating approach to in-store experience.
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