Self-service shoe departments coming to three Chicago-area Macy’s stores
The “help yourself” approach is one piece of a new shoe strategy the
Cincinnati, Ohio-based retailer began testing at some stores in
California and the southwestern U.S. last fall, focused on making sure
Macy’s has in-demand brands, stocks the right shoes and makes shopping
less of a hassle.
All stores will adopt a version of the new approach by July, since stores that were part of the test saw shoe sales increase at a rate “well above” that at regular stores, Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet said this month during a call with investors.
In the Chicago area, the biggest changes will be at Macy’s stores at the Gurnee Mills, Fox Valley and Spring Hill malls, which will take shoe boxes off backroom shelves and start stacking them on the sales floor within the next month.
Shoppers who want more help will still be able to get it — there will still be sales associates in the shoe department, and the change won’t affect staffing levels, said Macy’s spokeswoman Andrea Schwartz.
Stores making the switch tend to be smaller locations with fewer employees to wait on customers. To make room for more sizes on the sales floor, Macy’s will trim its in-store selection to focus on top-sellers.
Other stores will stick with hands-on service, but Macy’s still is trying to make its shoe department quicker and easier to shop.
That means displaying shoes by category, not brand. When the department store surveyed customers in 2015, they said they’re usually looking for a particular style — black pumps or riding boots, for instance — not a particular brand, Schwartz said.
Macy’s also is splitting duties between sales associates, who will have hand-held devices they can use to request pairs a customer wants to try, and backroom “runners” who fill their orders. That should let sales associates spend more time on the floor with customers and less time scouring shelves, Schwartz said.
Macy’s stores at Old Orchard, Woodfield, Orland Square, Hawthorn malls
and the River Oaks Shopping Center will soon get that technology, which
is already in use some stores, including the State Street and Water
Tower Place stores.
Source: Chicago Tribune