Macy's CFO Karen Hoguet told a United Way meeting in Cincinnati that "she does not expect Macy's to benefit at all" from federal stimulus checks, according to a story in the Business Courier of Cincinnati.
While the downturn has been difficult, Hoguet said Macy's "will be ready to better compete" when the economy recovers. Among the initiatives she described:
Localization. When Macy's acquired May Co. in 2005, merchandising for its Mall of America store moved to Minneapolis after years in San Francisco. "Immediately, sales of coats rose 135 percent while swimwear rose 60 percent," Business Courier reporter Lisa Fasig writes. "Turns out the folks in San Francisco thought it was too cold to swim in Minnesota." (See below.)
Newness. Consolidation has given people fewer stores from which to shop, so the survivors must differentiate themselves with proprietary brands that change often.
Training. Hoguet said Macy's wants to be "the graduate school of retail," and is experimenting with sales coaching for longtime employees and more training for new hires.
Image: A Jeff Danziger cartoon that has been hanging in my kitchen since 1988. You may have to print the image to read it, but here's a preview: "40 degrees. Californians shiver uncontrollaby, Minnesotans go swimming."