Fashion Features Hal Lawton Macy's Mark Stocker

MAKING BOLD MOVES AT MACY’S

Hall Lawton

Just like the Titanic, the world’s largest division retailer had
all the time appeared too huge to fail. Sadly, success in immediately’s division
retailer world has turn out to be more and more difficult: Small is the brand new massive, rising
manufacturers are cooler than broadly distributed labels, contact screens trump human
sellers and conventional guidelines of retail are altering at lightning velocity.

Fortuitously, underneath the sage path of Macy’s chairman and
CEO Jeff Gennette, a brand new group of visionary prime execs has joined the ranks and
the momentum is already palpable. Right here, MR chats with the retailer’s just lately appointed president Hal Lawton and prime
menswear service provider Mark Stocker to find out how this iconic retailer is reinventing
itself.

Hal Lawton: By no means Extra Related

Hall LawtonHal Lawton

Hal Lawton fell in love with retail (after UVA enterprise
faculty and a four-year stint at McKinsey) throughout his 10-year tenure at Residence
Depot. There, he ran each the web enterprise after which the merchandising
operation; he left to run the Americas unit of eBay—a $35 billion operation.
Lawton joined Macy’s in September 2017 with duty for the complete Macy’s
model: merchandising, advertising, shops, operations, know-how, technique,
analytics and the web site.

He describes himself as a disciple of servant management: an
inverted triangle the place empowering your frontline leaders means they will higher
serve your clients. “Our final objective is to remain in tune with (and forward of)
our clients, so my job is to ensure we’re evolving on the proper tempo and
that everybody is philosophically aligned so we will assume and act like one
cohesive group.”

Among the many many new initiatives at Macy’s, Lawton is most
enthusiastic about:

■ The
acquisition of the independently-owned Story boutique this previous Might, and the
prospect of Story impacting the client expertise at Macy’s with the addition
of its founder Rachel Shechtman to the Macy’s exec workforce. “We sit up for
bringing some model of Story into Macy’s throughout a big variety of doorways.
We consider shops have to get extra experiential, to create moments for his or her clients
and to provide them a cause to return again. We’re not relying on Story to be the
whole answer however it’s a bit of it.”

■ The
rollout of Digital Actuality and Augmented Actuality. “We now have the nation’s largest
rollout proper now, in near 80 doorways. In our furnishings departments, for instance,
clients can contact and really feel the furnishings they could need to purchase and see how
it’ll look of their house. This additionally applies to our magnificence departments: An
AR-enhanced mirror can permit the viewer to see how

numerous shades will look on her. We’ve additionally translated these
varieties of experiences into our app in order that through the use of your digital camera perform (on an
iPhone 7 or greater), our furnishings can seem in your front room.”

■ The
expanded use of RFID. “The overwhelming majority of product in our retailer will quickly be
RFID-enabled, which means our associates can wave a wand and know what’s on show
and what % of the inventory is backroom. Our associates verify this a number of
occasions weekly. We measure our shops on it; we maintain our individuals accountable for
retaining that quantity low. This ensures sizes and colours can be found on the
promoting flooring and makes the expertise for our sellers much more environment friendly.
We’re additionally enthusiastic about different methods to make use of RFID sooner or later: every part from
theft detection to retailer navigation.”

■ A
persistently robust on-line enterprise: Macy’s invested in its web site early on and
can now boast 17 consecutive quarters of double-digit comps. Though Lawton
declines to offer figures for in-store vs. on-line gross sales (“It is senseless since
the 2 are so intertwined…”), Macys.com is persistently ranked among the many prime
5 or 6 on-line retailers within the nation.


Market@Macy’s: The Market@Macys idea, for patrons who love to find new
manufacturers and experiences, encompasses a rotating number of distinctive gadgets. At
current (November, December, January), Macy’s is showcasing a collaboration
with Fb that includes cool product, from about 100 e-commerce manufacturers throughout
9 Macy’s doorways. Along with including pleasure to the promoting flooring, the
idea helps rising manufacturers attain new audiences.

■ Extra
exclusive-to-Macy’s product that may finally contribute 40 % to the
combine together with each personal label and unique product inside nationwide manufacturers.

■ A brand new
buyer loyalty program that’s a yr previous and going robust, particularly since its
lately added bronze degree program permits non-Macy’s cardholders to get the advantages.

Sums up Lawton, “We’re merging the most effective of Macy’s historical past
with new imaginative and prescient, new know-how and new initiatives for the last word purchasing
expertise. Our recipe is grounded in a wholesome and vibrant brick & mortar
enterprise, a strong e-commerce enterprise and a incredible international app. We’re very
proud of our retailer rely (650 places in 44 states plus greater than 100 worldwide
places by way of our web site), we’ve reported constructive comps for the previous 4
quarters and we really feel that Macy’s has by no means been extra related.”

Mark Stocker: Trend Focus

Mark StockerMark StockerMark Stocker

Wearing fashionably distressed denims and ultra-cool
Nikes, the Common Enterprise Supervisor for Males’s and Youngsters at Macy’s seems to be very
very similar to his new goal buyer: trendy, refined, only a bit edgy.
It’s a refreshing change from the buttoned-up look to which most retail execs
ascribe and a transparent reflection of Mark Stocker’s philosophy of life, boldly
displayed on his workplace wall: ‘Have the braveness to stay life the best way you need
to!’

A Pittsburgh native, Stocker graduated with a level in
finance, then labored in banking and institutional securities. “I appreciated however
didn’t adore it and was in search of a profession to like. My two years at Kaufmann’s
(Pittsburgh’s then preeminent division retailer) crammed that area of interest, adopted by
stints at Gymboree and William-Sonoma. I then joined Macy’s West as director of
strategic planning and moved to New York with the My Macy’s initiative as
nationwide planning supervisor.”

Stocker describes how insecure he first felt with this
place. “I’d by no means labored within the subject; I didn’t know something about retailer group.
However I used to be advised that Macy’s encourages execs with a number of experiences to deal with
new challenges. With 90 individuals everywhere in the nation reporting to me, I discovered
‘on the job’ about communication, delegation, empowerment. I relied on and discovered
from my staff which was crucial lesson of all. I didn’t know if I used to be
doing it proper however because the My Macy’s localization initiative was model new,
nobody might say I used to be doing it flawed.…”

Insecurity overcome, Stocker is clearly having fun with his position as
menswear’s prime service provider. “We’ve taken the division retailer menswear mannequin and
reinvented it. We nonetheless cater to conventional shoppers however have added
fashion-forward ones by distorting the penetration of style. And we’re taking
some massive dangers, not simply in Herald Sq. however on-line and in lots of our doorways.
Youthful clients particularly are liking what they see, even in manufacturers that we’ve
had for numerous years.”

Requested for examples, Stocker cites Polo, Hilfiger, Calvin
Klein. “The dangers we’re taking with unique product from these manufacturers is paying
again. We’ve obtained to set ourselves aside, even inside manufacturers the client is aware of
nicely.”

As well as, Stocker believes in focus, in chopping again assortments,
typically by 20 to 30 %. “It’s safer to take dangers making an attempt 10 totally different
issues however then you definitely by no means get a very good learn as a result of the message is watered down.
Once we stand behind one thing, we do it in a very significant method. As an alternative of
10, we’ll give attention to three to 5 issues that assist us join with that new
buyer. And the response has been robust: we’re not strolling clients; we’re
bringing in new ones!” At present scorching with Macy’s clients, previous and new:
activewear, the unique INC model, basic classes from Polo and open-sell
footwear. “We’ve had superb outcomes with an open-sell format for males’s and youngsters’
footwear. We nonetheless have a really well-developed gown shoe enterprise however we’re seeing
the combination skew towards trend athletic. (Editor’s notice: Stocker admits to personally
proudly owning 55-60 pairs of sneakers, overlook all of the gown footwear.…) We’re in Europe with
the style workplace a number of occasions a yr, purchasing collections and learning the
retail panorama. We will’t be stagnant in driving our assortments: we’re
continually evolving the combination and distorting the penetration of trend based mostly, in
half, on developments from Europe interpreted for the U.S. market.”

With tailor-made clothes nonetheless a serious focus for Macy’s,
Stocker sees a lot alternative to get much more out of it. “Tailor-made for us is
principally a separates enterprise with a rising style element; lots of our clothes
manufacturers have added sportswear to their collections. We’re engaged on the appropriate
adjacencies, on incorporating tailor-made items into an general way of life.”

Then again, he’s shifted denim, t-shirts and fleece
to a classification strategy. “These classes was merchandised by
model however this new strategy permits the client to see the complete vary of what
we provide. We do the identical for males’s footwear: if you would like a black lace-up gown
shoe, you possibly can go to that part of the shoe division and see the complete assortment.

I’ve discovered that clients, particularly younger clients, aren’t
as model loyal as they’re classification targeted.” He presents himself as an
instance of this eclecticism: his wardrobe runs the gamut from Polo and Patagonia
to All Saints and Scotch & Soda. “I particularly love the shortage mannequin: I
attempt to get my hands-on issues that few to nobody else may need.…”

Summing it up, Stocker declares that “shoppers are altering
extra quickly than ever. Our focus is to anticipate what they need subsequent and to
make sure that Macy’s is the primary place they flip to purchase it.”