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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Atlanta Hats? Macy’s Goes Local

From The New York Times:

Long before it was renamed Macy’s, the department store of choice here was Rich’s. Opening just after the Civil War, it drew generations of Atlantans with its coconut cake and the Pink Pig, a Christmastime children’s train.

Now, after years of ownership by New York-based Macy’s, the old Rich’s stores are feeling a bit more like Atlanta again. The generic display near an entrance at the Cumberland Mall store, for example, has been replaced with a rack of white satin suits — yes, even in October.

“We have a lot of mega-churches here in Atlanta, and for first Sunday, the mothers of the church wear white all year long,” said Terry McDonald, a human resources manager for Macy’s Cumberland and surrounding stores, referring to a church service held once every month.

After decades of acquiring, consolidating and centralizing, the department store chain is rediscovering — and financially exploiting — its multiple local roots, advancing a trend that is quickly being adopted by other retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Best Buy.

It is a lesson many companies overlooked in the last 30 years as they rolled smaller stores into huge national brands, and headquarters mandated what the outlets in Biloxi or Boise should sell.

But years of economic turmoil for the retail industry have helped refresh memories. While many national retailers continue to see sales declines in a sour economy, Macy’s says its first full year of “going local” has helped increase sales significantly and “lifted the entire Macy’s performance,” according to its chairman and chief executive, Terry J. Lundgren.

The trend leaves some shoppers cold — Macy’s makeover of stores here has not stopped the longing for the real Rich’s among many Atlantans — but retail analysts say stores of all types are increasingly experimenting with local assortments to spur sales wherever they can.

In shoes, the Atlanta store displays tables of low-heeled black leather pumps, because Delta Air Lines, a major Atlanta employer, requires its flight attendants to wear heels of 0.5 to 3 inches.

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Two holiday traditions associated with Rich's were the Great Tree and the Pink Pig. My grandkids still ride the Pink Pig each Christmas. Unlike Davison-Paxon's or Davison's, Rich's was an Atlanta-based department store. Dick Rich, an acquaintance of my aunt and uncle who lived in Decatur in the fifties and sixties, ran the organization during my youth. Under his leadership, Rich's opened its first suburban store at Lenox Square in 1959, Georgia's first shopping mall. What an event that was.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look it makes perfect sense. It's like getting back to basics and grass roots, so no surprise that it's working. With Macys coupon codesanyone can order online with ease if not enticed to go into the store.

8:42 PM  

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