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This article is about the R. H. Macy & Co. department store chain, which is a division of Macy's Inc. For information about the parent company of Macy's (formerly known as Federated Department Stores, Inc.), see Macy's, Inc.. R. H. Macy & Company TypeDivision Founded 1858 Headquarters Cincinnati, OhioUSAIndustryRetailProductsClothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares. OwnerMacy's,

Macy's is a chain of mid-range American department stores with its flagship store in Herald Square, New York City, which, with its one million square feet of selling space has been billed as the "world's largest store" since completion of the Seventh Avenue addition in 1924. (Though it actually ties with London's more upmarket Harrods in terms of vastness of selling space.) The company also operates two other national flagship stores, at San Francisco's Union Square and the former Marshall Field's flagship Marshall Field and Company Building on State Street in the Chicago Loop. Additionally, divisional flagship store locations operate in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, D.C. and Seattle.

The company produces the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a well known parade which was started in Newark, New Jersey by L. Bamberger & Co. and has been held on the streets of New York City annually since 1924.



Macy's was founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy a Quaker businessman whose religion dominated Manhattan at that time. On the company's first day of business the sales totaled $11.06. Macy had established a dry goods store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851 that initially served the whaling community there. Macy moved to New York City and established a new store named "R. H. Macy & Company" on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, later expanding to 18th Street and Broadway, on the "Ladies' Mile", the 19th century elite shopping district, where it remained for nearly forty years.

The World's Largest Store sign at Macy's Herald Square. The Macy's flagship department store with the famous brownstone at 34th and Broadway. Macy's viewed from the Empire State Building

In 1893, R. H. Macy & Co. was acquired by Isidor Straus and his brother, Nathan Straus, who had previously held a license to sell china and other goods in the Macy's store. In 1902, the flagship store moved uptown to Herald Square at 34th Street and Broadway. Although the Herald Square store initially consisted of just one building, it expanded through new construction, eventually occupying almost the entire block bounded by 7th Avenue on the west, Broadway on the east, 34th Street on the south and 35th Street on the north. Exceptions are the small, pre-existing building on the corner of 34th and Broadway, which carries Macy's famous shopping bag sign under an agreement allowing the Macy's sign, and small pre-existing building on the corner of 35th and 7th.

The original Broadway R. H. Macy Company and Store (building), was built in 1901–1902 by architects De Lemos & Cordes. It is sheathed in a Palladian façade, but has been updated in many details. Other additions to the west were added in 1924, 1928, and 1931, all designed by architect Robert D. Kohn. They are all in the Art Deco style.[1] The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

The same problem presented itself when Macys built a store on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens, New York. This resulted in an architecturally unique round department store on 90 percent of the lot, with a small privately owned house on the corner. A key President in the build up of the company was Herb Yalof.

Macy's Entrance - 34th Street, New York


Macy's underwent a period of expansion during the 1920s and 1930s. The company went public in 1922 and began to open up branch stores around New York and Long Island. Acquisitions were also made outside of the New York City region. Department stores in Toledo (LaSalle & Koch 1924), Atlanta (Davison-Paxon-Stokes 1929), Newark (L. Bamberger & Co. 1929), San Francisco (O'Connor Moffat & Company 1945), and Kansas City (John Taylor Dry Goods Co. 1947) were purchased during this time. O'Connor Moffat was renamed Macy's San Francisco in 1947, later becoming Macy's California, and John Taylor was renamed Macy's Missouri-Kansas in 1949. Stores in Toledo retained the LaSalle's name until 1984, becoming part of Macy's Midwest. These stores were sold to Elder-Beermen in 1986.[4]

Macy's New York began opening stores outside of its historic New York City–Long Island trade area in 1983 with a location at Aventura Mall in Aventura, Florida (a suburb of Miami), followed by several locations in Plantation, Florida (now relocated from the Fashion Mall to the Broward Mall since the Burdine's acquisition), Houston, New Orleans, and Dallas. Davison's in Atlanta was renamed Macy's Atlanta in early 1985 with the consolidation of an early incarnation of Macy's Midwest (former Taylor and LaSalle's stores in Kansas City and Toledo, respectively), but late in 1985, Macy's turned around and sold the former Midwest locations. Bamberger's, which had aggressively expanded throughout New Jersey, into the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area in the 1960s and 1970s as well as into Nanuet, New York(southern Rockland County), and into the Baltimore Metropolitan area in the early 1980s, was renamed Macy's New Jersey in 1986.

Management buyout

In 1986 Edward Finkelstein, Chairman & CEO of R. H. Macy & Co., Inc., led a leveraged buy-out of the company and subsequently engaged in a takeover battle for Federated Department Stores, Inc., in 1988 that he lost to Canada's Campeau Corp. As part of its settlement with Campeau, Macy's purchased Federated's California-based, fashion-oriented Bullock's and its high-end Bullocks Wilshire and I. Magnin divisions. It followed with a reorganization of its divisions into Macy's Northeast (former Macy's New York and Macy's New Jersey), Macy's South/Bullock's (Macy's Atlanta stores plus Macy's New York's operations in Texas, Florida and Louisiana), and Macy's California, the later including a semi-autonomous I. Magnin/Bullocks Wilshire organization. The Bullocks Wilshire stores were renamed I. Magnin in 1989.

Subsequently, R. H. Macy & Co., Inc., filed for bankruptcy on January 27, 1992, after which point its banks brought in a new management team, which shut several underperforming stores, jettisoned two-thirds of the luxury I. Magnin chain, and reduced Macy's to two divisions; Macy's East and Macy's West.

Federated Department Stores merger

The Macy's West flagship store in San Francisco.

At the start of 1994, Federated began pursuing a merger with Macy's. After a long and difficult courtship, R. H. Macy & Co. finally merged with Federated Department Stores on December 19, 1994. Following the merger the reorganized Macy’s moved its headquarters to Cincinnati, Ohio under the name Federated Department Stores. Federated promptly shut down the remainder of the I. Magnin chain, converting several to Macy's or Bullock's and selling four in Carmel, Beverly Hills, San Diego and Phoenix to Saks Fifth Avenue. Federated also merged its Abraham & Straus/Jordan Marsh division with the new "Macy's East" organization based in New York, renaming the Abraham & Straus stores in metropolitan New York with the Macy's nameplate in 1995, and then erasing the Jordan Marsh moniker in New England in early 1996.

Federated followed that by leading a bid in mid-1995 bid to acquire the bankrupt Woodward & Lothrop/John Wanamaker organization in the mid-Atlantic region, a bid it lost to rival group led by long-time rival and future acquisition target May Department Stores. Instead Federated soon agreed to purchase Broadway Stores, Inc. (owner of The Broadway, Emporium and Weinstock's stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico), from its majority shareholder, Samuel Zell, thereby gaining a leading position in Southern California and a dominant one in the Northern California marketplace. In early 1996 Federated dissolved Broadway Stores, incorporating the majority of its locations into Macy's West, rebadging them as Macy's and using the opportunity to retire the Bullock's name. Several of the redundant Broadway locations were used to establish Bloomingdale's on the West Coast, while many other were sold to Sears.

The Macy's in downtown Cincinnati, home of Federated until it changed its name to Macy's, Inc.

In 2001 Federated dissolved its Stern's division in the New York metropolitan area, with the bulk of the stores being absorbed into Macy's East. Additionally, in July 2001 it acquired the Liberty House chain with department and specialty stores in Hawaii and Guam, consolidating it with Macy's West.

In early 2003 Federated closed the majority of its historic Davison's franchise in Atlanta (operating as Macy's since 1985), rebranding its other Atlanta division Rich's with the unwieldy name, Rich's–Macy's. The downtown location -- formerly the Davison's flagship store at 180 Peachtree Street -- was shuttered at this time as well. The original Macy's Lenox Square and Perimeter Mall locations were extensively remodeled and opened in October 2003 as the first Bloomingdale's stores in Atlanta. The company rapidly followed suit in May 2003 with similar rebranding announcements for its other nameplates, Burdines in Florida, Goldsmith's in Memphis, Lazarus in the lower Midwest, and The Bon Marché in the Pacific Northwest.

On March 6, 2005, the Bon-Macy's, Burdines-Macy's, Goldsmith's-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's, and Rich's-Macy's stores were renamed as simply "Macy's", the first two as the new Macy's Northwest and Macy's Florida divisions respectively and the later three as part of the Macy's Central division. As of July 2005, Macy's had 424 stores throughout the U.S.[2]

After a series of corporate name changes, first simply Federated Department Stores, then Macy’s-Federated Department Stores the Cincinnati based company simply became Macy’s Department Stores.

Merger with May Department Stores

Taken in summer of 2007, this is an image of a Macy's store located in Pittsburgh that still had one Kaufmann's sign in front of the store, even though it was converted to a Macy's in summer of 2006.

On February 28, 2005, Federated agreed to terms of a deal to acquire May Department Stores for $11 billion in stock, creating the nation's second largest department store chain with $30 billion in annual sales and more than 1,000 stores.

On July 28, 2005, Federated announced, based on the success of converting its own regional brands to the Macy's name, its plans to similarly convert 330 regional department stores owned by the May Company (as May Department Stores was generally referred to) to the Macy's nameplate. This included May's Marshall Field's (purchased by the May Company from Target just 8 months prior to Federated's purchase of the May Company), Famous-Barr, Filene's, Foley's, Hecht's, The Jones Store, Kaufmann's, L. S. Ayres, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May, and Strawbridge's chains, pending approval of the merger by federal regulators. This was met with negative reaction in many of the local areas of these department stores because they were considered local institutions in those regions. Where existing Macy's stores were in close proximity to former May Company stores, some redundant stores would be closed or sold off to other retailers.

On September 20, 2005, Federated announced that all of the Marshall Field's stores (including the legendary State Street store in Chicago) would become Macy's by the end of 2006, becoming the new Macy's North division. This last announcement was met with negative publicity as Marshall Field's had long been considered a Chicago institution.

On January 12, 2006, Federated announced its plans to divest May Company's Lord & Taylor division by the end of 2006 after concluding that chain did not fit with their strategic focus for building the Macy's and Bloomingdale's national brands. On June 22, 2006, Macy's announced that NDRC Equity Partners, LLC would purchase Lord & Taylor for US$1.2 billion,[3] and completed the sale in October 2006.

Macy's becomes a national brand

Exterior of typical suburban Macy's store (formerly a Marshall Fields)

On February 21, 2006, Macy's appointed a new chief marketing officer, Anne MacDonald, to oversee the transformation of Macy's into a "national department store." By September 9, 2006, and after renaming the former May Company locations, Macy's operated approximately 850 stores in the United States. To promote its largest and most recent expansion, Macy's used a version of the Martha and the Vandellas hit song, "Dancing in the Street" in its advertising. Also, the company took props from its annual Thanksgiving Day parade to various re-labeled stores throughout the nation, in what the company marketed as its "Parade on Parade."

Macy's significantly increased its use of television advertising and product placement in 2006 and 2007, using branding spots that featured the new Macy's star logo. During the February 11, 2007, episode of the popular ABC television series Desperate Housewives, a Macy's location in the fictional city of Fairview was featured, a rare instance of product placement promoting a department store chain in a scripted series. Nearly two years earlier, one of the first national commercials for Macy's had aired during Desperate Housewives, shortly after the conversion of Rich's, Lazarus, Goldsmith's, The Bon Marché and Burdines.

The Macy's at Greenspoint Mall in Houston, Texas was a Foley's until 2006

On February 27, 2007, Federated Department Stores announced plans to change its corporate name from Federated Department Stores, Inc., to Macy's Group, Inc.[4] By March 28, the company further announced plans to convert its stock ticker symbol from "FD" to "M", and revised its earlier proposed name change, instead opting to change to Macy's, Inc. [5] The change in corporate names was approved by shareholders on May 18, 2007, and took effect on June 1, 2007. The company will continue to operate stores under both the Macy's and Bloomingdale's nameplates.

The red Macy's star has been around since the 1850's when Rowland Macy opened his first store in New York. Mr. Macy was a sea captain who became lost at sea and thought he was lost until a star appeared in the skies above him. He used that star to steer, and it guided him back to land. Once there, he had a star tattooed on his arm to keep that memory alive. He adopted the red star as a symbol for Macy's and it has been around ever since.

Store Divisions

Prior to the merger of Federated and May, Macy's had been organized into five divisions. Incorporation of properties from six former regional May Company divisions began in February 2006, when existing Macy's stores and properties yet to be converted were then organized into seven divisions with store locations in 45 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam.[2] As of May 2008, the only states without a Macy's store were Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi and Nebraska.

On February 6, 2008, Macy's Inc. announced consolidation, effectively immediately, of its Macy's store locations into four primary divisions. Three of the divisions will have approximately 250 locations each as a result of the reorganization, while its Florida-based division remains unaffected.[5]

  • Macy's East, is headquartered in New York City, with locations ranging from the eastern to north-central United States. Prior to the consolidation of May Company properties into the division in February 2006, the division contained 216 stores/29,100 employees in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, portions of Virginia, and the city of Washington, D.C.. In addition to Macy's, this division formerly operated Filene's stores in New England, the majority of Kaufmann's stores in upstate New York, and Strawbridge's and Hecht's stores in the mid-Atlantic region. After announced divestitures/store closures were completed by late 2006, this division contained 185 locations until consolidation with Macy's North.
Macy's North, headquartered in Minneapolis from February 2006 until February 2008, was consolidated into Macy's East. Prior to its consolidation, the division included 65 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Formerly, most locations had operated as Marshall Field's, which in turn included many former Dayton's and Hudson's locations. Additionally, the former L. S. Ayres location in Merrillville, Indiana, and Macy's at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, were included in the Macy's North division. The division's successor, in effect, will be a corporate region within Macy's East, with regional offices moved from Minneapolis to Chicago.
  • Macy's Central, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is the second incarnation of the division name within what is currently Macy's Inc., with stores throughout the midwestern and southeastern United States. The current Macy's Central consolidates the following locations:
Macy's South, which was also headquartered in Atlanta, operated from February 2006 until February 2008. The Federated/Macy's Inc. division itself was a consolidation of May Company properties with the first incarnation of Macy's Central — a renaming of Federated's RLG division, which had included Rich's, Lazarus, and Goldsmith's. As of March 2007, the division contained 136 stores/22,500 employees in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas & Virginia. Macy's South as operated by Federated/Macy's Inc. was created by consolidating former Rich's and Goldsmith's locations with several stores from the Foley's chain. (Lazarus stores were transferred to Macy's Midwest.) From 1988 to 1992, R. H. Macy & Co., Inc.'s Macy's South division was also headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with stores in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and Texas operating as Macy's, while stores in California, Arizona and Nevada operated as Bullock's. The former South division was formed following Macy's acquisition of Bullock's, incorporating Macy's Atlanta (the former Davison's stores renamed in 1985) with the Florida, Louisiana and Texas locations of Macy's New York and Bullock's. It was dissolved in 1992 and its stores consolidated into Macy's East and Macy's West. Before and After shots of the former Lazarus store located at Eastland Mall in Columbus, Ohio. (Store was relocated to the former Kaufmann's building at Eastland in April 2006). The former Lazarus stores are now part of Macy's Midwest.
Macy's Midwest, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, from February 2006 until February 2008, was consolidated with Macy's South to form the current Macy's Central division. Prior to its consolidation, this Macy's Midwest division included 95 stores throughout the midwestern United States. There was a prior division of R. H. Macy & Co., Inc. named Macy's Midwest that was headquartered in Kansas City formed from a consolidation of two Macy's divisions, LaSalle's and Macy's Missouri-Kansas, in 1981. It was merged with Davison's to form Macy's Atlanta on February 1, 1985. Its former LaSalle's stores were sold to Elder-Beerman later that year and its former Kansas and Missouri stores were sold to Dillard's in 1986. Macy's Midwest incorporated several historic department store franchises owned by the former Federated Department Stores, Inc. and by May Company. The franchises represented by Macy's Midwest include The F&R Lazarus & Co., Shillito's, Rike's, William H. Block Co., Joseph Horne Co., Famous-Barr, L. S. Ayres, The Jones Store, Kaufmann's, May Company Ohio, O'Neils and Strouss. St. Louis will remain as a regional headquarters location for a corporate region within Macy's Central. Another corporate regional headquarters within the division will be based in Cincinnati.
  • Macy's West, is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with locations throughout the western United States. Prior to the February 2006 inclusion of May Company properties, the division included 232 stores/31,100 employees throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Guam. In addition to Macy's stores, the division operated former Foley's locations in Colorado, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, as well as Robinson's-May stores. After announced divestitures/store closures were completed by late 2006, this division operated approximately 190 stores, until consolidation with Macy's Northwest.
Macy's Northwest, headquartered in Seattle from February 2006 until February 2008, was consolidated into Macy's West. Many of the locations were formerly locations of The Bon Marché, and the division included 71 stores/7,200 employees prior to the February 2006 inclusion of May Company properties. Store locations in the division were located throughout Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. In addition to former Bon Marché stores, the division added stores formerly operating as Meier & Frank, which in turn had included former ZCMI locations. Seattle will remain as a regional headquarters location for a corporate region within Macy's West.
  • Macy's Florida, headquartered in Miami, Florida, includes 61 stores/9,800 employees in Florida and Puerto Rico. The majority of the stores were formerly Burdines; the San Juan, Puerto Rico, store was transferred from Macy's East in August 2007.

There are two administrative divisions for all store divisions nationwide:

  • Macy's Corporate Marketing headquartered in New York, responsible for rect overall activity on initiatives implemented to support the company's focus on Marketing.
  • Macy's Merchandising Group, headquartered in New York, responsible for conceptualizing, designing, sourcing, and marketing private label and private branded goods sold at Macy's and managing core vendor relationships in the domestic branded market.
  • Macy's Home Store, headquartered in New York, responsible for buying, planning and marketing home-related merchandise sold in all Macy's stores.

Environmental Record

The constantly enlarging textile industry often negatively contributes to the environment. Because Macy’s is a large clothing retailer, their production often hurts the environment. A few of the effects of the consistently increasing textile industry are water deficit, climate change, pollution, and fossil fuel and raw material consumption. In addition these effects, today’s mechanical textile plants use large amounts of energy, while also producing a throw-away mindset due to trends founded upon fast fashion and cheap clothing.[6] Despite the common consequences related to the textile industry, Macy’s has begun to evaluate their environmental effects to lessen their negative impact by promoting important environmental causes. One way Macy’s recently supported the environment was during Earth Week and National Park Week 2008 by raising money with their “Turn over a New Leaf” project. This campaign helps to promote environmental awareness relating to shopping bags and their detrimental effect on the environment.[7] Most plastic shopping bags are made using petroleum, and it takes more than 1000 years to break them down in landfills.[8] Because Macy’s uses approximately 43 million shopping bags each year, this can drastically alter the environment. Because of this, all Macy’s stores now carry reusable cotton tote bags for sale that sell for $3.95, with one dollar of each sale going toward the National Park Foundation. In addition to the company’s bag transition, Macy’s is also replacing their synthetic, nonbiodegradable packing peanuts that accounts for 3.1 million cubic feet (88,000 m³) of in-box material per year with loosefill material created from corn and potato starch. This new material will break down within 9 minutes with water in the landfills.[9] In addition to these campaigns, Macy’s also offered ten to twenty percent off to their customers on Earth Day 2008 in return for a five dollar donation to the National Park Foundation. Although this helps to raise environmental awareness, some critics are concerned that efforts like this might not be lasting, genuine effects to help the environment, but rather an opportunity for quick advertisement through the press.[10]


In July 2003, then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer launched an investigation of the private policing system Macy's has used to deal with suspected shoplifters. The investigation was prompted by a civil rights lawsuit and an article in The New York Times, which reported on many of Macy's tactics, including private jails and interrogations.[11] Spitzer's investigation found many of Macy's actions, from ethnic profiling to handcuffing detainees, to be unlawful. Macy's settled the civil rights complaint for US$600,000, claiming to have put the illegal tactics to an end while maintaining the security system itself.[12]

The Macy's East downtown Boston store (formerly the Jordan Marsh flagship) touched off a local public relations firestorm with the June 6, 2006, removal of two mannequins and the Web address of the AIDS Action Committee from a window display promoting Boston's annual gay pride celebration. The removal was apparently in response to pressure from MassResistance, a local group opposed to same-sex marriage, whose members complained the mannequins were “homosexual”. The removal of the mannequins was widely condemned by residents and officials, including Boston mayor Thomas Menino, who was quoted as saying:

“ I’m very surprised that Macy’s would bend to that type of pressure. Macy’s was celebrating a part of our community, gay pride, and they should be proud of the gay community, and I’m proud of the gay community and gay pride.[13]

Macy's response to the debacle was to publish an apology by the Macy's East chairman, Ron Klein, in In Newsweekly, a Boston-area weekly with a large gay readership. Klein's description of the incident as “an internal breakdown in communication,” further stated it was regrettable some would doubt Macy's commitment to diversity as a result.[14] The Web address was later restored—the mannequins, however never made a reappearance.

Macy's Boston was also a target of Animal Rights protesters, who held signs and handed out pamphlets throughout the 1990s regarding Macy's participation in the fur trade industry. Macy's West had at the time stopped carrying their line of fur coats and apparel, and although the demonstrations have since quieted, Macy's East continues to sell fur coats and apparel, as does a portion of Macy's South stores.

Conversion of Marshall Field's

In Chicago, Macy's move into the Marshall Field's Marshall Field and Company Building on State Street upset many residents.[15] Hundreds of protesters gathered under Marshall Field's famous clock the day the name change was implemented and hundreds more gathered once again to mark the one year anniversary of Marshall Field's loss. Each week protesters gather outside Marshall Field's landmark store at 111 North State Street to solicit support for Marshall Field's return and millions of once loyal shoppers are simply shopping elsewhere.[16] Macy's reported in December 2006 slowed sales in stores that once were Marshall Field's.[17] This decline continued into 2007 with Macy's acknowledging that while many former Marshall Field's stores have seen sales fall 7-10% the original State Street store has continued to struggle even more.[18] In November 2007, Macy's announced that it would no longer try to lure angry and upset former Marshall Field's shoppers to their stores and instead would now be trying to lure new customers into the State Street Store. Macy's hopes to do this by adding an FAO Schwarz floor, a wine bar to the Walnut Room, as well as having Martha Stewart decorate the Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room. [19]


Macy's is involved in a labor dispute regarding maquila workers in Guatemala. Workers in the Sitracima union allege intimidation and union-busting at their CimaTextiles factory. On 2 June 2007, a student protest at the downtown Seattle Macy's and Talbots stores was peacefully suppressed by Macy's security guards.

A union representing former Kaufmann's employees at Pittsburgh's flagship store filed a grievance on June 9, 2007, claiming a new dress code policy violates workers' rights. The dress code is set to take effect Sept. 4, 2007, in Macy's Midwest stores. Should the policy go into effect, Macy's would have the strictest dress code policy of any area department store, including Saks Fifth Avenue.[20]

Miscellaneous facts and pop culture

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The article could be improved by integratingrelevant items and removing inappropriateones.
  • Total sales on the first day of business at the original Macy's in 1858, was $11.06
  • The star in the Macy's logo comes from a tattoo that Mr. Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship.[21]
  • Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, worked at Macy's in New York for almost a year between 1910 and 1911. Mr. Frank returned to Germany to work in the summer of 1911 but often said he loved his year working for the American department store.
  • Isidor Straus, the longtime co-owner of Macy's, was one of the most well-known casualties on the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Although Straus and his wife Ida had a chance to get on one of the lifeboats, Isidor refused, saying that he wouldn't go ahead of the younger men, and Ida, not wanting to leave her husband behind, stayed with him on the ship. The moment was immortalized in the 1958 film A Night to Remember, and was later used in both the 1997 film and the Broadway musical.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the most famous and most watched Santa Claus Parade, has been sponsored by Macy's for 80 years. Among New Yorkers, it is often referred to as "The Macy Day Parade". The first Macy's parade was held in Haverhill in 1854, but was only attended by about 100 people. The modern version of the parade started in 1924. Bamberger's in New Jersery started their own Thanksgiving Day Parade and the event carried on for many years even after Macy's acquired L Bamberger and Co in 1929.
  • A Holiday Exhibit has been put on at the Minneapolis store (Macy's North and former Dayton's flagship) annually since 1963, featuring a different theme every year.
  • When the Pennsylvania Turnpike bypassed two tunnels in 1968, the new section opened just in time for Thanksgiving. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission offered Macy's, for one year, to have their annual parade on the then-recently closed bypassed section (now commonly known as the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike), but Macy's promptly declined.[22]
  • Since 1976, Macy's has sponsored the annual "Macy's Fireworks Spectacular", New York City's Independence Day fireworks display.
  • The phrase "Does Macy's tell Gimbels?" was a phrase once used in the U.S. as a put-off to inquiring people, the implication being that a company does not give information out to its competitors.[23] Gimbels was the other large department a block away on 33rd Street from Macy's. It has since folded.
  • The classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is set in Macy's 34th Street flagship store. Subsequent remakes of the film for television (1955, 1959, and 1973) are also set in Macy's. However, a 1994 remake of the film was set in the fictional "Cole's" department store after Macy's refused to have its name used in the remake of the original film.
  • A less sentimental view of Macy's department store Santas can be found in the essay "SantaLand Diaries" by David Sedaris, which is frequently played on National Public Radio around Christmas, and has also been adapted for the stage.
  • In the 2003 film Elf (starring Will Ferrell) the exterior shots of Gimbels department store is actually a digitally altered view of the flagship 34th Street Macy's. Gimbels, which was also located on Herald Square, was Macy's chief competitor in New York City. Gimbels Herald Square closed in 1987.
  • The U.S. version for the music video "Heard 'Em Say" by Kanye West and Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5) was filmed inside Macy's Herald Square. The video features West and homeless children playing inside a closed Macy's at night, when Levine, as a store manager, lets them in.
  • In 1971 the San Francisco flagship location adopted the cellar theme to market gourmet kitchenware. "The cellar" private label is carried in Macy's Housewares departments, and the larger stores have basements dedicated to this theme.
  • Guinness World Records lists Macy's Herald Square flagship as the world's largest department store building, with 198,500 m² (2,150,000 ft²) of selling floor. However, some claim that other stores are larger, such as the GUM store in Moscow, or Tobu's Ikebukuro branch in Tokyo.
  • Any international visitors receive an 11% discount on nearly everything in the store for 30 days provided they show proof of citizenship such as a passport. (Not always true, please check this.)
  • TV host and cookbook author Rachael Ray's first job was working at the candy counter of the Herald Square Macy's.
  • On the February 11, 2007, episode of the ABC Show Desperate Housewives, entitled "I Remember That," Eva Longoria's character Gabrielle Solis is seen shopping for linens at a Macy's West store in the city of Pasadena. In the scene, Gabrielle lounges on a bed with a "Vivianne"-style sheet set by Charter Club. Soon after that scene aired, Macy's West put up a sign that read "As Seen on Desperate Housewives."
  • Macy's sponsors FreeRice.


  1. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot; AIA Guide to New York City, 4th Edition; New York Chapter, American Institute of Architects; Crown Publishers. 2000. p.227.
  2. ^ a b Federated At-A-Glance, Federated Department Stores, Inc.
  3. ^ Federated Agrees to Sell Lord & Taylor to NRDC Equity Partners; Transaction Expected to Close in Third Quarter of 2006, Federated Department Stores, Inc., June 22, 2006.
  4. ^ Federated Plans Corporate Name Change. Federated Department Stores. Retrieved on 2007-03-22.
  5. ^ Macy's, Inc. To Trade As M On NYSE. Federated Department Stores. Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  6. ^ Emerging Textiles February 2008. Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  7. ^ Timesunion April 21, 2008. Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  8. ^ Detroit Free Press April 22, 2008 Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  9. ^ Timesunion April 21, 2008 Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  10. ^ CNN April 21, 2008. Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  11. ^ In Stores, Private Handcuffs for Sticky Fingers, The New York Times, June 17, 2003, reprint of [1]
  12. ^ Macy's Settles Complaint of Racial Profiling for US$600,000, The New York Times, January 14, 2005.
  13. ^ Now you see 'em, now you don't, Bay Windows, June 8, 2006.
  14. ^ CEO admits 'Macy's mistake', In Newsweekly, June 14, 2006.
  15. ^ Hard-core fans stay loyal to brand, Chicago Tribune, September 5, 2006.
  16. ^ Protesters: Give Chicagoans what they want - Field's,, November 30, 2006.
  17. ^ Macy's will not provide sales figures for former Marshall Field's stores, but admits that reports that sales are down at former Field's stores, particularly at the flagship store at 111 North State Street - Slow Sales At Converted Marshall Field's Stores,, December 13, 2006.
  18. ^ [2], Macy's: State St. store 'doing badly', Chicago Tribune, May 18, 2007.
  19. ^ "Macy's will be Macy's" On January 11, 2008 the Macy's North division had a press release stating it would layoff 271 workers at Macy's North (which is mostly comprised of the former Marshall Field's stores and HQ) [3]
  20. ^ Macy's dressed down on code
  21. ^ L.H. Robbins, "The City Department Store: Evolution of 75 Years," New York Times, 12 February 1933, 130.
  22. ^ The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike,
  23. ^ The Big Apple: Does Macy's Tell Gimbels? Barry Popik, October 7, 2004.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Macy's Herald Square v • d • eMacy's, Inc.

Terry J. Lundgren (Chairman, President and CEO)
Bloomingdale's · Macy's
Events: Glamorama · The Great Tree at Macy's · Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Annual Revenue: ▲ US$1.406 billion (FY2005) · Employees: 232,000 · Stock Symbol: NYSEM · Website: v • d • eStore conversions to Macy's 2006: Famous-Barr| Filene's| Foley's| Hecht's| The Jones Store| Kaufmann's| L. S. Ayres| Marshall Field's| Meier & Frank| Robinsons-May| Strawbridge's
2005: The Bon Marché| Burdines| Goldsmith's| Lazarus| Rich's    2001: Liberty House| Stern's
1996: The Broadway| Bullock's| Emporium-Capwell| The Emporium| Jordan Marsh| Weinstock's
1995: Abraham & Straus    1986: Bamberger's| Davison's    1984: LaSalle & Koch    1949: John Taylor Dry Goods Co.    1947: O'Connor, Moffat & Co.

Coordinates: 40°45′03″N, 73°59′21″W

Categories: Macy's | Department stores of the United States | Clothing retailers of the United States | Landmarks in New York City | Manhattan | Companies established in 1858Hidden category: Articles with trivia sections from October 2007