I thought I had gotten over any loyalty to a department store years ago, after Kauffman’s bought May Company stores and Dillard’s bought Higbee's, both in the Cleveland metropolitan area. Thankfully, Higbee's has been immortalized in the movie “A Christmas Story”; May Company sadly had no such luck. But, over the years, I got over it, and shopped frequently at our local Dillard’s and Kauffman’s stores.
Well, that is, until Macy’s took over Kauffman’s. During the transition to the Macy’s name, our local Kauffman’s store seemed to slowly have less and less varied products, and what they DID have, they had less and less inventory. The quality and the style of clothing just weren’t there. Last Christmas I may have purchased one or two things from Macy’s, but this is the first year that I bought absolutely NOTHING at a Macy’s store for Christmas gifts.
Personally, I think Macy’s has completely sanitized their product offerings, and offer little in stylish clothing for men's and women's clothing. They also are really pushing the use of their credit cards, having some sort of color-coded card system that identifies cardholders by purchasing level. It completely ignores the cash customer like me (I hate credit card interest), and also makes me feel sub-human when I do use my Macy's card. A few months ago when I did make a purchase at the Clinque counter at Macy’s, the clerk glared at me when I used cash, and asked me, “Well, you DO have a Macy’s card, don’t you?” as if I was somewhat less of a person if I didn’t. When I explained why I had one but chose not to use it, she said, “Well, you’re missing out on some discounts.” (Sorry, the discounts can’t be used on items like makeup.) The sales clerks also now sign their receipts and remind you to fill out their survey to tell Macy’s about your shopping experience. I have done so in the past, but clearly my opinions of my shopping experience fell on deaf ears.
I understand in this day and age that acquisitions and mergers happen. But, they are bound to fail if the acquiring company thinks that they know what’s best for their customers. In the case of Macy’s, they clearly have tuned out their customers and have decided to present a homogenized, uninteresting product offering for all stores. This has to be translating to lower sales.
It will take more than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to make me a regular Macy’s shopper. Until Macy’s raises quality and selection – and their inventory – it looks like I’ll be shopping elsewhere.
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