Macy’s to Close Almost Half the Story Shops It Set Up Last Year

(Bloomberg) -- Macy’s Inc. is scaling down Story, the experiential shop within-a-shop it introduced to significant fanfare less than a year ago.

The department-store chain will close almost half of the 36 Story locations it set up in Macy’s stores in 2019, according to a statement. The company will retain 20 of the shops including at its Herald Square flagship in New York and will give a further update to its strategy for the retail concept in April, it said.

“The goal was to spend the first year understanding customers and the new brand so that we could learn, iterate and innovate,” the company said in a statement. “We have learned a great deal about what our customers are looking for from an in-store experience, and Story will remain an important part of Macy’s gifting strategy.”

Macy’s acquired Story, founded by Rachel Shechtman, in 2018 before introducing it the following year in April. The idea was to make shopping about more than just buying things and lure back consumers increasingly drawn to online options. Shechtman now oversees Macy’s new smaller store format called Market by Macy’s, which opened in Dallas this week.

Macy’s is undergoing several structural changes as it seeks to adapt to a new era of retail. On Tuesday, it said it will close 125 stores in the next three years and cut 2,000 jobs, among other consolidation steps and efforts to reduce layers of management.

The Story shop at Herald Square currently occupies a 7,500 square-foot space filled with knickknacks. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette has described the items as things “nobody needs” but are “going to want” once they walk through. The concept is a “success story” that offers insight into consumer behavior, he said in an interview on Wednesday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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