Wednesday, April 22, 2015

And There's Macy's...

As  I read both articles about the art of strategy and knowing one's strategy I couldn't help but think about the chaotic and peaceful moments I has while shopping in a Macy's store. I was always curious about the company's operations as well as its loyal customer base. I found them intriguing especially because as the popularity of many department stores like Sears and JCPenny continues to decline, somehow Macy's has managed to stay afloat. Although it's not the go-to place for many you are still guaranteed to get what you want or at least what you thought you wanted. Macy's MOM strategy has been the primary reason why shoppers see the store as a reliable.

The 'M' in MOM stands for 'My Macy', the 'O' stands for Omnichannel and the last 'M' stands for Magic. The first part of the strategy "My Macy's' is highlighting the personal and customized culture that the business wants to create for shoppers. Although there are currently close to 840 stores, they are particular to the community and location. Macy's sales associates are constantly keeping tack of all the items that customers request but what they do not have in order to tailor products and services to their customers' needs. This qualitative data collection approach is an illustration of how the company's strategy has been injected into the culture and practices of employees. The Forbes article spoke about the demand for bed spreads that was unique to Pittsburgh in particular.

The second part of the strategy 'Omnichannel' focuses on the company's technological capabilities to build and support its inventory from online, mobile and in-store. This level of specification has definitely been enabled by the company's technology and inventory system which allows them to easily track specific items in up to 300 stores at a time. This strategy not only pleases customers but also helps the company to reduce inventory faster which decreases the amount of revenue lost to mark-downs. I've been Macy's on numerous occasions looking for an item that that wasn't present in the store and have always been pleased and surprised that the sales representative orders the item from another location in less than 5 minutes.

Although the article narrowed down the strategy to MOM, it seems as if there are many other like customers or differentiation floating around.  In the few articles I've read, the CEO Terry J Lundgren never once commented on Macy's strategy in a single sentence. In my opinion, the company's strategy is difficult to summarize in a few sentences because of the multiple elements included.

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