In 1978, Cliff Ensley ’69, ’70, G’71 had an idea to start his own business and just $2,500 to do it. He was used to taking on challenges—there was no stopping him. Growing up, he struggled with a learning disability—at…
Macy’s Can’t Figure Out Right Strategy to Compete In Today’s Retail Landscape
This week, Macy’s announced it will be closing 125 stores over the next three years in an effort to combat slumping sales.
Ray Wimer is an assistant professor of retail practice at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. With many consumers looking for a compelling reason to shop in stores rather than online, Prof. Wimer says Macy’s needs to figure out the right strategy to compete.
“Macy’s is still trying to find the right strategy to successfully compete in today’s retail landscape.
“While online retail is growing and being able to adjust to this new consumer who shops when, where and however they want to shop is at times challenging. Many consumers are looking for a compelling reason to shop in-store. Macy’s needs to figure out the right strategy to engage this consumer.
“A recent survey by A.T. Kearney shows that 81 percent of Gen Z (born roughly between 1996-2010) prefer to shop in stores as a mental health break or as ‘retail therapy.’
“Macy’s issue may be the widening income inequality gap in the US. Recent data shows that the bottom 80 percent of income earners are worse off than they were 10 years ago. This would mean a retailer like Macy’s is losing their traditional middle-class customer to retailers that offer a better value i.e lower price. This would help explain why off-price retailers and Wal-Mart and Target had such big holiday seasons as well.”
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