Macy’s Spending $400 Million To Renovate A Single Store

Again, we ask, what recession? If there was any kind of dip in the retail spending over the past few years, we don’t think Macy’s has noticed. The retailer is about to spend $400 million to renovate just one store: its massive Herald Square flagship in New York City.

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Given that the store is the biggest single retail store on, well, Earth, it would make sense that any improvement project would cost a lot of money. But this particular set of updates will span the entirety of the store’s one million plus square feet, updating every department across all ten floors and even adding another 100,000 square feet of shopping space. The renovation, which we’re just going to start calling an overhaul, will start in the spring and probably won’t be done until the end of 2015.

So what are we getting with the new and improved Macy’s? Women’s Wear Daily reports that when all is said and done, the store will have about 300 more dressing rooms, new multi-level luxury handbag and shoe shop-in-shops and more dining experiences, including a demonstration kitchen and a pub that will stay open after shopping hours have ended. The store is also expanding its menswear offering to take up 200,000 square feet, and its central cosmetics and fragrance hall will be getting an overhaul, too. The store is keeping most of its famously rickety wooden escalators. One of them will be taken apart to use as spare parts for the other ones.

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Perhaps the most exciting change (well, for us, anyway) is the new shoe department. Macy’s officials say that after the overhaul, the new shoe department will take up almost 40,000 square feet — and over 60,000 when you factor in stockrooms. The store will even have a coffee and wine bar “for recharging.” We’d make fun of needing a glass of wine to refresh yourself while charging, but after traipsing all over millions of square feet of selling space, we could probably use a little cab to keep us going.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren told WWD that the decision to revamp the store top to bottom, inside and out was made to reflect “how a new generation of customers prefers to shop. In many cases, product will be organized by lifestyle to help customers create looks and build wardrobes across categories.”

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By which he means maximizing just how much those shoppers will buy. Sources estimate that the store is approaching $1 billion in sales every year, and if the new store is designed right, it won’t take long for Macy’s to make that $400 million back.


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