Macy's tries to reinvent experience with Story

Macy's storefront facing a shopping mall
Macy's acquisition of Story may breathe new life into the consumer experience. (Mike Mozart/CC BY 2.0)

Earlier in the week, Macy's announced the purchase of Story, a New York City retailer with a rotating selection of themed products. The idea of a heightened in-store experience might be just what the traditional department store chain needs to breathe new life into the physical store. 

Taking on the role of storyteller, Story changes the gallery and the products it sells every few months, luring shoppers back for more. 

“The Macy’s acquisition of Story is a solid step in the right direction for Macy’s," Gina Ashe, CEO of ThirdChannel, told FierceRetail. "It’s good to see retailers focusing on what it takes to drive engaging and educational experiences in store."

Ashe says that the key to success for both brands will be creating an immersive brand experience for the consumer. 

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"Retail execution needs to be flawless, and Macy’s is paving the way for the retailer and the brand to truly partner on this for the first time," she added. 

One important aspect to a flawless integration of the two brands, plus an omnichannel experience for consumers, is the use of next-generation tech platform to find any critical issues and fix them. Ashe notes that 98% of Gen Z consumers prefer to shop in-store, and they are unforgiving when the experience disappoints. 

"They expect a hands-on and innovative experience when they get there. Offering a positive in-store experience is so critical for retailers and brands, and they must get it right," she said. 

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Another benefit to the acquisition is Macy's new access to Story's well-trained sales associates, who are "experts at championing and creating exciting experiences around brands." This acquisition comes at a critical time after many brick-and-mortar stores have been cutting back on sales associates, impacting customer service. Macy's has already pledged to staff up to 50 stores. 

"This acquisition is a huge win for Macy’s, and I look forward to seeing what’s ahead for the retail giant," Ashe added.