Story, a trendy Chelsea store that changes products and theme every month or two, is about to make its stamp on Macy’s.
Macy’s bought the company, also a retail consultant, a year ago and on Wednesday announced that 36 stores, including the one at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka, would launch pop-up areas with the inaugural theme “Color.”
Story’s founder Rachel Schechtman, now Macy’s brand experience officer, has curated partnerships for the pop-ups like she does with the Chelsea store.
Mac Cosmetics will have a “make your own” palette station at the pop-ups, a service now only available in the brand’s own retail stores. Mac also will offer beauty classes.
Crayola’s “Create it Yourself,” which creates crafting videos, will produce a series of hands-on workshops like “Melted Crayon Canvas” and creating custom patches for denim jackets.
And those denim jackets? Levi’s Kids and distributor Haddad Brands will preview a selection of its “Levi’s x Crayola” line in the pop-ups before launching them widely in mid-June.
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told the Associated Press he hopes the Story concept will get existing customers to shop more frequently, while also attracting younger customers. But Gennette says that having Shechtman, who joined Macy’s in the new role of brand experience officer, is helping Macy’s think outside the box.
“This is not going to change the trajectory of Macy’s, but it does change how we are perceived,” Gennette said. “It’s helping us rethink how we can go much faster and more at the speed of the customer.”
Gennette declined to estimate sales for Story concept, but he believes it can be just as successful as Shechtman’s store in Chelsea, which is closing with the opening of the shop in Macy’s Herald Square location.
Industry watchers are closely watching Macy’s partnership with Story. Gennette has been trying to change the Macy’s shopping experience, acknowledging the brand hasn’t done enough to drive traffic into stores.
The Story pop-up stores, like the Chelsea store, will have a new theme every few months. “Colors” runs through June 26.
The typical Story shop carries about 400 items with an average price of about $20. Most of the items are impulse buys that shoppers don’t need like a pizza cutter shaped like a bike or unicorn-themed socks. The Manhattan Story is about 7,500 square feet, while the other stores average about 1,500 square feet.
Macy’s hired more than 270 managers and “Story” tellers and trained them in a different approach to retail sales. Everything from how you build fixtures to planning events was included.
“The Story at Macy’s experience feels a lot like a real life version of scrolling through Instagram,” Schechtman said. “You discover things you weren’t looking for, but are inspired by all the fun finds — the second you see it, you need it.”
At least that’s the hope.
Other retailers like Best Buy and Nordstrom have had success with the “store within a store” concept.
Macy’s is hoping by taking it a step further it could boost repeat customers.
The “Colors” pop-ups feature products from 70 small businesses in addition to national brands. Macy’s is using it to debut the Primary kidswear brand. Los Angeles-based candy maker Compartes’ gourmet chocolate bars in flavors like “coffee & doughnuts” will be sold.
Go to https://www.macys.com/social/story/events?lid=events-homepage for a list of events at the Ridgedale store.
Includes reporting by the Associated Press.