More Partnerships in Store For an Aggressive Macy's


Macy’s, already one of the country's largest advertisers, is looking to augment that spend with partnerships designed to lure more shoppers into its stores.

After undergoing a name change (the corporate entity was formerly known as Federated Department Stores) and consolidating its marketing departments, Macy’s now has a national footprint, which allows it to engage in deals like a recent co-promotion for Warner Bros.’ Sex and the City 2, Norwegian Cruise Line and the Tony Awards. Those deals, announced within the last two months, build on sampling partnerships over the past year with Clorox, Ocean Spray, Dell and Q-tips that showcased products not sold in Macy’s stores in an attempt to draw new customers.

Martine Reardon, evp, marketing at Macy’s, said the push is also part of the company’s strategy to differentiate itself. “It’s important for a brand to have a personality,” she said.

Traditionally, Macy’s has relied on events like its Thanksgiving Day Parade, Flower Show and Fourth of July Fireworks, which centered around its New York flagship store. But these activities aren’t necessarily traffic builders—Macy’s has suffered along with the rest of the category as the economy faltered.

“It’s smart because what they’re doing is really extending the idea of building traffic,” said Paul Kurnit, a marketing professor at Pace University, referring to the company’s strategy of bringing in outside partners. He likened the idea to a dealer getting a potential customer to test drive a car: “If I can get you in the store for something that might not seem immediately specific to the brand, but adds brand interest, the likelihood of you buying something in the store is much, much greater than if you never came in at all.”

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