Marshall Field’s brand name clings to life

Marshall_fieldIt’s September in Chicago, which means talk has turned to football (the Bears are 1-1), although a few people are still willing to talk about baseball (mostly Cubs fans, as Sox fans don’t want to jinx their team as its lead in the AL Central has narrowed). But the topic of conversation today in the Windy City is retailing. Yes, retailing. The City of Big Shoulders is up in arms about the decision by Federated Department Stores to change the name of all Marshall Field’s stores to Macy’s, basically dispensing with the legendary Chicago brand. (The flagship State Street store has been around since 1892.) The papers are going nuts over the story, with the Chicago Tribune breaking the news in a font size usually reserved for declarations of war. Frankly, the name change seemed inevitable, given that Field’s has changed ownership twice in the past two years. But before we let the name go entirely, I have a suggestion: Sears hasn’t occupied the Sears Tower for more than decade. Perhaps we can start calling it the Marshall Field’s Monolith.

—Posted by Aaron Baar