Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Macy’s celebrates the next 150 years

October 28, 2008

Macy’s is still finding ways to celebrate in what could be a dark winter for retail this year. Customers entering Macy’s flagship store in New York City’s Herald Square it opened today were met by the pounding beats of the Soul Tigers Marching Band, lots of red balloons and a barrel full of exploding ribbons.  

CEO Terry Lundgren was there cutting a ribbon promising another 150 years for the department store, to tack onto its current 150th birthday. A gaggle of employees sang “Happy Birthday Macy’s!”, threw confetti and danced.

Macy’s birthday celebration comes at the same time most retailers are struggling with flagging sales as consumers pressured by a global financial crisis, a housing market crash, rising food prices and a credit crunch cut back spending on non-essential items.   

Macy’s recently cut its own forecasts, but is also reaching out to a bit more investors. Last week, it announced it will temporarily reinstate monthly reports of its sales to keep the market updated during uncertain times.

Rowland Hussey Macy opened his first store in 1858 at 6th Avenue and 14th Street in New York and made $11.06 in sales its first day, or around $345 in today’s dollars. The company reported 2007 sales of $26.32 billion and operates more than 850 stores including both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.   

(Photo/Reuters)

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