The holiday shopping season is just two months away and retailers already appear to be betting on small business. Macy's announced this week that it is teaming with Facebook to highlight lesser-known brands in its the Market @ Macy's in-store concept shop. Launched earlier this year, the initiative serves as a brick-and-mortar pop-up space for emerging brands, which sell goods in the space for a month or more.
Beginning in November and running through January, Facebook will feature roughly 150 e-commerce brands in nine Macy's stores, including New York, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and San Francisco. The brands, which are Facebook advertisers, sell in categories such home goods, beauty and apparel. Businesses that have already signed on to the initiative include Love Your Melon, which is a hat company with a charity component, and Charleston Gourmet Burger Company.
"All over the world people are running businesses, big and small, that have inspiring stories and we want to help them succeed," said Michelle Klein, director of North American marketing at Facebook, in a statement.
Macy's program comes on the heels of a new ad campaign from competitor Amazon, which highlighted the Seattle-based e-commerce giant's small business offerings. The ad featured the Little Flower Soap Co., a small business in Chelsea, Michigan, that uses Amazon to sell soap. Amazon says half of the products on its site are from small-and medium-sized businesses.
In a fast-changing retail landscape, Macy's has had some unlikely bedfellows as it strives to attract modern consumers in a digital age. It acquired Story, the New York innovative concept shop, earlier this year, and has invested in b8ta, a tech-focused retail startup that also provides retail software. The company is also expanding the Market @ Macy's offering to two additional locations—Atlanta and Los Angeles.
On a recent conference call with analysts, Macy's Chief Executive Jeff Gannette touted the changes.
"We feel good about our opportunities to bring new content and experiences to our stores," he said. For the first half of 2018, Macy's saw net sales rise 1.1 percent to $11.1 billion.