Macy's is spicing up its 160-year-old brand with the acquisition of Story, a New York City-based concept shop that features a rotating cast of brands. Rachel Shechtman, a retail veteran who founded Story seven years ago, is joining the venerable department store as brand experience officer.
"We are committed to growth in 2018 and this is one important step along the way," Jeff Gennette, chief executive and chairman of Macy's, said in a statement. He also said he expects to leverage Story's learnings to help further the Macy's brand. Indeed, Story, which pioneered a retail sponsorship model—brands including Target and Coty sponsored stores lasting several weeks each—is an innovator in tracking customer data and providing a differentiated brick-and-mortar experience.
Retail experts applaud the move; many think it will help Macy's drive repeat visits from customers. While Story will continue to operate in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, a small Story shop-in-shop is expected to exist within Macy's locations.
"This gives Macy's a testing ground for new products and brands they might be able to bring into their store," says Denise Lee Yohn, a branding consultant and author of "What Great Brands Do." "It gives them a way to see how people respond to a new brand and, if they like it, maybe it will become part of the permanent merchandise."