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Macy’s Retail Store Marketing Case Study

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Updated: Mar 26th, 2020


Since my childhood, I have attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my peers. I have never missed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade because it offers diverse forms of festivities, which entertain, create fun, and form massive celebration. Owing to the numerous activities that it offers, I have been dressing for the occasion with sportswear so that I could participate actively in various acts and performances that take place during that day.

Through the festivities, my friends and I could interact with other peers as we entertain ourselves by performing various interesting activities. From the experiences gained, we came to learn about diverse products and brands, which Macy’s offers. The attendants of the annual event cut across all ages because Macy’s offers unique needs to people in each age group.

In essence, Macy’s provides products that target families and individuals. What captivates people and makes them attend the annual festival is the audition of novel products and brands. Hence, the magnitude of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade reflects the customer share of Macy’s in the United States, particularly the New York City.

Background and History

The origin of Macy’s dates back to the middle part of the 19th century, when Rowland Hussey Macy started it as a retail store for dry goods, which started in 1853 and advanced grades. In 1858, Macy’s made sales of $11, but currently, it makes billions of dollars for it ranks as the 16th retail store in the generation of revenue in the United States. The stunning growth of Macy’s from the humble beginning to a mega retail store in the current growth is attributable to the hard work of Rowland Hussey Macy.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Macy’s saw the need to increase the number of its stores, and thus, it opened additional stores in 34th Street in Herald Square, a lucrative place that had advanced transport network and massive number of potential customers.

Despite the challenges of competition and low capital, Rowland Hussey Macy strived to enhance the progress of the retail store by expanding stores in other states. By 1922, Macy’s was growing optimally because it was opening retail stores at regional levels, which boosted the image of the company in the retail industry and made it earn a considerable market share.

From 1924, Macy’s made tremendous progress, which has made it carve own niche in the retail industry in the United States. As a way of celebrating its growth in the retail industry, Macy’s started the first Christmas parade in 1924 and displayed its products to potential customers. Thousands of Macy’s fanatics attended the event and created a lively mood as they entertained guests. Since then, the parade has become an annual event called the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The parade is a celebration where Macy’s and customers come together and celebrate their growth and achievements that they have made over the centuries. Through its retail stores and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy’s has made remarkable progress in uniting families, bringing friends together, and satisfying diverse customer needs.

As a fashion retail store in the United States, Macy’s offers products such as bedding, clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches, handbags, kitchenware, furniture, and furnishings amongst other products. The diversity of products has enabled Macy’s to attract a significant number of customers and expand its market share considerably. Currently, the management of the retail store is Macy’s Multinational Corporation, which manages over 850 retail stores scattered across the United States.

Since Macy’s concentrates on family needs, it offers diverse brands to its potential customers. Some of the brands are home brand, watch brand, beauty brand, featured brand, shoe brand, and handbag brand. Analysis of these brands and their respective lines of products indicate that shoe brand requires expansion to include additional types of shoes that customers require.

Athletic shoes comprise a product line, which Macy’s needs to create by expanding its shoe brand. Therefore, the case study asserts that expansion of shoe brand by addition of athletic shoes as a product line is a viable strategy that Macy’s can use in increasing its revenues and promoting the satisfaction of customers.

Athletic Shoes

Analysis of the brands that Macy’s offers indicates that it does not have a specific brand that meet the athletic needs of customers. The current brands that Macy’s offers in the market are women’s shoes, men’s shoes, watches, plus sizes, lingerie, kitchen, kids, juniors, jewelry, handbags, accessories, beauty, bed and bath, petite, and dining (Macy’s par. 1). In the current brands, it is evident that shoes for men and women are in separate brands in that customers find it difficult to locate the sport shoes or athletic shoes.

Since Macy’s is mega retail stores that offers diverse products, which meet the unique interests of customers, expanding women’s shoes and men’s shoes to include athletic shoes is necessary. Comparative analysis of Macy’s brands and brands from other retail stores shows that athletic shoes constitute a brand that is dominant when compared with other brands of shoes.

Therefore, expansion of the brand that deals with shoes to include athletic shoes is an innovative idea that would enable Macy’s to sort its products and package them well in a manner that meet the unique needs of customers, who like sports, particularly athletics.

Athletic shoes are in high demand because people have become conscious about their weights and are constantly exercising to reduce or maintain their current weights. The American Dietetic Association recommends people to exercise frequently so that they can prevent lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiac disorders (Stall-Meadows 74). For people to exercise effectively, they must be in the appropriate gear, which enhances physical activity and prevents undue injuries.

Performing physical exercise does not require any kind of a shoe because of the occurrence of injuries. According to Stall-Meadows, soft and gentle shoes prevent injuries such as muscle sprain, blisters, dislocation of joints, and sores. In this view, athletic shoes are indispensable in performing physical exercises (75). Therefore, Macy’s should create an assortment of athletic shoes and develop a brand that is suitable for the target customers.

Action Points


Since customers have different purchasing powers, Macy’s needs to employ pricing strategy in expanding the brand of shoes to include athletic shoes. Prices of products in the market determine the purchasing behavior of customers across all the demographics. As the quality of a product is proportional to its price, retail stores need to consider the purchasing powers of their customers. High-end products require high pricing, while low-end products require low pricing.

The balance between the high-end pricing and low-end pricing is critical in customizing prices of products according to diverse and unique needs of customers. The introduction of novel products into the competitive market is challenging because customers are unaware of the quality, and thus, they cannot attribute certain price.

Essentially, modern customers are sensitive to quality and price of products for they want to obtain value for their money. In this view, Macy’s should exploit a number of pricing strategies to establish its brand, penetrate the market, and augment profits.

The use of the pricing strategy in setting a favorable penetrating price is critical in the establishment of athletic shoe as a brand in the market. Fundamentally, penetrating pricing is an effective pricing strategy, which captivates the interests of customers and gives them the opportunity to purchase new products in the market at the lowest prices possible.

Basing on their experiences of purchasing specific products, customers can attest the quality, and thus, they are able to make informed decisions about subsequent purchases. Marketers introduce products into the competitive markets with lower prices than the competitive products so that customers can purchase them and test their quality (Arthur 12).

Setting prices on athletic shoes at low prices enhance their competitiveness, increase sales, and expand market share. After a reasonable period, when the products have penetrated the market, Macy’s can then set new prices that are commensurate to the quality of products, but within the purchasing power of customers.

Bundle pricing is another strategy of pricing athletic shoes, which Macy’s offers. In targeting couples, Macy’s can bundle two pairs of shoes for men and women so that a couple can buy one and get an additional pair of shoe for a partner. This strategy of pricing would enable customers to buy shoes for their partners, and thus, it will encourage couples to acquire athletic shoes at the same time and use them in performing physical exercise.

Moreover, Macy’s can bundle shoes into three and four pairs with the view of encouraging families to buy them. Moreover, for individuals, Macy’s should bundle the shoes with other related products such as socks and jerseys so that customers can benefit when they purchase them.

Market-oriented pricing is also an effective strategy that Macy’s should use in settings its prices. Since target customers have diverse demographics, their purchasing power, preferences, and tastes differ significantly. Children have the lowest purchasing power because they entirely depend on their parents. Parents with high purchasing power are likely to spend more money on their children than the money that parents with low purchasing power can spend.

Teenagers have enhanced purchasing power since they have the capacity to choose the nature of products that match their preferences and tastes. Since adults have the highest purchasing power, Macy’s needs to customize prices of their products according to their tastes and preferences, as well as purchasing power.

Therefore, distribution of prices of products according to the purchasing capacities of potential customers is an effective strategy of pricing products. In this case, Macy’s ought to use market-oriented pricing, which are in tandem with social and economic conditions of the potential customers.


Marketing is a major strategy that marketers employ in introducing novel products in the competitive and exploited markets. Without marketing, potential customers would not be aware of the existing products in the markets. In this case, marketing would enable customers to understand about the existence of athletic shoes, as a brand of Macy’s, for them to make informed decisions in selecting appropriate products that match their tastes and preferences.

The objective of a marketing strategy is to enhance penetration of athletic shoes into the competitive market and maintain their dominance as a feasible brand of Macy’s. Thus, Macy’s would employ a number of marketing strategies in promoting penetration of their novel brand and enhancing its competitive advantage.

Market segmentation is an important strategy in marketing, which categorizes consumers, according to their needs and interests. For marketers to undertake market segmentation, they must understand diverse needs and interests of customers. Given that needs and interests of customers vary according to demographics, Macy’s should employ demographic segmentation. Age is a central demographic variable that influences tastes and preferences of customers.

Thus, segmentation of athletic shoes into three segments, namely, children, young adults, and adults is feasible. Children under the ages of 18 have unique needs and interests because they are very active, and thus, require athletic shoes whenever they are playing games. The marketing of a product to this segment of customers requires the use of television for they are active viewers and browsers of the Internet because they are active in social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

Young adults comprise the second demographic segment that Macy’s needs to target for they have high purchasing power and form a significant proportion of the target customers. Television, the Internet, magazines, newspapers, and billboards are appropriate methods of marketing that captures the attention of the young adults. Moreover, the segment of adults is essential for adults require exercises as part of their physical fitness and weight management.

Moreover, adults are decision makers in their families, and hence, they influence the purchasing power and habits of their respective family members. The effective marketing methods are television, newspapers, radio, magazines, and billboards. Overall, the categorization of customers into these segments would enable Macy’s to meet their unique needs according their demographic segments.

Psychographic segmentation is an effective marketing strategy that Macy’s should employ because it classifies customers into different categories basing on their lifestyles and activities. In the market, there exists a category of people, who are very active and are fans of athletics. Macy’s should target this category of people by offering them appropriate information about the existence of athletic shoes while citing the importance of physical activity in their health.

According to Fromm and Garton, targeting customers basing on their lifestyles offers a powerful way of influencing their purchasing behavior (43). The activities of the modern generation are predominantly happening online in that the advertising method should focus on online marketing. As the young people comprise a considerable portion of target customers, online marketing is appropriate in reaching out to them.


Assortment of athletic shoes is a central action point that Macy’s require because it enhances the satisfaction of diverse consumer needs. Aforementioned pricing and marketing strategies vary according to the demographic and psychographic attributes of diverse customers. In this case, assortment of athletic shoes should happen in a manner that augment pricing and marketing strategies for Macy’s to make optimal sales and significant profits.

According to Lea-Greenwood, retailers must define a target market and note diverse needs of potential customers for they form basis of making an appealing assortment (37). Hence, Macy’s should design its assortment in line with the attributes of target customers.

When an assortment reflects diverse needs of customers, it promotes customer satisfaction and enhances competitive advantage of a brand in question. Therefore, Macy’s ought to formulate assortment according to demographic and psychographic attributes of the target customers.

Macy’s should create an assortment for children since they have unique tastes and preferences when compared to adults. The assortment should captivate both parents and children for their purchasing behaviors associate.

Assortment for children
Figure1: Assortment for children

As adults have common tastes and preferences in terms of the types of athletic shoes that they want, Macy’s should create an assortment that meets their diverse needs. West and McAllister recommend that retail stores should create an assortment of products basing on the complex needs of customers (46). Essentially, assortment of products is a reflection of the diversity and complexity of consumer needs that are common in a given target market.

Assortment of athletic shoes in display
Figure 2: Assortment of athletic shoes in display
Assortment of athletic shoes in display
Figure 3: Assortment of athletic shoes in display


Macy’s is a leading retail store in the United States with virtually all products that families and individuals require. Assessment of its brands indicates that Macy’s should expand the brand of shoes by including athletic shoes as one of the brands. Athletic shoes are in a high demand because people require them in performing physical exercises to improve their health conditions and manage their weight. To introduce this brand into the store, Macy’s needs to employ pricing, marketing, and assortment strategies.

Pricing strategies such as low pricing and bundle pricing are critical in penetration of the market. Marketing strategies, for example, segmentation allows customization of adverts in various platforms such as radio, television, the Internet, and newspapers. The strategies of assortment enhance satisfaction of diverse needs of customers for it eases location of assorted products. Overall, these strategies would boost the sales volume, market share, and profit margin of Macy’s.

Works Cited

Arthur, Lisa. Big Data Marketing: Engage Your customers More Effectively and Drive Value. London: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Web.

Fromm, Jeff, and Christie Garton. Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever. New York: AMACOM. 2013. Web.

Lea-Greenwood, Gaynor. Fashion Marketing Communications. West Sussex: Wiley & Sons, 2013. Web.

Macy’s. Macy’s Home Store. 2014. Web.

Stall-Meadows, Celia. Why Would Anyone Wear That?: Fascinating Fashion Facts. Bristol: Intellect, 2012. Web.

West, Emily, and Mathew McAllister. The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013. Web.

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