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Macy's (officially R.H. Macy's) is a chain of mid-to-high range Americanmarker department stores. Its selection of merchandise can vary significantly from location to location, resulting in the exclusive availability of certain brands in only higher-end stores. Its flagship store in Herald Squaremarker, New York Citymarker is recognized as the world's largest department store since 1924. The company has designated additional regional flagships in major urban centers and operates a total of 810 U.S. stores (as of September 2008).

The company produces the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a well known parade which has been held on the streets of New York City annually since 1924. The company also sponsors the city's annual Fourth of July fireworks display, which began in 1976.


The Macy's flagship department store with the famous brownstone at 34th and Broadway.
Historical plaque
's was founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy. On the company's first day of business which was October 28, 1858 the sales totaled $11.06 (Approximately $287.37 in 2007 USD). Macy had established a dry goods store in downtown Haverhillmarker, Massachusettsmarker in 1851 that initially served the mill industry employees of the area. Macy moved to New York Citymarker and established a new store named "R. H. Macy & Company" on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, later expanding to 18th Street and Broadwaymarker, on the "Ladies' Mile", the 19th century elite shopping district, where it remained for nearly forty years.

In 1875, Macy took on two partners: Robert M.marker Valentinemarker; and Abiel T.marker La Forgemarker, and Macy died just two years later in 1877 from Bright's disease.

In 1893, R. H. Macy & Co. was acquired by Isidor Straus and his brother, Nathan Straus, who had previously held a license to sell china and other goods in the Macy's store. Isidor Straus later perished in the sinking of the RMS Titanicmarker. In 1902, the flagship store moved uptown to Herald Squaremarker at 34th Street and Broadway. Although the Herald Square store initially consisted of just one building, it expanded through new construction, eventually occupying almost the entire block bounded by 7th Avenue on the west, Broadway on the east, 34th Street on the south and 35th Street on the north. Exceptions are the small, pre-existing building on the corner of 34th and Broadway, which carries Macy's famous shopping bag sign under an agreement allowing the Macy's sign, and small pre-existing building on the corner of 35th and 7th.

The original Broadway R.marker H.marker Macy and Company Storemarker, was built in 1901–02 by architects De Lemos & Cordes. It is sheathed in a Palladian facade, but has been updated in many details. Other additions to the west were added in 1924, 1928, and 1931, all designed by architect Robert D. Kohn. They are all in the Art Deco style. The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark. It boasts one of the few wooden escalators still in operation.

The problem of the pre-existing building also presented itself when Macys built a store on Queens Boulevardmarker in Elmhurstmarker, Queensmarker, New York. This resulted in an architecturally unique round department store on 90 percent of the lot, with a small privately owned house on the corner.

Macy's Entrance - 34th Street, New York


Macy's underwent a period of expansion during the 1920s and 1930s. The company went public in 1922 and began to open up branch stores around New York and Long Island. Acquisitions were also made outside of the New York City region. Department stores in Toledomarker (LaSalle & Koch 1924), Atlantamarker (Davison-Paxon-Stokes 1929), Newarkmarker (L. Bamberger & Co.) 1929, San Franciscomarker (O'Connor Moffat & Company 1945), and Kansas Citymarker (John Taylor Dry Goods Co. 1947) were purchased during this time. O'Connor Moffat was renamed Macy's San Francisco in 1947, later becoming Macy's California, and John Taylor was renamed Macy's Missouri-Kansas in 1949. Stores in Toledo retained the LaSalle's name until 1984, becoming part of Macy's Midwest. These stores were sold to Elder-Beermen in 1986.[36334]

Macy's New York began opening stores outside of its historic New York City–Long Island trade area in 1983 with a location at Aventura Mallmarker in Aventura, Floridamarker (a suburb of Miamimarker), followed by several locations in Plantation, Floridamarker (now relocated from the Fashion Mall to the Broward Mall since the Burdine's acquisition), Houstonmarker, New Orleansmarker, and Dallasmarker. Davison's in Atlantamarker was renamed Macy's Atlanta in early 1985 with the consolidation of an early incarnation of Macy's Midwest (former Taylor and LaSalle's stores in Kansas Citymarker and Toledo, respectively), but late in 1985, Macy's turned around and sold the former Midwest locations. Bamberger's, which had aggressively expanded throughout New Jerseymarker, into the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area in the 1960s and 1970s as well as into Nanuet, New York(southern Rockland County), and into the Baltimoremarker Metropolitan area in the early 1980s, was renamed Macy's New Jersey in 1986.

Management buyout

In 1986 Edward Finkelstein, Chairman & CEO of R. H. Macy & Co., Inc., led a leveraged buy-out of the company and subsequently engaged in a takeover battle for Federated Department Stores, Inc., in 1988 that he lost to Canada's Campeau Corporation. As part of its settlement with Campeau, Macy's purchased Federated's California-based, fashion-oriented Bullock's and its high-end Bullocks Wilshiremarker and I. Magnin divisions. It followed with a reorganization of its divisions into Macy's Northeast (former Macy's New York and Macy's New Jersey), Macy's South/Bullock's (Macy's Atlanta stores plus Macy's New York's operations in Texas, Florida and Louisiana), and Macy's California, the latter including a semi-autonomous I. Magnin/Bullocks Wilshire organization. The Bullocks Wilshire stores were renamed I. Magnin in 1989.

Subsequently, R. H. Macy & Co., Inc., filed for bankruptcy on January 27, 1992, after which point its banks brought in a new management team, which shut several underperforming stores, jettisoned two-thirds of the luxury I. Magnin chain, and reduced Macy's to two divisions; Macy's East and Macy's West.

Federated Department Stores merger

At the start of 1994, Federated began pursuing a merger with Macy's. After a long and difficult courtship, R. H. Macy & Co. finally merged with Federated Department Stores on December 19, 1994. Following the merger the reorganized Macy’s moved its headquarters to Cincinnatimarker, Ohiomarker under the name Federated Department Stores. Federated promptly shut down the remainder of the I. Magnin chain, converting several to Macy's or Bullock's and selling four in Carmelmarker, Beverly Hillsmarker, San Diegomarker and Phoenixmarker to Saks Fifth Avenue. Federated also merged its Abraham & Straus/Jordan Marshmarker division with the new "Macy's East" organization based in New York, renaming the Abraham & Straus stores in metropolitan New York with the Macy's nameplate in 1995, and then erasing the Jordan Marshmarker moniker in New Englandmarker in early 1996.

Federated followed that by leading a bid in mid-1995 to acquire the bankrupt Woodward & Lothrop/John Wanamakermarker organization in the mid-Atlantic region, a bid it lost to rival group led by long-time rival and future acquisition target The May Department Stores Company. Instead Federated soon agreed to purchase Broadway Stores, Inc. (owner of The Broadway, Emporium and Weinstock's stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico), from its majority shareholder, Sam Zell, thereby gaining a leading position in Southern California and a dominant one in the Northern California marketplace. In early 1996 Federated dissolved Broadway Stores, incorporating the majority of its locations into Macy's West, rebadging them as Macy's and using the opportunity to retire the Bullock's name. Several of the redundant Broadway locations were used to establish Bloomingdale's on the West Coast, while many other were sold to Sears.

In 2001 Federated dissolved its Stern's division in the New York metropolitan area, with the bulk of the stores being absorbed into Macy's East. Additionally, in July 2001 it acquired the Liberty House chain with department and specialty stores in Hawaii and Guam, consolidating it with Macy's West.

In early 2003 Federated closed the majority of its historic Davison's franchise in Atlanta (operating as Macy's since 1985), rebranding its other Atlanta division Rich's with the unwieldy name, Rich's–Macy's. The downtown location—formerly the Davison's flagship store at 180 Peachtree Street -- was shuttered at this time as well. The original Macy's Lenox Squaremarker and Perimeter Mallmarker locations were extensively remodeled and opened in October 2003 as the first Bloomingdale's stores in Atlanta. The company rapidly followed suit in May 2003 with similar rebranding announcements for its other nameplates, Burdines in Florida, Goldsmith's in Memphismarker, Lazarus in the lower Midwest, and The Bon Marché in the Pacific Northwest.

On March 6, 2005, the Bon-Macy's, Burdines-Macy's, Goldsmith's-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's, and Rich's-Macy's stores were renamed as simply "Macy's", the first two as the new Macy's West and Macy's Florida divisions respectively and the later three as part of the Macy's Central division. As of July 2005, Macy's had 424 stores throughout the U.S.

After a series of corporate name changes, first simply Federated Department Stores, then Macy’s-Federated Department Stores the Cincinnati based company simply became Macy’s Department Stores.

Merger with May Department Stores

On February 28, 2005, Federated agreed to terms of a deal to acquire The May Department Stores Company for $11 billion in stock, creating the nation's second largest department store chain with $30 billion in annual sales and more than 1,000 stores.

On July 28, 2005, Federated announced, based on the success of converting its own regional brands to the Macy's name, its plans to similarly convert 330 regional department stores owned by the May Company (as May Department Stores was generally referred to) to the Macy's nameplate. This included May's Marshall Field'smarker (purchased by the May Company from Target just 8 months prior to Federated's purchase of the May Company), Kaufmann's, Famous-Barr, Filene's, Foley's, Hecht's, The Jones Store, L. S. Ayres, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May, and Strawbridge & Clothier chains, pending approval of the merger by federal regulators. This was met with negative reaction in many of the local areas of these department stores because they were considered local institutions in those regions. The regions with the most negative reactions were the Marshall Field's of Chicago and the Kaufmann's of Pittsburgh, they both were well known for their famous clocks and flagship downtown stores. Kaufmann's also ran the locally ran Kaufmann's Celebrate the Season Parade which was broadcast live around the state. The home of Filene's and Sons in Boston, MA and suburb areas where mad. There was a backlash at (Macys) The Federated Department Store from loyal customers of The May Company(Filene's). Many of the Filene's customers either vowed never to stop at Macy's or to go the competitor instead. Where existing Macy's stores were in close proximity to former May Company stores, some redundant stores would be closed or sold off to other retailers.

On January 12, 2006, Federated announced its plans to divest May Company's Lord & Taylor division by the end of 2006 after concluding that chain did not fit with their strategic focus for building the Macy's and Bloomingdale's national brands. On June 22, 2006, Macy's announced that NDRC Equity Partners, LLC would purchase Lord & Taylor for US$1.2 billion, and completed the sale in October 2006.

Macy's becomes a national brand

On February 21, 2006, Macy's appointed a new chief marketing officer, Anne MacDonald, to oversee the transformation of Macy's into a "national department store." By September 9, 2006, and after renaming the former May Company locations, Macy's operated approximately 850 stores in the United States. To promote its largest and most recent expansion, Macy's used a version of the Martha and the Vandellas hit song, "Dancing in the Street", in its advertising. Also, the company took props from its annual Thanksgiving Day parade to various re-labeled stores throughout the nation, in what the company marketed as its "Parade on Parade."

Macy's significantly increased its use of television advertising and product placement in 2006 and 2007, using branding spots that featured the new Macy's star logo. During the February 11, 2007, episode of the popular ABC television series Desperate Housewives, a Macy's (under the fictional name McMay's) location in the fictional city of Fairview was featured, a rare instance of product placement promoting a department store chain in a scripted series. Nearly two years earlier, one of the first national commercials for Macy's had aired during Desperate Housewives, shortly after the conversion of Rich's, Lazarus, Goldsmith's, The Bon Marché and Burdines.

The Macy's at Greenspoint Mall in Houston, Texas was a Foley's until 2006

On February 27, 2007, Federated Department Stores announced plans to change its corporate name from Federated Department Stores, Inc., to Macy's Group, Inc. By March 28, the company further announced plans to convert its stock ticker symbol from "FD" to "M", and revised its earlier proposed name change, instead opting to change to Macy's, Inc. The change in corporate names was approved by shareholders on May 18, 2007, and took effect on June 1, 2007. The company will continue to operate stores under both the Macy's and Bloomingdale's nameplates.

The red Macy's star has been around since the 1850s when Rowland Macy opened his first store in New York. Mr. Macy was a sea captain who became lost at sea and thought he was lost until a star appeared in the skies above him. He used that star to steer, and it guided him back to land. Once there, he had a star tattooed on his arm to keep that memory alive. He adopted the red star as a symbol for Macy's and it has been around ever since .

Macy's Turns 150

In 2008, Macy's celebrated its 150th birthday. The store launched a commercial including old Macy's commercials, and actors and actresses mentioning Macy's on shows. It also featured clips of past Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades. The commercial was used to promote Macy's and a way of saying thank you for making Macy's part of your life for 150 years. The commercial aired around when the annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired live on ABC on September 2008. The commercial has aired on different channels also throughout the whole September, October, and November months .

Store Divisions


Prior to the merger of Federated and May, Macy's had been organized into five divisions. Incorporation of properties from six former regional May Company divisions began in February 2006, when existing Macy's stores and properties yet to be converted were then organized into seven divisions with store locations in 45 states, Washington, D.C.marker, Puerto Rico and Guammarker. As of November 2009, the only states without a Macy's store were Alaskamarker, Arkansasmarker, Iowamarker, Mississippimarker and Nebraskamarker.

On February 6, 2008, Macy's Inc. announced consolidation of its Macy's store locations into four primary geographic divisions. From that date, three of the divisions each had approximately 250 locations each as a result of the reorganization, while its Florida-based division remained unaffected, as did its Bloomingdale's division.

  • Macy's East, was headquartered in New York City, with locations ranging from the eastern to north-central United States. Prior to the consolidation of May Company properties into the division in February 2006, the division contained 216 stores/29,100 employees in Connecticutmarker, Delawaremarker, Mainemarker, Marylandmarker, Massachusettsmarker, New Hampshiremarker, New Jerseymarker, New Yorkmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, Rhode Islandmarker, Vermontmarker, portions of Virginiamarker, and the city of Washington, D.C.marker. In addition to Macy's, this division formerly operated Filene's stores in New England, the majority of Kaufmann's stores in upstate New York, and Strawbridge's and Hecht's stores in the mid-Atlantic region. After announced divestitures/store closures were completed by late 2006, this division contained 185 locations until consolidation with Macy's North.
Macy's North, headquartered in Minneapolis from February 2006 until February 2008, was consolidated into Macy's East. Prior to its consolidation, the division included 65 stores in Illinoismarker, Indianamarker, Michiganmarker, Minnesotamarker, North Dakotamarker, Ohiomarker, South Dakotamarker, and Wisconsinmarker. Formerly, most locations had operated as Marshall Field's, which in turn included many former Dayton's and Hudson's locations. Additionally, the former L. S. Ayres location in Merrillville, Indiana, and Macy's at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, were included in the Macy's North division. The division's successor, in effect, was a corporate region within Macy's East, with regional offices moved from Minneapolis to Chicago.
  • Macy's Central, which was headquartered in Atlanta, Georgiamarker, was the second incarnation of the division name within what is currently Macy's Inc., with stores throughout the midwestern and southeastern United States. The current Macy's Central consolidates the following locations:
Macy's South, which was also headquartered in Atlanta, operated from February 2006 until February 2008. The Federated/Macy's Inc. division itself was a consolidation of May Company properties with the first incarnation of Macy's Central — a renaming of Federated's RLG division, which had included Rich's, Lazarus, and Goldsmith's. As of March 2007, the division contained 136 stores/22,500 employees in Alabamamarker, Georgiamarker, Kentuckymarker, Louisianamarker, North Carolinamarker, Oklahomamarker, South Carolinamarker, Tennesseemarker, Texasmarker & Virginiamarker. Macy's South as operated by Federated/Macy's Inc. was created by consolidating former Rich's and Goldsmith's locations with several stores from the Foley's chain. (Lazarus stores were transferred to Macy's Midwest.) From 1988 to 1992, R. H. Macy & Co., Inc.'s Macy's South division was also headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with stores in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and Texas operating as Macy's, while stores in California, Arizona and Nevada operated as Bullock's. The former South division was formed following Macy's acquisition of Bullock's, incorporating Macy's Atlanta (the former Davison's stores renamed in 1985) with the Florida, Louisiana and Texas locations of Macy's New York and Bullock's. It was dissolved in 1992 and its stores consolidated into Macy's East and Macy's West.

Macy's Midwest, headquartered in St. Louis, Missourimarker, from February 2006 until February 2008, was consolidated with Macy's South to form the more recent Macy's Central division. Prior to its consolidation, this Macy's Midwest division included 95 stores throughout the midwestern United States. There was a prior division of R. H. Macy & Co., Inc. named Macy's Midwest that was headquartered in Kansas Citymarker formed from a consolidation of two Macy's divisions, LaSalle's and Macy's Missouri-Kansas, in 1981. It was merged with Davison's to form Macy's Atlanta on February 1, 1985. Its former LaSalle's stores were sold to Elder-Beerman later that year and its former Kansas and Missouri stores were sold to Dillard's in 1986. Macy's Midwest incorporated several historic department store franchises owned by the former Federated Department Stores, Inc. and by May Company. The franchises represented by Macy's Midwest include The F&R Lazarus & Co., Shillito's, Rike Kumler Co., William H. Block Co., Horne's, Famous-Barr, L. S. Ayres, The Jones Store, Kaufmann's, May Company Ohio, O'Neil's and Strouss. St. Louis will remain as a regional headquarters location for a corporate region within Macy's Central. Another corporate regional headquarters within the division will be based in Cincinnati.
  • Macy's West, was headquartered in San Francisco, California, with locations throughout the western United States, building on the foundation of store locations that first operated as O'Connor, Moffat & Company in San Francisco's Union Square and other sites. Prior to the February 2006 inclusion of May Company properties, the division included 232 stores/31,100 employees throughout Arizonamarker, Californiamarker, Coloradomarker, Hawaiimarker, Nevadamarker, New Mexicomarker, Texasmarker and Guammarker. In addition to Macy's stores, the division operated former Foley's locations in Colorado, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, as well as Robinson's-May stores. After announced divestitures/store closures were completed by late 2006, this division operated approximately 190 stores, until consolidation with Macy's Northwest.
Seattle's Macy's.
Macy's Northwest, headquartered in Seattle from February 2006 until February 2008, was consolidated into Macy's West. Many of the locations were formerly locations of The Bon Marché, and the division included 71 stores/7,200 employees prior to the February 2006 inclusion of May Company properties. Store locations in the division were located throughout Idahomarker, Montanamarker, Oregonmarker, Utahmarker, Washingtonmarker, and Wyomingmarker. In addition to former Bon Marché stores, the division added stores formerly operating as Meier & Frank, which in turn had included former ZCMI locations. Seattle will remain as a regional headquarters location for a corporate region within Macy's West.
  • Macy's Florida, which was headquartered in Miami, Floridamarker, included 61 stores/9,800 employees in Floridamarker and Puerto Rico. The majority of the stores were formerly Burdines; the San Juan, Puerto Rico, store was transferred from Macy's East in August 2007.

In conjunction with these geographic divisions, the New York-based Macy's Home Store division was responsible for buying, planning and marketing home-related merchandise sold in all Macy's stores.

All store divisions nationwide were also served by two administrative divisions, prior to February 2009:

  • Macy's Corporate Marketing headquartered in New York, responsible for overall activity on initiatives implemented to support the company's focus on Marketing.
  • Macy's Merchandising Group, headquartered in New York, responsible for conceptualizing, designing, sourcing, and marketing private label and private branded goods sold at Macy's and managing core vendor relationships in the domestic branded market.

Unified consolidation

On February 2, 2009, Macy's announced that their four divisions will be consolidated into one division based in New York City to be called as Macy*s Enterprise. The restructuring will result in job cuts of 7,000 positions, or 4% of its workforce, although also creating 1,200 new positions.

Environmental record

A few of the effects of the textile industry are water deficit, pollution, fossil fuel and raw material consumption. In addition today’s mechanical textile plants use large amounts of energy, while also producing a throw-away mindset due to trends founded upon fast fashion and cheap clothing. Despite the common consequences related to the textile industry, Macy’s has begun to evaluate their environmental effects to lessen their negative impact by promoting important environmental causes. One way Macy’s recently supported the environment was during Earth Week and National Park Week 2008 by raising money with their “Turn over a New Leaf” project. This campaign helps to promote environmental awareness relating to shopping bags and their detrimental effect on the environment. Most plastic shopping bags are made using petroleum, and it takes more than 1000 years to break them down in landfills. Because Macy’s uses approximately 43 million shopping bags each year, this can drastically alter the environment. Because of this, all Macy’s stores now sell reusable cotton tote bags. In addition to the company’s bag transition, Macy’s is also replacing their synthetic, nonbiodegradable packing peanuts that accounts for of in-box material per year with loosefill material created from corn and potato starch. This new material will break down within 9 minutes with water in the landfills.


In July 2003, then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer launched an investigation of the private policing system Macy's has used to deal with suspected shoplifters. The investigation was prompted by a civil rights lawsuit and an article in The New York Times, which reported on many of Macy's tactics, including private jails and interrogations. Spitzer's investigation found many of Macy's actions, from ethnic profiling to handcuffing detainees, to be unlawful. Macy's settled the civil rights complaint for US$600,000, claiming to have put the illegal tactics to an end while maintaining the security system itself.

The Macy's East downtown Bostonmarker store (formerly the Jordan Marshmarker flagship) touched off a local public relations firestorm with the June 6, 2006, removal of two mannequins and the Web address of the AIDS Action Committee from a window display promoting Boston's annual gay pride celebration. The removal was apparently in response to pressure from MassResistance, a local group opposed to same-sex marriage, whose members complained the mannequins were “homosexual”. The removal of the mannequins was widely condemned by residents and officials, including Boston mayor Thomas Menino, who was quoted as saying:

Macy's response to the debacle was to publish an apology by the Macy's East chairman, Ron Klein, in In Newsweekly, a Boston-area weekly with a large gay readership. Klein's description of the incident as “an internal breakdown in communication,” further stated it was regrettable some would doubt Macy's commitment to diversity as a result. The Web address was later restored—the mannequins, however never made a reappearance.

Macy's Boston was also a target of Animal Rights protesters, who held signs and handed out pamphlets throughout the 1990s regarding Macy's participation in the fur trade industry. Macy's West had at the time stopped carrying their line of fur coats and apparel, and although the demonstrations have since quieted, Macy's East continues to sell fur coats and apparel, as does a portion of Macy's South stores.

Conversion of Marshall Field's

In Chicagomarker, Macy's move into the Marshall Field'smarker Marshall Field and Company Buildingmarker on State Street upset many residents. Hundreds of protesters gathered under Marshall Field's famous clock the day the name change was implemented and hundreds more gathered once again to mark the one year anniversary of Marshall Field's loss. Each week protesters gather outside Marshall Field's landmark store at 111 North State Street to solicit support for Marshall Field's return and millions of once loyal shoppers are simply shopping elsewhere. Macy's reported in December 2006 slowed sales in stores that once were Marshall Field's. This decline continued into 2007, with Macy's acknowledging that while many former Marshall Field's stores have seen sales fall 7-10% the original State Street store has continued to struggle even more. There was talk that the Marshall Field's name would be sold or reopened. In November 2007, Macy's announced that it would no longer try to lure angry and upset former Marshall Field's shoppers to their stores and instead would now be trying to lure new customers into the State Street store. Macy's hopes to do this by adding an FAO Schwarz floor, a wine bar to the Walnut Room, and by having Martha Stewart decorate the Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room. The Macy's Wine Bar has been seamlessly integrated into the Walnut Room and is the site of many notable events at the store.


A union representing former Kaufmann's employees at Pittsburgh's flagship store filed a grievance on June 9, 2007, claiming a new black dress code policy violates workers' rights. The dress code is set to take effect Sept. 4, 2007, in Macy's Midwest stores.


  • The star in the Macy's logo comes from a tattoo that Mr. Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been sponsored by Macy's for 80 years. Among New Yorkers, it is often referred to as "The Macy Day Parade". The first Macy's parade was held in Haverhill in 1854, but was only attended by about 100 people. The modern version of the parade started in 1924. Bamberger's in Newark, New Jersey started their own Thanksgiving Day Parade and the event carried on for many years even after Macy's acquired L Bamberger and Co in 1929.
  • Since 1976, Macy's has sponsored the annual "Macy's Fireworks Spectacular", New York City's Independence Day fireworks display.

Macy's and Thanksgiving

Macy's was not only the first to offer clothes racks sorted by their respective sizes and styles, they were able to get Thanksgiving to land on the fourth Thursday of November every year. The reason for this was that when Thanksgiving fell later in the month, it cut down on the amount of time customers had to shop before Christmas. This idea was the property of Lazarus (F&R's president).

In popular culture

  • The phrase "Does Macy's tell Gimbels?" was a phrase once used in the U.S. as a put-off to inquiring people, the implication being that a company does not give information out to its competitors. Gimbels was the other large department a block away on 33rd Street from Macy's. It has since folded.
  • The classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is set in Macy's 34th Street flagship store. Subsequent remakes of the film for television (1955, 1959, and 1973) are also set in Macy's. However, a 1994 remake of the film was set in the fictional "Cole's" department store after Macy's refused to have its name used in the remake of the original film.
  • A less sentimental view of Macy's department store Santas can be found in the essay "SantaLand Diaries" by David Sedaris, which is frequently played on National Public Radio around Christmas, and has also been adapted for the stage.
  • Isidor Straus, the longtime co-owner of Macy's, was one of the most well-known casualties on the infamous sinking of the Titanicmarker in 1912. Although Straus and his wife Ida had a chance to get on one of the lifeboats, Isidor refused, saying that he wouldn't go ahead of the younger men, and Ida, not wanting to leave her husband behind, stayed with him on the ship. The moment was immortalized in the 1958 film A Night to Remember, and was later used in both the 1997 film and the Broadway musical.
  • In the Latin American literary classic "Empire of Dreams" by Giannina Braschi the heroine Mariquita Samper is a makeup artist who works at Macy's on 34th Street.
  • The U.S. version of the music video "Heard 'Em Say" by Kanye West and Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5) was filmed inside Macy's Herald Square. The video features West and homeless children playing inside a closed Macy's at night, when Levine, as a store manager, lets them in.
  • The punk rock band, Green Day has a song called "Macy's Day Parade" on their album, Warning.


  1. White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot; AIA Guide to New York City, 4th Edition; New York Chapter, American Institute of Architects; Crown Publishers. 2000. p.227.
  2. Federated At-A-Glance, Federated Department Stores, Inc.
  3. Federated Agrees to Sell Lord & Taylor to NRDC Equity Partners; Transaction Expected to Close in Third Quarter of 2006, Federated Department Stores, Inc., June 22, 2006.
  5. {{cite news|url={C96A1DC1-ADD6-4A86-9A52-122083F2AA8B}&dist=msr_5|title=Macy's, Inc. to Expand "My Macy's" Localization Initiative, Adopt New Operating Structure, Reduce Expenses|date=February 2, 2009||accessdate=2009-02-02}}
  6. {{cite news|url={562D06BC-6B17-4908-ACCB-C0A1ADE742EC}&dist=msr_3|title=Macy's cutting 4% of workforce, quarterly dividend | last=Witkowski|first=Wallace|date=February 2, 2009||accessdate=2009-02-02}}
  7. Emerging Textiles February 2008. Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  8. Timesunion April 21, 2008. Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  9. Detroit Free Press April 22, 2008 Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  10. Timesunion April 21, 2008 Retrieved: May 4, 2008
  11. In Stores, Private Handcuffs for Sticky Fingers, The New York Times, June 17, 2003, reprint of [1]
  12. Macy's Settles Complaint of Racial Profiling for US$600,000, The New York Times, January 14, 2005.
  13. CEO admits 'Macy's mistake', In Newsweekly, June 14, 2006.
  14. Hard-core fans stay loyal to brand, Chicago Tribune, September 5, 2006.
  15. Protesters: Give Chicagoans what they want - Field's,, November 30, 2006.
  16. Macy's will not provide sales figures for former Marshall Field's stores, but admits that reports that sales are down at former Field's stores, particularly at the flagship store at 111 North State Street - Slow Sales At Converted Marshall Field's Stores,, December 13, 2006.
  17. [2], Macy's: State St. store 'doing badly', Chicago Tribune, May 18, 2007.
  18. "Macy's will be Macy's" On January 11, 2008 the Macy's North division had a press release stating it would layoff 271 workers at Macy's North (which is mostly the former Marshall Field's stores and HQ) [3]
  19. Macy's dressed down on code
  20. L.H. Robbins, "The City Department Store: Evolution of 75 Years," The New York Times, 12 February 1933, 130.
  21. [4]
  22. The Big Apple: Does Macy's Tell Gimbels? Barry Popik, October 7, 2004.

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