Dear Macy’s

Dear Macy’s,

How I remember you fondly.  How I loved, as a child, visiting New York at Christmastime, and would be so excited to learn that I could visit your store.  How thrilled I was as a young adult to find you moving to North Carolina so that I could be overwhelmed by heaven on earth — fragrance, shoes, and beautiful clothing.  I could shop, shop, shop ’til I dropped, dropped, dropped in your beautiful store that felt like Christmas all year ’round.

But oh, how times have changed.  I had an interesting conversation yesterday with my oldest about consumer activism recently, but it wasn’t in regard to Macy’s.  He was asking about why I do (or don’t) spend my money with certain establishments.

Consumer activism via the wallet (or purse, as the case may be).  He asked why I don’t spend money at a store, why it matters, how it’s felt.  It may not be felt, I explained.  I am just one.  One dollar.  One vote.  But a body of citizens can make a difference.  Women had a loud voice in the 2012 election, and now find themselves rising to the call of another challenge:  ousting the Donald Trump brand from Macy’s.

Oh, my beloved Macy’s.  Home of the Macy’s Christmas Parade.

From a public relations standpoint, this has to be a nightmare for you.  If you haven’t visited your Facebook page in a while, you should.  Every post that I saw had variations on the theme:  Dump Trump.  Even sweet Taylor Swift’s thread had a bad combover.

Your favor is slipping.  The Dump Trump Petition has more than a half million signers (660,000+) and is still growing.  Macy’s loyalty score with women is now behind many of its major competitors, including Target, J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart, Kohls, Sears, Kmart and TJ Maxx. (Source)  (By the way last year this time, Macy’s was way up over J.C. Penney last year in holiday sales, according to Forbes.)

AdWeek is reporting that the Trump Signature Collection is discounted at an additional 20% off, and a quick check of your website confirms this.

Demographics and Macy’s

Not that it’s all women — there are men equally offended by Trump and making themselves heard.  But when you take a look at your demographic …  well, you could probably guess the Macy’s demo but get the official take here.  (Hint:  It’s me.)

The primary event that got the balling rolling (beyond Trump’s horrific behavior surrounding Hurricane Sandy and calls for revolution upon receiving election results) was your Christmas ad featuring Trump sneering and making veiled birther comments.  Did the election show you nothing?  According to Business Insider  women’s issues had been one of the core topics for both Republicans and Democrats, with each side having their own steadfast opinions on where they stand.  Well, women had their own opinions, with more than half siding with the President on his views on topics like choice and contraception.  And the binders full of women did not help.

MSN Money reports on retail numbers for Black Friday:  Macy’s (M +0.13%), Target (TGT +0.26%), Nordstrom (JWN +0.51%) and Kohl’s (KSS -0.27%) all reported drops in November same-store sales from a year ago on Thursday, while 16 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters recorded saw an overall 1.6% same-store sales increase.

According to CBS Marketwatch, Macy’s is down from last November but up overall for the year, which is probably why Macy’s feels confident in the Trump Factor..  Watch closely:

11/12 Sales:  2.45 Billion
11/11 Sales:  2.46 Billion
Comparison:  (0.6%)
YTD 2012:  20.8 Billion
YTD 2011:  2i0.1 Billion
Comparison:  Up 3.2%

Macy’s, I received an e-mail blast from Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) last night asking for more support and more persistence, more signatures.  (You may remember Angelo as  @StopBeck and the massive movement against Glenn Beck.)  This gentleman is interesting and determined.  And his argument is a sound one:  That Trump does not fit the Macy’s brand.   It’s gutcheck time.  What’s your brand?  Celebrities at all costs?  (I’ve been to your Youtube channel. I’ve seen the What’s in Store campaign. I get it. Mega-celebrities touting lines and brandwear.) I’ll be watching to see what your sales look like for November, December and 1Q2013.  This ought to be interesting.

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Brand Focus: Great Marketers use the word “or” more than “and”

Great piece from Beloved Brands, and wanted to share.

Beloved Brands

Strategy is all about Choices

“It’s all about choices” is how my marketing professor started every class.  He’d repeat it about 8-10 more times each class, sometimes after someone made a choice and sometimes after someone didn’t.  I still see a fear among many marketers to make choices–whether it’s a target market, brand positioning or strategies or the allocation of spend.  Good decision-making starts with forcing yourself to use the word “or” instead of keep using the word “and”.  

The most important element of Marketing Strategy is the exact area where most Marketers struggle:  FOCUS!

Why should you focus?
  • Every brand is constrained by resources—dollars, people and time.  Focus makes you matter most to those who actually might care.  Focusing your limited resources on those consumers with the highest propensity to buy what you are selling will deliver the greatest movement towards sales and the highest return on investment…

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