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Early this morning, Macy's in Water Tower Place unveiled the new multi-million dollar store design that has been in the works for over a year. The Macy's renovation features improved layouts, more effective visuals, and a show stopping remodeled cosmetics department on the ground floor.
As soon as you enter on level one, you see a polished marble floor, freshly painted columns, modernized lacquer and plexi fixtures featuring beauty lines not typically seen in department stores. This Macy's cosmetics department is now of one of the largest impulse beauty departments in the United States.
Each counter and open shop has trained beauty advisers willing to help the customer with any beauty, skincare or haircare need. Although Mac and Lush which occupy the prime storefront windows have not changed too much, stores along the perimeter all have had face lifts. Other counters that have new looks are Bare Escentuals, Benefit, Cargo, Philosophy, Sue Devitt, Fashion Fair, Too Faced, and Urban Decay. We feel one of the most popular of the new counters will be the Benefit Brow Bar which now does lash tinting, extensions and waxing. Moving on to skincare and haircare we see Clarisonic and Peter Thomas Roth, Lea Journo, Living Proof, T-3, Clarins' with a new spa room, Estée Lauder and their high-end Re-Nutriv Ultimate Collection, and newcomer, Carol’s Daughter.
One of the best things about the whole renovation is how much effort was put into the technology in the space. Clinique and Estée Lauder’s studios have these newfangled iPads that ask you a series of questions and suggest skincare based on your answers. You can then email it to yourself or print a copy of your results to help you shop. We see many beneficiaries of this technology: non-English speaking tourists, anti-socialites or just busy people who want to be as efficient as possible. The new tech components and lighting in the space is contracted by Philips who will also maintain all the upgrades. Sections of the new counters that are controlled by iPad can synthetically control the lighting from day, night, outdoor, or indoor. It is also explained to us that the fluorescent lighting in the trough system surrounding the space and the down lighting will also be switched to LED. In addition to all of this, Macy's is no longer using paper adverts as visual collateral but rather using LED-lit panels and flat screen TVs that are controlled remotely from each counter's headquarters. For example, if Dior has a new runway show or ad campaign that they wish to show in their Macy's display in Chicago, the headquarters in NY or Paris can change whats shown on the flatscreen at any time.
The most notable element beyond all of this renovation hullabaloo is the ability for Macy's to meaningfully take feedback from its customer - not only reading the buying patterns of the Midwestern consumer but taking into account the traditionally resonant meaning of the space to the customer. The polished Waterford Crystal chandeliers were original to the department store upon opening as Marshall Field's in the 70's when the building was built. Even though we're told Macy's New York HQ wanted differently, the chandeliers were a sentimental fixture in the Chicago retail landscape. New two-foot tall translucent mesh barrel shades are in the process of being installed over them. The shades will be lit from within to give the chandeliers extra sparkle. The bulbs in the chandeliers will also be switched from incandescent to LEDs.
· Macy's [Official Site]