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Macys Almost Ready
General manager discusses store plans that may include establishing more stores in Puerto Rico
by Lucienne Gigante
April 20, 2000
For those who havent been able to use their Macys credit card for a while, not to worry.
The first Macys on the island will open doors "sometime in October, assuming there are no hurricanes," joked General Manager Mark OConnor.
At about a $50 million investment, the three-level 255,000-square-foot Macys in Plaza Las Americas is expected to be a hit. "It is expected to be one of the top five stores in its division," said OConnor. Macys Puerto Rico will be part of Macys East, which operates 87 stores in 15 states.
"Puerto Rico seemed like a perfect opportunity based on what is happening here in retail. Federated [Macys parent company] and Macys considered expanding outside of the States and investigated where the best place would be. They were informed that some stores on the island are the top retailers in their prospective chains. Also, local customers have been desirous for Macys for a long time. It just plain made sense," OConnor said.
New stores and remodeled old ones are the result of Macys expansion mode. "This is our first step locally. We will measure its success and hopefully open more stores here," he indicated.
Macys is aiming to be "the better upscale department store in Puerto Rico" with "clothes, cookware, glassware, bedding, and fine china." It will be a full-line department store with brands such as Calvin Klein, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Kenneth Cole, and Liz Claiborne. The company is also negotiating to include some local brands in its assortment.
The store will feature INC, Macys private line of updated womens sportswear. It is making an effort to bring product lines not yet available in Puerto Rico, such as MAC high-quality cosmetics. "We definitely want to get some excluaives," OConnor said.
Taking the shopping experience to a higher level, the store will introduce Macys By Appointment, a unique a free-of charge personalized shopping service. Customers wanting one-to-one assistance can make an appointment with Macys personal shoppers, who select items according to their specifications or browse with them as advisors. Macys By Appointment also offers delivery service.
"This is a great service for anyone who is very busy or doesnt like to shop," said OConnor. "For example, if the president of a company wants to buy 20 gifts for secretarys day, our shoppers will select, wrap, seal, and deliver them. It will all be taken care of." The local store will have two employees in its personal shopper service. "I think they wont be enough," he added.
Near-future plans include advertising, public relations, and testing the Macys credit card.