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Macy’s Almost Ready

General manager discusses store plans that may include establishing more stores in Puerto Rico

by Lucienne Gigante

April 20, 2000
Copyright © 2000 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

For those who haven’t been able to use their Macy’s credit card for a while, not to worry.

The first Macy’s on the island will open doors "sometime in October, assuming there are no hurricanes," joked General Manager Mark O’Connor.

At about a $50 million investment, the three-level 255,000-square-foot Macy’s 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 O’Connor. Macy’s Puerto Rico will be part of Macy’s East, which operates 87 stores in 15 states.

"Puerto Rico seemed like a perfect opportunity based on what is happening here in retail. Federated [Macy’s parent company] and Macy’s 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 Macy’s for a long time. It just plain made sense," O’Connor said.

New stores and remodeled old ones are the result of Macy’s expansion mode. "This is our first step locally. We will measure its success and hopefully open more stores here," he indicated.

Macy’s 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, Macy’s private line of updated women’s 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," O’Connor said.

Taking the shopping experience to a higher level, the store will introduce Macy’s By Appointment, a unique a free-of charge personalized shopping service. Customers wanting one-to-one assistance can make an appointment with Macy’s personal shoppers, who select items according to their specifications or browse with them as advisors. Macy’s By Appointment also offers delivery service.

"This is a great service for anyone who is very busy or doesn’t like to shop," said O’Connor. "For example, if the president of a company wants to buy 20 gifts for secretary’s 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 won’t be enough," he added.

Near-future plans include advertising, public relations, and testing the Macy’s credit card.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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