Macy’s: Website redesign, employees become stylists

Macy’s plans to overhaul its website and train some employees to become personal stylists in a bid to offer more personalized shopping.

As CNBC reported on Tuesday, the retailer wants to provide more individual attention to customers and an easier online experience as it tries to compete with other fashion retailers, whether rival department store chains, online-only fashion retailers or boutique clothing brands.

The move follows a review Macy’s conducted with consultant AlixPartners to decide whether the company should separate its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar operations. Although Macy’s decided not to proceed with the split, the company says the assessment showed areas where it could improve operations, both online and in stores.

Read more: Customers’ use of physical stores makes Macy’s online division more difficult

Rich Lennox, the company’s chief brand officer, told CNBC that while the chain has invested heavily in its digital and social media presence, Macy’s wants to explain to customers what sets it apart from competitors. The chain plans to debut in stores and online with the new motto “Own Your Style”.

“What we were looking for was some sort of unifying customer truth,” Lennox said. “Because we want to acquire younger customers, but we also need to take care of our older customers and our more established high-value customers.”

Meanwhile, Macy’s also plans to train employees to help customers with their one-on-one style choices, enlisting some workers into its “Style Crew.” These employees will be able to earn commission for sales and for social media posts that lead to transactions.

Macy’s will also be relaxing its casual dress code to allow staff to incorporate their personal style choices into their daily work clothes. The chain will also roll out in-store digital screens that display style tips and outfit ideas for shoppers.

Read more: Jana Partners reduces its stake in Macy’s by 84%

Macy’s decision to separate its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses was led by activist investment firm Jana Partners, which argued that the e-commerce side of the business was worth much more.

Last year, Macy’s forecast its e-commerce business to hit $10 billion in 2022 and told investors it sees itself as a “digitally-led omnichannel retailer.” Jana Partners reduced its stake in Macy’s by 84% at the end of 2021.

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