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September 14, 2006
Federated forges ahead

FULL_MACYS_MURAL.jpg

I was cruising along I-80 (east) near El Camino Avenue when I spotted one of Macy's, er Federated Department Stores', new ads announcing: "Way To Shop ... Sacramento." (A no-particular-city version is shown above.) You've probably already noticed other changes in the print and TV commercial blitz that the company launched last week as part of its "rebranding" of Macy's.

According to Federated's Web site, the company is blanketing the nation as more than 400 former May Department Stores are officially turned into Macy's.

So, if you're in Denver, you'll see "Way To Shop ... Denver," and Houston and Los Angeles and San Francisco, and so forth, from coast to coast. A 54-page Macy's "magalog" (a glossy magazine/catalog) also is being sent to 3.8 million customers in the new markets.

As for the company's TV ad, I liked it. Tons of energy. And, to be honest, at first I thought it was a Target ad. It's set to the classic Motown hit "Dancing in the Streets." There are all these hip, well-dressed folks basically dancing across the shopping streets of the United States. (The California connection is shown below.)

At the end of the month, WE TV is debuting a series called "Unwrapping Macy's." Apparently, it's an effort to show shoppers how the largest department store in the world makes it happen every day. You'll see how buyers decide what will be on the shelves, even how the Thanksgiving Day Parade is executed. The first episode, "Image is Everything," airs at 7 p.m. Sept. 30.

TV_MACYS.jpgAnd, if all this weren't enough, this Saturday, all Macy's stores will host a Shop for a Cause day. Macy's is selling $5 "donation tickets" to help local and national charities.

Federated isn't disclosing exactly what all this is costing, but Women's Wear Daily puts the effort somewhere between $90 and $100 million.

When all is said and done, I still don't think that outfit that twice-ousted "Project Runway" designer Angela Keslar designed for Macy's I.N.C label (for which she won a competition) has done well at all. No, no rosette, I say.

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