Macy’s downtown Brooklyn location today unveiled a new merchandising concept meant to attract apartment dwellers and to cement the ties between the store and a revitalizing community. The Macy’s Furniture Gallery in the store basement has been remerchandised into a series of vignettes that demonstrate how apartments of different sizes might be furnished via Macy’s assortments, an idea that will impact more of the retailer’s stores across the United States.
The refurbishment of the downtown Brooklyn location comes soon after the opening of the Barclay Center sports arena and in a period of rapid growth as more New Yorkers gravitate to a borough that has gentrified significantly over the past two decades. Condos continue to rise in the vicinity, and Macy’s wants to be a furnishing resource to their owners and all those in Brooklyn dressing up their living spaces, Sharon Coons, Macy’s regional director of furniture, told HomeWorld Business. The Fulton Street mall district where the store is has traditionally featured locally focused retailers including discount clothing and music shops, but, with the development of the borough, it is drawing a broader clientele. At the same time, Macy’s determined that too few New York shoppers knew the store existed. So Macy’s is overhauling furniture as a draw for more affluent consumers moving to downtown Brooklyn in the initial stages of a store-wide refurbishment that will see upgrading of other home departments. In doing so, Macy’s wants to make the store vital to new customers and plans to support the face lift with advertising and promotion, Coons said.
Multiple vignettes in the furniture gallery demonstrate how consumers can put together a dining room, living room and bedroom ensemble consisting of furniture elements Macy’s offers. The presentations aren’t necessarily matched sets. In some cases, an accent chair is actually part of a sectional presented separately as a tight solution. Coons said Macy’s is taking more of a lifestyle approach to merchandising in the Brooklyn furniture gallery, a position that mass market retailers and their suppliers have taken to good effect over the past several years. Macy’s set the room vignettes in Brooklyn to suit living spaces of 350, 550 and 750 square feet to give shoppers an idea of how furniture pieces might suit their particular space limitations.
Coons said the Brooklyn furniture gallery is an example of My Macy’s thinking, citing the company-wide effort to ensure that stores address the needs and preferences of their particular communities. To drive the point home on Fulton Street, signage and murals identify the gallery with the borough, with an image of the Brooklyn Bridge being particularly conspicuous. Coons said that Macy’s will roll out the small space merchandising developed in Brooklyn nationwide, with their own localized signage, of course, as it seeks to serve shoppers who are furnishing apartments, co-ops, townhouses and other lesser living spaces from New York to San Francisco.