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Macy’s Makes Martha An American Icon, Despite Their Differences

As its lawsuit to keep her products out of J.C. Penney Co. suggests, Macy’s, Inc. is not done with Martha Stewart, and, now, the retailer is placing upon her shoulders the mantle of American icon. As such, Martha Stewart and her products will be a major part of a new promotion Macy’s has announced for this spring and summer.

The promotion, dubbed American Icons, is a multi-part marketing initiative the retailer bills as a cross-country tribute to the beloved traditions, people and landscapes of America.

“Macy’s is America’s department store and through this campaign, we’re celebrating the unique people, places and things that make our country great,” said Martine Reardon, the retailer’s chief marketing officer. “In addition to collections from incredible brands including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors, we’re embarking on a nationwide tribute that will feature some of America’s most beloved and nostalgic pastimes including the drive-in, baseball and grilling, along with a program to support and celebrate America’s veterans.”

The company said it has worked with popular brands to curate American Icons merchandise that brings together exclusive fashion and accessories as well as distinctive home product. Included are special collections not only from Lauren, Klein and Kors but also from Tommy Hilfiger, Levi and Nike, all of which evoke American style and design from coast-to-coast, the retailer asserted.

The Martha Stewart Collection is another brand Macy’s is using to boost its promotion, in this case via a sweepstakes designed to draw attention to favorite customer regional dishes. On May 17 at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City, Martha Stewart herself and Everyday Food editor-in-chief Sarah Carey will kick off the sweepstakes as they discuss and demonstrate recipes from Martha’s American Food, a book featuring Martha’s favorite national dishes as well as the stories and traditions behind them.

Other elements in the promotion include:

  • Macy’s Great American Grilling Guru. Macy’s is challenging what it calls “grilling gurus” to submit their prized recipes on Macy’s Facebook page from April 9 through April 27. The retailer said it would select six finalists to compete in a Sizzle Showdown on June 8 in Atlanta, judged by chefs from Macy’s Culinary Council, with one winner receiving the grand prize of $10,000 and a trip to Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks.
  • Macy’s Great American Road Trip. Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star contest winners Megan and Liz will take a cross-country road trip in a new Ford Mustang convertible to explore the vast musical history of the United States. Beginning May 14, fans can follow the pop duo’s journey online at, as they work on a definitive road trip song and ultimately arrive at their last destination, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York City.
  • Macy’s Great American Drive-In. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the drive-in theatre, and Macy’s said it would pay homage to the traditional entertainment destination with movie projections on 20 Macy’s store exteriors and on-screen at 10 local drive-ins nationwide. The events also will feature concessions and family activities.
  • Macy’s Day at the Ballpark. In a celebration of Father’s Day, Macy’s will offer in-store ticket giveaways in select stores and special activations at the baseball field. Between June 3 and 16, fans will experience Macy’s through scoreboard features, live announcements and game day giveaways at 10 major league and 35 minor league baseball games.

In addition, Macy’s is using the promotion to support veterans group Got Your 6, which focuses on six pillars of reintegration from military life: jobs, education, health, housing, family and leadership. To help, Macy’s is introducing a special savings pass with the goal of raising $3 million. Beginning May 12, customers can give $3 at any register and get a 15% to 20% savings pass for a day they choose. Customers also can wear their support by purchasing a Got Your 6 pin for $6, which also qualifies them to receive the discount. All of the purchase price goes to Got Your 6 and its non-profit partners to empower returning veterans and military families, up to $3 million, Macy’s stated.