Macy’s Will Revamp Website, Turn Employees Into Stylists

Macy’s plans to overhaul its website and train some employees to become personal stylists in an attempt to offer more customized shopping.

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

The move comes in the wake of the review Macy’s conducted with consultant AlixPartners to decide whether the company should separate its eCommerce and brick-and-mortar operations. While Macy’s decided against the split, the company says the evaluation showed areas it could improve operations, both online and in stores.

Read more: Customers’ Use of Physical Stores Makes Macy’s Online Split More Challenging

Company chief brand officer Rich Lennox told CNBC that while the chain has put a lot of investment into its digital and social media presence, Macy’s wants to explain to customers what makes it stand out from its competition. The chain plans to debut branding in stores and online with the new motto “Own Your Style.”

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

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

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

Learn more: Jana Partners Cuts Stake in Macy’s by 84%

The move for Macy’s to separate its eCommerce and brick-and-mortar businesses had been led by activist investment firm Jana Partners, which had argued the eCommerce side of the business would be worth far more.

Last year, Macy’s projected its eCommerce business would hit $10 billion in 2022 and told investors it sees itself as a “digitally-led, omnichannel retailer.” Jana Partners cut it stake in Macy’s by 84% in late 2021.