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06/10/2022

Watching Macy's Private Label Overhaul

The venerable department store is moving forward with plans to update its private brand mix.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Macy's

The department store segment is clearly not what it once was, but it’s good to see Macy’s continuing to have success and be a major player in private label.

In recent months, the retailer has made several significant announcements related to its private label efforts. These include the hiring of a new senior vice president, introducing new collections from black designers and enhancing its sustainability efforts as it pertains to private brand apparel.

Recently, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said during a quarterly investor conference call the company was in the “early stages” of reimagining its private brand portfolio. The first step was a realignment of its private brand team under new leadership in partnership with the retailer’s broader merchandising and sourcing teams.

The goal, he said, is to have a private brand portfolio that is differentiated, defendable and durable. Macy’s is considering all avenues including the launch of new brands along with refreshing its current roster of some 20 private labels.

Whether the timing of Macy’s private label revamp is calculated or fortuitous, the update to its private label assortment could prove beneficial. Rising prices are in the face of consumers and their need for products that mesh value and quality will be of added importance for the remainder of 2022 and into the New Year. 

The retailer is able to build off of a solid foundation that includes brands across the store such as Charter Club, Club Room, Tools of the Trade and Belgique. For years, these brands have been the cornerstone of Macy’s private label effort and made the transition from store brand to national brand in the minds of many shoppers.

While the retailer has been relatively mum on details, watching what’s next from Macy’s and its private label mix will be of great interest to many across retail. This is an opportunity to not only develop new products and brands, but also revamp how it sources products.

The supply chain challenges and backlog of imported products at the nation’s ports has been a struggle for many. Just ask Target. This does provide Macy’s an opportunity to take greater control of its supply chain and work with domestic suppliers. 

We know of the challenges an endeavor such as this offers, but there are U.S.-based companies in many categories that would welcome an opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Macy’s to develop a unique product assortment

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