Retail

Macy's expands into pets, hair care and gourmet food to gain new shoppers

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Key Points
  • Macy's said it has begun investing in new categories for the business — including toys, health and wellness, pets and home decor.
  • When Americans began scouring the web last March for office supplies and toys to entertain kids at home, the department store chain wasn't nearly as prepared as it wanted to be.
  • "Customers have signaled for us where we've failed [in] searches," CEO Jeff Gennette said.

In this article

People count money at Macy's Herald Square store in New York.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters

When Americans began scouring the web last March for office supplies and toys to entertain kids at home, Macy's wasn't nearly as prepared as it wanted to be.

The department store chain said Tuesday it has begun investing in new categories for the business — including toys, health and wellness, pets and home decor — in a bid to attract fresh-faced customers but also to keep its existing customers coming back for more.

"Customers have signaled for us where we've failed [in] searches," Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said during an earnings conference call.

He mentioned hair products, nail accessories and gourmet food items as three other category opportunities that Macy's had not typically gone after — until recently.

The push could make Macy's a closer competitor to big-box businesses such as Target and Walmart, which are known to offer shoppers a little bit of everything.

"If you look at our website today ... you start to see some of the new brands that we're adding," Gennette said.

Macy's biggest hope with this strategy is that it will be able to attract more customers who are under 40 years old. Gennette said the company's top target is the "millennial mom."

During its fiscal first quarter, Macy's said it saw 4.6 million new customers, a 23% increase from the same period in 2019. And 47% of those people made their first purchases online.

Macy's shares closed Tuesday down less than 1%.

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