Macy's E-Commerce PlansMacy's (M) is bullish on e-commerce.

Online sales for the department store chain grew more than 30% in 2010, and Macy's is heavily investing in infrastructure upgrades, such as e-commerce product fulfillment centers, to support an acceleration of that advance.

The retailer is also determined to attract top talent as it doubles the number of employees at and, the online arm of its upscale sister chain, over the next three years, Macy's executives said during Goldman Sachs' (GS) dotCommerce Day conference in New York on Tuesday.

Today, e-commerce accounts for about only about 6.5% of Macy's $25 billion in sales, according to Goldman Sachs' estimates.

But the company is quickly moving from being a multichannel retailer to an "omnichannel" company, said Peter Sachse, chief marketing officer of Macy's, and chairman and CEO of com, during the conference.

Vying for Talent with Facebook and Groupon

Being a truly omnichannel retailer means "the consumer can choose whatever channel she wants to interact with you on, any device that she'd like to do that with, and [still] get a very consistent [shopping] experience," Sachse said. "It also means that you have to figure out a way to leverage inventory across all those channels."
To that end, Macy's is building a new 1.4 million square foot warehouse near Martinsburg, W.Va., that will be devoted to its online business and will open in June 2012. It's also expanding an existing fulfillment center near Portland, Tenn.

"While all this is happening, there is a war for talent. This industry is one hot industry," Sachse said. "We want to attract the best and the brightest."

But to do so, Macy's has to compete with the hot shots of the technology world.

Facebook, for one, has been buying companies over the past few years "not for the businesses they run but the people they have," while Groupon has more than doubled its staff, Sachse said.

"So this is an acute problem we need to be aware of," he said. In turn, "We have to work on very interesting technologies to get folks to work for us."

However, the fact that Macy's digital team is in San Francisco "in the heart of Silicon Valley" shows it means business when it comes to its e-commerce ambitions. And so far, the company has been successful in wooing some technology stars, he said.

Big Plans Ahead

Sachse also outlined a few key online initiatives in the works:
  • In the third quarter, the retailer will begin testing "site to store to door." This means that if an online shopper finds that has run out of a certain item, for example, the retailer is equipped to fulfill the order not simply by finding a store close to that shopper that carries the item, but a nearby store that has too many of that item -- which will help reduce price markdowns, Sachse said.
  • The retailer is also working to create "dynamic customer experiences," be it on the home pages of and or via targeted email blasts. "The home page will change based on everything we know about you," Sachse said.
  • Macy's is also focused on targeted email offers based on consumers' shopping history. "There are times we'll send out 18 million unique emails ... down to the point of [emailing a shopper with a message like] 'We just saw you last night on the women's shoes part of the website,'" and then send that shopper a targeted shoe promotion, Sachse said.
  • International shipping launched last month in Canada, the U.K. and Australia "to enormous success," he said. And Macy's is now gearing up to roll out shipping to 91 other countries.
  • Several new mobile apps are also coming down the pike for the iPhone and Android from the retailer.
  • What's more, Macy's online sites have given the retailer an opportunity to return to pockets of business it had abdicated in its brick-and-mortar stores, such as lamps, that it no longer wanted to devote precious store space to, said Karen Hoguet, chief financial officer, during the conference. "It's allowing us to get back into businesses," she said.

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Most department stores are selling crap and have poor service. Is it any wonder people choose to shop online?

June 25 2011 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't shop at any of these department stores anymore. Dillards either. They are cutting back, taking hours and benefits from the associates that make the company run and give the customer a nice enviroment to shop. Thanks to the internet we are losing our jobs. My husband applied for a store manager position and was told he knew more than anyone in the company knew. Well wouldn't you think that would be a plus for them??? Why do you think these stores have terrible problems, they hire jerks in upper managment!! And stop putting your Winter clothes out before July! Can't find a thing for summer. Tired of stores doing that. You can order merchandise but don't have to put it out so early!! Go to buy summer things and all the Winter clothes are out!!! I see why people are shopping elsewhere and online.

June 24 2011 at 7:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Hopefully, the new hires, in whatever position they are hired, will be treated better than the people who are on the street. Peoplewho work in the stores (on the street) are treated like dogs in a kennel. If Macy's treated general workers better, there woud prob. be less interstore theft. This is how so many of them "get even". Especially the new or part time and holiday help. Thus pushing the prices of goods up because of theft.

June 24 2011 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had a Macy's account and did a lot of my shopping at Macys. However, since they changed credit card/finance company's, I found that their customer service dropped from an A+ to a D within a short time. Their policies have declined as has their people's attitudes. We who had credit with them are closing our accounts and refusing to shop at Macy's stores. Here in Monterey, CA, the salespeople and management of the store are terrific, but the upper echelons and finance people leave a lot to be desired. As well as many other, I have closed my acoounts and refuse to shop the store. The employees of Macy's are leaving due to their policy changes as to benefits, pay, and just overall deterioration of store and people. Their bonuses have been liquidated so that the "big wigs" can get more for the Jags and Mercedes and new homes, etc. They care no longer for the little person who stays at these stores and performs customer relations. I pity the company because within s short time, they may not have customers with this new attitude and approach to sales.

June 24 2011 at 3:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Since they bought out Marshall Fields, I haven't shopped there and never will. Everyone I know who shops there says the quality is sub-standard. Hey Macy's... ever hear of "quality, not quantity" ? We don't need NYC conglomerates in Chicago, we do exceptionally well on our own. Go back to NY.

June 24 2011 at 3:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Macy's has bought out almost every department store around. My mother used to buy my new shoes for school every year at the original store in NYC. They must be doing something right to have survived so long. I remember when I was a passenger agent at JFK and waited on an executive for Gimbel's at the gate who was very displeased with my airline. He said he was going to have my job. Well I went on to become a Flight Attendant for that airline and retired with them. We all know what happend to Gimbels. It's so nice to have had the last laugh.

June 24 2011 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe now Macy's will carry some good stuff instead of the same old crap. They killed Marshall Field's when they took it over.

June 24 2011 at 2:14 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply


June 24 2011 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Macy's online won't be useful until they have better inventory control. I've tried selecting merchandise that is supposed to be available, go to check out, am told the items are no longer available. i've given up!

June 23 2011 at 5:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

more coupons like kohls 30 % off

June 23 2011 at 5:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply