Saturday, September 09, 2006

An End of an Era

Today, 09/09/06, Marshall Field's officially converted to Macy's. It's very sad. I already cut up my credit card. It does not make much sense to me, especially since basically it is like converting a B department store to another B department store. It's not like they upgraded to Neiman Marcus or anything. Besides, Macy's is an East Coast thing whereas Field's is definitely a Chicago thing. They had articles on how this entire week, people were mobbing the stores for Marshall Field's paraphernalia. Sad. In a move to appease the Midwesterners, Macy's is in the middle of attempting to bring back Frango production to Chicago. Two in one chance that's going to fall through. Besides, who wants that red/white striping on the Frango box? And with Carson Pirie Scott closing its State Street store, there's not much from the Loop heyday era left. Hm, I wonder how Macy's will pull off the windows this year.
Regardless, Macy's tried to celebrate with all the pomp and circumstance it could muster...holding ribbon cutting ceremonies at each store, passing out $10 gift cards, serving subpar standard coffee. They ran out of $10 gift cards early. The ribbon cutting ceremony was purely for show as many of the displays and store layout were basically the same. The only difference was the signage which had turned from green to the red and white. The show was entirely unnecessary because as soon as one walked in the store, all the merchandise was the same...even the same clearance sales. Oh dear. What kind of department store has clearances on the first day of opening? Macy's, that's who! Tacky.
This was sent to me by email earlier this week: (by Rebecca Little)
Marshall Field’s (1852 - 2006)
Marshall Field’s, 154, died peacefully this week at its State Street home. One of the world’s first department stores—and prior to its death, second only in size to Macy’s—it cemented itself as a premier shopping destination around the slogan “Give the lady what she wants.”
The store was credited with many retail firsts, including inventing the gift registry, incorporating restaurants into the shopping experience, hosting book signings, and offering credit to customers. It cultivated a reputation for style and exclusivity by creating separate men’s and women’s lounges and the designer 28 Shop.
Born in 1852 to Potter Palmer, it was first named P. Palmer & Co. It went through several name changes before being renamed for its adoptive father, Marshall Field, in 1881. The store opened at its State Street location in 1868. It burned to the ground twice (once during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and later in 1877), and went through a few incarnations before 1907, when the current 12-story, block-wide store was completed. In its long life, it went through a series of affairs. It was first purchased by BATUS Retail Group in 1982, a union that lasted eight years, before it was sold to Dayton Hudson Corporation, later renamed Target Corporation. Its latter years were plagued by relationship troubles, with the store being sold twice in as many years. In 2004, a purchase by May Department Stores lasted just one year before Federated Department Stores, the parent company of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, took over.
Aw, sad. Marshall Field's was my case study in AP US History my junior year of high school. It rocked.

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