Retail engagement: Macy's mixes shopping and entertainment

Stephen Whiteside

Macy's is no stranger to the world of entertainment. Its New York flagship store features in dozens of movies from Sweet Charity to Ocean's Eleven, and – perhaps most famously – even had a starring role in the festive classic, Miracle on 34th Street. The firm's Thanksgiving Day Parade is also an established fixture on the city's calendar. Moreover, its various stores have appeared in popular television series including the comedy shows Seinfeld and Friends and the reality hit Project Runway.

According to Jennifer Kasper, the retailer's group vice president, digital, new media and multicultural marketing, such a heritage is shaping its future strategy. "Sometimes we joke: if Disney can sell T-shirts, we can be an entertainment brand," she told attendees at the Mobile Marketing Association's MMA Forum in May 2013. "We've approached the whole notion of shopping as entertainment. The thing that distinguishes us as Macy's from other retailers is that we've blended the notion of shopping as something that's about discovery and magic. Sometimes, if you find the right pair of shoes, even the purchasing is entertainment."