Macy’s Averts Strike, Plans Prototype in Ohio

New prototype to feature lifestyle departments and personal shopping
June 16, 2016Allison Zisko

MacysNEW YORK—Macy’s has reached a tentative agreement with its workers’ union, averting a strike at its Herald Square flagship here.

“We are pleased with the outcome of our overnight negotiations and happy to report that a tentative agreement between Macy’s and Local 1-S for our workers has been reached, therefore averting a possible strike today,” Macy’s said in a statement.

Local 1-S and Macy’s have reached a new four-year agreement, according to the union’s Facebook post this morning. Ratification meetings are scheduled for next week. The contract was for approximately 5,000 workers affecting four stores including Herald Square, Queens Center, Parkchester in the Bronx, and White Plains, according to Macy’s spokeswoman Elina Kazan. Positions included front and back of house support such as stockroom and sales associates.

The union was planning to go on strike as of midnight Wednesday when its contract expired, according to reports. Key issues included health care, unpredictable schedules and pension plans for senior employees, according to reports. Macy’s did not provide details on its agreement.

Testing New Concepts in Ohio

In other Macy’s news, the retailer plans to roll out a new prototype store in Easton, Ohio this month featuring lifestyle departments and leased businesses and a greater emphasis on customer service.

Among the initiatives are a kiosk at the store’s entry that will offer one-on-one customer service, a free personal shopper service and a Restore, Nourish and Strengthen Department that includes everything from footwear to Fitbits to a juice and smoothie bar, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The furniture department highlights smaller-scaled pieces for smaller living areas and now incorporates home décor such as candles and trays into the mix to show how well it works with the furniture, Andrea Schwartz, spokeswoman for Macy’s northcentral region, told HFN. It is also introducing furniture to its other home departments so that customers can consider a dining table at the same time they are purchasing dinnerware. The retailer is expanding its wedding department in Easton to include the Tux Shop at Macy’s, free wedding stylists and an expanded jewelry and special-occasion dress area.

The Easton store will also feature a LensCrafters shop, a beauty salon and a Bluemercury shop in its cosmetics department that will offer beauty products and treatments. Macy’s owns Bluemercury.

The Easton store will open June 25 and is the only one of its kind so far. “We test different things in select stores but our Macy’s Easton store is truly a prototype where we’re testing many ideas and seeing what sticks,” Schwartz said.

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor
azisko@hfnmag.com

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.

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