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If Macy's Survives It Would Be a Miracle on 34th Street

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

The Macy’s flagship store in midtown Manhattan is the perfect place to freshen your make up, use the toilet, and cross to the next avenue without getting your hair wet. When it comes to shopping, it leaves something to be desired.


According to Business of Fashion, the store has been facing internal pressure to change things up as quarter after quarter have shown sales slowing down. However, shares for Macy’s started soaring on Friday when The Wall Street Journal reported that Hudson Bay Co., a Canadian company, was in talks to potentially takeover both the chain and the real estate New Yorkers have all become so accustomed to wandering around on their lunch breaks.

Hudson’s Bay Co. already owns Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, which they purchased with complicated financial maneuvering that could also be applied to paying the estimated $13.4 billion Macy’s is worth. Since that kind of money-trading is beyond most of us in terms of every day concerns, here’s the more alarming issue for me: Macy’s could close. Business of Fashion explains that a bunch of Canadians are not super interested in New York’s iconic retail experience:

But Hudson’s Bay is not some retail mastermind looking to bolster its brand with the iconic department store immortalized in “Miracle on 34th Street.” Hudson’s Bay is a shrewd real-estate operator more interested in the big buildings that house the clothes and shoes Macy’s sells than the retail operation itself.

So if Hudson’s Bay does buy Macy’s, there’s no doubt its next steps would include shuttering hundreds of stores. And Macy’s would lose its place as the leader of brick-and-mortar retail.


The real estate Macy’s is parked on is worth about $18 billion, and if some of it got sold off or mortgaged, it would cover the debt of purchasing Macy’s in the first place. Get your perfume samples while you can, folks, because progress is even threatening to stamp out our capitalist cathedrals.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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1. I have never seen Miracle on 34th Street.

2. I worked at Macy’s for about 6 weeks over the Christmas season in 2009. They required me to open a Macy’s credit card, and I spent more money buying the very specific “approved” clothing for my shifts than I earned on the minimum wage they paid me. Nobody trained me on how to use the complicated register, so I spent most of my time hiding from customers who looked like they might want to check out. (Bonus: my drawer was always correct at the end of the night, because I never opened it.) My manager never bothered to learn my name, and I quit by doing a no-call no-show on the day after Christmas. They didn’t even realize I was gone until 7 hours into a 10-hour shift.