Macy's is now offering a range of new services to help customers find gifts for the upcoming holiday season, the retailer announced on Tuesday.
The retailer is providing personal stylists for in-store and virtual appointments to guide consumers through purchases. Customers can also order their gifts for curbside pickup or buy online, pick up in-store, according to the company announcement.
For shoppers seeking another way to pay, the retailer's recently announced partnership with Klarna will allow customers to pay in four interest-free installment payments for the holidays, per the press release.
Just a few weeks after investing in the installment payments platform, Macy's is touting its partnership with Klarna as a convenience for price-conscious shoppers over the holidays. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for nonessential retailers, the payments platform has appeared to thrive. Over the summer, the company reached nearly 8 million U.S. customers, unveiled its customer loyalty program and began offering in-store payments via Google Pay.
Outside of Klarna, the installment payments space has flourished during the pandemic, with Shopify offering installment payments for both customers and its merchants, Mastercard partnering with Splitit and Afterpay taking its installment payments into physical stores. Part of the reason for the continued rise in the space may be that the pandemic, and the resulting recession, have hit consumers hard. According to PwC, the majority of consumers have endured some kind of economic hardship thanks to the health crisis, including reduced income or work hours, furloughs or a career change, among other things.
The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult on apparel retailers as well, and Macy's has been no exception. The retailer's first quarter net sales dropped to $3 billion from $5.5 billion during last year's first-quarter. But as stores began to reopen and its e-commerce business flourished, the retailer narrowed its losses in the second quarter. By then, its store sales declined by 61%, but its e-commerce business spiked by 53%.
Beyond revamping its holiday shopping services and shifting to e-commerce, Macy's has also had to make changes elsewhere. Given coronavirus concerns, the retailer will shift its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade to a TV-only event this year. The virtual event, which will air on Nov. 26, will see the number of participants reduced by 75%, and will require social distancing and face masks to comply with New York City's COVID-19 safety mandates. The department store on Thursday also announced that Santa Claus won't be making an appearance at its iconic Herald Square location in New York City this year — something that has been an attraction for nearly 160 years. Instead, the retailer will offer "Macy's Santaland at Home" — an virtual, interactive experience — beginning Nov. 27.
Macy's also highlighted its partnership with DoorDash for the holidays. The department store is one of a growing list of retailers enlisting the takeout delivery platform for same-day delivery services. Other companies, including PetSmart, 7-Eleven and Walgreens, have tapped the delivery platform, while other retailers have partnered with Instacart or Postmates.