- Macy's is launching The Zoe by Rachel Zoe collection, a fall fashion capsule priced $89 to $169 and available now online and in select Macy's stores as of Aug. 15, the company said in a press release.
- Zoe began her career as a celebrity stylist and is now also a fashion designer, rising to prominence about a decade ago with a reality show.
- Also this month, Macy's is hosting more than 50 back-to-school shopping parties in stores nationwide, which feature music, snacks and a "style challenge" to see who puts together the best look for back-to-school.
Macy's has increasingly turned to limited edition collections like these, taking a cue from Target, which developed the idea for the mass market decades ago.
The department store needs the boost. Macy's longstanding leadership in apparel has been challenged as it sheds stores and cedes market share to rivals, notably Amazon, according to a growing body of research including from Coresight Research. Even benchmarked against a sector hit by declining sales, Coresight recorded a 410-basis-point decline at Macy's in apparel share as annual revenues fell by $3 billion between 2012 and 2017.
But Macy's, which has cultivated its online channel and recently outlined plans for mobile checkout, is actually winning as a digital apparel destination, by SimiarWeb's measure. The top 10 apparel sites on desktop and mobile in the first quarter were, in order: macys.com, jcpenney.com, nordstrom.com, nike.com, gap.com, zulily.com, zappos.com, forever21.com, footlocker.com and victoriassecret.com.
The department store retailer is also poised to benefit from two major investments, in retail concept firm b8ta and the outright acquisition of Story. Both could help the retailer regain its prominence as a fashion destination as well as expand its sales into more categories, perhaps restoring its own once-revolutionary retail concept of a department store that sells much more than apparel.
For now, the department store's bulwark is mainly clothing and accessories, but it's hoping to marry its fashion expertise with evolving, tech-based marketing and merchandising.