What with little movement among its winter outerwear and handbag inventory, and sliding quarterly sales overall, department stores have had their fair share of struggles recently. In order to adapt to the changing market, Macy's has tapped beauty franchise (and Sephora's biggest competitor) Bluemercury, launched a shop-in-shop concept with Korean beauty e-commerce pioneer Peach & Lily and expanded same-day delivery to compete with Amazon, which is projected to surpass the department store as the biggest seller of clothing in the U.S.
The latest modernizing effort by Macy's is part of a $400M renovation of its Herald Square flagship in New York City, with special focus paid to the store's basement. Now named "One Below," the underground space will serve as a shopping destination geared towards the millennial audience. Notably, Macy's has partnered with Etsy on "The Etsy Shop," which opened in this space on Thursday. The pop-up shop offers a curated selection of more than 50 items — mainly jewelry, housewares and stationery — from such Etsy sellers as Meera Lee Patel, Sol del Sur and Modern Mud Ceramics, all of whom have also created exclusive items for Macy's. Through 2016, "The Etsy Shop" will rotate its offerings according to a theme every six to eight weeks.
"This is an incredible opportunity for sellers on Etsy Wholesale [a program that launched in 2014] to have the chance to be carried in one of the most iconic retail stores in the country," said Dana Mauriello, Etsy's director of seller category growth, in a statement. "We are thrilled to give them this chance to reach new customers and grow their businesses through this partnership." This isn't the first time Etsy has partnered with a big-name retailer. Before Macy's, they worked with Whole Foods Market, Nordstrom, Land of Nod, Lou & Grey and West Elm.
Having your goods in one of the top tourist destinations in New York City will be great exposure for "The Etsy Shop" sellers, which also include Etymology Jewelry, Hook & Matter, Penelope's Press, Reason to Be Pretty and Yellow Heart Art. According to statistics provided by Macy's, its Herald Square location welcomes more than 20 million visitors each year. Whether or not it will bring millennial shoppers, who are more likely to shop directly online with Etsy, through its doors, however, remains to be seen.