Thursday, February 07, 2008

Re-arranging The Deck Chairs

Sales continue to fall at Macy's. The current state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue, and the time has come to re-arrange the deck chairs on the sinking department store hulk.

Given the chore of reviving sales in Chicago, Frank Guzzetta will be allowed to quietly retire rather than be sacked for failing. Macy's grand shop on State Street never recovered from the change of name, and there was nothing that Mr. Guzzetta could have done that would have appeased both the Chicago shoppers (who loved Marshall Field's) and the suits in New York (who demand that all be Macy's).

What else will help? Having already shed a few jobs, Macy's will shed a few more. About 2,500 more. The thinking is that letting x number of people go resulted in a sales decline of y, therefore making a bigger chunk of the staff redundant will send sales skyrocketing.

The staff cuts are part of a bigger plan to re-organize the chain of command. Rather than have seven headquarters, there'll be four. Best of all, within those four centers, the executives will be allowed to run things with an ear to regional tastes. If that sounds familiar, it's because that is the very structure that existed before Terry Lundgren set out to re-invent the American department store.

No word on whether or not a regional chairman in the Chicago-area satellite office could opt to change the name of the Macy's sites in a bid to reinvigorate sales. After stubbornly refusing to keep the Marshall Field name, Mr. Lundgren would never accept such absolute and utter defeat.

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