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Shoppers Not Sold on New Macy's Stores
"Some of the May stores were struggling for years, so just slapping on another nameplate doesn't solve all the problems," Beemer said.
Wendy Liebmann, president of WSL Strategic Retail, said Macy's still faces emotional challenges.
"They are asking shoppers around the country to give up a brand that a lot of them have had for a long time and have been emotionally attached to, whether it's a store or product brand," she said.
Jim McKay, who runs a Web site opposing the change from Marshall Field's in Chicago, said he believes his group's boycott of Macy's is working.
"Field's is synonymous with Chicago and people are annoyed at the arrogance of Federated making this change," McKay said.
James Walton, 51, of Pittsburgh, shopping in a bookstore housed in the former Kaufmann's flagship store in Pittsburgh Wednesday, thinks Macy's has lost Kaufmann's appeal.
"It just doesn't have the Kaufmann's feel or touch to it," said Walton, who says he's more likely now to shop at Penney.
However, Kirk Rice, 47, disagreed with Walton.
"Most people are stubborn to change, but they will, eventually," he said in Pittsburgh.
A national marketing campaign that heralded the nameplate changes and launched Macy's as a national brand seemed "a little mundane" and not as bold as she would have expected, Liebmann said.
"To succeed nationally, Macy's must be consistent in its message and in bringing the excitement that people familiar with Macy's have come to expect. It's not enough to have the Macy's parade," she said.
Macy's has undertaken some merchandising initiatives, including a deal with Martha Stewart to sell a new home furnishing collection this year.