Macy’s ‘retail M.B.A.’ helps small vendors

The Macy's flagship department store with the ...

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I love reading stories like a recent one In Crain’s New York about Macy’s.  One reason is because stories like these are great lessons to all types and sizes of businesses.  Another is this particular story demonstrates the power of taking control over one’s business problems. If it isn’t working, change it.

The short version:  Macy’s needs diversity in its merchandise to meet the desires of a very diverse shopping base.  But Macy’s has difficulties finding vendors who have the products to meet customer needs as well as the wherewithal and critical mass to fill the racks of a national department store.  Most vendors are in the growth mode and don’t really understand what it will take to become a Macy’s vendor.

Macy’s could have decided to just shrug their corporate shoulders and accept the situation as it was.  Or it could get creative and come up with an idea that would change the scenario.  The great  Idea was to educate these vendors by offering a 4.5 day workshop explaining exactly what it takes to get merchandise into Macy’s stores.  Macy’s is literally investing in these micro-companies (most are women and/or minority owned businesses) in hopes that a certain percentage will be eventually become future vendors now that they are armed with the right information.

This is a new program and there’s no telling if it will work.  But my hat is off to the Macy’s management that decided to change the situation by working together with its vendors rather than just accepting the problem.

When was the last time you took the bull by the horns and worked to change a problem that has plagued or held your business back from reaching its full potential?

To read the long version of this story, check out ‘Mini retail M.B.A.’ workshop designed for women and minority businesses.

Source:  Crain’s New York

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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