The internationally renowned Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square debuted part of its newly renovated space: a reconstructed shoe floor with accompanying cafe. The store is currently undergoing a four-year, $400 million makeover, to be completed in 2015.
Since opening in 1902, this is the first time the store is undergoing a reconstruction of this magnitude. The redesign will add 100,000 square feet to the 1.1 million square feet of retail space.
“Macy’s is embarking upon what may be the largest and most expensive renovation of a single store in the history of retail,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. chief executive officer.
NYU professor Mosette Broderick said the architecture of the 34th Street Macy’s
represents an era.
“Macy’s was the final department store built on Sixth Avenue, which had been ‘Ladies’ Mile,’” Broderick said. “It’s a landmark surviving member of the great department store story. The ground floor should not be touched, but the remaining interiors could well be renovated.”
Christine Einerson, 23, a regular shopper at Macy’s, said the store is in need of renovation.
“I just think that it has to be updated to look more modern,” Einerson said. “They need to declutter it because I feel like they pack so many different types of merchandise that it looks cluttered, overly packed and disorganized.”
Indian tourist K.V. Hidayath, 40, found renovations unecessary.
“It’s fantastic. Absolutely perfect,” he said. “Renovation? No need, no need.”
With Burberry and Gucci’s imminent debut in the flagship store. It is becoming increasingly apparent that many more changes are on the way.
CAS sophomore Joshua White stated his apathy for Macy’s pre-renovation condition.
“NYU students and most other New Yorkers generally are not lured to Macy’s because it’s really been an outdated tourist store with dreary lighting,” White said. “The addition of more open space, better lighting, and new luxury shoe and jewelry areas may induce NYU students and other New Yorkers to make that trek to midtown.”
In contrast, CAS junior Zainab Qureshi expressed her desire to uphold Macy’s old design.
“Unless they are just renovating to touch things up and keep the same design, I wouldn’t like it as much,” Qureshi said.
Macy’s will unveil its revamped main floor around the upcoming holiday season.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 3 print edition. Zuha Jamil is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected].