fieldfanschicago.org


We welcome thoughtful comments and respectful opinions that help make the case for the restoration of Marshall Field's to State Street and elsewhere. Off-topic, slanderous, disrespectful or abusive posts will not be included at the host's discretion, although an attempt will be made to contact the author, assuming a valid email address is provided with the post. Please remember that this is a blog for opinions of Field's supporters. Due to problems with spam attacks--some even from those opposed to our cause--posts are moderated. As a result, it may take up to seven days for your post to appear, but usually it will take less than a day. Thank you for your patience, support, and contributions.


HOME | Enewsletter | Leaflets | About This Site


FIELD'S OF THE FUTURE:
A 21st-Century Marshall Field's For A 21st-Century Chicago

Review why a revived and reinvented Marshall Field's make more sense than ever today and in the century to come..


2012: FOUR OUT of FIVE CHICAGO SHOPPERS STILL PREFER MARSHALL FIELD'S OVER MACY's
Our latest survey shows 78% want Marshall Field's--14% prefer Macy's.

See our 2012 Survey Page for complete details including survey results.



Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014  6:21 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh sigh.

Just when you think they can't sink lower, they do. I don't understand how anyone can think Macy's equals Field's in any way except for occupying the same earthly footprint. Big deal.

Even the lesser department stores here in NY state are so bland and uninteresting, or so trendy and silly, that I lost interest, years ago. I am old enough to recognize the general loss of quality without commensurate lowering of price. Meh.


Date: Wednesday, April 9 2014  8:52 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

There's been some problems with the blog over the past several weeks. I'm in the process of getting the posts from late February through today restored as best that I can. Look for more posts to be restored in the next day. These will cover March 18-April 9, 2014. Thank you for your support and patience.

Best regards,

Jim McKay


Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014  7:24 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Walked around the State Street store this afternoon. There have been some changes.

Last week, I noticed that the visitors center in the new atrium, opposite the Burnham Fountain was gone. This is where they had the large maybe three-foot diameter light up Marshall Field's clock. You can still see the same or similar clock replica up on the 7th floor. This visitors center has been replaced by a new one that sells Chicago souvenirs -- and lot of Macy's bags-- on the lower level center/south, west of kitchen utensils and small appliances and north of the greeting cards. The visitors desk is much larger. but it's backed not by a Field's clock. Instead, it shows Chicago's skyline with a Macy's logo and the stylized printing of the word "Chicago" from "Choose Chicago." It's kind of weird. Macy's red star, as many of you know, is tied to the history of Dutch and NYC sea merchants. For hundreds of years, the red star is a symbol of NYC. Just like the many "Macy's Chicago" bags they sell, there is so much irony is having a symbol of New York dominate something that supposedly promotes Chicago. The space itself isn't all that special. Yes, it's shiny and new, but take away the superficial posters and the decor is such that it could be a gift shop that is anywhere. Really too bad as Macy's whittles away at what was and could still be a first rate, unique destination making more money than it is now, not to mention benefitting and inspiring people. I'm sure there will be some favorable P.R., but then one thinks about what was taken away and one realizes what has been lost.

Another change is that it appears Wrigleyville Sports is out at State Street. It appears that a leased Lids sports apparel shop has been added opposite InFields. The Lids shops are being added to select Macy's stores nationwide. They did a huge promotion at Herald Square around the time of the Super Bowl. Again, shiny and new--but not all that unique.


Date: Sunday, April 6, 2014  12:28 pm CT
Posted by: Nancy

Target has Fieldcrest towels on sale this week. I'm stocking up! Glad that they kept the Marshall Field brand.


Date: Friday, April 4, 2014  7:12 am CT
Posted by: Pam Q.

Mariano's grocery has been all the rage here in Chicago. The new grocery chain run by former Dominick's head is sublime. I've heard a few times among people and the news and even on twitter that Mariano's compares favorably with Field's.

AMEN!

AMEN!


Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Comments on a few recent posts:

-- Immediately following the season premier of "Masterpiece Class: Mr. Selfridge", WTTW11 aired a special 30-minute documentary--twice in a row--on the history of Harry Selfridge, his start and the modern day Selfridges. Good overview, clearly a P.R. piece from Galen Weston Limited, the current owner of the store. Galen Weston is based in Canada. The bulk of the documentary is, understandably, Selfridges in London. It opens with a couple of minutes about Harry Selfridge's difficult life growing up in Michigan and then moving to Chicago where he worked for Marshall Field for 25 years. It's mostly accurate, but it does leave out some details--such as talk about his Chicago store--and gets the photos wrong when it talks about the Marshall Field's where Harry worked. Nevertheless, it's a good source.

-- Regarding the flower show, I do check it out every year. How can bunches of flowers NOT be gorgeous!? In a number of ways, it makes a lot of sense to have much of the show concentrated in one spot. Doing so provides maximum visual impact; lures viewers and potential customers to travel through the store to the ninth floor; and the whole store does not have to be kept at below average temperatures to keep the flowers from wilting, something the employees appreciate while also saving energy.

I thought Macy's two-page ad spread for the flower show looked wonderful. It was spread across the center two pages in the Chicago Tribune and was gorgeous. Yet, I don't think the show was as nice as the ad.

Yet, in a lot of ways, this isn't all too different in spirit from the Christmas store windows of the past couple of years. Remember last Christmas, people were thrilled and excited to see what seemed to be Marshall Field's depicted in the windows. But then when you stopped to think about it, you realized that it was rather sad that people were excited about something -- Marshall Field's--that should be a given. The windows wouldn't be all that exciting if Macy's hadn't taken away Marshall Field's in the first place. Moreover, save for the "Marshall Field and Company" plaques in one scene, Macy's wouldn't mention Marshall Field's and substituted "111 N State" instead. And then you realize that the budget was significantly less than what used to be spent on the windows, all the while realizing that the Herald Square (34th Street) flagship in NYC had a gigantic budget by comparison. What seemed great at first, ended up feeling like leftovers and taking what we could get of what we really wanted.

It's just my opinion, but there's a similar spirit to the flower show. The flowers look great--most flowers do. But then you realize that there really wasn't that much that was exotic and it seemed that concentrating them allowed them to have fewer flowers overall. Fuschia azaleas, tulips, gerberas, tropical house plants and handful of others predominated. Nice, but there're everywhere. And then it seemed a lot of the set for the show was recycled from previous years. And if they didn't concentrate the flowers, there'd be fewer flowers than a few years back. And then I realized that they no longer support Chicago's Annual Flower Show at Navy Pier. Thinking of Christmas, I wondered how did Chicago's show compare with the budget for the show in NYC. So again, Macy's seems to slowly switch out what was so great about Field's and people start settling for what isn't quite as good as it used to be, settling for Macy's instead of Field's.

-- Did some research on Jeffrey Gennette. Save for a couple of stints, he's been at Macy's for the past 30 years. Mr. Lundgren is saying he will still be around for years. Mr. Gennette will especially focus on taking on more responsibility for private label merchandise. Given that the new President is in his early 50s and the CEO won't be going anywhere for a few more years, I read it as simply giving Gennette something to keep him from going elsewhere so he can advance his career. I am simply speculating as outsider, but I don't think much of anything will be different in the immediate future. Just my two cents.

Speaking of private labels and lines, I sure wish I could buy a Marshal Field's labeled dress shirt. Ditto for Field Gear which always fit perfectly.

Best regards.


Date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014  6:57 pm CT
Posted by: Alex in Reno, NV

Marshall Field's is so important to me! You guys rock! Play ball!

Date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014  4:15 pm CT
Posted by: Rhonda M.

Give the lady what she wants! Marshall Field's!


Date: Monday, March 31, 2014  4:15 pm CT
Posted by: E.

As you surely know, I am NOT a fan of Macy's and I will not buy anything in their stores. Wandering through what used to be Marshall Field's proud flagship on State Street is depressing. However, this past Friday I put on my blinders and breezed through the store to view Macy's annual Flower Show, which I have to admit was very pretty. This year's theme is The Secret Garden.

Nowadays, the Flower Show is set up in space on the 9th floor that's normally vacant except for special exhibits. Much of this floor currently houses the Human Resources Department and some executive offices, but many years ago the housewares and appliance departments were located on 9. Some escalators and elevators still service this floor.


Date: Monday, March 31, 2014  3:46 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Jeffrey Gennette has assumed the role of president of Macy's, while Terry Lundgren remains as ceo and chairman. Thus, it might appear that Terry Lundgren's successor has emerged. Gennette has been in retail for three decades, most recently has held the title of chief merchant for Macy's. Previously, he was the head of Macy's West and Macy's Northwest. I find his background promising, however, he is also now the chief of private brands. That additional position says to me that there will be more Alfani than less.

Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014  6:50 pm CT
Posted by: Renee

When Harry Selfridge worked at Marshall Field's, his nickname was Mile-a-Minute Harry.

(Tonight starts the second season of Mr. Selfridge on PBS. The second season has already aired in the UK.)


Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014  4:42 pm CT
Posted by: Carol

Missing Marshall Field's here in California! Won't shop Macy's anywhere. Just plain wrong what they did to that store!


Date: Saturday, March 29, 2014  4:10 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I got to Macy's "Secret Garden" flower show Friday after work. It is definitely a secret, being all the way on the 9th floor and you have to walk through several areas of springtime gift shop items (t-shirts, soaps and candles, gardening books, etc.), special drawings, and works by a chalk artist before you finally arrive at the exhibit area. The exhibit did appear well done and generally tasteful. (Though I did not like one display showing blue mannequin legs sticking upside down in a pond with flowers on the feet.) A wide variety of foliage nicely filled a rather small space, and most of it still looked fresh after being up a week. The flowers seemed better cared for than when the exhibit sprawled down the main floor aisles. However, I still remember and miss the Marshall Field's flower show that was like an explosion of spring on the main floor and never seemed to wilt.

Happy Spring to Field's Fans!


Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014  6:56 pm CT
Posted by: JasonM

Chicago's unique language. Look at #13 :) Miss it so much.
22 Words That Have A Completely Different Meaning In Chicago
http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinchirico/words-that-have-a-completely-different-meaning-in-chicago

Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014  10:26 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

The second season of Mr. Selfridge starts this Sunday. Not crazy about the melodrama, but love seeing a building that looks and feels like Marshall Field's.


Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014  1:42 pm CT
Posted by: Anne Kraus

Sarah Jessica Parker is introducing a new line of shoes. The "Sex and the City" star's shoes will be at Nordstrom--not Macy's. Guess that says a lot about the New York based retailer.

Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014  1:42 pm CT
Posted by: A PBS watcher

Harry Gordon Selfridge's Chicago connection and Marshall Field's recently came up on "Ask Geoffrey" on PBS "Chicago Tonight."

According to PBS expert Geoffrey Baer, Selfridge began as a stockboy at Field's Leiter & Co. After 25 years he worked his way to junior partner and was given an interest in the store. Selfridge is cedited with well-known Field's innovations such as the exceptional customer service, uncluttered displays and tempting bargains. He was also behind the tea service that developed into the Walnut Room. In 1904 Selfridge left Field's and sold his interest, and purchased the Louis Sullivan building at State and Madison. After 8 weeks he sold his interest in the building to Otto Young. A cartoon shows Selfridige reputed for "carved up" the Schlesinger and Meyer department store and serving it to Carson's.

Selfridge moved to England with the money from the sale. He then hired architecht Daniel Burnham to design his London store that looks very much like Marshall Fields.

The PBS drama "Mr. Selfridge" which begins a second season March 30 is sparking interest in Harry Gordon Selfridge, which of course includes Marshall Field's.

A link to the "Ask Geoffrey" interview is:

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2014/03/19/ask-geoffrey-319

Date: Friday, March 21, 2014  1:23 pm CT
Posted by: Fields Fan

All stockholders of record as of the close of today are eligible to attend the annual meeting. It is expected to be Friday, May 16, 2014.

Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014  7:18 pm CT
Posted by: R.K.

We miss Marshall Field and Company. It was always a reason that we came to Chicago. I wish that they would bring it back.


Date: Monday, March 17, 2014  8:28 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

FieldsFansChicago.org was again out for Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Columbus Drive through Grant Park. The parade was more packed than ever and moving around was hard. Nevertheless, over 200 bookmark flyers were distributed to enthusiastic Field's supporters and boosters in the short period of about 20 minutes. Below are a few photos.

As always, Chicago STILL wants its Marshall Field's!


Date: Saturday, March 15, 2014  1:44 pm CT
Posted by: gle

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY TO FIELD'S FANS!


Date: Friday, March 14, 2014  2:26 pm CT
Posted by: John M.

Add me to the Field's supporters' list.

Macy's TRIED to win me with THEIR shirts...but it's Marshall Field's Field Gear/Big Shirt that was PERFECT.

Macy's wouldn't even let me know where they were made. I'd have bought a truckload!!


Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014  12:29 pm CT
Posted by: Gail

Sure appears Frangos are the big bait to get people in the door at Macy's that we're once Field's. With the right coupon and all, you could get Frangos for about $8.75 a box. I like value, but not from Macy's. Field's never had to bait people to shop there.

Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014  8:57 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Along with the TV commercials screaming sale prices on various merchandise and the avalanche of coupons and WOW passes, macy*mart says to me that it is further transitioning to a discount store model.

Date: Friday, March 7, 2014  7:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Old Orchard has discontinued the Marketplace food service on the lower level. The candy counter and Frango area remains. There's an outpost of Frontera on the first floor adjacent to the southeast entrance off "The Cube."

Remember when Field's was all about food? A sad loss, I can't help but think Oak Brook will be next to lose their food service.

Slowly but surely Macy's is making the former Field's stores more and more conventional. A real loss to all in the long run, even Macy's.


Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014  7:03 pm CT
Posted by: M.Dresden

I saw something about Macy's "Week of Wonderful". As Field's, the store was wonderful all the time, year-round, year after year, decade after decade.

Those fools at Macy's don't recognize a good thing when they have it.


Date: Monday, March 3, 2014  9:40 pm CT
Posted by: A.S.

While in the corporate world, I traveled to Chicago often, and always tried to fit in a visit to Marshall Field & Co. Whenever I could, it was always a treat. Macy's is nothing special. I don't bother to stop there when I come to Chicago. Marshall Field's is missed.

Date: Friday, February 28, 2014  1:10 am CT
Posted by: drew

Another Pittsburgh tradition has been eliminated by macy*mart:
http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/27/Macy-s-exits-as-lead-sponsor-of-Pittsburgh-s-holiday-parade/stories/201402270254
Interesting how macy*mart takes credit for sponsoring the holiday parade for 32 years. Kaufmann's sponsored the popular "Celebrate the Season" parade through downtown Pittsburgh for many years prior to macy*fication.

So many traditions and services that made the regional department stores special have been discontinued since the takeover; I suspect additional promises to maintain local favorites will be broken. Someone posted that macy*mart shuttered restaurants in former Marshall Field's locations. How many flower shows and other attractions will soon be eliminated in various communities? Downsized stores with downmarket merchandise selections. Constant coupon promotions and obnoxious TV ads screaming lowest prices of the season at the weekly One Day Sale. Ron Johnson almost destroyed JCPenney with his untested schemes. Terry Lundgren HAS ruined the joy and excitement of shopping by reducing favorite department stores to nondescript,uninspired discount emporiums that can be found Anywhere USA.


Date: Monday, February 24, 2014  9:13 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Strategic Marks, LLC and Macy's did not come to any agreement on settlement so they are proceeding to trial. If they win, which is very likely, Macy's will be hit with not only losing the trademarks they let expire, but possible punitive damages for wrongly selling the lunch totes on their websites with logos that were clearly not theirs. This could be a way for the regional stores to be brought back. Is Strategic Marks the white knight we have been hoping for? Time will tell.

Date: Monday, February 24, 2014  6:28 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's, Inc. will have its Q4 and end of fiscal calendar year talk TOMORROW MORNING, February 25th at 9:30 A.M. Chicago time.

As someone else posted, here's the link--you may want to go their earlier to make sure your computer is properly equipped.

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&p=irol-calendar

Date: Sunday, February 23, 2014  2:16 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I did go through the M-store Friday evening after work. Nothing new to say. Everything seemed very laid-back and transitional like a house that is not tidied up for company. The windows at State and Randolph had "pardon our appearance" curtains, while the State and Washington side still showed "Go Red for Women" displays. In-between windows along State showed flimsy evening gowns that seemed very inappropriate for the weather. Up on "7," the archives room did have two hardcopies and a large stack of author Gayle Soucek's book, "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago" on its book table. They also had hard and softcover Field's books in the lower level book shop. The usual number of people ambled through the store like they were looking for bargains--no crowds. That's about it for an eyewitness account on State Street during evening rush hour on Friday February 21.

Date: Friday, February 21, 2014  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Mariano's has become such a prototype of how a Marshall Field's could come back. For those unaware, Dominick's was a very popular local grocery store chain that was doing extremely well in the 1990s. California's Safeway purchased it, let go all the local management and, after 14 years, Dominick's folded. Long time followers of the Dominick's story know that it really should have been sold to the former management led by Bob Mariano back in 2002 or 2003. Flash ahead, Dominick's has folded but is resurrected as Mariano's -- and it's slaying Chicago's grocery competition. If you have been to one, you know that it really reincarnates the spirit of what Dominick's was at its peak in the late 1990s, but updated for 2014. While in this case, the name is stuck with Safeway, you go into the re-converted Park Ridge store that opened a couple of days ago and you realize that stores can come back after a hiatus. This store isn't even fully re-converted and already it's packed with customers and a amazing buzz. And this particular store's light show on the facade transcends a remarkable grocery store comeback to be something that Marshall Field's would be proud to host.

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014  3:47 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

This is last minute, but author Gayle Soucek will discuss her books on Marhsll Field's and Carson's this evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the book store in Lincoln Square, 4736 N Lincoln Avenue, just southwest of Lawrence and Western and adjacent to the Western Avenue Brown Line station. People still turn out in droves to hear and talk about Marshall Field's, particular as presented by Ms. Soucek's wonderful book.

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014  12:29 am CT
Posted by: Robert Mau

Any conjecture regarding what will happen once Lundgren retires? Do you think a new CEO will be amenable to the idea of reviving local brands? Ideally, Macy's would sell the Marshall Field's name and State Street location to some investor who I'm sure would gladly buy it. I'm assuming Macy's believes they have "won" and Chicago has moved-on after losing Field's.

Date: Monday, February 17, 2014  9:51 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Macy's, Inc. will have its Q4 and end of fiscal calendar year talk on Tuesday, February 25th at 9:30 A.M. Chicago time.

Here's the link:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&p=irol-calendar

Date: Sunday, February 16, 2014  10:11 am CT
Posted by: Mary S.

Here's a story about how some grocery stores in California's Bay Area were restored to the Lucky brand after Alberston's abandoned the name several years earlier. The employees and customers alike are all excited. If this is what happens with a discount grocer, just think how excited everyone would be if Marshall Field's returned to State Street:
http://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/lucky-name-bay-area-stores

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014  2:10 pm CT
Posted by: drew

The "magic" continues as macy*mart makes more jobs disappear:
http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5576713-74/macy-store-pittsburgh#axzz2t8fRJqro
So wasn't Lunkhead being praised for his innovative "localization" program several months ago? Why do so many workers have to be dismissed to "maintain profitability" if they had such an "outstanding" holiday season? I don't know about stores in other regions, but Pittsburgh area macy*mart outlets seem to be downsizing merchandise assortments as selling floor footprints noticeably shrink.

On the positive side, they seem to be maintaining their stores in this area better. The floors are clean, displays are neat (though uninspired)and more name brands are being stocked. The stores are "okay"--nothing special, certainly not a destination of any sort.


Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014  7:38 am CT
Posted by: Tammy A.

I recently acquired a typewriter desk that was formerly property of Marshall Fields corporation, and to my dismay it will not fit through my office door! I am listing it for sale. I know that the desk was property of Marshall Fields corporation because there is a metal asset/inventory tag applied to one of the drawers. I do not know exactly how old it is but my guess is 1940's. It is a really cool old desk and it kills me to have to sell it. Please contact me at rubysliperz at att.net if you are interested in purchasing.

Tammyt A.


Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014  5:31 pm CT
Posted by: Arnold

Was in Old Orchard earlier this evening. Two things: 1. They have closed the Market Place foods in the basement. You always thought of Marshall Field's as a special place for food. Not really Macy's. 2. They've stooped to being so promotional that I could have bought a 1 lb. box of Frangos for $8.50 with the right promo. Field's never neededto do that to get people in the store. It is a charade that MAcy's is a success in Former Marshall Field's Stores.


Date: Saturday, February 8, 2014  8:28 pm CT
Posted by: S.L.

Macy's has closed Marshall Field's Marketplace in the basement of Old Orchard. There is a sign thanking customers for past patronage. Candy will stay. The food service counter and the seating are closed off. The remaining gourmet food is priced at a discount. Customers are also asked to visit the Frontera Grill on the first floor. Sadly, they keep whittling away at Marshall Field's.


Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2014  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: V.Rawlings

Good to see this still going. Macy's has this "week of wonderful" nonsense after Christmas. Basically they try to extend Christmas season shopping into January. With Field's it was Christmas year round. BRING IT BACK! bring back the LOVE that was Marshall Field's!!!!!


Date: Monday, February 3, 2014  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Some of you asked about the annual Macy's, Inc. stockholders meeting. It is typically held the third Friday in May at 11:00 am, EDT (an hour ahead of Chicago time). Typically anyone who is a stockholder of record by the end of the day on the third Friday of the preceding March (two months prior to the meeting) is eligible to attend. There is a Q & A session upon the completion of the shareholders meeting.

Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014  6:32 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I just thought of this. By definition, memories stay with you. A store's best merchandising tool is not the merely the merch, but the memory the customer leaves with. Field's memories (now) are like iron filings longing for the Magnet.

Well, Red Star?


Date: Friday, January 31, 2014  8:26 pm CT
Posted by: Rich

GREAT POST SusanNY

I Agree with you COMPLETELY -- That first floor was intoxicating and thrilling -- made you want to stay ALL DAY AND explore every inch of that store to not miss Anything!! It was the beautiful grand invitation to unknown and unexpected discoveries--- and almost always -THAT HAPPENED! A TRUE complete integration of visual excitement matched with unbelievable merchandise to give you one excitement after another --unending -- and in ALL departments. AND with Superb expert interested helpful knowledgable staff!

THERE IS NO PLACE like Marshall Field's


Date: Thursday, January 30, 2014  11:37 pm CT
Posted by: PJ., Bay Area, Calif.

Chicago is our hometown. Field's is our favorite store. Please keep up the fabulous job you guys are doing!

Date: Thursday, January 30, 2014  7:08 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I gotta say- regarding bolts of nostalgia -- my nostalgia goes back to the day of the mahogany counters on the first floor. Never mind what they did-that was good-upstairs, but the first floor was the Thriller. Instead of being confronted with a jumble of commonly encountered, if pricey, miscellany upon entering, it was a grand marble concourse of jewel cases that pulled you through in spite of yourself, taking in every goody to left and right, pausing to focus on whatever, or purchase, or plan. Maybe you never made it up the escalator.

There was such an aura of exaltation to that, a grand, unique, statement of scope and richness that could be comprehended the minute you stepped through the door. Since there were usually good numbers of people all over, it added a sense of happy bees in the hive. Ahh, perfect shopping mood generated! 'Modern' methods may be appealing and enticing in their own ways, but the drama is gone. And one must admit, Field's architectural provision on the first floor demands/deserves drama all the way.

In short, that unified and concentrated presentation, while now deemed old-fashioned, was neither thoughtless nor ineffective. Got MY shopping blood racing! It may sound silly but I still have exact, fond memories of things I purchased on the first floor, from Jensen to Cadbury (early days!). So one was not just buying stuff. Let the psych people figure it out. I can recall the pleasure like a perfume.


Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014  8:31 pm CT
Posted by: Rich

I recently ate lunch at a Panera and across the street is Kohl's. I rarely go to Kohl's-- just not my habit- it is ok and I know many many LOVE it. What was SO interesting to me when I glanced over to it was over the front entrance in the windows above the doors, there were big letters that spelled out the word "REWARDS", AND they were in a middle shade of GREEN! Just for a moment I was taken back to the Field mailings that one would receive as a "Rewards" member. I remember the letters, and notifications, and That brought back a flood of memories of the rewards program as well as too many to count memories of Field's itself. Seeing those big green letters took me on a wonderful momentary magical time trip to the 90's and early 2000's and in those moments Marshall Field's, and ALL the things that made it SO special and unique were alive, at least in my mind, for those wonderful few moments.

Like the commercials used to say-- "There's No Place like Field's !"


Date: Monday, January 27, 2014  6:54 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune had a front page piece about the future of Chicago. This edition of the Sunday Chicago Tribune had the Marshall Field's Clock on the masthead. Then there was a story about what Chicago needed to do to retain its status as an international city. I wrote the following in support of Marshall Field's. If you agree with my comments, I hope you will click "like" in the Facebook comments section that follows.
There's a multitude of things that contribute to Chicago keeping its status as international city--yes, KEEPING --because it benefits all, rich and poor by creating jobs. We don't have to have or do them all, but what we do, we have to do well, and most of all promote our "firsts." For one, Chicago is the cradle of 20th Century Architecture. Chicago needs to evolve and promote CHICAGO's current rich and innovative architectural talent at the local, national and international level in the 21st Century.

Also, when I saw the print edition of this story on the front page of the Tribune, there very appropriately was a Marshall FIeld's clock on the masthead. Every international city has an emporium of international repute to showcase a city's wares, cuisine, fashion and interior design. But Marshall Field's was the emporium that served as the model for all others--London's modern Harrod's and Selfrdiges; Paris Bon Marche; Berlin's KaDeWe, even NYC's Macy's, Bloomingdale's and modern Lord and Taylor and many others. We need Marshall Field's back -- not an outpost of an mid-tier NYC store. It's not about buying "stuff"--it's about showcasing to the world the best artisans, designers and wares Chicago has to offer under a Chicago name.

HOW DOES CHICAGO STACK UP?
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-global-city-chicago-nw-20140126,0,1679812.story

Date: Sunday, January 26, 2014  2:11 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Now that Sears plans to close its State Street store in April, Macy's will have even less competition and more reason to claim they are doing well if their sales go up a few points simply because shoppers now have almost no other option. I am sad to see State Street become less and less. I really have no reason to go there after Sears' liquidation sale except the library, and can even do that in my neighborhood. I hope some sensible entity can realize the potential of a market for a revitalization of State Street. Mariano's is booming because customers value the quality and service it offers. PBS "Chicago Tonight" interviewed Bob Mariano about a month ago, and his attitude toward the importance of customer service was overwhelming. I wish someone like that could set their sights on State Street.

Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014  1:24 pm CT
Posted by: Steve

Womens Wear Daily story that Macy's is remodeling downtown stores starting with Brooklyn, the former A&S flagship that became Macy's in 1996.
http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/department-stores/macys-renovation-highlights-urban-sites-7392101?src=search_links

Date: Friday, January 24, 2014  8:14 am CT
Posted by: Paul West

Do you remember what the CEO of Macy's said immediately after taking over?  He said that Macy's will "bring quality to Chicago".

Insulting.


Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014  6:19 pm CT
Posted by: S.I.

I wear my Field's button proudly!


Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014  9:52 pm CT
Posted by: Terrence, Columbus, Ohio

Though I live in Ohio now, when I lived in Chicago MF was my go to establishment.

Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014  9:31 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Some of you might already know but Strategic Marks has acquired a total of 21 of the old department store trademarks you remember and discuss here. You might also know they are in the middle of a Federal court battle with Macy's over the marks. Just to update you here, they have a court-ordered settlement meeting with Macy's on February 6th in SF Federal Court. While the judge has asked for this conference, they don't believe anything will come out of it. They are going into the trial with a very strong case against Macy's and feel 100% confidence they will win not only the case, but also their counter claim against them for use of their trademarks on their website without their permission. They have some of the top people in retail watching this case and as some put it, "This will be a game-changer for retail." Below is the list of stores in-question:

-- May Company

-- Robinson's

-- The Broadway

-- Bullockís

-- Joseph Magnin

-- Jordan Marsh

-- Filene's

-- The Bon Marche

-- Abraham and Straus

-- Burdine's

-- Riche's

-- Foley's

-- Marshall Field's

-- Goldsmith's

-- Hecht's

-- I. Magnin & Company

-- Kaufmann's

-- Lazarus

-- Meier & Frank

-- Stern's

-- Strawbridge's


Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2014  10:12 am CT
Posted by: drew

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/18/macys-americas-omnichannel-store.aspx
I wonder if the author has a connection to Macy's.

The praise for Terry's innovations and accomplishments is nauseating. Perhaps he HAS made Herald Square a destination, but most other Red Star outlets are nothing special. Omnichannel marketing---weren't Sears and JCPenney doing that with brick-and-mortar stores and catalogs? Had they not been mismanaged and embraced technology, those stores would have been the leaders in omnichannel distribution today. Restaurants--didn't most major flagship stores offer various dining options for many years?

So what has Terry done that is so praiseworthy? One showplace store does not make the many nondescript, bland stores with the same nameplate "magic" shopping experiences.




There was a technical problem that prohibited posting to this blog from Sunday, January 12 through Monday, January 20, 2014. Thank you for your patience.


Date: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 2013  8:28 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

In followup to a post from last week, Linda Piepho is no longer with Macy's. Since September, she has headed up Neiman Marcus at Oak Brook Center. I'm sure you'll take the "Field's high road" and join me in wishing her the best.
http://hinsdalelivingmagazine.com/index.php/inside-hl/hl-people/866-new-energy-and-spirit
It's not appropriate to speculate on private personal circumstance this, but it is curious that Ms. Piepho arrived seven years ago at State Street with much publicity and attention. As I pointed out the other day, you rarely hear about those who run State Street or local Macy's management.

Date: Friday, January 10, 2014, 2014  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

An observation this past Christmas: the Christopher Radko annual Great Clock ornaments are still green. The strange silver blue clocks that various posters have commented on are Macy's own knock offs of the clock ornament under their Holiday Lane brand. I have no clue why the knock offs were that color, but even under Field's, the annual clock ornament varied in different shades of green from year to year. This year I noticed they also offered a Frango box ornament as well.

Date: Friday, January 10, 2014, 2014  12:16 am CT
Posted by: mikea

The past weeks utter contempt for their employees/associates exhibits that Macy's will not bring back Field's to Chicago. When they continue to make large profits and had a relatively good Christmas season. They still let go over 2,500 associates. Why would Macy's spend the extra amount of money to start up a new division when they continue to cost cut? Bloomingdales's too will share in the cuts.

The store closings except for the one in Utah were mainly stores that were either in dead malls or malls going downhill fast. However it is a very sad state of business when Wall Street applauds such a decision and Macy's stock rose when they decide to let people go just to satisfy wall street investors. What a windfall to those who bought the stock years ago at $9.00 a share that now trades for over $53.00 a share.

I wonder what more cost cutting they can do in the stores to lower customer service? They did not say what positions that would eliminate. They resorted to very heavy discounting in the last quarter of the year which was a windfall for the customers, but in turn costs good hard working associate s their positions. They have also resorted to taking back merchandise even after 180 days with a receipt, almost to the way Field's used to take back items when the store was Marshall Field & Company. Most likely it will be the senior long standing associates that will loose their jobs, since they are the ones that cost the company the most, with the execption of the top executives.


Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014, 2013  8:39 pm CT
Posted by: Alex

Good points in Jim's post. I sure refuse to shop at Macy's or Bloomingdale's because of shabby treatment of Marshall Field's. "Anti-Flagship" it is.


Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014, 2013  7:47 am CT
Posted by: Jim

CNN Money story talks about how Macy's has responded to the successful holiday season by laying off 2,500. It's interesting to note how the comments go to how it was a mistake to get rid of Marshall Field's.
http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/08/news/companies/macys-job-cuts/

Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 2013  7:14 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's announced five store closings today, as well as the layoff of 2,500 Macy's employees. Macy's operates about 840 stores so this about 1/2 of a percent of their total store count and not unusual for a chain of its size. None of the stores were former Field's, Dayton's or Hudson's locations. (Please remember that when Macy's talks about Field's and how it was doing, they talk about 62 stores of which over 40 were not Marshall Field's until a rebranding three years before.)

It seems that the only local impact is that Macy's will combine Macy's North Division (largely former Marshall Field's, Dayton's, Hudson's and Famous Barr stores) with Macy's Midwest Division stretching from Indiana, through Ohio, Kentucky, western Pennsylvania, and western upstate New York. Soft home goods won't need as many local buyers, etc. So far, it all doesn't seem to impact one way or another Field's coming back.

So what's fascinating is the response to the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times articles on this. People are using this as a reason to protest again how much they want Marshall Field's instead of Macy's!!! We talk here about the "good will" that was the value of Field's trade names. But clearly the sentiments expressed against Macy's after these stories show how much "bad will" -- indeed negative value" Macy's continues to generate by not restoring Marshall Field's at least to State Street and Chicagoland. Flagships might lose some money, but that money is made up by the good will sales that flagship generates at suburban stores. A term I've coined before is "anti-flagship." Terry Lundgren and Macy's have essentially created an anti-flagship store by not running State Street as Marshall Field's. People probably would be OK with a local Macy's if it weren't for the fact it used to be Marshall Field's and, moreover, they still have ill feelings because of what happened to State Street.

A couple of stories can be found at these links--please check out and use the "comments" section:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-macys-layoffs-store-closings-20140108,0,5431493.story

http://www.suntimes.com/24840014-761/macys-to-lay-off-2500-workers-close-stores-in-restructuring.html

BTW: It's been ages since I've heard anything in the media from Mike Dervos, Linda Piepho and Ralph Hughes. What happened to them?

Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 2013  8:52 am CT
Posted by: Bill

We'd shop Marshall Field's in a minute if it were to come back. We boycott Macy's!!!!


Date: Monday, January 6, 2014, 2013  7:12 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Regarding the petition referenced by Mike S., there was a petition at KeepItFields.org from June of 2005 to July 1, 2006 that amassed over 60,000 signatures. Keep in mind that at that time, Facebook was but a startup open only to college students and faculty, Twitter didn't exist, and social media and the internet was yet to grow exponentially to what it has become today. The operator, Nick Potts of Minnesota, shut it down on July 1, 2006 around the same day as when Fields.com became Macys.com, but over two months BEFORE Field's officially became Macy's. I'm sure if that petition was not shut down before the climax two months later, it would have garnered tens, if not hundreds, of thousands more signatures. 60K in 2005-06 would be like 6 million today.

I hope people sign the survey; yet many complications prevent this from accurately reflecting how much people world-wide really do want Marshall Field's to return to State Street and more.


Date: Sunday, January 5, 2014, 2013  2:20 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Many of you may not know but Strategic Marks, LLC. is being sued by Macy's for purchasing expired trademarks of the former regional stores that they let expire years ago. They plan on eventually bringing the stores back to their respective markets. Macy's promptly started selling lunch and shopping totes with the old brand names on them from their website once the suit was filed to claim they were using the trademarks for business. Fields is one of them. It is anticipated Macy's will lose this case due to the expiration of the trademarks and lack of use for years in commerce. The trial is set for January in California. If Macy's loses, Strategic Marks will likely be rewarded significant punitive damages. The trademarks involved with the current suit are The Broadway, Bullock's/Bullocks Wilshire, Jordan Marsh, The Bone Marche, Abraham & Straus, Joseph Magnin, Filene's, Robinson's and May Company. Others that may be picked up are Foley's, Marshall Fields, Rich's, Burdines and Lazarus. Keep an eye out for the outcome of the suit. This may be the white knight we have been waiting for.

Date: Saturday, January 4, 2014, 2013  9:31 pm CT
Posted by: Mike S.

Pass this along to everyone you know. This is a petition posted to bring ba k Field's. Sign it asap and tell others to sign it.
http://www.petitiononline.com/smf2005/petition.html

Date: Saturday, January 4, 2014, 2013  7:00 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Re Gayle's comment on the value of an implicit guarantee of the store name: For sure!

Today's malls may offer an experience sort of like shopping a wide range of goods at Field's--but there is no sense of an overriding 'vetted' assurance of quality throughout, or dare I say, a consistent personality or presence. That latter part may sound precious, but I think it was a subliminal, powerful aspect of being in Field's. Wherever you roamed in the place, whatever you looked at, it was all part of a larger picture, a great one, that you became part of for a while. You could even take some home. I still have bits scattered around me right here! MMM good!

Is shopping so important that we should care like this? Maybe not, but once you have had the experience it is hard to imagine a reason for it to be trashed........ in this case the store was greater than the sum of its sections and it felt good to be there.


Date: Friday, January 3, 2014, 2013  8:18 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Two things:

* Look for Macy's to announce store closings as they do annually at this time every year, probably this coming week. As long as it's less than say 40 stores total (5% of their stores) and not a "special" store (in the vein of last year's closings at St. Paul, St. Louis, Houston, Honolulu, etc. or a Bloomingdale's), this is typical of a healthy retailer of its size.

I have no inside info, but if there are Chicagoland locations considered for closing, I'd put Louis Joliet and River Oaks on that list. Also, while technically a Field's for three years before the acquisition by Macy's, I think the former Hudson's at Northland Mall in Southfield, MI would be on a list for closing consideration as well. When I've visited those stores, they appear as if they have pretty low traffic, badly need updating and have other locations not too far away. But in the bigger picture, even busy stores can be losing money and close. Look at how Eddie Bauer on the Mag Mile is rumored to be closing. Other times, badly performing stores have to stay open to honor leaseholds.

* Macy's has settled its legal issues with Martha Stewart, but Macy's is still pursuing its case against JCPenney. You rarely used to hear about JCPenney being Field's arch-rival. JCPenney is so frequently written about in the media as Macy's arch-rival. Sure says to me that Macy's is not the same as Field's.


Date: Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 2013  8:18 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

You just can't get away from it.

I was out for New Year's Eve dinner when I overheard, "With Marshall Field's now as Macy's, there's no reason to go there. We have Macy's in Tennessee."

Everyone wants Marshall Field's to return.

Happy New Year!


Date: Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Happy New Year!


Date: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 2013  12:51 am CT
Posted by: drew

Business analyst Brian Sozzi says Terry may announce his successor in 2014. We can only hope Terry is indeed on his way out, and the board of directors will select a forward thinking CEO who will appreciate the value of discarded iconic department stores nameplates to shareholders as well as shoppers.
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/5-retail-surprises-to-watch-for-in-2014-163809410.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CfjZ8JSdw8AuFaTmYlQ

Date: Monday, December 30, 2013, 2013  5:04 pm CT
Posted by: drew

A friend and I visited the downtown Pittsburgh macy*mart store yesterday afternoon, primarily because he wanted to see the Christmas windows. The windows were basically the same as last year. The "Great Clock" which has been a Pittsburgh landmark for over 100 years (not the Kaufmann's clock), ice skating at PPG Place, the my*macy's holiday parade which has been a tradition for 37 years (it was Kaufmann's Celebrate the Season parade--not just another advertising venue), the big mailbox for the letters to Santa, a vintage TV showing "Miracle on 34th Street. Each window had only one animated character; for instance, the PPG window featured a solo ice skater. My friend said he was totally "underwhelmed" by the windows and felt that it wouldn't be worth the time to bring his young son downtown for this. I will say the merchandise display windows along Fifth and Forbes avenues were okay; the presentations were actually decent. The bronze Kaufmann's plaques along the buildings were green; the newer macy*s plaques were also sadly in need of cleaning.

The store was neat and clean but didn't offer much of a merchandise selection. The store was downsized to six floors, but there were areas of the remaining sales floors closed off. In some places, merchandise displays were spread to fill up space. The fifth floor furniture clearance area was pretty much empty. They could easily close another floor since merchandise assortments continue to dwindle. In the mezzanine level between the young mens and mens departments, they did add a very nice section featuring Pittsburgh sports merchandise.

We ate at the popular Tic Toc restaurant which was also neat and clean. The menu has been downsized, like the store has been. The food was very good and the prices reasonable. macy*mart maintained some of the "clock" memorabilia and vintage photographs. The restaurant was painted fairly recently.

I must say overall the store is okay, nothing special, certainly not a destination. The carpeting is badly worn and stained, floor tiles are chipped and worn, fixtures are dated. It's obvious nothing has been invested in the building.


Date: Monday, December 30, 2013, 2013  1:30 am CT
Posted by: Jack

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this site is still up and running, and from what I can tell, thriving. I'm from Columbus, Ohio, formerly home to two Field's stores (one of which has been demolished along with the mall attached to it. The other remains open as part of a mall that actually has TWO Macy's now, thanks to the takeover of Columbus's beloved Lazarus), and I remember visiting the State Street store on trips to Chicago when I was younger. It's a beautiful building and a unique label that unfortunately seems to be lost to history, just like so many others that were "Macy-ated". I'm happy to see that there are still people besides myself who don't like that red star all over everything.

Date: Sunday, December 29, 2013, 2013  4:03 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I am enjoying "Carson's, the History of a Chicago Shopping Landmark" by author Gayle Soucek of "Marshall Field's, the Store that Helped Build Chicago" fame. This narrative includes many Field's facts, and compares and contrasts ways the two stores interacted with each other and with early Chicago. It also provides a multiplicity of information about the evolution of the city. A forward by Ward Miller details complex architectural features of both stores.

On Christmas Eve I noticed a big stack of "Carson's" at Barbara's Bookstore on the lower level of the State Street store in front of the register. Copies of the paperback edition of "Field's" were also displayed. AND, the hardcover edition of "Field's" has finally made its way to the State Street store on the Christmas book table in the 7th floor archives room. (Last summer a sales associate had told me, "Why would anyone want the hardcover edition when the paperback is cheaper?") Both hardcover and paperback can now be found on the 7th floor archives room.


Date: Sunday, December 29, 2013, 2013  1:58 pm CT
Posted by: M., Ohio

Hello I live in Ohio and I have relatives all over Chicago and when I lived there I loved going to Marshall Field's. There is and never will be a store like that one. It was always the best and I'm like all of you. I want to see it back. That is what Chicago is all about, greatness!! Thank you

Date: Saturday, December 28, 2013, 2013  12:10 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Macy's may say Field's is entirely about distant nostalgia, but I disagree. Nevertheless, consider that many retailers do up to 40% of their business in the two months surrounding Christmas. Christmas is one of the most nostalgic holidays there is. That includes the original "Miracle on 34th Street" movie.

Sounds to me like Macy's deals hugely in the nostalgia business. They'd do well to go back to Marshall Field's even if it was nostalgic. Clearly that's where 40% of their business comes from.


Date: Friday, December 27, 2013, 2013  6:43 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Even without Field's today, we have our old memories of nicer ones. There's several good books as mentioned in the last Field's Fans newsletter. Another is Robert Ledermann's newest book,"State Street One Brick at a Time" by The History press.

I feel its really interesting in that it goes into the man..Field...himself...his second wife[neighbor lady.and widower] Delia Canton....All within the last year of his life...he courted her,married her, his only son died,and his store was completed, but he himself never saw the finished store...It includes Harry Gordon Selfridge, the stores beginnings, menus, employee's rules, his mansion on Prairie Ave., all the special departments, the doorman Charlie, beautiful never seen pictures of the store, etc.etc.

There's also some other highlights of visiting State street in a happier time with the growth of hotels and shops,movie theatre and of the people behind the glitter of Woolworth, Carsons, the Fair, Montgomery Ward, Goldblatts, Wieboldt's and the Boston store.

Let's hope Field's returns to State Street!


Date: Friday, December 27, 2013, 2013  2:20 pm CT
Posted by: gle

A letter to "Voice of the People" in the December 21, 2013 "Chicago Tribune" poses an interesting dilemma about where to find the "real Santa" now that Marshall Field's is gone. I too remember being told as a kid that Field's Santa was the "real Santa" and those at other stores were his look-a-like helpers.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-12-21/opinion/ct-vp-voice-letters-1221-20131221_1_real-santa-santa-claus-natalie

Date: Thursday, December 26, 2013, 2013  12:33 pm CT
Posted by: Barbet, Miami

I am totally awash in Marshall Field's nostalgia... remembering the delicious hustle-bustle of Christmases past, and the tremendous rôle which our beloved Fields so beautifully played in the joyous holiday spirit!

The fabulous windows, the gorgeous displays, and - most especially - the extraordinary Marshall Field staff contributed to the holiday merriment; it's amazing how many of these exceptional employees I still remember by name!

Fields was much more than a store; it represented a uniquely Chicago spirit and way of life which Macy, sadly, has failed utterly to capture. At Christmas we abandoned our favorite Narcissus Room to sit beside the spectacular Christmas tree in the Walnut Room - our annual treat - only to return to the Narcissus Room to lunch beside the lovely fountain and watch the fish swimming as our favorites, Helen or Grace, served our food with the kind of personal sweetness one might expect if we were guests in their respective homes! Fields became part of our extended family, and I remain deeply grateful for the warmth of the memories.

Thank you - each and every one - for continuing to fight for the return of Marshall Fields. Although I have been living in Florida for many years, I still continue to think of myself as a Chicagoan, and consider Fields to have played an integral part in the treasured memories of my home town!

Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

Kindest holiday regards,

Barbet
Miami, Florida


Date: Wednesday, December 25, 2013, 2013  1:12 pm CT
Posted by: Carol B. K.

Close to turning 84 years of age, it' been a long time since my last trip to sit on Santa's lap just before Christmas. (And he always fulfilled my wishes). I'm still remembering Marshall Field, its tea room, along with Santa, from here in Cambridge Massachusetts.

I'm very concerned for all the little girls and boys in my home town, wondering where in Chicago they find Santa Claus. If only they could see the magic that was Christmas time when I was young visiting Santa at his home at Marshall Field!


Date: Wednesday, December 25, 2013, 2013  12:29 am CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

There's No Place Like
MARSHALL FIELD'S
At Christmas.

Merry Christmas & Peace on Earth to All!*

(Yes, even Terry Lundgen & all at Macy's.)


Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 2013  2:10 pm CT
Posted by: gle

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

TO FIELD'S FANS


Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 2013  9:50 am CT
Posted by: S.D.

Thank you for the newsletter and for the hard work to restore Marshall Fields.

Have you seen Departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com? There is a large section on Fields, including interior directories as well as a lot of information on other department stores in Chicago.

I was in the State St building recently and I was amazed to see Frango's being sold in "commemorative" Marshall Field tins extolling the virtues,history etc of Marshall Fields. Apparently, Macys has no shame and will make a buck any way they can.(And with that rationale-you'd think they'd realize which name has the most value, but the whole battle has turned into an ego thing with Lunkhead.) Any way-Merry Christmas to all.


Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 2013  8:26 am CT
Posted by: Bob G.

Thank you to all for your efforts in restoring the Marshall Field's stores.

How many years has it been, now, since Macy's buried the Marshall Field's stores? Eight? It seems like a lifetime ago. Since the buyout, three generations of my entire family, including  in-laws, and I have not set foot in a Macy's store. Nothing short of returning not just the Field's name, but the service, atmosphere, and balance of quality and affordability, will change that for me or most of the people that I know.

Obviously, Macy's is no Field's. Had Macy's brought some stores to Chicagoland and left the Field's stores alone, I think they would have found that they could do well in competition with Penney's, Carson's, and Sears -- their natural competition. Had they done so, I'd have no qualms with whatever success Macy's might have enjoyed. As it is, though, given their cold disregard for the Marshall Field's tradition held near and dear to the hearts of so many people, I wish they would fail miserably with their Chicagoland stores so that it might precipitate the return of the Marshall Field's shopping experience.

In the end, let's not forget that the most important gifts of Christmas cannot be found in any store, but in the hearts of loved ones -- so, here's wishing all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
Bob


Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 2013  7:56 am CT
Posted by: Mary A. H.

Thank you for continuing the quest!

Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 2013  7:27 am CT
Posted by: Bob, Washington D.C.

Excellent update, thank you. Fascinating numbers on the value of trademarks. One wonders if Lord & Taylor has increased in its post-May Company era. Hope so.

Keep up the good fight -


Date: Monday, December 23, 2013, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

-------------------------------------------------------

       FieldsFansChicago.org
       Newsletter No. 37

       Monday, December 23, 2013

-------------------------------------------------------

       Welcome to the 37th edition of the FieldsFansChicago.org newsletter.  We hope
       the holiday season finds you happy, healthy and blessed with abundance. 

       Please do your part by forwarding this newsletter on to family, friends
       and other interested parties.

-------------------------------------------------------

          In This Newsletter:

       - SPECIAL REGARDS: Our September 2013 Anniversary Events

       - 2013 Share Holders Meeting: Making the Case for Marshall Field's

       - Marshall Field's & Dominick's: More Just Than a Name

       - Company Files Legal Claim to the Marshall Field's Retail Name

       - Our 2013-14 Christmas & Holidays Season Flyer/Leaflet

       - New Books With Marshall Field's Content

       - FieldsFansChicago.org on FACEBOOK & TWITTER

       - YOU CAN HELP:  READ & WRITE FOR OUR BLOG

       - What YOU Have Already Accomplished:
              Thoughts & Thanks at Christmas & the Holiday Season

       - How to Add or Remove Your Email Address From Our List

-------------------------------------------------------


       SPECIAL REGARDS: Our September 2013  Anniversary Events


A very special "thank you" to all who contributed to our annual September events marking seven years since that very sad day when world-renowned Marshall Field's was converted to Macy's.

Words are inadequate to express our appreciation to special guest Amy Meadows, principal of Windows Matter.  Ms. Meadows, was the former Director of Windows and Marketing Events for Marshall Field's and Macy's.   She also teaches at Columbia College Chicago.  Ms. Meadows provided an intimate, sneak peek into the design and execution of the famed Marshall Field's animated windows, Main Aisle decor and the Great Tree.  We are grateful to have had this opportunity to pay tribute to the genius and wonder of the talents of Ms. Meadows and her associates.

The web site for Ms. Meadows' Windows Matter can be found at http://www.windowsmatter.com.

Additionally, we extend immense gratitude for the introductory presentations by Chicago authors Gayle Soucek and Eric Bronsky.  Finally, without the generosity of Zelda, the event would not have happened--thank you.

We volunteer organizers do extend an apology.  Due to some miscommunication at the conclusion of the lecture events, there was confusion about the time for our annual rally.  As such, all two dozen or so of us were unable to meet under the Marshall Field's clock at the same time.  We  promise better information and look forward to meeting under the clock next year.

      ----------------

We look forward to future events in the future  In to the 21st Century, Marshall Field and Company was revered as a world-class emporium and uniquely-Chicago cultural institution.  All of this was possible thanks to the amazingly talented and dedicated geniuses who made sure that "There is no place like Marshall Field's."  In the coming year, we will have more events showcasing  those who are the contemporary Marshall Fields, Harry Selfridges and John Shedds in our midst.  In doing so, we look to celebrate the amazing people of Marshall Field and Company who brought so much sheer joy to millions of us.

-------------------------------------------------------


       2013 Share Holders Meeting: Making the Case for Marshall Field's


For the sixth year in a row, the case was made at Macy's annual share holders meeting for the return of Marshall FIeld's.  The case was presented by James McKay, a co-organizer at FieldsFansChicago.org,  during the "questions and answer" segment that immediately followed the Friday, May 17, 2013 meeting at Macy's, Inc. headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

While official transcripts of the "Q & A" do not seem to be publicly available, the following is a synopsis of the questions and response.  Corrections and clarifications are welcome and will be noted in our blog, in a future newsletter, or both.

McKay first congratulated  Macy's Board of Directors, share holders, and CEO, President and Chairman Terry J. Lundgen on a successful year of profitability and increased share holder value, despite a challenging year for other competitors.   Congratulations were also extended in regards to the great success of Macy's "Omnichannel" and internet strategies.

McKay then asked questions in support of the return of Marshall Fields to State Street.

* In the SEC 10-K filings from early 2005, just before the merger between Federated and May Department Stores, Macy's and Bloomingdale's trade names are listed with a value of $376 million. Marshall Field's trade names are listed with a value of $419 million.  A dozen of May's other trade names, including the likes of Robinson-May, Filene's, Famous Barr and even Lord and Taylor, are listed with a combined value of $162 million.  Even if overvalued, wouldn't restoring  Marshall Field's trade names and way of doing business to the State Street flagship be the highest and best use,  maximizing the value of  share holder assets?

* At a previous year's share holder meeting, Mr. Lundgren declared that the State Street store was profitable and performed well.  McKay asked whether that could largely be due  to the store picking up a substantial number of customers from Carson's which lost its lease.   Couldn't  a similar increase have occurred under Marshall Field's?  Furthermore, wouldn't restoring Marshall Field's to State Street bring back disaffected  Marshall Field's customers, further increasing profits?   (The similar loss of competition from Lord and Taylor suggests the possibility of a similar scenario at the Water Tower Place store.)

* Our annual survey of hundreds of State Street and Michigan Avenue shoppers from each spring during 2009-2012  consistently demonstrated an overwhelming preference for Marshall Field's to return to State Street.  Figures held steady between 78% to 81% in favor of Marshall Field's.  There is much pent up demand for Marshall Field's return to State Street.  Given the success of the past year and the desire of Macy's to try new opportunities, doesn't Macy's have the talent and acumen to seize the great opportunity to give Chicago what it overwhelming wants, Marshall Field's?

Mr. Lundgren expressed appreciation for the respectful manner in which the questions were presented, but declined to offer a response to the questions.

-------------------------------------------------------


       Marshall Field's & Dominick's: More Just Than a Name


The end of Chicagoland's Dominick's grocery store chain has brought up some useful precedences, comparisons and contrasts relevant to our quest for the return of Marshall Field's in name, ethos and style of service and quality.

Dominick's was a much loved, favorite grocery store in Chicago for the past 85 years, but, unlike Field's, it was not a world-renowned institution that defined Chicago.  Marshall Field's was and is still known world-wide as Chicago at its best in fashion, design, cuisine and culture, the store that helped build Chicago.

More than a few in the media refer to the switch from Marshall Field's to Macy's simply as a "name change" suggesting that we and the rest of Chicago simply want the Marshall Field's name back. There's much more to it than that.  Safeway demonstrated that just keeping a name and changing everything else simply does not work.

In the case of the Dominick's, the name and many of the store locations stayed the same, but in most every other way, the stores became Safeway instead.  Marshall Field's locations became named Macy's and we think that these stores have also largely become Macy's inside.  Despite Macy's claims of just a name change, internally they refer to the conversion as "Macyization."   Dominick's becoming Safeway in every way but name is a precedence that supports how just changing the sign back to Marshall Field's and having dark green shopping bags is far from the same as bringing back Marshall Field's.  We stand by the belief that the switch from Marshall Field's to Macy's was more than just a name change.  Chicago wants more than just a Marshall Field's sign on a Macy's store.

The rise of the Mariano's chain further supports that the way a store is run is just as important, if not more, than what it is called.  Mariano's is a chain recently started by former Dominick's management from its pre-Safeway days.  Effectively Mariano's is a return in every way but name to the Dominck's that Chicagoland loved, but updated to 2013.  Mariano's is wildly successful and was a major factor in the folding of Dominick's.  Some of the most successful Mariano's are in former Dominick's locations that failed.  While customers are sadly nostalgic about Dominick's closing, there's unprecedented buzz and hopefulness that their closing Dominick's will become a Mariano's.

Topping all of this off, the Sunday Chicago Tribune of December 22, 2013 had a headline story on the major role of activist share holders forcing Safeway to close Dominick's after the retirement of Safeway's long-time CEO who stubbornly refused to sell Dominick's to those who subsequently started Mariano's.  [ The Chicago Tribune story can be viewed at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-1222-confidential-dominicks-2-20131222,0,5385403,full.story]

Marshall Field's and Macy's are indeed different than Dominick's, Safeway and Mariano's.  Theoretically, certain activist share holders could force Macy's to bring back Marshall Field's as a means of unlocking and maximizing value.  At the same time, the reality is that another type of activist share holder could instead make it even more difficult for Marshall Field's to return.

With that in mind, we know our efforts contribute to the chances that Marshall Field's will come back.  Our efforts continue to demonstrate the immense and substantial value that lies in all that is Marshall Field's.  That value needs to be unlocked and restored as Marshall Field's on State Street and elsewhere as appropriate.

-------------------------------------------------------


       Company Files Legal Claim to the Marshall Field's Retail Name


We have become aware of a company that is claiming the legal rights to some of the historic department store names that were once used by Macy's on its stores.  About three years ago, California-based Strategic Marks, L.L.C. filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office for rights to store names such as Abraham and Straus, Jordan Marsh and Robinson-May.  Strategic Marks holds that Macy's has not operated stores with these names in many years. 

Macy's has taken legal against Strategic Marks from reactivating and using the names for their retail outlets.  After three years of delays,  Strategic Marks and Macy's will likely be in court in 2014. 

We understand that the name "Marshall Field's" is not part of this particular case.  However, last Spring, Strategic Marks filed for rights to "Marshall Field's" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, declaring that Macy's has not operated a department store as Marshall Field's in years.

FieldsFansChicago.org is not connected or related to Strategic Marks.


-------------------------------------------------------


       Our 2013-14 Christmas & Holidays Season Flyer/Leaflet


Please see http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/ffc112613leaflet.pdf for the complete Adobe Acrobat PDF of our 2013-14 Christmas and Holiday Season flyer/leaflet.  Instructions for print and distributing your own can be found at http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/leaflets.html.

As the distribution of  flyers/leaflets surpasses 167,000, we thank all of those who have made it possible, especially, Mike, John, Doris, Zelda, Alfred,  and, as always, "gle".   The vast majority of these flyers have been distributed under the great Marshall Field's clock at State and Washington where the reception has been overwhelmingly positive over the past eight years.

-------------------------------------------------------


       New Books With Marshall Field's Content

We would  like to bring to your attention to a couple of recently released books that in one manner or another connect with our quest for a restore Marshall Field's on State Street.

Carson's: The History of Chicago Shopping Landmark (History Press) by Gayle Soucek is just out.  It is the perfect complement to  her top-selling  Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago (History Press).  While this book is about Carons's, Ms. Soucek recently related that she found it virtually impossible to write about Carson's without discussing Marshall FIeld's and it's significant influence on Carson, Pirie Scott & Co.  Meanwhile, Soucek's Marshall Field's book has exceeded its fifth printing, including an unprecedented "Limited Edition" hard cover.  Both books are available at many Chicagoland bookstores in the "local interest" section and online at the likes of BN.com and Amazon.com.

Unpredictable Webs  (Greenleaf Book Group Press) by Darlene Quinn is another in her series of "factional" books  based on the real-life consolidation of local department stores under Macy's.  This book is of special note because the story is set  against the backdrop of  outcry and controversy as an internationally renowned Chicago emporium is subsumed by an out-of-town retailer.  Darleen Quinn writes from her immense experience as part of the management team of Los Angeles'  internationally celebrated Bullocks Wilshire department store.  The intriguing story line of Ms. Quinn's award-winning "Webs" books is expected to soon be translated into a captivating television series.  Ms. Quinn's books can be ordered through the likes of Amazon.com, BN.com and other booksellers.

Do you have a new book that is relevant to restoring Marshall Field's as Chicago's modern, internationally renowned, 21st-century emporium?  Please submit  information about your book to info AT fieldsfanschicago.org for consideration as a  topic in our future newsletters, blog entries and social media posts.

-------------------------------------------------------


       2005: Remembering The Last Christmas as Marshall Field's


Remember to check out our special 2012 YouTube video celebrating the last Christmas at Marshall Field's State Street flagship, including the Cinderella windows.  Intended as a love letter to the season and to all who made Marshall Field's so special, its message is timeless and rings true a year after the video's creation and eight years since that last Christmas gift from Marshall Field's.

The full version of the video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt4qVbNj8wU 
(There is also a link to special edited version for those with smartphones instead of computers and tablets.  It is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7pCCw4HX-k )

Please share this video with your family and friends.

-------------------------------------------------------


       FieldsFansChicago.org on FACEBOOK & TWITTER


Facebook  | "FieldsFansChicago.org"  | https://www.facebook.com/groups/fieldsfanschicago/

Twitter  |  "FieldsFansChgo"  | http://www.twitter.com/FieldsFansChgo

-------------------------------------------------------


       YOU CAN HELP:  READ & WRITE FOR OUR BLOG

READ THE LATEST COMMENTS AND NEWS from fellow Field's lovers--that would be about four out of five Chicago shoppers.

POST YOUR COMMENTS AND THOUGHTS on Marshall Field's past, present and future--

  The URL is http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/blog

-------------------------------------------------------


       What YOU Have Already Accomplished:
       Thoughts & Thanks at Christmas & the Holiday Season


[ The following is repeated from our previous newsletter No. 32 dated Friday, December 23, 2011. ]

About three weeks ago, we received a moving blog  post from someone named Robert who claimed to have worked at Marshall Field's in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) area.

Robert's opinion:

"I used to work at Marshall Field's which became Macy's North. It's good to see the movement still rolling onward. We loved Marshall Field's. It was the best place to work. We all woke up looking forward to the day and went home satisfied, even on those rare days that were less than stellar.
I'm writing to congratulate all of you on what you have accomplished. Marshall Field's may not be back at State Street or your favorite suburban location. But take heart. The spirit, while muted, lives on because of you.
If you customers had not protested, the difference would be much worse. Please don't stop. Whether they admit it or not, Macy's put the brakes on reducing other flagships as well because of your protests. You made them take time to learn some things they would not have. If it weren't for your outcry, today's State Street store would [might] now be just three or four floors plus the lower level. They would have even considered closing the store and redeveloping it like Carson's.
Macy's has also become better because of your fight. While Frangos never really caught fire nationwide, your pressure caused Macy's to reconsider their customer service and store quality. They realized that there were many things about Field's worth keeping. For example, food service was [headed] for a great reduction, even at the flagship store on State Street. Now, influenced by Field's, Herald Square is being bettered...
Terry Lundgren will still be at Macy's helm for a while.  However, I assure you that many of his current peers would jump at the opportunity to return Marshall Field's to State Street.  That message needs to be sent to Macy's board, and, moreover, its institutional stock holders.  [FieldsFansChicago's] report comparing Field's to Duane Reade, F.A.O. and Berdorf-Goodman is right on the money.  And it's the money that talks, not the memories.  (Sorry to you people who carry on.)
More than a few in retail realize the massive potential that still exists in Marshall Field's. It could take a while, but it will be back someday."


We here at FieldsFansChicago.org believe much of this is true. 

In a recent interview, one of the organizers at FieldsFansChicago.org was asked if they were going to write a book on Marshall Field's and the experiences of the past five years: Would it be a historical book of nostalgia or a business case-study or perhaps another photo book? 

The response? It would be a book about faith.

As we share another Christmas and holiday season without Marshall Field's, we also know that Marshall Field's --"The Store of the Christmas Spirit" --still lives on in all of us.  At the climax of Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the citizens of Whoville still didn't have their Christmas decorations, gifts, trees and other items returned, but they kept the faith and continued onward.  The Whos practiced the spirit of Christmas any ways.  It was only then that the Grinch's heart was finally moved.  The Grinch returned the Christmas stuff and even joined the Whos in celebrating Christmas.

While real-life is no perfect storybook tale, the truths are real.  The minions of Field's lovers continue to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and the season with the great spirit of Marshall Field's in our hearts, while we also look forward to the future.

For the past several years, we've done surveys so we can know whether to continue on.  For the past three years, the numbers have held quite steadfast: an overwhelming four out of five Chicago shoppers STILL prefer Marshall Field's to Macy's.

Macy's advertising campaign tells its customers to "Believe" and promotes making wishes come true.  With millions making a huge wish for the return of Marshall Field's.  Macy's could provide no greater wish than to see that Chicago's Marshall Field's was somehow restored to State Street in name as well as in its unique spirit of quality and service.  The good will and publicity generated would be immense to Macy's executives and shareholders and priceless to customers.

We continue to believe in our city and the store that was so iconic of Chicago's unique spirit.  We know that you will too.  Thank you.

-------------------------------------------------------



      How to Add or Remove Your Email Address From Our List


* To Remove Your Email Address from Our Subscriber List:

Send email to REMOVE-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org 

Please include the email address you wish dropped if it is not the one from which you are sending the request.

* To Add Your Email Address To Our Subscriber List:

Send email to ADD-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org
Subscription requests must be sent from the email address that is to be added to the subscriber list.

* Switching Addresses?

1. Send a "REMOVE-ME"  request from either you old address or your new one;

      then...

2. Send an "ADD-ME"  request from your new address.

Again, NEW add requests MUST come from the address to which this newsletter is to be delivered.

*  Please send all corrections, rebuttals and bug reports to info AT fieldsfanschicago.org

-------------------------------------------------------


This newsletter and the activities and events described within have NO affiliation whatsoever with Macy's, Inc. (formerly Federated Department Stores, Inc.), May Department Stores Company, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Marshall Field's, the Marshall Field Family, the Field Foundation of Chicago, etc., and the views and opinions expressed here represent only those of the writer.


-------------------------------------------------------

       END OF NEWSLETTER No. 37

-------------------------------------------------------

Date: Monday, December 23, 2013, 2013  9:28 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Was in the Old Orchard Macy's tonight. I wouldn't say the Frangos were gone but they had noticeable gaps in the shelves where they would be in the basement. I can't remember Field's ever selling Frangos for around $8-$9 a box with a coupon. Macy's seems to need the draw. Also saw just a couple of Marshall Field's canister Frangos. Both being purchased by Macy's employees.

I also stopped by Barnes and Noble where I was told that Gayle Soucek's "Carson's" book was selling like hotcakes. It was the same case at the downtown Evanston store according to a clerk: "We're selling a lot of those!"

Soucek's Carson's book has a lot about Field's in it. For a while, Field's owned the land on which the Sullivan-designed Carson's flagship stands, and of course, Leiter sold Field's State Street store to Carson Pirie Scott briefly until Marshall Field could buy it back; finally, Selfridge's first store preceded Carson's 100-plus year tenure. So much more on Field's in that book--go get it!


Date: Monday, December 23, 2013, 2013  6:13 pm CT
Posted by: Glenn S.

Marshall Fields Lives!

Date: Sunday, December 22, 2013, 2013  8:33 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Thank you to all who helped making the flyers distribution a success this weekend. Again, EVERYONE wanted Field's back. I was out there for about an hour yesterday, but the rain was so bad, I had to stop. Was out for about 90 minutes late this afternoon and early evening.

About 400 flyers were warmly received. Not a single naysayer.


Date: Saturday, December 21, 2013, 2013  3:44 pm CT
Posted by: gle

The beautiful PBS documentary on Marshall Field's Christmas windows by the late John Calloway was re-broadcast December 20 on Channel 11 at 7:30 p.m. What a joy to see countless archival photos of the tree going up in the Walnut Room, Uncle Mistletoe and Freddie Field Mouse; and to hear memories from former Field's employees (including Amy Meadows) and Field's shoppers. I am so glad this documentary was made and continues to be shown.

Date: Friday, December 20, 2013, 2013  4:42 pm CT
Posted by: Bill

I was a Field's employee for over 25 years. Now I shop Carson's family of stores. Still remember having coffee and breaks in the Walnut room....boy does time fly.

Bill


Date: Friday, December 20, 2013, 2013  12:29 pm CT
Posted by: A Chicago shopper

I confess: I don't wear my Marshall Field's pin all the time because I get so many remarks. It's a bit of a distraction in the best possible way.

Date: Thursday, December 19, 2013, 2013  2:48 pm CT
Posted by: A Chicago shopper

It is encouraging to see how people are still so interested in a return to Marshall Field's. I know I am.

Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 2013  9:26 pm CT
Posted by: gayle

Wow, I just saw something in today's business news that really articulates what I've always felt about Field's, but didn't know how to describe!

A financial analyst from Morningstar was discussing Whole Foods' decision to drop Chobani yogurt from their stores (because Chobani uses genetically modified grain to feed the cattle that provide the milk for the yogurt). The analyst was saying that Whole Foods has always been very successful at selling and promoting small/unknown brands because customers trust Whole Foods to choose good products. Here's his quote:

"To some extent, you could say it's the Whole Foods brand equity, rather than the brand of the product, that gives the stamp of approval on products in Whole Foods stores," Perkins said."

Sound familiar?

gayle


Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 2013  9:17 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's has expanded it's schedule of non-stop hours from this Friday through Christmas Eve. For the first time, it includes State Street as well as Union Square in San Francisco.
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&p=irol-newsArticle&cat=news&id=1885628

Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 2013  5:28 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Here's to Field's still in our hearts-- the Store of the Christmas Spirit. What a treasure!

Can't say there is any other store that lingers in the soul like that.


Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 2013  10:56 am CT
Posted by: drew

The Red Star uses questionable tactics when dealing with suspected shoplifters:
http://news.yahoo.com/stores-free-rein-recoup-shoplifting-170838818.html

Date: Sunday, December 15, 2013, 2013  7:42 pm CT
Posted by: Craig Smith

by Macy's to enter my regional mall - there's always plenty of empty spaces in front of the store. Of course there is a dearth of customers inside, so it's relatively easy to navigate through the store to get into the mall, even past the tables in the center of the aisles piled with junky merchandise. Even Penney's doesn't do this. Once in the mall, I noticed only a couple of shoppers carrying Macy's bags, but at least a dozen shoppers with Carson's bags. Pretty telling where people in the area go to shop.

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013, 2013  8:25 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to all who helped make leafleting a success on State Street today. Several hundred were distributed over about 90 minutes. All were warmly received with many saying how they wish Marshall Field's would return. In general, it was relatively quiet up and down State Street this afternoon. Busy for a Saturday afternoon in September; pretty quiet for 10 days before Christmas. I noticed that Macy's book department is now carrying a book on Carons's by Gayle Soucek, the same author of "Marshall Field's, The Store That Helped Build Chicago."

If you wish to view, print and distribute our current bookmark/flyer/leaflet, check out http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/leaflets.html.

The actual bookmark/flyer/leaflet is at: http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/ffc112613leaflet.pdf

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013, 2013  6:17 pm CT
Posted by: K. Cervantez

I'm both sad and glad that this site continues. Sad because we don't have Field's back. When will they listen to customers? Glad that people still care.

It's a sad statement that Macy's has to advertise what's in the former Marshall Field's store. It's a given. This is all about pride. It's pretty apparent that Macy's simply doesn't like Marshall Field's. I hope that it comes back.


Date: Friday, December 13, 2013, 2013  5:51 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay


Date: Friday, December 13, 2013, 2013  5:51 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Will be out under the Great Marshall Field's Clock at State and Washington tomorrow (Saturday) starting at 12:15 pm. If you'd like to help distribute flyers or come and get a "Time To Bring Back Marshall Field's" pin-on button, please contact me via email at jjmckay at mac dot com. Or drop on by.

Regards,

Jim


Date: Friday, December 13, 2013, 2013  4:22 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I can relate to Zelda's recent comment. Macy's windows try to evoke the "old days," but then when you go inside the store you can't help but notice the new days are no comparison.

Date: Friday, December 13, 2013, 2013  12:16 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Oh me, oh my.

Remember when those wacky folks at Macy's claimed Marshall Fields was failing because the store relied on too many "coupons." Has anone notices the barrage of coupons that Macy's has gushed this past Fall and holiday season. Oh, that is right...they are called "Shopping Passes", so I guess it must be a different thing.

True story: Co-worker went to Macy's a with a "Shopping Pass." I know, I know. I tried to warn her. First, she proclaimed the merchandise is the store paper-thin junk, remarked on the lack of any sales staff, and realized the shopping pass applied to virtually nothing in the store. By the way, get out your magnifying glasses and try to read all the tiny type of the back of the shopping pass.

Observations:

-Odd: the amount of spring/summer clothes still hanging on the racks at Macy's. Even at clearance prices, the stuff does not move.

- New Gurnee Mills store: empty during prime holiday shopping times but still a mess. One good thing, the store still makes for close to the door parking for easy access to the rest of the mall.

- How I miss the hioliday decorations at Fields. Even the branch stores were well turned out. Macy's, again, is using towers of red gift boxes held together by ribbon. Ineresting since the last thing you can get at Macy's is a gift box.


Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013, 2013  10:21 pm CT
Posted by: Gayle

Hi folks,

As Jim mentioned, I gave a talk on Field's at the Schaumburg Public Library last night. Despite the sub-freezing temperatures, the room was filled--75 people plus a waiting list. Once again, the minute I mentioned Macy's (in a neutral and not even remotely negative manner)most of the people began to boo and hiss. Several of the attendees were ex-Field's employees, and they each shared emotional stories about their devotion to Field's, and the shoddy manner in which they felt they were forced out after Macy's takeover. And, despite what Macy's execs seem to believe, it was not all old people harboring warm and fuzzy memories of bygone days--the crowd was liberally sprinkled with 20-30-and 40-somethings. To a person, they each expressed a strong desire to see Field's return.

This is the third sold-out talk I have given on Field's in the past six months. One venue had seating for more than 100, and had such a long waiting list that they invited me back. They filled the second lecture as well.

To put it in perspective, "Marshall Fields: The Store That Helped Build Chicago", was published three years ago, and interest has never waned. My new book on Carson Pirie and Scott was released just a few weeks ago; when I have done book signings for that, the stores invariably put out the Field's book as well, and I wind up signing and selling more of them than the brand new title. People are interested in Carson's and have fond memories; by contrast, people are obsessed with Field's and furious about its demise. I sometimes wish that shareholders could see the faces and hear the voices. Maybe then they would truly understand what Jim means when he talks about "unlocking shareholder value..."

regards,

gayle


Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013, 2013  5:38 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Today's Sneed Column in the Sun-Times tells readers to get over the loss of wrapping paper service at Macy's State Street for the second year in a row. The bit is down a few paragraphs after the story about the CTA cleaning staff.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/24321633-452/sneed-pfleger-targets-cta-union-in-janitorial-flap.html

Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 2013  7:28 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Letter to the Editors of the Chicago Tribune at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/chi-20131210-porter-briefs,0,580858.story
HONOR MARSHALL FIELD'S

December 10, 2013


The other day I was in the Loop and thought I would use the opportunity to enjoy the windows at Macy's and see how they compared to the ones I enjoyed as a child. They were lovely and had the traditional movement. The theme this year was the history of this great store. By the second window, however, it became painfully obvious that the name "Marshall Field's" was conspicuously and deliberately missing. The clock, for example, was called the Great State Street Clock.

How foolish can they be? Macy's is privileged to possess one of the most historic and admired properties in Chicago. They should be turning this to their advantage and touting it as "Macy's Marshall Field's". By continuing to carry a chip on their shoulder and continually disrespecting Marshall Field's they are,by extension, disrespecting the millions who loyally shopped there. When I told one of my friends about the windows she cancelled a planned meal at the Walnut Room.

Someone at Macy's needs to re-watch "Miracle on 34th Street" and see how Kris Kringle's references to a rival store create good will that actually lead to increased sales. In this case it isn't even a rival, it is an asset they own and are throwing away.

--Joyce Porter, Oak Park
Please login with your Facebook account and leave comments. You can also email a "Letter to the Editor" at ctc-tribletter@tribune.com.

Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 2013  7:28 pm CT
Posted by: Mary E.-S.

Missing Marshall Field's all the time!

I won't even buy Frangos from Macy's. I did try to make my own, but too much work. I keep hoping for the big come back!!

Please keep trying!


Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 2013  7:28 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi there, Field's Fans,

Another Christmas without Field's - the one depressing note in an otherwise happy season. Just walking through Macy's is such a bummer. The tables are packed together at the doors to prohibit shoplifters' escaping! What an attitude for a retailer! And all the greeters: what is this? Walmart? Field's didn't need greeters as it had very classy employees who always treated everyone with respect. If they think they're going to warm us with their nostalgic windows evoking the old days, they're wrong; it has the opposite effect. It does evoke the good old days but then there's that big smack of reality, that they're gone. The Tiffany ceiling is still there, but don't look at the cracked floors and tacky atmosphere. Terry Lundgren thinks he'll win when Jim McKay and the fans are no longer protesting, but he'll never win while we still have a really great store to compare to Macy's.

All the best,

Zelda


Date: Monday, December 9, 2013, 2013  8:40 pm CT
Posted by: Richard Moreno

Wish it was still the 80s. While living in San Antonio, loved going to Marshall fields. I loved that place. There's no store like it. Foleys and mervyns were also my favorite stores. Unfortunately all those stores are gone, now stuck with just Macy's. I think we would have a greater selection of shopping like before with those old stores. Whoever took charge now of this company to replace Marshall fields what a mistake.

Date: Sunday, December 8, 2013, 2013  5:11 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I managed get to State Street recently, and noticed much seems to be re-used. The same boring pale green tree with big white stars at the bottom is still in the Walnut Room. The window animations are kind of cute, but I don't think I would make a special trip for them (especially since we've already seen them). I noticed a figure in the new Frango window who appeared to be jiggling and hanging onto a piece of chocolate like she was going to topple. I don't know that was part of the animation or something wrong. There seem to be less book tables from previous years. No tables are at the entrance and exit of the Walnut Room this year. I did find three copies of "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" by Gayle Soucek on the book table in the 7th floor archives room, and two copies in the lower level book department. Book shelves by the 7th floor food court had all cookbooks and food items.

I did enjoy seeing the State Street store in the background of the McDonald's Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade. Since you couldn't see the name on any of the awnings, it looked like perhaps it was still Field's.


Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013, 2013  8:14 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to all who made flyer distribution under the clock a success this afternoon. Several hundred were distributed over a total of 90 minutes or so. All responses were supportive of Field's return.

Thank you.


Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013, 2013  5:52 pm CT
Posted by: Ed K.

BRING IT BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BOO MACY'S!!!


Date: Friday, December 6, 2013, 2013  6:07 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I'll be out on State Street under the Great Marshall Field's clock at State and Washington around Noon hour tomorrow, Saturday, passing out our flyers. If you would like to help, please email me at jjmckay at fieldsfanschicago dot org.

Happy St. Nicholas' Day!


Date: Friday, December 6, 2013, 2013  11:27 am CT
Posted by: In Bedford Park

I think someone else mentioned it. I never saw Frangos so cheap. Macy's must be desperate!!!!


Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013, 2013  1:28 am CT
Posted by: Anna P.

Here's another item to add to the It-can-come-back list. For generations, Albertsons was the West's premiere grocery store. It was also a civic friend of Boise, Idaho. They even sponsored a university which bore its name. Seven years ago, it was bought out. The corporate HQ moved to Minnesota. The university dropped the Alberstons name. This year, the company that bought it was broken up. Now Alberstons has some back home to Boise! By the way, Alberstons is the parent of Chicago's Jewel-Osco. I think they are a pretty good parent, better than Safeway was to Dominicks.

So hang in there! Miracles DO happen!


Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 2013  7:29 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Gayle Soucek is giving a talk on her book, "Marshall Field's, The Store That Helped Build Chicago," a week from tonight at the Schaumburg Public Library. There's seating for 75--but don't bother trying to attend. There's already a long waiting list, to hear about a book that came out over three years ago. Not only did Ms. Soucek do a great job on the book, it's another indication of Marshall Field's staying power and popularity. Any other retailer would be overjoyed to have Marshall Field's as an asset.

Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 2013  9:18 pm CT
Posted by: John R.

I worked at Old Orchard in the 90s. Field's was the best. It's so sad to see it now. It's like a competitor to Kohl's or Penney's. Thank you for keeping this up.


Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 2013  6:08 pm CT
Posted by: Mike Moran (with editing by Jim McKay)

Had a good conversation with Jim McKay this evening about the connections between the immensely popular "A Christmas Story" and Marshall Field's. Next to "It's A Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Story" is the most popular Christmas movie of all time, even more than "Miracle on 34th Street." Jean Shepard, the genius behind "A Christmas Story," was inspired in part behind his experience working at Marshall Field's. Jim will get the links to several video clips where Jean Shepard talks about Marshall Field's and a Christmas Story.

Date: Monday, December 2, 2013, 2013  9:03 pm CT
Posted by: Meghan K.

Another Christmas without Field's! It's not the same. I noticed that the Sun-Times was pushing its advertiser, Macy's, in Saturday' paper. Several of the photos had Macy's bags all over. Not much of anything else. At least Macy's is helping them stay afloat. But at what cost to the Sun-Times?


Date: Monday, December 2, 2013, 2013  5:55 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I dumped my post yesterday about the spiritual aspect of this movement- maybe too preachy. Ms. Johnson McQueen's post, however, is the reason I decided to say this. She did not retreat to Walmart, Carson's, or Bloomingdale's, for a reason.

This is not about a mere store, or stuff. We have had preachments for centuries that have blinded us to the reality that stuff matters, at least insofar as it can be a metaphor for spiritual realities, and a facilitator for spiritual growth. I am not alluding to shopping therapy, which I like as well as the next. I refer to being respected by a retailer or manufacturer or designer to the extent that quality is conveyed, aesthetically as well functionally-- with customer delight in mind. Field's was that.

I don't refer, either, to mere poshness or extravagance. I take the Apple world as the successor to Field's: aesthetic intensity permeates everything they offer-- so along with function, I delight in the (to me) clearly intense and even rigorously edited aesthetic they pursue. That is why an Apple store vibrates with excitement. Everyone there is happy to be a bee in that hive, a moth around the flame. It hits a deep and essential nerve, like Field's used to. I assume everyone has that nerve -- some are dead to it, many are keenly aware, and the rest somewhere in the middle. But that is why this site is still a-hopping.

As long as the 'argument' hovers on Field's as a nice store, the cause is lost. It was not just a nice or fine or even superlative store; it had a commitment to excellence on many levels that requires digging into the soul, past mere ego or quarterly reports. Field's is waiting for the entrepreneur with the passion or soul to understand that. No mall, no specialty store can do that. Just that gem on 111 N. State.


Date: Sunday, December 1, 2013, 2013  11:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay I thank Philip for his post but also disagree with some points. I will respond at a later date when I can offer the worthy time his post deserves.


Date: Sunday, December 1, 2013, 2013  4:38 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler In response to Jim's speculation about Lord and Taylor closing the Water Tower store, I believe it is merely a coincidence it happened under Macy's ownership. In the late 1960s, the writing was already on the wall that Michigan Avenue would surpass State Street as a shopping destination. It was the chairman of Field's that conceived of the idea of Water Tower Place under Field's Mafco division. The actual building was developed in conjunction with Urban Investment. Since it was an entirely new type of development, they were willing to cut deals to sign up retail tenants. Lord and Taylor was in for very little rent and when their lease was up, the current owner, General Growth Properties was more than eager to chop up L &T's space into much more lucrative smaller spaces. Macy's current stats lists 65 owned locations in the North division (their annual report still uses the old divisions and Field's had about that number of stores when they were sold)which would include the Water Tower location. The fact that they own so many stores in good locations with well built structures gives them "staying power" that unfortunately (for us) makes them a much different case than the scenario surrounding the exit of Dominick's from Chicago.


Date: Sunday, December 1, 2013, 2013  1:22 pm CT
Posted by: Catherine Johnson-McQueen

Marshall Fields was a place of refuge for me when I was coming up in the Civil Rights and Segregation Era. My mom worked there for a while and so did I when I was raising my family and attending college. But it was especially important to me as a preteen. You see, I use to hide out there when I was suppose to be taking piano lessons. I loved classical music as a young girl and still do. As a woman of color, I learned a lot from this store. And as I said before, Marshall Fields became 'My place of Refuge' because of my fear of taking piano lessons from the professor. I will write about this experience and hope that all who read it will understand what this store meant to me as a young child until the days of my adulthood. So there is more to the Marshall Fields store on State Street in Chicago, Illinois that meets the eye.

I do want to say that I am all for the great return......CJM

The above item was originally posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, but did not display properly. Sincere apologies to Ms. Johnson-McQueen.

Date: Saturday, November 30, 2013  6:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Thanks again to all who made a this afternoon a repeat of yesterday's distribution of flyers. Chicago still overwhelmingly wants Marshall Field's to return to State Street. More...later.

Date: Saturday, November 30, 2013  5:53 pm CT
Posted by: Sharon T.

WE NEED MARSHALL FIELDS TO RETURN. Can't someone buy it from Macy's? So many people want it back!


Date: Saturday, November 30, 2013  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: Eric Bronsky

Friday's Chicago Tribune included a feature article about Christkindlmarket by reporter Steve Johnson. Here is a direct quote which needs no further commentary from me:

"We used to take the 'L' downtown, preferably on the CTA's seasonal 'Holiday Train,' look at the Marshall Field's windows, then head over to the market to look at traditional beer steins and cuckoo clocks but buy only some strudel or schnitzel or, perhaps, a dark beer.

"Now we do that, except the windows we look at belong to Macy's, and the ritual includes talking about how the Field's windows were way better."

Amen.


Date: Friday, November 29, 2013  8:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Thanks to all who helped make a success of the distribution of our flyers under the Great Marshall Field's Clock a success this afternoon. About 400 flyers were passed out over about a 90-100 minute period. All were warmly received. With the shift to Thanksgiving evening shopping, it was like a typical Saturday afternoon instead of the Black Fridays of several years ago when there would be so many people that I would sometimes find myself literally crushed up against the "Marshall Field and Company" plaque. People also did not seem especially interested in the windows.

Everyone wanted Marshall Field's.

I walked through the store a bit. It was pretty busy. They have Frangos in Marshall Field's tins all over the Frango shop, near the Walnut Room entrance, and in Holiday Lane where they sell Christmas ornaments. The canisters have the Marshall Field's logo on them but the pricing signage refers to them the "Chicago Clock". Grrrrrr! The store seems to be selling a lot more middle market nick-nacks and gift sets this year than in previous years.

As I was exiting, I passed through cosmetics. An well-dressed customer about 100 feet away down the aisle seemed engaged in some heated conversation with a clerk. You could hear the customer say something about how the store needed to go back to being Marshall Field's. No kidding.

We'll be out again tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, passing out flyers.


Date: Friday, November 29, 2013  5:28 pm CT
Posted by: SAMANTHA

I RECEIVED A FLYER FROM SOMEONE ON STATE STREET TODAY. I WANT VERY MUCH THAT MARSSHALL FIELD TO COME BACK. THEY HAVE MADE A BIG MISTAKE. FIELDS MATTERED TO MANY! IT IS PART OF OUR PERSONALITY. HOW CAN THEY MAKE US BE SOMETHING ELSE? THAY CANNOT! THANK YOU FOR THE FLYER. I WILL TELL SANTA TO BRING ME FIELDS.


Date: Friday, November 29, 2013  7:38 am CT
Posted by: Jim

The thing to keep in mind about the former Wannamakers is that it went bankrupt and out of business. Once upon a time, it was a peer of Field's and Mr. Wannamaker was even good friends with Marshall Field. At one point, John Wannamaker supposedly said, half-kidding/half-seriously, that he'd like to open a Chicago branch. (There already was a NYC branch of Wannamakers.) Silent Mar said fine, but if then he would open a Field's in Philadelphia.

Many of you know, that the former Wannamakers flagship is an architectural sibling of the older State Street flagship and the younger Filene's and Selfridges flagships. (Only the facade is left from Filene's.) There are differences, most obviously the organ and the eagle, but the resemblence is uncanny. By the 1950s, Wannamakers had significantly declined in terms of quality and was in trouble financially. It was liquidated in the mid-90s and the flagship was acquired by May Department Stores which rebranded it under Strawbridges, Hechts, and finally Lord and Taylor. When Macy's acquired and then flipped Lord and Taylor, they did make an exception and keep the former Wannamakers for use as a Macy's.

That decision leads to all sorts of questions as to why Macy's couldn't have converted Lord and Taylor locations in Chicago to Macy's and kept Field's. Yes, the stores are smaller, but Macy's is moving to smaller stores. Rent issues aside, it's curious how Lord and Taylor at Water Tower closed when Macy's flipped it, rather than stayed a Lord and Taylor. I could go on and on. The point is that Field's didn't have to go away and Macy's stockholders would not only have benefited, they would be better off.

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131128_How_Lundgren_led_Macy_in_bouncing_back.html

Date: Thursday, November 28, 2013  11:40 am CT
Posted by: drew, Pittsburgh

How laughable! Terry is crediting himself for "localizing" selections when he had regional department stores that already did that.
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131128_How_Lundgren_led_Macy_in_bouncing_back.html

Date: Thursday, November 28, 2013  10:43 am CT
Posted by: MICHAEL LAWING

Happy Holiday's CHICago!

I came from New York in '05 for the 1st protest and am proud to say Miss Macy has not gotten a dime of my $ since.

Remember the small, unique places that make your City and neighborhood special and patronize them.

A Fields Fan Forever! Michael


Date: Thursday, November 28, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Happy Thanksgiving!


Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013  11:56 pm CT
Posted by: Steve

Some photos of Woodfield Mall on the day it opened, September 9, 1971. You will note several photos of "Marshall Field and Company".
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/schaumburg_hoffman_estates/chi-classic-photos-woodfield-mall-120131127,0,3198415.photogallery
It seems every department store chain had a flagship in its day. But another unique aspect of Field's was that each of the suburban stores built through the 1970s would be awesome enough to be a flagship for most any other chain. Old Orchard, Oak Brook, Woodfield and Orland were flagship stores in s certain way. And what other chain has TWO flagship stores downtown in the same city, State Street and Water Tower. Good grief! Even Manhattan has only one Macy's! Why can't they at least let State Street be Marshall Field's and Water Tower be Macy's?

A bit of Field's trivia. I knew that Evanston and Oak Park opened on the same day in 1928 and closed on the same day in 1986. Until I saw this story, I didn't know that Marshall Field's at Woodfield became Macy's thirty-five years to the day of Field's grand opening, September 9, 2006. Something!


Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013  7:02 pm CT
Posted by: Mary A.

Like someone else pointed out, I don't see how they can have just a couple of Bloomingdales here in Chicago but not have Marshall Fields. I think Bloomingdales was jealous of Marshall Fields.

I don't shop at Macy's anymore, except for Frangos. And then I buy the ones with Marshall Field's on the box.


Date: Friday, November 22, 2013  2:55 pm CT
Posted by: Holly, Florida

I have moved to Florida from Chicago, and I get nostalgic about the city this time of year.

Starting from a young age when my parents lived in South Bend, we would take the South Shore to Chicago to go Christmas shopping at Field's.

When I was a college student at Notre Dame, my grandmother and I would make the trek and we would always have lunch at the Walnut Room. I met my husband in Chicago in 2005 and we were able to secure two of the glass Christmas ornaments of the clock - one for us and one for my folks. My mother keeps it in a china cabinet year round and mine is tied with a bow in a place of honor. I still have stacks of Christmas boxes that I reuse to package presents - the thick green ones. One of my joys was having presents wrapped in the store - they were always so beautiful and I still have the ornaments from the boxes on my tree. We moved to Florida recently only to find that Burdine's, a Florida department store where I started shopping when my parents moved to Florida and I was still up north, had also been sucked up by Macy's. Marshall Field's - particularly the State Street location - was not just a storefront where the name and brands can be changed without really driving to the heart of people's memories and ties to years past.  I refuse to shop at Macy's and have since this happened. God forbid if the situation were reversed and Field's went into NYC and changed the Macy's to Field's at the flagship store. There would have been a coup. I now go to Dillard's in Sarasota, Florida - I only hope that Macy's will keep it's hands out of that store.


Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013  9:26 pm CT
Posted by: drew, Pittsburgh

YAWN! Apparently the holiday windows at Red Star in Downtown Pittsburgh mostly reuse last years displays:
http://triblive.com/lifestyles/fashion/5071757-74/windows-macy-holiday#axzz2lIDchuln
While last year's displays were an improvement over the 2011 middle school style "construction paper" project, they were nothing worth traveling to see. In fact, many people viewing the windows while I was there found the displays uninspired and children called the animations boring.

Why didn't Terry call upon his beloved "discount store diva" Martha Stewart to design something more memorable? In their defense, the Red Star holiday displays are nicer than their "competitors" Target, JCPenney, Walmart and Kmart.


Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013  12:42 pm CT
Posted by: Lori Blockel

BRING BACK MARSHALL FIELD'S!!!!!

My great uncle was a salesman for Marshall Fields when they first opened downtown Chicago...I'm sure we all have roots in the history of this great Store..


Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2013  10:01 pm CT
Posted by: P.H.

Keep up the good fight!


Date: Sunday, November 17, 2013  3:15 pm CT
Posted by: s.b.

Recent article that Macy's Inc. has some of the LOWEST PAID employees in the country... under $9/hour. There is a lot of issues in the US and low-wages is one of them (IMO). The gap between the rich and poor is getting to big. I don't know about Field's but I do believe traditional department stores had "career sales associates" who were paid decent wages. I know Nordstrom pays at least 10+/hour. Still not much. Whole Foods 10+/hour. Costco and In-and-Out start at $10.50-$11.00. It shows... these are all much more successful than their counterparts.

Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013  7:55 pm CT
Posted by: s.b.

Marshall Field's State Street really was the very best for the holidays - bar none. I always get the "lost a great piece of Chicago" feeling around this time of year.

Lots of people visit Chicago (actually record numbers of tourist are coming now more than ever). If you have a chance... please voice your opinion on Yelp about "Macy's on State" http://www.yelp.com/biz/macys-chicago-2 perhaps a tourist coming into town will see how down-market the former Field's has gone.

Hope Field's comes back soon :)


Date: Friday, November 15, 2013  7:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim

I've been in the Cinci Fountain Square several times, including always after I attend the annual Macy's stockholders meeting on the third Friday in May. It is located a couple of blocks from Macy's, Inc. headquarters, about the distance from the State Street store to Millennium Park. The store is modern. although it doesn't have the history that you get from the former Shillito's flagship. Regardless, it's always clean and the associates are pleasant, offering attentive assistance. However, the store has never been that busy when I've been there, over a lunch hour, in the middle of May. Still, you'd think they'd want to have a presence close to their co-headquarters. Macy's doesn't seem to have much of a heart. How would such a closure impact employee and civic morale?


Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013  9:53 pm CT
Posted by: drew, pittsburgh

The Red Star is threatening to leave downtown Cincinnati:
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20131113/BIZ/311130153/Bortz-Macy-s-wants-assurances-stay-Downtown
So how many long-time downtown stores has The Red Star shuttered since it swallowed up all the regional chains? How many MORE downtown stores will be closed in the near future? Why are these stores no longer "profitable" after being converted to macy*s? It is evident little to no investment is being made in the downtown stores-- so what is their plan?

For example, the downtown Pittsburgh flagship was Kaufmann's top grossing store. Since macy*fication, the building has been downsized from 11 floors to 6 floors-- with sections of the remaining floors closed off, merchandise selections and quality downgraded, and various services discontinued. Lots of empty space with merchandise spread thin. The fixtures, flooring and walls have not been modernized since Kaufmann's renovations in the mid 1990s. Maintenance is minimal. SOME of the suburban stores are being "refreshed" while others are being neglected.

I would venture that many of the smaller, lower volume suburban stores and larger, underutilized downtown stores throughout the country are slated for closing.


Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013  3:04 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's had it's third quarter conference call this morning. Macy's experienced increased profits and has a positive outlook for the holidays. According to Macy's, Inc. CFO Karen Hoguet, sales from its stores in the South and Northeast lead the way.

Date: Monday, November 11, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Thank you
to all Veterans.


Date: Sunday, November 10, 2013  11:49 am CT
Posted by: Dawn L.

We visited State Street for the last time in a couple of years. It was so sad. It doesn't feel right, especially the cosmetics department. MAcy's made a big mistake. I hope your efforts pay off for us all!


Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013  11:02 pm CT
Posted by: Kelly Jon Kovarik

I lived in Chicago in the late 1980's and on Sunday's I loved to go to Fields for a ice cream and to get ideas for how to set up display's in my own home. Having grown up in a small Nebraska town I loved to see the store and shop there. I now live in Denver, Colorado where we too have Macy's. It does not and will never compare to the store that Field's was ! If a small town hick from Nebraska can see this than it is very obvious that Marshall Field's needs to return to the great city of Chicago. Even though I do not live in Chicago, I still love Chicago and will be there next March. I will think twice before I step foot in Macy's, yet I will admire the Field building from state street.

Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013  8:38 am CT
Posted by: M. Housinger

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a national institution. Then again, so is Marshall Field's! I can't watch the first because of what happened to the second.

Marsha Housinger.


Date: Friday, November 8, 2013  5:48 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Macy's says that they want to consolidate advertising dollars. Then look at Bloomingdale's! They have a lot of full-page ads for what? Two stores?!! The home store and 900 Michigan are basically one store. Old Orchard is the other and it's always dead, even at Christmas time.

Just think if they put the same energy into Marshall Field's at State Street. They'd have oodles more business.


Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013  11:58 pm CT
Posted by: N.M.

I think someone else said this and I agree. Maybe Field's reused Christmas windows, but God! They were great windows to see again. Not as much to see with these windows. Look low-budget.

We made our own Frangos last Christmas. They were as neatly shaped, but they were O.K.


Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013  7:19 pm CT
Posted by: Linda H.

Not only did Frederick and Nelson insist on selling to Marshall Field, note that they didn't sell to Macy's!!!!!!!!!

BRING BACK MARSHALL FIELD'S!!!!!

Maybe the C.E.O. will surprise everyone like Mayor Daley and step down!

Linda--Wayne, IL


Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013  12:46 pm CT
Posted by: A Fan

I miss Marshall Fields. Every Christmas we still go to State Street, but it's not the same. We just walk through. But I wish Target would have Windows on State St.

This year we may just stick to N. Mich. Ave.


Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013  8:47 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I also appreciated the PBS show on Selfridge. It was skewed in a certain way--towards Selfridges in London with little info about Chicago. The documentary effectively noted this at the git-go: they started their research in Chicago, but because his name became famous in London, there's little in Chicago about him. That said, if more had been written, the movie would be ammended to show that the first Selfridge's was in Chicago at State and Madison; Selfridge did indeed invent the bargain basement--but at Marshall Field and Company, not at his London store; that his store in London was inspired by the Marshall Field and Company store in Chicago, and so on. But, as the creators implied, this isn't well documented in Chicago. Perhaps the likes of Gayle Soucek, Ward Miller, myself or others should write a book.

Some "forward-looking" ideas were also distilled from the documentary. A good watch, if you can catch it again.

Two interesting things about the tree unveiling. While I respect the work of the Chicago talent at Macy's (formerly of Field's) that put together the tree, it's interesting to note that the tree no longer is associated with an international designer like Swarovski, Vera Wang, or even Tommy Hilfiger or Martha Stewart. With Field's it was all about designers and artists. With Macy's the focus is on stars and trying to be "like them." The other point of interest is that Rahm Emanuel was not there, again. Since Macy's took over, Mayor Daley always showed up with Mr. Lundgren for the tree lighting. Except for the 2011 Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, I don't think I've ever seen Mayor Emanuel and Mr. Lundgren at the same event. At the 2011 CCC event, Emanuel just had become mayor so he had to be there; the CCC, at least then, was headed by a senior exec of Pittsburgh's PNC Bank which is part owner of BlackRock which at around 5% is one of the largest shareholders of Macy's, Inc.


Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013  5:57 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

hope the beloved vibes of the Walnut Room have managed to transcend the sullying Macy murk. Coming here years ago to the Rochester area from Chicago, and dining in what was the local answer to the Walnut Room (sorry, Sibley's) was SO disappointing. No contest. Nothing like it left now.

I hope the powerful walnut mystique will see the space through to the day when the store falls into understanding hands.


Date: Monday, November 4, 2013  7:37 pm CT
Posted by: Jeanie west driver

I saw the documentary on PBS. I live in California so I am grateful for the heads up. Well done and quite thoughtful.

Date: Monday, November 4, 2013  2:30 pm CT
Posted by: A TV news watcher

saw the quickie coverage of the tree lighting on most TV news stations. They all seemed to gloss over it simply like it's an event on the calendar, not because it's that big a deal. The American idol star got to sing a few lines of her song, the male celebrity guest had his name mentioned, and the governor and Santa got their faces on camera. That's about it. The tree looked like the same boring one from last year, with those big white bland stars at the foot of it. I was surprised to hear Mr. Lundgren showed up. He was not mentioned on the 3 or 4 news stations I saw. I think the weather gets better coverage.

On a more interesting note, "The Secret's of Selfridge's" which PBS aired Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. seemed very well-done with a wealth of historical facts and footage. Unfortunately, Marshall Field's part in the picture is not highlighted. Mention is made that Selfridge began as a stock boy at Field's and grew through the ranks until there was no-place to go but London. But that's about it. I also notice that even though the store obviously resembles State Street Field's, NO mention is made as to who its architect was. However, I do think the documentary is excellent and recommend it for its tasteful and painstaking research in many areas.


Date: Monday, November 4, 2013  8:38 am CT
Posted by: Lee H.

The Frango window is obviously a tip of the hat to the famous "I Love Lucy" episode. Cute...but a better reference would be a Marshall Field's or Frederick and Nelson logo somewhere.

BTW: On the back of the Frango box, Macy's makes it sound like Marshall Field's stole Frangos from F&N by buying them out. The fact F&N actually modeled themselves on Marshall Field and Company. When F&N wanted to retire, they insisted on selling to Marshall Field's!

I don't think Marshall Field would ever insist on selling to Macy's.


Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013  7:45 pm CT
Posted by: Joan Crawford

I am so grateful to see that you are still working on this project. Thanks for all that you have done. I know that one day "Marshall Field's" will be back.


Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013  4:22 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Shotliff

My first 'real' job was in the Store for Men (first floor) selling wallets, jewelry, and what-nots!! GREAT memories as I lived in Woodstock and commuted daily via Chicago and Northwestern! I got to really enjoy the 'flavor' of the downtown area!! m...


Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013  12:39 pm CT
Posted by: R.T.

The Chicago Tribune had the Marshall Field's clock on today's front page as part of the name heading. It was cool to see!


Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013  12:09 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I guess these are two posts about Chicago radio.

One, CBS News Radio Chicago 780/105.9 keeps running a story about the Walnut Room Tree lighting. It's been like every half hour for the past day. The reporters there are tactful as always. They refer to the Walnut Room. They don't make it out to be that Macy's started the Walnut Room or stupid stuff like that. The customer they interview, you have to assume he's being sarastic because he says the tree wasn't unveiled early enough. It should have been for Halloween.

The other radio story is simply the wrap over page ad on the front of Today's Chicago Tribune. It's about WGN Radio going back to the great programming that they used to have. The ad read, "Chicago's very own returns to Chicago's very own." I keep hoping the same happens for Marshall Field's. Perhaps the best omen was that the front page of the Tribune had a Marshall Field's clock right next to this ad! YAYYYY!


Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013  9:28 am CT
Posted by: Writing from Naperville

Saw all the hype for the Walnut room tree on TV. Still rooting for Marshall Field to make the big come back!

Cheers!!!


Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013  10:56 pm CT
Posted by: M.B.

They had the lighting of the tree on TV tonight. Channel 7, I think. Also on newsradio. How early can they get? Are they that desperate? Macy's CEO was there for the lighting. The only politician who would show up seems to be Pat Quinn. A--He's the most disliked governor in the U.S. B--I guess he has to given Macy's has all those downstate locations too.

Maribeth.


Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013  7:54 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Went to State Street today to see the newly unveiled windows. I also spent an hour passing out our holiday season flyers.

Installation of the window displays seem to be done. All are uncovered. They seem to be mostly the same as last year's windows talking about traditions and features of Marshall Field's on State Street--without mentioning Marshall Field's anywhere except showing replicas of the plaques on a corner scene. The Great Marshall Field's clock is referred to as the "State Street Clock", like last year. As noted, a new window has been added to show a Frango factory. I didn't see Marshall Field's or Frederick and Nelson mentioned. It features two motorized candy worker figurines working at a Frango conveyer belt. They appear to be trying to grab a chocolate Santa that is the exception what is otherwise an assembly line of Frangos. Thirty seconds--maximum should satisfy most people's curiosity about this new window.

As Amy Meadows has been pointing out in the presentations she gives on the windows, it was quite common for department stores--including Field's--to reuse a series of windows over three years, tweaking some features and adding some variations. That's what's going on here. She also has made it clear that whomever makes the window displays has to work within a certain budget and that can impact the execution. Finally, Some of Ms. Meadows proteges still work on the windows here in Chicago.

That acknowledged, own opinion is that it would be fine to use the windows over several years--if they were substantially interesting enough. There's some delightful, new details added--like kids being playful in some scenes where they weren't last year. However, the depth and detail of these windows need more substance and detail to hold the interest of visitors over multiple years.

A question to ask Amy Meadows if you go her next presentation: Macy's and the news calls these the 46th annual holiday windows. Yet, Field's clearly had windows dressed for the holidays back a hundred years to the days of Selfridge and Silent Mar. Does 46 years refer to when the Christmas windows stopped being used to sell merchandise and were solely provided as entertainment?

The inside of the store may not be fully decorated. That said, what I did see were a lot of boughs and oversize ornaments hung from the ceiling that were wisely placed, but seemed cheap in terms of quality.

Finally, the trumpets hung from the State Street flagpoles are back.

I did a quick run through the store to see what was new for the holidays and was surprised to catch a glimpse of Terry Lundgren at a podium in front of the Walnut Room tree. I don't think Mr. Lundgren has been here for the tree lighting in the two previous years--maybe I'm incorrect about that. I didn't stick around--too crowded.

For about an hour, I passed out about 150 bookmark-style flyers similar to the ones from last year. Everyone was enthusiastic. four different parties stopped for extended discussions. They all shared that they wanted Marshall Field's to return, but wanted to know how it would happen. Using many of our talking points (Tradename value, the fact that the store; while profitable should be much more profitable without the competition of Carson's and Lord and Taylor; How Dominick's is being resurrected as Mariano's, and more. All left convinced. Flyers will be passed out again in the future as we get closer to the holidays. Watch the space above for details.


Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013  4:11 pm CT
Posted by: A.J.C.

Was at State Street MAcy's earlier for the tree lighting and met one of your people handing out sheets of information. We want Fields to come back. The plaques are dirty, tarnished green and black. The numbers have washed off the face of clock at State and Randolph. I remember how Macy's fought over the painting of the clock. Now that they own the real clock, they don't give a damn about it. Good thing they didn't get the painting too. Please keep on trying. Maybe it will work some day.


Date: Friday, November 1, 2013  3:01 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street news watcher

Fox 32 9:00 a.m. News today plugged Macy's upcoming tree lighting with an interview with employee John Jones. Fox said Jones has been involved behind the scenes with the tree and the windows for 20 years.

A photo shown of a previous window (looked like last year) rather conspicuously included the Marshall Field's sign next to it on the building.

Especially highlighted was a window showing people watching the Macy's parade(that's from New York)on TV.

Jones said additional windows this year will include a scene at Randolph and State about making Frangos. They held up a big green metal box labeled Marshall Field's Frango Mints, complete with drawing of the clock, and plugged it as the original window box.

Jones and the Fox anchor "reminisced" about these wonderful traditions of tree, Walnut Room and windows people have enjoyed since childhood, with special emphasis that for every letter to Santa $1 is given to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. However, Jones closed by touting the wonderful long-time traditions as originating at Macy's on State--with no mention of or credit to Field's even though the name was obviously on the Frango Mint box and the side of the building.

Almost everyone else knows the traditions originated at Marshall Field's.


Date: Friday, November 1, 2013  6:17 am CT
Posted by: Jim

On November 12 at 7:00 pm, Glenview Library is hosting Amy Meadows for her talk "Marshall Field’s Holiday Traditions: A Behind-the-Scenes Tour." No doubt this will be similar to her presentation that was part of FieldsFansChicago.org's annual September event. Here's your second chance.
Marshall Field’s Holiday Traditions: A Behind-the-Scenes Tour — 7 p.m., Nov. 12. Amy Meadows, former director of Windows and Marketing Events for Marshall Field's and Macy's, provides an armchair tour of the design and execution of the famed animated windows, Main Aisle decor, and the Great Tree with archival images, contemporary photos, and memorabilia. The library extends a special thanks to the Glenview Gardeners for generously co-hosting this program and providing light refreshments. Register at glenviewpl.org/register, (847) 729-7500 x 7600, or the Reader Services Desk.

Date: Thursday, October 31, 2013  6:58 am CT
Posted by: Pete

They sure run the newspaper ads for the Great Tree a lot. So early!


Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013  9:18 pm CT
Posted by: Meredith

I noticed that Fannie May has started selling meltaways in Chicago impressionistic painting box, similar to the one that Frangos have come in the past decade. I saw these at Dominick's. I also noticed that there are a lot more flavors of Frangos, seemingly less stock of the traditional mints. Frangos have been promo priced by Macy's like they never were at Marshall Field's. They must be a draw. With the different new flavors and drop in regular mint, I wonder if Frangos sales are not what they used to be.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013  5:38 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Today's Chicago Tribune has a huge ad for the Walnut Room Christmas Tree which will be unveiled this Saturday. Pretty early. Wow! Kinda crazy.


Date: Monday, October 28, 2013  2:45 pm CT
Posted by: gle

While the products sold by Dominick's and Field's were obviously dis-similar, I am heartened by the concept of the customer finally winning out in desire for quality and service. My neighborhood is getting a Mariano's and we even had a presentation by Bob Mariano himself. I was very impressed with his customer service attitude. Macy's didn't "get" Chicago any more than Safeway did. Even in hard times, people don't settle for junk. I believe a change for the better is still possible.

Date: Sunday, October 27, 2013  8:13 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Glad to see the postings back.

It struck me that after all this time, the same things essentially being said over and over.

How long can this madness go on?

If Safeway has finally caved, presumably it is because it could absorb losses only so long. Given the much larger scale of the Macy's Borg machine, I guess they can hold on proportionately longer. But it is so wrong, so wrong--it cannot prevail forever!


Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013  6:20 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks for your patience while this blog has been down or otherwise un-updated over the past month. Thanks for emailing in your items but always feel free to use the "post" button above.

Jim


Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013  8:28 am CT
Posted by: FieldsFan

Page two of the November 2013 issue of Chicago magazine has a full-page ad for the Great Tree Lighting in the Walnut Room. It will be held next Saturday, November 2, two days after Halloween. The ad suggests that things will be similar this year since virtually the same ad artwork from last year is used again. It says the celebrity tree lighter is to be announced. These ads probably go to press around Labor Day, I guess. On the web it says the tree will be lit by rapper Nick Cannon who is Mariah Carey's husband. Also appearing will be Lauren Alaina, a runner up on the tenth season of American Idol!!!!!!! OMG! Not.

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013  4:39 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

It looks like the case with Martha Stewart and Macy's and JCPenney is coming to a close. Macy's is still suing them, but JCPenney doesn't want to sell the same merchandise that they sell at Macy's. I can't remember JCPenney and Marshall Field ever in the same sentence.

Whatever. It should be noted that department stores are all having a slide in their stocks because of the shut down and so forth.


Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013  7:25 am CT
Posted by: L.K.R,

Still missing Field's.

Do you think it could come back? That would be a dream come true!


Date: Sunday, October 20, 2013  6:29 pm CT
Posted by: ST LOUIS

I passed through a St Louis Area Macy's that used to be Famous Barr. I saw that they already had the Christmas decorations for sale. I saw Godiva chocolates, but no Frangos. They have carried them at this store since it became Macy's. I asked a clerk. She said that they won't be carrying them this year, but I could order on line. I guess Macy's doesn't know how to sell Frangos. I thought they wanted to sell them nationally.

that's the magic of Macy's.


Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013  12:28 pm CT
Posted by: Meredith K.

I keep reading the stories about "J.C. Penney and it's archival Macy's." I agree that you never heard that about Penneys and Field's. But then, I also thought Macy's was a cut above J.C.Penney. At least Macy's has a higher end, traditional cosmetics department. J.C.Penney's has a cosmetics department that's one cut above Osco Drug!!!!

Then I saw the cosmetics department at State Street the other day. They gutted it and now it looks like the Sephora department at J.C.Penneys!!! Macy's really does aspire to go down market! They ARE J.C.Penneys' equal competitor!!!

ARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Don't these people at Macy's realize what they have? How can they ruin it??????


Date: Thursday, October 17, 2013  9:38 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I was walking down State Street this evening and took a peek behind the shades in the windows of the State Street store. Through the slits at the edges of the windows, I could see that Christmas windows were being assembled. It looks like the displays will be similar to last year's. (This even happened as Field's, of course.) But I enjoyed seeing that the backs of some of the materials used had "Marshall Field's" stamped on them to identify their owner.

Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2013  6:27 pm CT
Posted by: Renee K.

I cannot believe I have never been on this blog. I love Marshall Field's and genuinely wish Macy's would restore Marshall Field's especially the State Street store to its' original grandeur.

I know people who have never and will never shop at Macy's unless and until it is changed back! I was recently in the State Street store for research on a project and see that maybe they realize they need to invoke the spirit of the original store, and are trying to do so through their 7th floor display. It is a wonderful homage to Marshall Field and the contributions to Chicago, but it would be better if it were their swan song on their way out.

They are not keeping it clean. The sconces and scrollwork surrounding the Tiffany ceiling is dusty and dirty. The walls around the historical water fountains is breaking and not being repaired.

I hope to know when there are more walks, letters or anything else to bring back Marshall Field's. I have a button, but could use more.

Renee


Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013  7:29 pm CT
Posted by: R. Gordon

I heard someone in the news compare Dominick's to Marshall Field's. Since when did anyone come from around the world to shop Dominick's like they did for Field's? NEVER! Yes, I feel nostalgia for Dominick's, but people will move on. In fact, they already have which is why Safeway is going out of business in Chicago. Dominick's went away a dozen years ago as far as I am concerned. Same for many others. That's how they lost 2/3 of their business.

But the world has not moved on from missing Marshall Field's.

R. Gordon, Chicago


Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Safeway's exit from the Chicago market offers some interesting comparisons and contrasts with Marshall Field's and Macy's that have served as a case study for some of the core organizers here at Field's Fans. We haven't wanted to outright compare Field's and Macy's and with Dominick's because the latter pair are not in the same league of significance as Field's. (See "s.b.'s" post from yesterday/below.) At the same time there are some lessons to be learned. Here are a few:
  1. Keeping the same name on a store doesn't mean the store stays the same. It's quite common for the media to call the switch from Field's to Macy's a name change and ask if we'd be happy if the name went back to Marshall Field's. After Dominick's was purchased, the store became Safeway in most every way EXCEPT the Dominick's sign out in front and on the shopping carts. In the early 2000s, Safeway Local brands were replaced with Safeway's. The interiors looked exactly like Safeway. The way the checkers and staff addressed the customers was like Safeway--apparently appropriate on Safeway's home turf in California where it is successful, but not in Chicago.
  2. Safeway got rid of Dominick's pioneering "Fresh Store" concept with many ready-to-go meals and took them downmarket with plain produce departments and stores. After they lost enough customers, they started the "Lifestyle" store which were exactly what Dominick's had ten years earlier before Safeway copied them chain wide. Sounds like Macy's getting rid of Field's and then trying to copy some things Field's did but chain wide.
  3. Safeway got rid of Dominick's senior management who really understood Chicago's customers and largely replaced them with execs from California H.Q. Not only did these execs from H.Q. not "get" Chicago, it set the stage for their final downfall which was…
  4. The former head of Dominick's, Bob Mariano, and other senior execs started a new chain, Mariano's, which set up its first locations adjacent to Safeway's best performing Dominick's stores. Two were even in former Dominick's locations that used to be busy. Under Safeway, these stores slowed to a trickle of business. After Safeway closed them, Mariano's picked them up and they are now doing business to the point where traffic backs up from the parking lot into the street on Weekends and holidays. The only new and exciting thing in Chicago retail is Mariano's--everyone wants one in their neighborhood. But what are they? They are simply what Dominick's would have been in 2013 had it not been purchased by Safeway back in 1998. Even the staff dresses like Dominick's staff did before it was acquired by Safeway. Had Safeway kept Dominick's as it was, including the management, they wouldn't be pulling out of Chicagoland today. Safeway's announcement came just hours after Mariano's opened another wildly successful store adjacent to one of the few profitable Dominick's locations.
In short, Dominick's became Safeway, while Mariano's became what Dominick's would have been in 2013 without Safeway.

Part of what precipitated this was the retirement of Safeway head Steve Burd who refused to concede to former Dominick's management and customers that they screwed up in the Chicago Market. Mariano and company tried to purchase the stores but Burd declined. Further facilitating the shift was an activist shareholder who obtained over 6% of Safeway. This shareholder pressured Safeway make highest and best use of the Chicago stores. Under Burd, things were painted as rosy for Safeway and Dominick's. After Burd and he addition of the new activist shareholder, reality hit.

While it did take 12-15 years for Dominick's customers to get their store back--albeit as Mariano's--it did happen. It remains to be seen if Safeway will sell Mariano's some of the prime Dominick's locations as it exits the market, but clearly Chicago customers finally got what they wanted.

Like s.b., I have to agree that Safeway and Dominick's are not the same as Field's becoming Macy's. With Safeway and Dominick's, the customer finally won in the form of Marianos. With that in mind, some people have suggested, "Do what they did at Mariano's." There's plenty of Marshall Field's talent that Macy's let go that could start a new emporium near, say Water Tower, Oak Brook or Old Orchard. Contrary to what Macy's claims, there have been parties who would love to run Field's as Field's or a store like it. If Macy's doesn't appreciate it, perhaps the next thing is, as described above, is to try Mariano's strategy."

If a local grocery store can make a comeback, it would be a snap for Field's to come back in spirit and in every other way except perhaps name. Chicago deserves it's own International emporium.


Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013  5:19 pm CT
Posted by: s.b.

Tribune comment from DePaul professor says that Dominick's closing is like the closing of Marshall Field's. This is not true. Field's was an international tourist destination and local favorite for everyday shopping, weddings, special events, etc. It represented Chicago both locally and abroad. Dominick's was an okay grocery store but there was no emotional connection with the consumer like Field's. Also, Field's closed because it was doing pretty good and someone wanted to take out the competition. Dominick's was barely staying alive and was losing too much money so it had to be sold/shuttered. Two very different things. When Macy's eventually closes it will be VERY SIMILAR TO DOMINICK'S... in that it thought it could walk into Chicago-land and just change everything for the worse and consumers would not notice!
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-dominicks-react-20131013,0,7555129.story?page=1

Date: Friday, October 11, 2013  11:28 am CT
Posted by: drew

Boscov's is opening a new store in Ohio Valley Mall, which is located outside Wheeling WV. Shoppers are excited about the new store. Evidently Red Star is worried about the competition because they are refurbishing their former Kaufmann's location which hasn't been updated for many years.

Boscov's is a family owned department store which offers candy and snack foods, toys, lifestyle furniture, giftware, home dec, gadgets, closet supplies, lamps, notions, outdoor living including furnitre and grills, wall art, greeting cards and gift wrap, cleaning supplies, curtains and draperies--as well as apparel and cosmetics. They offer a variety of merchandise at all price price points--bargains galore as well as top quality items.

Perhaps shoppers are FINALLY tired of the bland, generic "department store" found at every mall throughout the country filled with nondescript clothing and accessories with a limited home store. Boscov's seems to be successful because they operate a true department store.

Perhaps Red Star might do well to study Boscov's model and to restore some of its locations as "destinations" rather than "just another macy*s.

http://www.timesleaderonline.com/page/content.detail/id/549821/Boscov-s-nearing-the-home-stretch.html?nav=5002

http://www.news-register.net/page/content.detail/id/590875/Boscov-s-Ready-to-Roll.html

http://www.news-register.net/page/content.detail/id/590916/Boscov-s-Bustles-On-Preview-Day.html?nav=510


Because of technical reasons, this blog/guestbook was unavailable for posting from Friday, October 4 through Friday, October 11, 2013. As such, it was not possible to post.


Date: Friday, October 4, 2013  6:35 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Well, it's been a biblical seven years, give or take. Marshall Field's was not just a nice or even plush place to shop. It was an inviting, coherent world of stuff presented with a point of view, a collective effort to offer, graciously, the best and most interesting. The quiet hush of the coat department--- I had just thought of that. The wooly smell of the rug department. (Yes, wool) The smooth gleam of the china department-- the cheese counter-- all kinds of food for the senses as well as just stuff to take home to eat, plug in or put on. The list of what made Field's downtown very special is long and includes of a lot of little subliminal things like quiet, sound, scent, light, spatial relationships, order, materials, etc. Not possible with dead senses at the leadership levels.

Maybe it's just my sensibilities at work here, but I like the idea of shoes in one place, rugs in another, accessible with the aid of elevators and escalators. The mall aesthetic-- rambling, random, redundant, crammed, often indifferent--for the most part barely just gets the job done, not much else. There is this gem in place, ready to serve, and it is treated like a millstone around the corporate neck.

I guess they can mess up whatever else they want, but desecrating the exceptional place that was Field's on State Street...... seems a crime against civilization. For the ten millionth time: Macy's, how could you be so dense?


Date: Friday, October 3, 2013  12:39 am CT
Posted by: fields shopper

I hope that a private investor will buy the Chicago store and the Marshall Field's brand from Macy's and restore the glorious store that we once had. I miss the selection of quality items that Marshall Field's carried. Shopping at the store was a true joy.

I am not at all interested in the Jessica Simpson perfume, Martha Stewart housewares and Snoop Dog cologne that Macy's sells. They can keep their celebrities and their Charter Club turtlenecks.

Boycott Macy's!


Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2013  7:19 pm CT
Posted by: Liz P.

I was reading how the Drake Hotel stayed the Drake even though there's no one connected with its operation. Isn't it important to be respectful? Hilton clearly got the message. Macy's surely did not. Forever, it will be Marshall Field's even if Macy's forces its lesser ways and wares on the greatest store in the world.


Date: Monday, September 30, 2013  7:03 pm CT
Posted by:

Thanks to all who helped make a success of our annual September event in support of a restore Marshall Field's to State Street…and...

For starters, special HUGE thanks from all goes to Marianne. Then thanks to Gayle Soucek and Eric Bronsky who talked about their books on Marshall Field's.

And most of all, thank you to Amy Meadows, former director of Windows and Marketing Events for Marshall Field's and Macy's. She gave a stunningly entertaining and educational survey of displays and windows at Marshall Field's on State from the early 1980s into 2008. And for those wondering if she had anything to say about Field's and Macy's, let it be known that Ms. Meadows kept it strictly professional and focussed on the windows. She did mention that some of her proteges are on the current displays team at Macy's on State.

In case you missed Ms. Meadows talk, we understand that she will give another talk on November 12 at the Glenview Library. Please check the Glenview Library for more details. We are not connected with that presentation.

It should be noted that there was some confusion about when the post event gathering of Field's fans was to take place. Thanks to all who were out there in waves of three, four and five.

We look forward to future events and thank you for your continued support, demonstrating that Chicago--indeed the world--still wants the return of Marshall Field's to State Street. There's no place like Marshall Field's.


Date: Sunday, September 29, 2013  10:09 pm CT
Posted by: Michael S.

Has anyone noticed the Marshall Field's Chicago tin on macys.com for Christmas? So odd how they randomly use the Field's name at their convenience.

Date: Sunday, September 29, 2013  4:56 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I enjoyed Amy Meadows' fascinating presentation of behind-the-scenes photos, artifacts and memories of her career as Marshall Field's window dresser. This was a unique experience, as were the Marshall Field's windows.

I was also happy to reconnect with many Field's friends and meet a couple of new friends. And thank you to Gayle Soucek and Eric Bronsky for sharing your books with us again.


Date: Sunday, September 29, 2013  1:23 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Interesting that Kohl's is offering REAL designer merchandise...
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/fashion/stylebook-snapshot-kohls-offers-parisian-chic-705408/
Perhaps Kohl's is attempting to capture customers disinterested in Red Star's downmarket offerings.

Date: Saturday, September 28, 2013  10:21 pm CT
Posted by: Rich

The genteel and excellent customer service -- the brands and the assortment of merchandise -- so wide in variety -- something for everyone -- finest goods to bargains-- the atmosphere and "flavor" of the company --which WAS able to be reproduced at ALL Field's stores --not just State Street--it was SO posh and refined.

Federated Department Stores at ONE time, a long time ago, understood that level of retail -- But NOT now.

The red star store is a "just fine" plain everyday booring vanilla flavorless store without style or elegance. these people would not be capable of the production and performance necessary to reproduce what Marshall Field and Co. did everyday.

Bloomingdales is little more than Macy's with slightly better merchandise assortment, much higher prices, and attitude, and that was NOT what Field's was about AT ALL. The company that is now Macy's could not even begin to understand what Field's was. Macy's would never be able to reproduce what Field's was, or how Field's conducted their business. It is simply not within their capability.

The destruction of Marshall Field's was, and remains, a VERY sad and terrible mistake.


Date: Saturday, September 28, 2013  8:52 pm CT
Posted by: Alfred in Washington

Will be there in spirit today with you all for Amy Meadows' presentation, which I'm sure will be wonderful, and the rally.

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's!


Date: Thursday, September 26, 2013  5:47 pm CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

-------------------------------------------------------

R*E*M*I*N*D*E*R

      T H I S . S A T U R D A Y !

-------------------------------------------------------

      FieldsFansChicago.org presents


      BEHIND THE SCENES—
      MARSHALL FIELD'S HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
 
      AMY MEADOWS

      Our Annual September Event
      1:00 P.M., Saturday, September 28, 2013


"Amy Meadows, former director of Windows and Marketing Events for Marshall Field's and Macy's, provides a sneak peek into the design and execution of the famed animated windows, Main Aisle decor and the Great Tree.  This slide presentation includes archival images, contemporary photos and memorabilia."

      ----------------------

Seating is very limited.  Please reserve your place as soon as possible by telephoning 312.662.8980.

The location will be steps away from the historic Marshall Field and Company Department Store Building.  

There is no charge for this event, although donations are welcomed at the event.  

Further questions?  Simply reply to this email message.

------------------------------------------------------

INTO THE 21st CENTURY,  Marshall Field and Company was revered internationally as a world-class emporium and uniquely-Chicago cultural institution.  All of this was possible thanks to the amazingly talented and dedicated geniuses who made sure that "There is no place like Marshall Field's."

This presentation is the first in an ongoing series of events showcasing and paying tribute to those who are the contemporary Marshall Fields, Harry Selfridges and John Shedds in our midst.

We look forward to celebrating the amazing people who brought so much sheer joy to millions of us.  Please join us on Saturday, September 28th.

------------------------------------------------------

After the event, some Field's Fans will converge to rally under the Great Marshall Field's Clock, holding signs in support of Marshall Field's. Signs will be available there. You are welcome to join them.

------------------------------------------------------

      How to Add or Remove Your Email Address From Our List


* To Remove Your Email Address from Our Subscriber List:

Send email to REMOVE-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org  

Please include the email address you wish dropped if it is not the one from which you are sending the request.

* To Add Your Email Address To Our Subscriber List:

Send email to ADD-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org

Subscription requests must be sent from the email address that is to be added to the subscriber list.

* Switching Addresses?

1. Send a "REMOVE-ME"  request from either you old address or your new one; 

      then...

2. Send an "ADD-ME"  request from your new address.

Again, NEW add requests MUST come from the address to which this newsletter is to be delivered.

*  Please send all bug reports to info AT fieldsfanschicago.org

-------------------------------------------------------

This newsletter, the presentation by Amy Meadows, and other associated activities and events described within are not in any way sponsored by and have NO affiliation whatsoever with Macy's, Inc. (formerly Federated Department Stores, Inc.), May Department Stores Company, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Marshall Field and Company, the Marshall Field Family, the Field Foundation of Chicago, etc.  The views and opinions expressed here represent only those of the writer.

-------------------------------------------------------

       END

-------------------------------------------------------


PLEASE NOTE: While not part of the event, after 2:30, some of those attending plan to rally holding Marshall Field's signs in front of the store on State Street for a photo op. But that's separate from this event.

Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013  4:38 pm CT
Posted by: Luaann Mary S.

Thanks to Jim McKay and the others who continue to passionately fight for Marshall Field's. It's seven years since the Macy's takeover, and I still greatly miss the iconic, historical Field's. That's just it, we let an integral part of Chicago's history slip away. I SO long for Field's return, especially at the holidays.

Keep up the good work.


Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2013  1:12 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

In response to Jim's comment about cosmetics at the State Street store.

The remodeled department is inline with what Macy's is doing at Herald Square and other stores. The fact that State street was given a total remodel for cosmetics shows the commitment that Macy's has to State Street. Also they have done some small remodels to Crystal, Shoes and apparel on 3. It may not be the classic look for the store, but it has the potential to bring in more revenue for Macy's and the store as a whole.


Date: Monday, September 23, 2013  8:28 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

It's no surprise that macy*s would revamp the State Street cosmetics departments to look like Sephora, Kohl's or other mass market cosmetics retailer. Even Walgreen's and CVS offer cosmetics sections that look like those pictured. As so many people have said, macy*s is "nothing special" and this remodel demonstrates their commitment to mediocrity. And they wonder why business is down at their "tourist locations." There are macy*s stores everywhere--and the macy*s stores look just like every OTHER store everywhere.

Perhaps macy*s will replace the few in-store restaurants they haven't closed with McDonald's or Subway, thereby removing any semblance of individuality or uniqueness.


Date: Monday, September 23, 2013  8:15 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

According to this article, macy*s is losing women's clothing shoppers to cheaper alternatives such as JCPenney and Kohl's:
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/big-data-download/why-macy-may-missing-report-144355816.html
Some of macy*s "competitors" listed here in women's clothing are walmart and Target. So it would seem that macy*s strategy to capture the "bargain hunter" segment isn't working. By ditching the regional department stores which had a reputation for quality and "better" merchandise, macy*s has positioned itself as just another discount store whose shoppers make purchases based on the lowest price.

While the regional stores did offer excellent sales and clearances on quality merchandise, they didn't find it necessary to run continuous "One Day Sales" with the "lowest prices of the season" every week nor did they have to flood customers' mailboxes with a plethora of coupons and WOW passes. The quality, selection and service attracted customers to the regional department stores; shoppers who valued these things have moved on to other venues, leaving macy*s with customers only looking for the cheapest price.


Date: Friday, September 20, 2013  6:55 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The front of today's Chicago Tribune Business section talks about the huge remodel of the south atrium cosmetics department at State Street. Apparently, the goal is to compete better with Sephora and Ulta and other less premium cosmetics departments.
More Than Cosmetic Change for Macy's Beauty Department
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0920-macys-beauty-20130920,0,7847053.story
I posted the following comment:
Somehow it's kinda sad to see Macy's take a international destination like the former Marshall Field's store and reinvent it to be more like Sephora (J.C.Penney's leased cosmetics department) and Ulta. Not that the two latter retailers aren't good, but Field's was always much more. Clearly this shows that, contrary to what Macy's says, the former Field's stores have gone down market.

While the displays are are nice and clean, they really could be in any space, any mall, any where--not in what is agreed to be one of the greatest retail spaces in the world, the atrium with the largest Tiffany ceiling anywhere. Similarly sad to see the great columns in the space covered so high up with advertising.


Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: Laura E.

Went through State Street. The store looks AWFUL until I looked up and saw the Tiffany!!!

Way to ugly it up, Macy's!! That's the magic of Macy's.


Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013  8:00 am CT
Posted by: F.D.

LIke some others, I don't get all this affinity for Bloomingdale's. In Chicago, it's Marshall Field's that we want. What's wrong with having three store names????


Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2013  10:15 pm CT
Posted by: Pete.

New York City is turning their Visitors Center over to Macy's at Herald Square.

In-store visitors centers at San Francisco and Chicago are mentioned. Those stay just on Macy's.

They'd have a good visitors center for Chicago if they made it back into Marshall Field's. Who in Chicago wants a vistors center with a New York name?

Here's the article. From the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/nyregion/tourist-hungry-new-york-to-put-visitor-center-in-macys.html?src=rechp

Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2013  7:09 am CT
Posted by: Laura E.

Looking forward to the event on the 28th. Marshall Field was the best!


Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2013  5:46 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

M.R.:

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah OOOOOOOOO hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

"Adopting the name of a new spouse"~ that brilliant metaphor does still bring a glow to my heart!

Department stores don't take spice (hahaha) and women with careers who become spice often maintain their surnames because THAT HAS ALWAYS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO, IDENTIFY THEM AND STAND FOR THEIR PARTICULAR PROFESSIONAL VIRTUES throughout their professional lives.  Eh?

In this case on State Street, it is just as well that she changed her name to that of the deadbeat she married. When free at last, she can retrieve her name and move on.


Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013  9:18 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

To "M R"'s comments about us accepting Macy's as the wonderful store coast to coast and the ability to "share" the experiences. I totally disagree. Macy's is NOTHING like Marshall Fields was. Nor like the other regional stores. It is more like JCPenney or Sears. Why in the world would you want to share experiences of what those stores have to offer? Marshall Fields was in a league all its own in many ways: from the high level of service and exclusive quality merchandise to its international fame. By the way, Houstonians no longer have any opportunity to view any windows since Macy's is imploding the former Foley's flagship on September 22nd. How about that to garner respect from former Foley's customers. I hope Strategic Marks LLC wins their bid for Marshall Fields and the other regional stores' trademarks and brings them back. There are millions of loyal Marshall Fields shoppers out there who have not forgotten about Fields and would welcome its return. The same goes for the other regional stores that were decimated by Macy's.

Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013  8:41 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates, Texas

M.R.,

I (and the rest of us) still fail to be impressed by what the "M" store has given us in the past 7 years. We are absolutely turned off by the holiday windows; Marshall Field's was (and still is) genius with their Christmas displays and visuals. (Even Harrod's still never fails to impress every Christmas!) Their food (also in the past 7 years) is also nothing to write home about, either: for example, there are reports of unopened Frango boxes dating back to 2008 in some stores! Not to mention these candies are like eating candle wax! And the "M" store stating other stores' (Field's, Wanamaker's, etc.) traditions as their own? In some circles, that would be plagiarism! Sure, the company formerly known as Federated DID buy out these old stores, but claiming another's innovations/traditions as M's own is TERRIBLE and so is holding these respected historic brands hostage!

Bring back the REAL Marshall Field's! And best wishes on the September 28th event!

i_miss_the_regional_nameplates


Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013  5:06 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I look forward to September 28! We don't forget.

Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013  11:01 am CT
Posted by: M.R.

I still wish people would think with an open mind about Marshall Field's becoming today's Macy's. Like I said a few months ago, it's really nothing more than an old friend adopting the last name of her new spouse. She's still your best friend.

I'm sure the store windows were nice as Marshall Field's. Now as Macy's, they're even better! One improvement is that there's the possibility of your friends and family in other cities having a comparable window displays experience. Take for example recent years when Macy's windows featured Christmas Steampunk or Virginia and the profoundly moving story of "Believe." You could see the windows locally in Chicago. Your friends and family elsewhere could see similar windows. Thus, you could share the experience.

What's nice is that there are some touches that customize stories to the local town. So in Chicago, the windows had references to the legend of Marshall Field's clock and brass signs. Meanwhile, Philadelphia City Center featured local elements from Wannamakers lore to the same basic windows. It's like watching T.V. and sharing the same experience. You could then talk about it on Facebook, Twitter, the phone, etc. And if you really like the windows, go to NYC where Macy's flagship has super deluxe versions of the windows in Chicago and other places.

Macy's has not only kept Marshall Field's food traditions, it has expanded them and adopted them as being worthy of the Macy's name. Macy's considers and respects this history as its very own! Not only that, Macy's has made the traditions better!

For example, check out this link and what Macy's has to say about the Walnut Room.

http://www.macysjobs.com/featuredstores/foods.aspx
See?? Macy's conducts the Walnut Room and all its history, right down to the pot pies, as its very own, not some poor step child. Marshall Field's IS Macy's. Now everyone across the nation gets a little bit of Marshall Field's and many other old time stores when they shop at Macy's.

Please give Macy's a chance and see it as it is today, not what your fears imagine it to be! You'll be so happy that you did!


Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013  6:35 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Times are always hard or harder, certainly since the Early Days of Field's. Enough people always have enough money who will spend it if the allure is irresistible. Especially if the store is not restricted to support by locals.

Macy's = meh.

One thing I dislike about dept stores over recent years (and I mean the 'better' sort!) - is chaos. Tight aisles, scatterings of cheezy supplier racks and tables and counters etc..... I personally dislike entering a disorganized, let alone unattractive, space that distracts, obstructs, annoys and confuses. That is especially off-putting to anyone who does not have all day to poke and search. Certainly it does not lead one to make an excuse to linger.

Field's is big enough- having seen the new cosmetics layout in the article Jim M refers to - that I guess it works, but it looks like random stations rather incoherently distributed within a grand space to which none of the new bits relate significantly, visually, spatially. That may be unfair, but that is what struck me in the photograph.

All the potential for drama on the first floor was sacrificed when those unifying island counters were removed years ago. I suppose they were just too old-fashioned but some things in life are right the first time. There is no overture, no grand opening statement, no readable vista that pulls you right through those doors in spite of yourself. It's not a Turkish bazaar in a medieval street, where jumble is part of the cachet.

While this rant amounts to an aesthetic critique, Marshall Field knew exactly what he was doing to get customer blood racing right from the threshold. Mine, anyway....


Date: Monday, September 16, 2013  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: gayle s.

If anyone thinks Chicagoans are forgetting about Field's, I would beg to differ...

This past weekend, I was invited to give a talk about Field's at a small community center. It wasn't well-advertised, so I didn't expect much of a turnout. To my amazement, the events coordinator called a week before the event to tell me that they had filled the hall--more than 100 people--and had a long waiting list! The talk, which was scheduled as one hour, ran almost twice as long because people just couldn't stop asking questions and sharing memories of Field's. The audience included folks of all ages.

At the beginning of my talk, I mentioned that Macy's renamed the store because they apparently believed their brand identity could replace Field's. I said it in a very neutral way, not intending to start a controversy, but immediately the room erupted into boos, hisses, and some not-very-complimentary comments about Macy's. Many people stated they would not shop at Macy's because of what they did to Field's, even though they had no awareness of FFC's efforts or any other formal boycott.

The facility is already thinking about scheduling a second talk to accommodate those folks that couldn't get in to the first one.

Yep, Field's has been gone for seven years, but it appears that no one has forgotten, nor are many people ready to forgive the company that took away Chicago's store...

gayle


Date: Monday, September 16, 2013  4:42 pm CT
Posted by: B.C.

Marshall Field's was a uniquely special store, which was not only a lovely venue for meeting and shopping, but which served as the epitome of Chicago's way of life, and - to a surprisingly great extent - exemplified the very soul and spirit of the city.

Thanks to all for actively sustaining and promoting the special, joyful spirit of Marshall Fields. The informative and charming communiques never fail to bring a smile to my face, and conjure treasured memories which I cherish.


Date: Monday, September 16, 2013  12:39 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

To elaborate on Jim's post, the same group that sold Lord and Taylor also owns Hudson's Bay. Thus, they simply sold L&T to themselves, which consolidated their retail holdings under one umbrella. Each store will maintain it's own staff, buyers and identity. (unlike you know who) However, it is speculated that they will use these various brands in concert. For example, it has been speculated that some weaker Saks stores will be converted to Lord and Taylor, while they may use Saks at certain prime The Bay locations in Canada to compete with Holt Renfrew. Hudson's Bay also owns Home Outfitters, a chain much like Bed Bath and Beyond, as well as two discount chains; Zeller's and Field's. They have sold many of their Zeller's locations to Target to concentrate on their department store business (unlike Target) In addition, they have used their Home Outfitters platform to launch Lord and Taylor Home, which flopped at 2 bricks and mortar test locations, but now has an extensive web presence. Unfortunately for us, this could have been Macy's vision for their stores.

Unrelated, I just finished reading Richard Longstreth's book, The American Department Store Transformed, 1920-1960. He discusses how Lord and Taylor hired the noted industrial designer Raymond Loewy to formulate their suburban Manhasset store in the late 1940s in a "country modern" style of white painted brick and rustic stone, which he points out that Field's copied at their suburban stores of the 1950s. However, which store did it better? Obviously Field's, as the Old Orchard store made the cover of the book!


Date: Monday, September 16, 2013  11:01 am CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Some private emails serve as a reminded of last Christmas's Video Christmas Card on YouTube--be sure to check it out. Contemporary Christmases at Field's--and more!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt4qVbNj8wU

Date: Monday, September 16, 2013  8:18 am CT
Posted by: Michelle

So happy to receive the news of the presentation. I hope to attend!

Date: Monday, September 16, 2013  7:49 am CT
Posted by: Missing it!

Marshall Field's was so great. I still miss it! Good to hear from you.


Date: Sunday, September 15, 2013  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

-------------------------------------------------------

      FieldsFansChicago.org
      Newsletter No. 36

      Sunday, September 15, 2013

-------------------------------------------------------

      FieldsFansChicago.org presents


      BEHIND THE SCENES—
      MARSHALL FIELD'S HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
 
      AMY MEADOWS

      Our Annual September Event
      1:00 P.M., Saturday, September 28, 2013


"Amy Meadows, former director of Windows and Marketing Events for Marshall Field's and Macy's, provides a sneak peek into the design and execution of the famed animated windows, Main Aisle decor and the Great Tree.  This slide presentation includes archival images, contemporary photos and memorabilia."

      ----------------------

Seating is very limited.  Please reserve your place as soon as possible by telephoning 312.662.8980.

The location will be steps away from the historic Marshall Field and Company Department Store Building.  

There is no charge for this event, although donations are welcomed at the event.  

Further questions?  Simply reply to this email message.

------------------------------------------------------

INTO THE 21st CENTURY,  Marshall Field and Company was revered internationally as a world-class emporium and uniquely-Chicago cultural institution.  All of this was possible thanks to the amazingly talented and dedicated geniuses who made sure that "There is no place like Marshall Field's."

This presentation is the first in an ongoing series of events showcasing and paying tribute to those who are the contemporary Marshall Fields, Harry Selfridges and John Shedds in our midst.

We look forward to celebrating the amazing people who brought so much sheer joy to millions of us.  Please join us on Saturday, September 28th.

------------------------------------------------------

      How to Add or Remove Your Email Address From Our List


* To Remove Your Email Address from Our Subscriber List:

Send email to REMOVE-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org  

Please include the email address you wish dropped if it is not the one from which you are sending the request.

* To Add Your Email Address To Our Subscriber List:

Send email to ADD-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org

Subscription requests must be sent from the email address that is to be added to the subscriber list.

* Switching Addresses?

1. Send a "REMOVE-ME"  request from either you old address or your new one; 

      then...

2. Send an "ADD-ME"  request from your new address.

Again, NEW add requests MUST come from the address to which this newsletter is to be delivered.

*  Please send all bug reports to info AT fieldsfanschicago.org

-------------------------------------------------------

This newsletter, the presentation by Amy Meadows, and other associated activities and events described within are not in any way sponsored by and have NO affiliation whatsoever with Macy's, Inc. (formerly Federated Department Stores, Inc.), May Department Stores Company, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Marshall Field and Company, the Marshall Field Family, the Field Foundation of Chicago, etc.  The views and opinions expressed here represent only those of the writer.

-------------------------------------------------------

       END OF NEWSLETTER No. 36

-------------------------------------------------------


PLEASE NOTE: While not part of the event, after 2:30, some of those attending plan to rally holding Marshall Field's signs in front of the store on State Street for a photo op. But that's separate from this event.

Date: Friday, September 13, 2013  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: Anna P.

What would really help is if some of us went to corporate offices at Macy's and demanded to see Terry Lundgren. Or the next time he came to Chicago. He probably wouldn't see us, which is a statement of how much he doesn't care about customers. Otherwise, I'd be glad to tell him how sad it is that he took Marshall Field's away.


Date: Friday, September 13, 2013  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Crains Chicago Business has a story about the updated cosmetics departments at three Chicago department stores including Macy's on State.
Chicago's department stores show off new looks for fall
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130913/NEWS07/130919916/chicagos-department-stores-show-off-new-looks-for-fall
One of the comments reflects my view.

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013  10:18 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Here's a link to an article about Terry Lundgren's "urgent" store visits:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-12/macy-s-ceo-store-visits-gain-urgency-amid-shares-slump-retail.html?cmpid=yhoo
I find it ironic that on one hand, Terry realized his "dream of a nationwide chain" of department stores under one name; yet on the other hand he praises the "my macy*s" strategy which individualizes merchandise assortments for different regions of the country. The country already HAD several nationwide chains of department stores (JCPenney, Kohl's, Sears) which could be found everywhere; there was NO need to add another. There were also well-respected regional department store chains which catered to their own markets. So now Lundgren is saying that although macy*s is nationwide, it is also also localized?

Everyone realizes that we live in difficult economic times and that consumers have curtailed their spending. What Lundgren DOESN'T realize is that having macy*s everywhere has taken the department stores from being a "destination" or "aspiration" to just "another" shopping venue. The regional department stores were usually considered something "better" or "special;" macy*s is on the same level as the other nationwide department store chains.

Perhaps Lundgren should "own up," drop the "macy*s modified" and give shoppers what they really want!


Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013  7:54 am CT
Posted by: E.F.

The Chicago Tribune has had the Marshall Field's clock on its masthead the past couple of days. No doubt a reference to losing Marshall Field's seven years ago this week. Still very sad.


Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013  CT
Posted by: Field's Fans Chicago

Never forget.


Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013  8:01 pm CT
Posted by: Darla G.

First time poster.

Passed through the new Gurnee Macy's this weekend. I was surprised at how small it is. Not that all special. Reminded me of Kohl's.

I agree with those who never saw Field's compared to J.C.Penneys. You see it with Macy's all the time.


Date: Monday, September 9, 2013  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Steve

The back of the Splash Section in yesteday's SunTimes had a full page ad for The 28 Shop. Doesn't seem the same at all.


Date: Monday, September 9, 2013  11:32 am CT
Posted by: Jim

It was announced today that Neiman Marcus's 74 stores were being sold for over $6 billion to a group of Canadian investors.

Sak's 320 locations went to Canada's Hudson Bay for $2.4 billion about six weeks ago. Hudson Bay also owns Lord and Taylor. About six years ago, Federated sold Lord and Taylor's 45 or so stores to an equity firm for $1.2B. More recently, Lord and Taylor was in turn sold to Hudson Bay for an undisclosed price.

in 2004, May Department Stores purchased Target's 62 Marshall Field's stores, including about 42 that had recently been Dayton's and Hudson's, for about $3.2 billion in 2004.

Federated paid about $11 billion for May Department Stores in 2005. This comprised 420 department stores, including Lord and Taylor and Marshall Field's, plus a couple of bridal store chains.

This information is from Wikipedia and other news archives.


Date: Monday, September 9, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Seven years since that very sad day in Chicago history when Marshall Field's was converted to one of 800 Macy's stores.

We still miss Marshall Field's more than ever.


Date: Sunday, September 8, 2013  12:52 pm CT
Posted by: Judy Marth

Emptying dresser drawers in anticipation of our new bedroom set, we found an old Marshall Field's credit card and a Marshall Field's jewelry box! TREASURE!!! It was so great to see the Field's Green and Logo!! I'm keeping both...

It's now a perfect day.....

Judy Marth


Date: Sunday, September 8, 2013  4:57 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The Edgewater Historical Society has been a friend of Marshall Field's for a long time. Who could forget their special display tribute to Field's that was up for close to a year?

In thanks, it's being pointed out that a special event (non-Field's-related) will be held by the Edgewater Historical Society this Thursday, September 12th at the Edgewater Branch Public Library, Upgrading Your Homes: Recycled Materials and Energy Efficiency.

More details can be found here

Congratulations to Edgewater Historical Society on their 25th year!


Date: Sunday, September 8, 2013  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Offering a personal opinion in reply to Rich: I'm not a fan of the red star logo for several reasons, not the least of which is that, as you point out, it is a symbol associated with NYC, not Chicago.

True, the red star, has been used as a symbol of terrible forms of totalitarian Communism. I see where you are coming from and, based on comments over the years, I'm sure you're far from alone. A similar example could be the swastika. For years the swastika was for centuries employed as a common Christian symbol and architectural motif. When the Nazi Party adopted its mirror image as its symbol, it was largely dropped even as a symbol of Christianity.

The red star has been Macy's symbol for over a hundred years. But Macy's has been lead by U.S. war veterans who fought and sacrificed in World War II, the Korean conflict and other conflicts since. I'll defer to those people's judgement, since they risked their lives to fight Communism at the front who still chose to keep the red star later when they ran Macy's. I don't understand what "younger people" have to do with whether or not Macy's uses a red star as their logo.


Date: Friday, September 6, 2013  10:13 pm CT
Posted by: Rich

In relation to the "Red star". It has been said that R.H.Macy himself had a red star tattoo on his fore-arm. It is true that this has a strong related history to the Dutch.

In ALL reality however it must be acknowledged that this symbol was adopted by the communist and by the parties of both the Soviet Union AND China. I may be politically incorrect but I AM PROUD to be an AMERICAN and I find it insulting to have to see this symbol emblazoned upon all of their stores ALL OVER the country. Shame on them -- regardless of the history of the star emblom, the newer association with the communists has ruined this symbol and I probably am not the only one who feels that way and I lament the fact that younger people do not have pride in the USA to share that feeling.


Date: Friday, September 6, 2013  4:57 pm CT
Posted by: John P.

The New York Post claims that J.C. Penneys will drop Martha Stewart rather than continue their legal fight with Macy's. J.C. Penneys says Martha Stewart products don't sell well. The way the story is worded suggests that J.C. Penneys says Macy's can have her, as far as they are concerned.

I agree with others. You rarely heard Marshall Field's written about as J.C. Penneys rival. You Macy's and J.C. Penneys compared all the time.


Date: Friday, September 6, 2013  1:13 pm CT
Posted by: Lori H.

Bloomingdale's has a new promotion celebrating the "Brits." Looks like they've been copying Marshall Field's. Remember when Marshall Field's had the London Taxi doing deliveries all around town? The news at the time had the taxi re-wrapped from Marshall Field's stripes to Macy's black. Eventually the taxi was put up for sale. It was in an online ad.


Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2013  4:12 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I see that the former Field's warehouse on Diversey is being purchased from Macy's by some developers. The warehouse was closed over five years ago. It was outdated in layout and repalced with a new warehouse that is all on one floor. This meant about a third less workers are now needed to do the same volume. Two things. One, those savings could have been had by Field's. It didn't have to be Macy's to achieve that. The other thing is that Macy's moved the ware house southwest of Joliet. That's gotta be 50 miles away from the old one. I doubt many employees were able to make the commute and work at the new warehouse. I bet any new employees get paid a lot less. Thus more corners cut. That's the magic of Macy's.


Date: Monday, September 2, 2013  7:25 am CT
Posted by: Kevin, Indianapolis

I am still wearing black and I am in mourning and I am a guy.

I want my Marshall Field's!

I am holding out my cup. May I have some more Marshall Field's please?


Date: Monday, September 2, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Happy Labor Day,
Especially to those who helped make
Marshall Field's so uniquely special!


Date: Saturday, August 31, 2013  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: J.C.H.

Interesting link about bringing local stores back:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/9/prweb8685447.htm

Date: Friday, August 30, 2013  11:13 am CT
Posted by: Pat D.

I loved Field's!

Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013  10:55 pm CT
Posted by: P.D.

People comment almost weekly to me how they miss Marshall Field's.


Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013  8:16 pm CT
Posted by: B.L.

If you have ever shopped in any quality department store, (Macy's is considered middle of the road) then you would understand, good service, good quality, brand names that people have heard of etc. etc. etc.

As an employer, Marshall Field's treated us well. More than I can say for Macy's.

Macy's is the Target of New York.

Bring back Marshall-Fields!


Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013  6:51 pm CT
Posted by: C.L.

I was getting worried about you people here! Then I received the newsletter today. Carry on!


Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013  6:25 pm CT
Posted by: Judy.

I worked at Field's some years back. Loved it! I am furious that the beautiful store is no longer.

Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013  6:19 am CT
Posted by: James R.

Why does Chicago need TWO Macy's flagships?

Michigan Avenue should be enough. Why can't they give Marshall Field's back, or sell it to someone else?

Missing Marshall Field's here, you know?


Date: Monday, August 26, 2013  12:01 am CT
Posted by: Susan S.

During my teen years my hangout was Marshall Fields in Mayfair (Wauwatosa, WI). I went to the State Street store only. I moved to the East coast, but came to the State Street store every chance I could, so I appreciate this group's efforts. Next month, I'm moving to the Chicago area and am looking forward to participating in the September 28th event!

Date: Sunday, August 25, 2013  1:36 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Response to CFO Karen Hoguet's comment that the "tourist stores" are down: And you're surprised ABOUT?

By taking over and converting all the regional department stores and cloning them into the Red Star, what incentive was created for tourists to visit the same store they have at their local mall? Part of the excitement of a vacation trip was visiting a store one didn't have back home--and purchasing gifts for family and friends from a store associated with a particular city.

When I visited family in Michigan this summer, I did some major shopping at Von Maur and Meijer because these are stores we don't have in the Pittsburgh area. The gift recipients were excited to receive something in a shopping bag from an unfamiliar store. Bringing a gift from macy*s would have been met with the same reaction as something from Sears, JCPenney or Walmart. <Yawn>

When I visited Chicago a number of years ago, it was most exciting to visit Marshall Field's. The beautiful building, tasteful displays, great assortment of merchandise--and buying gifts that were special because they were uniquely Chicago. Why would a tourist go to a macy*s to do any major shopping when that store can be found anywhere?

By destroying the regional icons, I would suggest that macy*s also diluted the value of its own brand. Back in the day, macy*s WAS New York and had a certain cachet. Now macy*s is about as exciting as CVS, Family Dollar or Rite Aid. Nondescript merchandise in bland, nondescript stores.


Date: Sunday, August 25, 2013  1:22 pm CT
Posted by: drew

A neighbor who had never been to New York City said there were two things he definitely wanted to see: the Statue of Liberty and macy*s. (I didn't wish to spoil his excitement by explaining how underwhelming the store visit would be.) When he returned, he said he was greatly impressed by the magnificence of the Statue of Liberty but greatly disappointed by the Herald Square flagship.

He said the store had no distinctive architecture, no eye-popping displays, no compelling merchandise--it was just a BIG nondescript building filled with what one could find in any local macy*s anywhere. He was shocked that "the world's biggest store" housed fast food chain restaurants. When he tried to find the beautiful "grand stairway" that appeared in many TV commercials, he was told that was just an advertising prop which didn't actually exist in the store.

So where was the "magic" of macy*s?


Date: Friday, August 23, 2013  12:05 am CT
Posted by: Lori H.

It's been too long since Marshall Field's was taken from us.

Not only do I NOT shop at Macy's, I also don't shop at Bloomindale's.

I've noticed that Bloomingdale's has a Loyalty program.

No one I know EVER needed a gimmicky loyalty club to stay loyal to Marshall Field's. Everyone I know was loyal to Marshall Field's because it was a great, amazing place. Loyalty in retail is PRICELESS!!!

Meanwhile, Bloomingdale's loyalty program is full of hot air, like that stupid balloon sculpture dog they use for its mascot!

Macy's is DUMB!!


Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2013  8:12 pm CT
Posted by: R.H.

I wish you guys would hurry up! Field's can't come back soon enough. Richard

Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2013  8:27 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

We were discussing Marshall Field and Co. at a friend's house over the weekend. She was in Chicago retail for many years. We're convinced that Field's being subsumed by Macy's was all about ego and personal competitiveness, not unlike that between soap opera personalities. What a loss!


Date: Monday, August 19, 2013  10:03 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

My wife and I were watching "Unforgettable" on CBS. Guess what store was mentioned? Marshall Fields! It is so ridiculous that Macy's will not even consider bringing the Flagship back. It is internationally recognized -- even nearly 7 years after it was retired!

By the way, we are very saddened that Foley's flagship in Houston is scheduled to be imploded on September 22nd. Seems like Macy's never had any intention of keeping the other regional stores' flagships up to date and open. It went downhill quickly after the takeover and they sold it to investors right afterwards for the value of the real estate.


Date: Saturday, August 17, 2013  4:29 pm CT
Posted by: Clare R.

We still miss Marshall Field's. GIVE THE LADY WHAT SHE WANTS!


Date: Friday, August 16, 2013  5:50 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I'm no economist but this last bit about Gurnee Mills makes me wonder- how many tentacles does the octopus need? How many can it support? Does it matter if the tentacles don't all have proper suction cups --- will just any waving string of protoplasm do? Will the weight of all those tangled appendages pull it to the bottom of the tank?

Please note: A system error previously indicated that the above post was submitted by "jimmy gimbels." The correct author is "Susan NY." Apologies extended for any confusion.


Date: Thursday, August 15, 2013  5:27 am CT
Posted by: jimmy gimbels

Hello everyone. It has been quite a while since my last check in.

After much fan fare from the developer at Gurnee Mills, Macy's has finally opened in the former Best Buy location. It is basically a white box..inside and outside. Very odd merch selection...housewares has one style of bath towel "in 30 colors" ( I counted 18), and just row after row of fry pans. Store appears to be quite empty, which is good since there are virtually no salespeople to be found. It is fun to watch people in the mall walk up to the store, peek in and walk away.

Gurnee Mills is an outlet mall. People are looking for bargains not paper thin shirts at $69. Many of the stores in the mall already stock many of the brands that Macy's carries, but at much lower prices. So why go to Macy's?

Macy's insisted the mall owner create a more upscale section of the mall for its store. So one wing was redeveloped to look more upscale...but the neighboring stores are Marshall's and Payless Shoe Source. How upscale is that?


Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2013  5:27 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

1) Thanks to all for you patience with the blog and the web site over the past month. Things should be back to normal with regular updates.

2) Macy's had their FY 13 Q2 conference call this morning. Macy's is down a bit, first time in about 16 quarters. They attribute it to people being financially conservative in spending. Nothing specific on Field's. Closest was mention of the Rosemont Bloomingdale's Outlet and the Macy's at Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall. CFO Karen Hoguet also said that "tourist stores" were down to the same degree as other stores. I'm assuming tourist stores including 34th Street Herald Square in NYC; Union Square in San Francisco, City Center in Philly and State Street and Water Tower. (I think Chicago is the only city with two tourist Macy's stores--and that's if you don't include Bloomindale's.) Macy's in the South seems to be doing better than the northern stores; Bloomingdale's was up from last quarter compared with Macy's being down.

and 3)...

Save the date:
Saturday, September 28, 2013

will be our annual Field's weekend. Yes, we will will be in front of the store but moreover, we have something special planned (indoors) that will be the centerpiece event. You won't want to miss it!

Date: Sunday, August 11, 2013  9:27 pm CT
Posted by: Observer

People here may come down on one side or another on this issue and still love Field's. Still, Macy's is experiencing another boycott, this time in Texas over some labor law. Boycotters there are encouraged to shop elsewhere for the back-to-school tax holiday weekend. It was on a lot of news stations including the local newsradio station on Friday afternoon.

Here's a link to one of several stories on this http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/morning_call/2013/08/macys-kroger-face-boycott.html


Date: Saturday, August 10, 2013  9:27 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

I was walking through a Red Star store in a suburban Pittsburgh mall. The store hasn't been remodeled since it was Lazarus; other than minimal cosmetic updates, no investment has been made into any renovation.

An announcement came over the store's public address system, something to the effect of this: "Welcome, macy*s guests. Stop by our men's department today and save $25 off a $100 purchase during our special sales event." After some other information about the sale, the announcer closed with "Thank you for shopping at macy*s."

This reminded me of the infamous "Blue Light Special" announcements at Kmart back in the day. As the Red Star stores become more shabby and run down, as the various departments are packed with racks of clearance merchandise, and as the store is constantly running One Day Sales and distributing numerous coupons and shopping passes, observers can only assume the Red Star has transitioned to a full-fledged discount store. Martha Stewart anyone?


Date: Friday, August 9, 2013  12:20 pm CT
Posted by: Kathleen C.

I miss Field's. My Mom & I used to go downtown, it was such a treat. Does anyone have the recipe for the chocolate date loaf which could be purchased in the bakery? I'd so like to make it. I truly detest Macy's & what they've done to the beautiful & classy Marshall Field's. They should be ashamed, but I guess keeping with tradition is not in vogue.


Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2013  8:12 pm CT
Posted by: M.A.S.

Hi!

The former Oak Park Marshall Field's closed in 1986 and eventually became a Borders. Rumor has it that it will now become a Sleepys Mattress store. Too bad for such an important corner in Oak Park.


Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2013  7:10 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's is having their Second Quarter Conference call next Wednesday at 9:30 am Chicago time. You can listen via a link at macysinc.com


Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2013  10:00 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Macy's announced today that it is opening special "Lids" sports cap shops in about 200 stores with a pilot of a few stores for now. Marshall Field's fans have been waiting for this moment. Not.


Date: Tuesday, August 6, 2013  8:38 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Was traveling in the Detroit area over the weekend and decided to check in to see what was going on at the former Hudson's stores that were branded as Marshall Field's for a brief four years before they became Macy's. Sometimes I get new insights on our cause.

- Visited the Macy's at Northland Mall in Southfield. This location was opened in 1954 and is part of the first modern enclosed mall which was pioneered by Hudson's. That said, it doesn't look like the mall is doing that well in general. The store itself had whole areas that were empty and roped off while other department had empty cases, etc. While this is a historic store, it wouldn't surprise me if it was closed in the coming years. I think the problem is not unique to Macy's. Nothing obvious from its four years at Field's. Not even a shelf of Frangos. Run down.

- Checked out Ann Arbor's mall where they had a Macy's. I've heard that this is one of the stores that has taken a role as a flagship after the Hudson's flagship closed in 1983. I was disappointed in the store, architecturally. Even as Hudson's or Field's, I don't think it could have measured up to the kind of store that's like Oak Brook or Old Orchard, etc. It reminded me a lot of a decent Carson's store that you'd find today in Chicago's suburbs.

Here's what I have found most shocking at Ann Arbor. Like others here and myself, I checked out the Frangos. Back in Field's days and even for some time under Macy's, there were dates on the boxes, I think they were "Best by..." dates that were understandable. Then a couple of years ago (at least) Macy's switched to using Julian dates--numbers that begin with two digits of the year, followed by the day of the year. Somethings, like Frango candy bars still have a standard date. So they have a few shelves of Frangos on sale. The dates on some expired earlier this year while more than a few (say maybe 20) has expirations from LAST YEAR! Then I spyed about a dozen boxes behind the candy counter, some with the Marshall Field's logo on them. I was thrilled to see that the logo was back. I asked to see them. The clerk said that I didn't want to buy them--the Frangos dated back to 2008! I checked a couple of dozen of what looked like were forty boxes of Frangos total. Every one I checked had an old date, many back to 2012! I don't think that ever happened at Field's. I can't imagine Field's leaving them on the shelf. Moreover, I think they would have sold faster. There's to it that makes it worse, IMHO, but too complicated to explain here.


Date: Sunday, August 4, 2013  12:36 pm CT
Posted by: G.E.

Miss Marshall Field's a lot. State Street isn't that great street anymore.


Date: Thursday, August 1, 2013  9:02 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Today, Macy's opened a Bloomingdale's Outlet store in the new Chicago Fashion Outlets mall adjacent to O'Hare. Neiman Marcus and Saks also have outlets there as well. A fascinating aspect is that it's a place where travelers on layovers between flights can shop. You can even check your bags there. An interesting juxtaposition of higher end stores in an outlet mall format. It's sad in a way to see this as the future. The Bloomingdale's employees were among the only stores to feature their employees in suits. Hard to beleive that other stores (JCP, for example, which, BTW is not in the outlet mall) sell suits with clerks wearing jeans. Bloomingdale's have that part right where others do not.

Date: Thursday, August 1, 2013  4:28 pm CT
Posted by: Ron S.

Tall guy here. I don't shop at Macy's but received some clothes as gifts from Macy's. Supposed to be tall size, 36/37 sleeve. They are too short. I thought I was too fat or something. Maybe in denial that I needed to lose weight. But then I bought a couple of shirts in the same size from J.C.Penney. They fit fine! Marshall Field's aside, I can't shop Macy's because their clothes fit funny. Also, count me among those who are fascinated that Macy's has J.C.Penney as it's most compared store. You never used to hear about that with Marshall Field's.


Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2013  5:34 pm CT
Posted by: R.K.

Hi
I like Marshall Field's and they are important to me so i support you 100%.

Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2013  5:25 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

I watched "What a Woman Wants" (with Mel Gibson) last night with my daughter. Guess where he went to see if he could still read the minds of women? You guessed it! Marshall Fields. It was so awesome to see it pre-Macy's. There were great outdoor views as well as the cosmetics area. Marshall Fields was so classy. By the way, Marshall Fields fans need to follow the status of Strategic Marks, LLC's suit with Macy's. They purchased the trademarks of Jordan Marsh, Joseph Magnin, Abraham & Straus, Bullock's, May Co, Robinson's,Filene's, The Bon Marche and The Broadway with the intent on bringing those iconic stores back. In addition, they have applied for Foley's, Marshall Fields and 10 others to add to the stable of brands.

Date: Monday, July 29, 2013  5:37 pm CT
Posted by: s.b.

Branding experts view the Field's takeover and killing as one dumb decision. They mentioned it when talking about Saks and Hudson Bay Co.
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/will-canadians-put-ax-saks-151494

Date: Monday, July 29, 2013  11:48 am CT
Posted by: Janet Taylor Dybdal

My grandfather, George Graham MacKay was the silk and linen buyer for Marshall Fields sometime in the later 1800's. I wonder where I could get accurate information about his time of employment there in Chicago.

Response:
Macy's gave the Field's archives to the Chicago History Museum. Maybe you could get access, assuming that sort of information was kept. Best wishes for good luck!


Date: Sunday, July 28, 2013  10:28 am CT
Posted by: Kim D.

Saw a story where Macy's head was talking about some new stores. I think it was the Bloomingdale's in the Rosemont Outlet mall and the Macy's in the Gurnee Outlet mall. He said Macy's was open to trying anything. Yeah, except giving the lady what she wants--Marshall Field's!!!! Dumb!!!!

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2013  10:25 pm CT
Posted by: L.T.

Very odd story in Daily Herald about Macy's opening in an outlet mall near us in Chicago. This shows me Macy's is no Field's!!!!!
Macy’s? In the Gurnee Mills ‘outlet mall?’
http://newssun.suntimes.com/opinions/21547103-474/macys-in-the-gurnee-mills-outlet-mall.html

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2013  6:52 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Was in the State Street store again briefly a couple of days ago. They are remodeling the cosmetics department in first floor room at State/Washington that features the world-renowned Tiffany dome. Hard to say how it will ultimately turn out as it's a work in progress, but I'm so far disturbed to see each cosmetics area seemingly take on the look of a trade show booth. It really detracts from the unified effect of the great, internationally-renowned space. The floor is getting replaced, but it seems each area has its own flooring, as best I can tell. Maybe that will change in the design implementation. But I'm disappointed to see the columns be enclosed so far up with signage. The way these cosmetic counters and booths are shaping up, they could be anywhere, rather than in the most unique retail spaces in the entire world, not to mention in that amazing store. Below is a photo. Maybe I'm wrong.


Date: Thursday, July 25, 2013  6:52 pm CT
Posted by: Sharon

Field's veteran opens new, successful business in Northbrook! I know where I will be shopping--and it won't be at Macy's!
http://northbrook.suntimes.com/news/business/ladeda-NBS-07252013:article

Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: Sharon

Don't think I remember Marshall Field and Co. ever being in an outlet mall. Macy's is the same as Marshall Field's? No. BTW: I found a good recipe to approximate Frangoes. Whoo Hoo!


Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013  6:53 am CT
Posted by: Another Field's Fan

I live in Chicago but my work can mean I'm in the neighborhood of hou Mills where Macy's is opening a full-line Macy's store this week.

So it's strange. In Chicago, I've hardly seen any notice about the store. But the media some 40 miles north is full of info. No matter. I won't shop there. Maybe they are trying to reconcile Marshall Field's with being in an outlet mall. Or maybe it's too far away from Chicago for them to care..


Date: Sunday, July 21, 2013  5:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Was in the State Street store this past week and have the following notes:

* It's been noted that the Oak Brook store's jewelry department features images suggesting Macy's NYC instead of Chicago and Field's, while also having a giant photo of the 35 E Wacker clock instead of teh Field's clock. At State Street, they did get it right. Historic images of Field's are in the "R.H. Macy's" jewelry department, including when R.H. Macy's was established. But of course, getting rid of Field's implies that we shouldn't care about history in the first place.

* It appears that a new logo for the Field's Macy's Culinary Council is being implemented. The previous logo was adapted from the one for Field's; the new one is a circular logo, in a typeface similar to Courier (a font used in food contexts to suggest typed recipes, instructions, etc.) It's OK but wouldn't we all rather have Field's logo back? I've noticed the logo in an ad and also in some signage in the Marketplace. Speaking of Marketplace, they painted or wall papered over the vertical Field's stripes that were until maybe the past year left up on some fascias in the area.

* Back at Washington and Wabash where they sell handbags, Chicago items, etc., they have sets of Chicago-themed vinyl-look tote bags, cosmetic bags, and the like. One was mentioned about a year ago--it features a contemporary illustration of the Field's clock by a popular local artist. There was a whole rack of these. Some others depict Chicago icons. And then there are a bunch of bags that are vinyl versions of a Macy's bag in combinations of red, black and white (two of three colors per bag). Beneath the Macy's logo, it says, "CHICAGO." I know some have snarky remarks about the red star as a symbol of Chinese communism; however, the fact is that Macy's red star is inspired by a centuries-old iconography where the red star is a symbol of the Dutch sea traders. (Hence why there's a red star on, for example, Heineken Beer bottles.) And of course New York City was colonized as New Amsterdam by the Dutch back in the 1600s. Hence the red star is a symbol of New Amsterdam and New York City trade and retail. As such, R.H. Macy's had a red star tattoo. Point is, such bags are sort of weird, if not offensive. It effectively says, "New York Retail-Chicago." Weird!

* The touristy books section on 7 had a pricing sign with the caption, "We Love Chicago." Whatever, but you know, if this was still Field's, the sign could have (and maybe would have) said, "We Are Chicago."

The oddest part of the whole visit was a sign not too far from the center of the 7th floor. I feature it as a photo below. What a silly sign. Clearly, it dances like crazy around the proverbial giant elephant that fills the 1.2+ million square foot store: Most everyone still wants Marshall Field's. I'm shaking my head in speechlessness as I write this. How can they be so ridiculous!???


Date: Friday, July 19, 2013  4:44 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Someone else is mad at Macy's. A powerful northside social justice organization took a swing at Macy's for involvement in programs considered an threat to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Judging from photos attached to the article, they gave Macy's a worse time than Field's Fans every did.
"ONE northside leaders deliver strong message to Macy's CEO" July 15, 2013.
http://onechicago.org/2013/07/one-northside-leaders-deliver-strong-message-to-macys-ceo/

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013  8:03 pm CT
Posted by: Melissa

Former Field's exec has great artisan shop called Occasions in Naperville. Now expanding. Been there. It's great!
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-07-16/news/ct-tl-naperville-biz-profile-0718-20130716_1_gift-store-downtown-naperville-small-business-profile

Date: Sunday, July 14, 2013  2:01 pm CT
Posted by: N.

Douglas Dayton, founder of Target and a member of the Dayton family known for Dayton's Department stores, died at age 88. Target had a full-page ad to pay tribute to Doug Dayton in today's New York Times.

The Dayton family retired from what what we know today as Target in the mid-1970s.

In 2005 and 2006, Dayton family members were among those signing the Keep It Field's petition.


Date: Sunday, July 14, 2013  12:08 am CT
Posted by: C. Swanson.

RE: Macy's American Icon's Campaign.

With Macy's having kicked an American Icon like Marshall Field's to the curb, are we really to take them seriously?

Of course not! That's why earlier last week, we, in our office, weren't surprised to see Macy's disrespect an even more important American Icon, The American Flag. They have a sales paper on line with a woman wearing the flag around her shoulders like it's a blanket. NOTE TO MACY'S: This is a hugely disrespectful way to treat the flag. Did the head of Macy's even serve in the military? I think not. The only icon they seem to be able to respect is Marilyn Monroe and that's just because her estate is selling Mariyln Monroe-branded clothes "only@Macys."

And Macy's, please stop flying your "American Icons" flags at the same staff as the 50 stars and stripes?

Macy's should be ashamed!


Date: Friday, July 12, 2013  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: Martha T., Raleigh

We came across this site when we Googled for Marshall Field's. Macy's has nothing about Marshall Field's. We miss it. Me and my family simply can't believe there are no Marshall Field's locations left.

Please start a petition to get them to bring Marshall Field's back. Macy's is so New YOrk.


Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

With the vast majority of people wanting Marshall Field's to come back, let's face it, its either about Macy's not being talented enough to know how to run a great store like Field's or it's all about CEO Lundgren's ego. I think it's both.

Pete


Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2013  10:09 pm CT
Posted by: Z.

(This was passed along two or three weeks ago.)

"What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most" is a book edited by Elizabeth Benedict. It was released three months ago. Amazon describes this marvelous book as:

In What My Mother Gave Me, women look at the relationships between mothers and daughters through a new lens: a daughter’s story of a gift from her mother that has touched her to the bone and served as a model, a metaphor, or a touchstone in her own life. The contributors of these thirty-one original pieces include Pulitzer Prize winners, perennial bestselling novelists, and celebrated broadcast journalists.
Among those featured is Margo Jefferson, a former theatre critic for the New York Times. She's also been a professor at New York University and Columbia University. What gift did Ms. Jefferson write about? Growing up under the influence of her mother and Marshall Field's. A beautiful read and a shining example of why Marshall Field's matters.


Date: Monday, July 8, 2013  7:19 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

\ Passed through the Oak Brook store over the long weekend. Of course, it was sad to be reminded that the former Field's Marketplace has been greatly reduced with apparel encroaching into the blue floor tile area that once defined it. But it was really clear that Macy's is still trying to distance itself from Field's branding. In the men's department that had a giant poster of a familiar Chicago clock--but it was the Jewelers Building (35 East Wacker) clock. Talk about going out of one's way NOT to be Marshall Field's!

Of course, like other stores, the jewelery department has "R.H. Macy and Co." signage that points out something like "Since 1858." How can you take Macy's seriously when it comes to history, tradition and culture when they disrespect, disuse and mothball Chicago's?


Date: Saturday, July 6, 2013  5:14 pm CT
Posted by: Annette K.

My grandparents with my father (age 6) and my uncle (age 13) took a road trip from Wichita, KS to Chicago in 1933 to the World's Fair, and discovered Marshall Fields. Over the years my grandmother rode the train up to Chicago to visit my Uncle at the University of Chicago and go the Marshall Fields to look at the fashions. (she was a fashion seamstress and made clothes for people). She kept the boxes and paper bags and items purchased during those years; I have a lot of those things now. I am a third generation member of my family who would come up to Chicago (from Missouri) to spend a day in Marshall Fields as part of every trip to Chicago....also third generation of my family to always eat at Berghoff's.

Marshall Fields was a first class act, the architecture and stunning details of the lovely building; and all the departments filled with wonderful things to look at and purchase.

Now, why would anyone go out of their way to go to yet another Macy's store???


Date: Thursday, July 4, 2013  10:28 am CT
Posted by: Cleo F.

Several 4th of July Fireworks shows on TV, but I'm repulsed by Macy's. Didn't they fund one or two years of the Chicago fireworks and pull out? I know they did in 2006. Curated by stars. How about curated by fireworks designers?


Date: Thursday, July 4, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Happy Fourth of July!


Date: Wednesday, July 3, 2013  2:23 am CT
Posted by: E.O.

You have to wonder how much longer the former Field's at Louis Joliet, Stratford and Spring Hill will stay open. The likes of Carson's, Penney's and even Sears seem to be better kept up at these locations. Those stores were oversteps by Field's. Oversaturation of a good thing. On the other hand, Oak Brook, Old Orchard, Water Tower and Mayfair are nice enough stores to be a flaghip store in their own right. State Street is a whole new level. The idea of bringing back Marshall Field's to State Street is SO SMART. It's an international destination. Why would you hide such a wonder as a Macy's????


Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2013  8:01 pm CT
Posted by: N.J.

Here in Minneapolis, people still complain about the loss of Field's to Macy's.


Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2013  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: O.D.O.

Shame on Macy's cheap chain stores, you took an artful way of shopping in the windy city. Remembering taking the train to downtown just to go to Marshall Field's.

Bring back Marshall Field's


Date: Monday, July 1, 2013  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: E.H.

As long as Macy's is into saving money, they should print bags with both the Bloomingdale's and Macy's logos on them.

Count me among the fascinated that Macy's says that the coupons put them at a price-point that's comparable to an outlet store.

Edna


Date: Sunday, June 30, 2013  10:45 pm CT
Posted by: Ronald

I was reading all these comments and one of them made me mad saying Marshall Fields was a bag lady and my opinions is Fields is not a bag lady but a beautiful lady!


Date: Sunday, June 30, 2013  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

As best I can tell, Macy's focused it's Pride Week events in Chicago on the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus appearance at the State Street, as well as a full, back page ad for the event on the back of the "Windy City Times" LGBTQ publication. Macy's sat out the Chicago Pride Parade this year with last year's Macy's logo replaced on the Chorus' float with that of Wells Fargo. The chorus did pass outa few hundred rainbow-colored rubber friendship bracelets with Macy's "Pride + Joy" campaign embossed in them.

Last year, Macy's passed out "Pride + Joy" fans. We distributed some "Time to bring back Marshall Field's" buttons. Some people took the fans and pinned their Field's buttons over the Macy's logo.

Simply reporting what I saw.


Date: Sunday, June 30, 2013  3:49 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

To R.W.: You may be shocked to learn that many shoppers aren't "excited" by New York style and fashion. By converting the nation's department stores, Terry Lundgren has reduced hundreds of local icons to just another mall staple--Sears Penneys macy*s. Nothing special. Just a store in most every mall. He has also diminished the attraction of the New York stores since there are macy*s everywhere. How can something one find any place be a destination?

As a Proud Pittsburgher, I'm not impressed by pictures of the Herald Square department store displayed at my regional malls. The macy*s stores here are okay, but the merchandise and displays aren't very "magical." In fact, the refurbished JCPenney stores have better selection, variety and displays. The macy*s stores at Monroeville and South Hills (which were former Lazarus locations) plus Waterfront, Washington, Robinson, and Pittsburgh Mills (which were the newer Kaufmann's stores) are a little nicer but it's obvious minimal money has been invested in upgrades or modernization. Downtown, Century III, Beaver Valley, Greensburg are tired and shabby.

It was so benevolent of Terry Lundgren to try to help us low life hicks experience the finery and class that is New York, but I question why he backpedaled on "uplifting" the various regional stores to New York standards and now praises himself for "localization" of assortments. Is this somehow an admission that perhaps shoppers didn't need or want another Sears Penneys?

Also, R.W., what's up with all the coupons at macy*s? Are they now trying to capture the Kohl's bargain-hunter shoppers? Terry Lundgren ditched many of the better homewares brands to stock up on the Martha Stewart discount store diva lines. Is macy*s a "better" department store or is it a discount store?

Note from the webmaster:
I can't comment on the Pittsburgh-area stores since I have never been in them. However, to be fair, the Hotel Collection home goods at Macy's are very, very nice--I'm thinking of the towels. But I find the Fieldcrest towels sold at Target are even nicer, not to mention their top-of-the-line offering. And yes, Fieldcrest traces its lineage to our beloved emporium. But all of you knew about the history--just emphasizing.


Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013  5:28 am CT
Posted by: Barbara, California

You have no idea how much I miss Fields. Every special dress I bought came from Fields. Before I went on an important date or to the prom I stopped at Fields to have my makeup done!  When I was getting married my gown came from Fields, my housewares came from Fields, my linens, my nightwear, etc. came from Fields. Most of these items I still own and that is after 36 years.  I have kept shopping bags, wrapping paper, and most importantly - MY FIELDS CREDIT CARD. The first time I shopped at Fields by myself (no Mom along) was the day I knew I was growing up. I knew I was truly an adult when my friends and I began to meet at the Walnut room for "ladies who lunch" luncheons. My children experienced their first visits to Santa at Fields. When I moved to California I brought all these memories with me. People know I am a Chicago native when they see my Fields clock, my Fields lamp and my Fields framed photo.

Thank you for all your efforts.


Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013  6:57 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Get a life? We had a nice one going with Field's til someone decided it was too good for us. Fight for it? Of course!

If you have lived your life under a rock I guess Macy's would look pretty good.


Date: Friday, June 28, 2013  3:15 pm CT
Posted by: A Chicago native

GO HAWKS! GO FIELD'S!


Date: Thursday, June 27, 2013  9:09 pm CT
Posted by: H.D.

GM had to pare down it's brand offerings. Yet, they weren't so stupid as to get rid of all but two.

Macy's should bring back Marshall Field's. All three of their stores would have their own personality. Or get rid of Macy's and Bloomingdale's in Chicago. They say they have to go with the best name. In Chicago, that's Marshall Field's, not Macy's or Bloomingdale's. By a mile. Make that a 100 miles.


Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2013  1:04 pm CT
Posted by: gle

My computer class was showing us how to search different aspects of the Internet. One of the exercises was "Find an interesting blog." Since Field's Fans is the most interesting blog I know of, I brought it up and got some emotional feedback from the class on how people still wish we had Marshall Field's to shop at.


Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2013  1:00 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

About Macy's comments on the new Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall store. I would have rolled on the floor laughing if it weren't so sad. Are they really saying that there can't be Macy's outlet stores because Macy's already coupons everything down to outlet store prices? In other words, it's already like an outlet store 4-5 days a week, if you have the right coupon? Sure, Field's had a bargain basement, but when did you ever hear Field's compared to an outlet store?

Further proof that Macy's is no Marshall Field's. It was more than a name change.


Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2013  8:45 am CT
Posted by: gle

Another book is out. "Chicago Business and Industry: From Fur Trade to E-Commerce" by Janice Reiff was featured on PBS "Chicago Tonight" on WTTW Channel 11 June 26. Phil Ponce interviewed the author. Much of the discussion focused on Marshall Field's contributions--training employees to make the customer very happy, bringing in women salespersons who understood what women wanted, and expanding commerce by introducing Japanese items and Irish lace. Harry Selfridge was also mentioned as an influence of Field's that expanded abroad. It all sounded good and can be reviewed at www.wttw.org.

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2013  8:27 pm CT
Posted by: Ron S.

I've been seeing these ads for Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks in New York. Curated by Usher? Really? Who cares? What next? Curated by Donald Trump or the AFLAC Duck? Who makes up this stuff? Who started equating celebrity with design talent?


Date: Sunday, June 23, 2013  3:12 pm CT
Posted by: Lucille C.

We consider it shameful what they have done to Marshall Field and Company, especially the main store.

Such an injustice can't stay unmitigated forever.

Lucille


Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013  11:14 am CT
Posted by: M.G.

I won't buy Frangos since Macy's. Never. Never. Never. Ever.

Shame on you Macy's. You should collect signatures and prove to them how bad Macy's has been.


Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013  9:01 am CT
Posted by: S.B.

Why is Macy's so hot on Bloomindale's? There are only three stores left in Chicagoland, right? Old Orchard and then something like 2/3 of a store on Michigan Avenue and 1/3 of a store nearby on Wabash for home goods. Yet they buy pages of Chicago advertising. Old Orchard seems ALWAYS dead year round, even at Christmas time. How does it even stay in business?

They should get rid of Bloomingdales in Chicago, make the Chicago Bloomingdale's stores into Macy's and Macy's home goods, respectively, and turn Water Tower PLace and State Street back into Marshall Field's. It would still be the same amount of newspaper advertising. And when did you ever see a TV ad for Bloomingdale? I can't remember.

Getting rid of Marshall Field's still reminds me of The Emperor's new clothes.


Date: Friday, June 21, 2013  6:34 pm CT
Posted by: Lydia Clarkson

We visited Chicago from Troy, Michigan this past weekend. That's just outside of Detroit. When Hudson's at nearby Somerset became Marshall Field's, we were pleased. We already used to visit Chicago for Field's and it was great to have the better service and merchandise locally. At the same time, the special experience that was Marshall Field's State Street still made it all the worthwhile to come to Chicago.

As Macy's, that has all changed. Somerset has some of the good stuff that used to be there, but there's rarely that surprise find, that special thing you ended up buying even though you didn't go into the store expecting to buy it. And while we still like the Walnut Room, most the rest of State Street just has become a really big suburban Macy's. The special mystique, the classy displays, the allure of it all. It's all gone as Macy's. Macy's is crude and crass, just about consumption.

Macy's is not the equal of Field's. Field's is sorely missed. This is all a sad comment on our society.

Please keep fighting the good fight.


Date: Thursday, June 20, 2013  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: R.W.

Since I'm a Macy's employee, I can't help but to look here from time to time and see what garbage people are posting. Don't you all have a life?

While I speak for myself and not Macy's, remember all of this. Macy's bought Marshall Field's. It is Macy's to do with it as it pleases! You people think you are doing good things, but you know? You are simply hurting anything that's left of Marshall Field's. Terry Lundgren has every right -- no, make that it's his duty -- to get rid of MArshall Field's and add value, stability and quality to this company. It's a worthy agenda.

You people need to educate yourselves on the real quality that is Macy's. If you all weren't so narrow-minded, you'd see that Macy's has brought New York's fashion to Chicago. Without Macy's, Chicago would have greatly diminished access to NYC's International design scene that is most prominent. Marshall Field's, by contrast, was like a dowdy bag lady. Macy's has made the Chicago stores hip again. And if you really want the best, you can go to Bloomingdale's.

Macy's plan makes sense. Give it up!


Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2013  8:03 am CT
Posted by: Anne T.

Hi Field's Lovers!

Was just on the L on the way in and saw that WE ARE NOT ALONE! Another organization is also trying to get Field's back, They have little square buttons with the Marshall Field's clock on it. They say something like "NO TO MACY'S!"

BRING IT BACK! BRING BACK MARSHALL FIELD'S!!!!


Date: Monday, June 17, 2013  11:54 am CT
Posted by: mikea

In response to Jim's comments. My comments about State Street store and Macy's is a reflection of my experiences of both Field's and Macy's. I have been going to the State Street store since I was a small child. I worked at the State Street store for over 6 years. I regularly visit the store on a weekly basis as much as possible. I still know associates who work there. My comments are entirely based on those experiences alone and no other outside sources.

On a recent visit to State Street I noticed that they are planning on a new cosmetics department. Already barricades are up and signs point out a new department is on the way. Also they are doing small renovations on the 3rd floor too. Maybe now the old floor tiles will be replaced.

Listening to the recent conference call it seems that Macy's is committed to its MOM program and running two divisions only. IF the recent activity going on for the last ONE DAY SALE is any indication of customer preferences, then sales and large ones are the big draw for Macy's They do not work on a full price model as Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom does. They even admitted it in the last conference call that Macy's on sale compares to prices in outlet malls and therefore they are not going to open up Macy's outlet stores.

Also in my experiences a store closing sale is not a real good deal especially at the beginning. When Carson's closed on State Street they refused to honor any sale prices that were available in the other Carson's stores. That is usually the case when retailers close a location. The best deals later on in the closing sale usually when inventory is low.


Date: Sunday, June 16, 2013  2:03 pm CT
Posted by: I LOVE MARSHALL FIELD'S!

I have an Macy's giftcard I have to use or otherwise I wouldn't shop at Macy's. If you don't spend the card, Macy's realizes maximum profit. Buy clearance merchandise, discounted as much as possible, and that's the best boycott scenario, you know?

So I figure I will go to the downtown St Louis Macy's going out of business sale and see if they have any Frangos I can use it for. This store on Olive Street used to be nine floors and the Famous Barr flagship. May Department Stores corporate HQ used to be another nine floors filled above that. Now the whole thing will be gone. Making the store and the HQ jobs all disappear. That's the magic of Macy's!

I bring a coupon and all. They had Frangos. I can't find an expiration date so I see the clerk. They don't have normal dates on them anymore. You can decode a number on the Julian calendar to figure out the date. Who does that? What's the big secret? Do I need a decoder ring? Is it Macy's magic? I ask the clerk if they are on sale, can I use a WOW coupon, but wouldn't honor coupons at that location since it was going out of business and Frangos were part of candy rather than home. But get this. They were tagged $20 but when she checked the price, they scanned as $21! "I think I can give it to you for $20 but no coupon. I'm told if I go to another location that's not going out of business without a candy counter, where they sell Frangos in the home and gift department, I can use the coupon and get it for $16. Huh?! This is a going out of business sale? I can see why they deserve to go out of business. $20 ($21?) at a going out of business sale versus $16 at a regular store. That's the magic of Macy's, I guess.

I kept the giftcard for some other time, sad that I had been unable to be done with it for good.

Field's, and not even Famous Barr, was ever like this.


Date: Sunday, June 16, 2013 
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago

Happy Father's Day!


Date: Saturday, June 15, 2013  6:37 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Regarding who thought what about Field's......bottom line seems to be no one really cared about the wonders of the goose with golden eggs. Ego, ego, ego.....potentially the vilest poison there is when devoid of spiritual grace. Disgracefully, the goose wound up on the platter and there will be no more golden eggs.

I just learned of the "Monuments Men" story and take it as a demonstration of how important art objects are to the identity of a people. One man risked his life to defuse bombs set around Chartres Cathedral in WWII.....I don't know if he was even Christian but he recognized an inestimable world spirit-treasure and saw to it that we did not lose it.

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/treasure-hunters-in-uniform-monuments-men-remembered/?smid=tw-nytimesglobal&seid=auto
The position that "stuff" is bad (especially if it is pricey or priceless) is, as far as I am concernedóas an artist--no less than evil. We were meant to create, and some of what we create is tangible. It has meaning, sometimes transcendent or profound meaning. (I take this to include natural wonders, as well.)

We don't need a Chartres Cathedral or a Marshall Field's or a Yellowstone to carry on our lives, really-- but every time we squelch or pull down a spirit-monument for the cash or just out of plain meanness, we are further impoverished as human beings. That is what this battle here is about. It's not about shirts or wipes.

Whatever his human flaws and failings, however it fed his ego, Marshall Field understood greatness and when I reflect on how his and others' sense of noblesse oblige in Chicago nourished MY life, I am awed.

Mr. Lundgren, who will thank *you* in a hundred years?


Date: Saturday, June 15, 2013  12:37 am CT
Posted by: Robert Mau

God, I hate Macy's. I haven't spent a DIME at a Macy's (anywhere) since that fateful last day of Marshall Field's back in September, 2006. I'd like to let Mayor Emanuel know that the reason I don't shop downtown anymore is because Field's used to be my destination. Without Field's, there's NO reason to bother, since there are similar stores in the suburbs. And I will never believe that Daley couldn't do anything. "Accept change," was his response. Yeah, like the "change" with parking meters.

I am heartened to hear that Montreal has a stand-alone department store. It may be worth a trip.


Date: Friday, June 14, 2013  7:05 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

"gl":
I haven't read Darlene Quinn's book, but I did understand it was indeed based on what's been happening here in Chicago. As implied in our March 30, 2013 newsletter, the book is endorsed because it really stimulates discussion and hopefully understanding of The Big Picture. I have no idea if I'm "Alan" or "John" or "Clint" or...

"P.D.J."
I've understood much the same as you about May Department store's motives for outbidding Federated for Field's. The hope was that they would swallow the whole "whale" as Terry Lundgren told the story a few months ago. But, as you point out, the pundits considered the other twelve-plus MayCo regionals what wasn't so attractive and Field's was Macy's was most after. Moreover, as I stated at the stockholders meeting four weeks ago, MayCo's final 10-K filing with the SEC in spring 2005 listed all of their tradenames--at 12 department stores including Lord and Taylor, plus the likes of David's Bridal, as well as the private labels and brands--as valued at $162M. One exception: Marshall Field's tradenames were broken out as a separate figure--$419M (!!!) Federated had a similar line item for tradenames--that would include Macy's, Bloomingdale's, presumably some mothballed names like Rich's--value of $376M.

That says quite a bit in support of how Field's value as a tradename. Moreover, it says a great deal about immense shareholder value that could be unlocked if Macy's restored Marshall Field's. And for the record, I'm talking about restoring the name and the Field's way of doing business which so many think is different from Macy's. WWD.com had a story with Terry Lundgren a day or two ago. Lundgren said that Macy's "will try everything." Well, he should apparently add, "except give four out of five Chicago shoppers what they prefer, Marshall Field's." I've been doing a lot of research for my own book. I'm becoming more and more convinced that Field's is gone not out of the bottom line concerns but out of inter-personal, behind-the-scenes history between all those people who are CEOs of department stores.


Date: Friday, June 14, 2013  1:01 pm CT
Posted by: Mike R.

Here is a link to an article in the Appleton Post Crescent about why women executives don't shop locally. Many comments are about the inventory Macy's carries compared to Marshall Field's.
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20130614/APC0301/306140315/Buzz-Extra-Why-don-t-women-executives-shop-locally-Readers-respond

Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013  11:55 pm CT
Posted by: Mariam

I LOVE George Strait. I've noticed that although Universal Music Group has dropped the MCA Records label, they did keep it for George Strait's records, at his request.

Add it to the list of FAO, Bergdorf, The Drake, Palmer House, Duane Reade and a host of others.


Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013  6:09 pm CT
Posted by: P.D.J.

Macy's held a special conference call for shareholders yesterday. The transcripts are at http://seekingalpha.com/article/1495692-macy-s-inc-shareholder-analyst-call?source=yahoo.

At one part, the Chief Store Officier, Peter Sachse, discusses Marshall Field's.

And at that point, something very important happened. And that was we bid for Marshall Marshall Field's. Target had the company at that point in time, and we lost that bid. And I went to my board and I had a number, and I proposed that number and actually left it a little short to give me a little wiggle room. And I made my proposal to the banker, Goldman Sachs, and I said, "Here's my number. And he said, "That's a very good number." He said, "I will appreciate it. I'll get back to you as soon as I get the other bidder." There's just 2 bidders, ourselves and May Company. He called me back about an hour later and he said, "Was that your best and final bid?" And I said, "So how badly did I get beat?" And he said, "The number took my breath away." And I said, "That's all I need to know, I'm out." There was just no discussion, I'm out. And so that, on reflection, was probably the single best decision that I made because, one, it obviously was the right decision. But for us, because we knew we could afford it, we knew what we felt what it was worth, but also gave us a great deal of credibility with our board about future decisions that we might make. And so it was literally 1 year later when we bought the May Company, who had bought Marshall Field's. So we got Marshall Field's in sort of a gift for the purchase, if you will.
EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT MARSHALL FIELD'S WAS THE CROWN JEWEL OF FEDERATED'S ACQUISITION/MERGER OF MAY DEPARTMENT STORES. Sounds like he is trying to downplay the value of Marshall Field's. It was widely discussed in the business press at the time that May purchased Field's so Federated (now Macy's) would in turn buy May. Before the Field's acquisition, May had problems and was not an attractive takeover target or merger partner. By many analyst's accounts, it was the opposite. Federated got May as a gift for purchasing Marshall Field's. Macy's has always wanted in the Chicago market, but not in the already crowded field of stores.

The more they talk like this, the more it makes them out to be covering up that they screwed up. "Mission accomplished." NOT!


Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013  8:00 pm CT
Posted by: gl

I have been reading Darlene Quinn's book, "Unpredictable Webs." It comes across as closely based on real-life events here in Chicago with regards to Macy's and Marshall Field's. The character "Conrad" seems similar to Terry Lundgren, while "Alan" seems inspired by Jim McKay. There are scenes with protesters and come of the comments the protesters make sound like they could have come off this very blog. I have not yet finished the book.


Date: Monday, June 10, 2013  5:01 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

Interesting listening to some of the comments from Karen Hoguet and Peter Scalise at the Citibank conference. It seems that Macy's will be spending less money on store remodels except for Herald Square than they did in previous years. Instead of overall large remodels they will be small and more cost savings. It seems that is true.

At State Street, they are planning to keep the store open until 9:00 PM on weekends for the summer even if there are no one day or special sales.

They (Macy's ) claim that spending on omnichannel, fulfillment centers and the internet are better serving the companies interest than large store remodels. Some of the Macy's I have been to especially in Southern CA are in horrible shape. Old Orchard needs a facelift. A large store like that should not look in such bad shape.

They made over 1 billion on profits last year, why cannot spend a little to update some of the stores and make the shopping experience a good one. I for one do not like to shop in a old rundown store.

[ "mikea" is a long-time critic of efforts to bring back Marshall Field's with his letters in support of Macy's having even appeared in the Chicago Tribune Letters to the Editor. While his opinions do not necessarily reflect those of his employer, nor are they necessarily sanctioned by his employer, "mikea" works for a company that does remodeling work for stores including Macy's and, in the past, Marshall Field's. His opinions are featured to demonstrate that rebuttals are indeed welcome, generally if an accurate email address is provided.]


Date: Sunday, June 9, 2013  5:01 pm CT
Posted by: S.K.

This American Icon business from Macy's is whacko. Where do I begin? Field's was an American Icon and they killed it. And then they push Marilyn Monroe as the most prominent of icons. Hey, she's well known and I know they have a clothing line bearing her name, but she was troubled, too, you know? I mean, I can think of a lot of war heroes who died for us and are more deserving of attention. Then again, they don't have a clothing line at Macy's. And if they want to show us how American they are, how about selling fewer goods made in China? They can start by having all Donald Trump merch made in the USA. Macy's is cray--ZEEE.


Date: Friday, June 7, 2013  9:09 pm CT
Posted by: Lumi Grand

Hello, everyone!

Though it's been a very long time since I've posted anything on here, it certainly has not been ANY time that I have not missed Marshall Field's!

It was so nice to know there was Marshall Field's if I wanted to buy "that special gift" wrapped in the most beautiful gift wrap I've ever seen. Marshall Field's was truly a CLASS ACT ALL THE WAY.

I've thought about the protests though I've not been able to attend because of the distance. I've had an idea for a couple of years now, and so I decided to SHOW YOU my idea on my blog page at matchlessmarshallfields.blogspot.com

I hope you will all visit my page and consider my idea. I've thought about it for a very long time, and time has not diminished my belief that this very visual protest would be very, very effective.

I'm still here, still hoping for the return of Marshall Field's - the best store I have ever shopped!

God bless you all,

L. Grand

Response from Jim McKay:
It's a good idea and concept. Actually, we've considered such an idea a few years back, based on Christo and Jean-Claude's "The Gates" from about ten years ago. Instead of the saffron, shades of Marshall Field's green would be held up by fans strategically choreographed on the sidewalk.


Date: Friday, June 7, 2013  3:58 pm CT
Posted by: State Street Spectator

I searched for "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago" (4th printing special hardcover edition) by Gayle Soucek at the State Street store today. The sales associate in Barbara's Bookstore told me they won't be getting it there because they have the paperbacks and those are cheaper. They did say they could special order it by request.

The paperback edition is available in abundance near the 7th floor food court and in the Lush cosmetics area on the ground floor. Customers apparently still grab it up.


Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2013  1:44 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Gosh, why can't we get it through our silly heads that it is fiscal madness to maintain the likes of a Marshall Field's whose bags require a distinctive logo? Who are we to think a unique store is an asset to the city? Since when is quality merchandise of interest to this democracy?

If excellence costs money, it's something we can do without. That's that.


Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2013  10:39 am CT
Posted by: Linda

I concur with those concerned about Field's slipping into a state of decline on State Street. Little by little. Not right away, but in time. You also don't hear much from Linda Piepho and Ralph Hughes these days. It's all Andrea Shwartz, a Macy's Veep of communication from Marshall Field's days. Only she disavows Marshall Field's.

On another note, Field's used to have this amazing sweet creamy dill dressing. Does anyone know where I can get the recipe? I didn't see it in the Field's books in the stores.


Date: Monday, June 3, 2013  2:39 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I found the new hardcover version of "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago" at the Barnes & Noble in Evanston, and was encouraged by author Gayle Soucek's comments on reader responses on how they still miss our great department store.

Date: Sunday, June 2, 2013  8:09 pm CT
Posted by: s.b.

I read today that Neiman Marcus and Saks were going to "merge" because of some private equity firm's desires. It did not happen but it was proposed and rejected in the month of May.

That's the issue with what's wrong with things today. The people who are running these firms are NOT retailers... they are private equity firms and financial folks. Field's (the man) was a true retail pioneer. Similarly Steve Jobs was a design/lifestyle brand pioneer. I think for these men, profits were second... and creating the very best product was key.

They made money because they created an amazing retail experience and sold amazing products!

Today it is all about the bottom line... they don't "get" that the bottom line is influenced by WHAT IS BEING SOLD AND THE EXPERIENCE THAT GOES WITH IT!


Date: Sunday, June 2, 2013  10:59 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Today's Chicago Tribune has a mention of restaurant that Field's used to run at Midway Airport some years back.

As I stated in the comments, an international class restaurant run by an international emporium at the international airport of an international city.


Date: Friday, May 31, 2013  11:36 pm CT
Posted by: Miriam G.

Macy's unveils the second year of $400million in renovations to the 34th Street flagship in NYC. They sure don't spend much here in Chicago, do they? So much for caring. Then again, I'd hate for them to ruin State Street.

http://seekingalpha.com/news-article/6702341-macy-s-unveils-floor-plans-for-phase-two-of-landmark-renovation-of-its-manhattan-flagship


Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013  7:03 pm CT
Posted by: F.F.

Karen Houget, Macy's CFO, and Peter Sachse, Macy's Chief Stores Officier, just gave a presentation at Citi's 2013 Global Consumer Conference.

The following are the transcripts:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1468541-macy-s-management-presents-at-citi-s-2013-global-consumer-conference-transcript
Two mentions sort of related to Marshall Field's. Hoguet said that Macy's plans to spend more money on the major remodeling of stores in the likes of Texas as opposed to Illinois because that's where the customers are moving. Then the conversation turned to the new Macy's at Gurnee Mills. It will be a 1 floor, smaller store format, an experiment to see if a Macy's can open a full store in an outlet mall. Gee, too bad they got rid of the small store at Lake Forest!

Interesting.


Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013  9:21 am CT
Posted by: gle

I went to the State Street store after work yesterday to look for the 4th printing special edition of Gayle Soucek's book, "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago." It was nowhere to be found. The previous edition is still available in the 7th floor food court area, and in the Lush cosmetics department on the ground floor. As expected, I could find no sales associate to ask if the store will be getting the new edition in.

I see from a post on this website that the book is availavble online. Does anyone know if it is only available online?


Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013  9:37 pm CT
Posted by: Joan K.

We're losing the Famous Barr flagship store here in St Louis this summer. The clearance sale starts this weekend. Ten years ago, the building held a nine-floor store plus as many floors of corporate administration that ran about 400 stores. All gone. Despite promises, it simply took a while. Eight years, to be exact, for it all to go away.

You people here are right to be concerned about Marshall Field's on State Street closing. It may not happen right away. It probably won't happen under Terry Lundgren. But what he's done to Field's sets things up for State Street's closure in another 15 years. The status of one of the greatest stores in the world has been weakened by an egotistical stand of one person. What a loss.

While we're all sad about the loss of Famous here in St. Louis, most everybody here is even more shocked at Marshall Field's becoming Macy's. Still can't believe it!!!!!!!


Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013  9:02 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

mikea:

Regardless of what Macy's official statement, not having to print separate bags for Marshall Field's is one of the most commonly perceived reasons as to why Macy's had to replace it. I read and hear this in news stories, academic papers, from customers resigned to Macy's who really wish they had Field's instead. Your post effectively says one of the widely held rationalizations for getting rid of Chicago's favorite store doesn't hold water. Moreover, your comment about Bloomingdale's also effectively says that Macy's is a step down from Field's. For years--especially when Bloomingdale's entered Chicago market--the overall perception was that it was an arch competitor to Field's. Thanks for clarifying that both are myths. Now we have two less reasons to justify the loss of Field's.

As I said in the presence of Mr. Lundgren and all at the recent stockholders meeting, surely Macy's is talented enough to give Chicago shoppers what they overwhelmingly want while also having their Macy's and Bloomingdale's too, right?


Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013  4:04 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

In response to the post by Paul R. Yes Macy's does have special shopping bags etc for Christmas, this American Icons and other special events ie so does Nordstrom for their special sales and Christmas too.

According to Macy's the reason for not having a Field's is they do not want to have another division within the company. Another division would require more associates in buying and merchandising. Advertising would include another set of print and media ads along with a website and omnichannel for another division. They want to operate the company in a economy of scale.

Bloomingdales' sells much different merchandise than Macy's and they keep the divisions and stores separate.


Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013  5:40 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Sigh. Just pulled my husband's ancient Marshall Field's terry robe out of the dryer. It is his pet. It is a little bedraggled but proud, repaired a bit but still nobly hanging together after many years of heavy use. I had to reattach the label a while back so it remains where it belongs. Was the robe expensive? Yes. That's why it is still on the job, having bypassed cheaper ones that have come and gone. Why do people think spending serious money for a good product is a bad idea? Is getting a new crummy robe every year or two a better one? That's a deep question but anyone in manufacturing and marketing can probably tell you right off, what to think.

So we feel loyalty to a store that delivers good things, and indifference to one that spews forgettable stuff. What's that worth?


Date: Monday, May 27, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

In Memoriam of All
Who Gave Their Lives
For Our Great Country!


We think of you with overwhelming gratitude this Memorial Day.


Date: Saturday, May 25, 2013  8:27 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Was in State Street today. Macy's is selling "Macy's Chicago" tote bags. They don't know how to stop insulting Chicago, do they? Black bag, Chicago skyline from out in Monroe Harbor, all topped off with the red star, the symbol of NYC. They don't get Chicago.


Date: Saturday, May 25, 2013  9:21 am CT
Posted by: Sandra K.

Live in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area. Used to go to Marshall Field and Co. when ever I could make it to Chicago and bring back the very special clothes, furnishings, and whatever special thing that Field's staff so discreetly suggested. They never pushed anything on you. As their slogan once read, "Nothing like it back home."

Since Field's was ruined by Macy's, I have been looking for a replacement. I know people suggest Nordstrom. They sure do have the service and quality. I can't believe how many people don't realize that Bloomingdale's is really Macy's. I don't shop there. But in the past year or so, I've been finding that the place with the most exciting merchandise is Dillard's! I head south now and then and get to shop there. Now Dillard's is no Marshall Field's, but I've been impressed with the shift in merchandise in the past year or two. Whereas Macy's pushes all this black and graphic prints, Dillard's has been getting all this exciting color and fine merchandise. It's really gone up in my book. It used to be quite dowdy. Now they have great, hip stuff that people can wear.

Lord and Taylor, Nordstrom, Dillard's, Neiman's and others have a taste of Field's, yet nothing compares to Field's. It was the whole enchilada.


Date: Friday, May 24, 2013  8:28 pm CT
Posted by: Yousef

Glad to see this going.

How come Frangos don't have expiration dates anymore???


Date: Friday, May 24, 2013  7:09 pm CT
Posted by: E.H.

Marshall Field's was the "must stop" tourist trap for me. Macy's is New York, Field's is Chicago. And Field's had more class.

Macy's has this American Icon's thing going on. Marshall Field's was -- still is -- an American icon in part because it wasn't Macy's!


Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jeff K.

Regarding the Cincinnati Business news story, amazing that the head of Macy's wouldn't respond.

Sounds like a "gotcha" thing.


Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013  11:12 am CT
Posted by: Paul R.

Marshall Field's is sorely missed!

I thought the big deal was that Macy's wouldn't have to print special Field's shopping bags.

I've noticed special Macy's bags depicting American Icons. Uhh...they have one big American Icon in Marshall Field's. Certainly they can use the same argument to print Marshall Field's bags.

Bring back Field's!


Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2013  9:51 pm CT
Posted by: Joyce PYka

Back in the day wonderful traditions revolved around Marshall Fields for many years, for many people. Here's my children's historical fiction blog and the story that was inspired by "the store".

Enjoy!

http://storiesbypyka.blogspot.com/2011_12_01_archive.html

Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2013  9:13 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Sad that the downtown St Louis Red Star is closing, despite the investment in "upgrades." I fear the downtown Pittsburgh store is soon to be the next victim of macy*fication. Several floors have been closed off and the remaining selling floors have vast areas of empty space; merchandise is spread out and selections have dwindled. Popular lines such as Under Armour are NOT stocked downtown. Executives told the media they were NOT investing in new fixtures or renovations in the downsized store aand the upper floors (former Kaufmann's administrative headquarters) remain vacant.

Despite the opening of new hotels, office buildings, and eateries, downtown Pittsburgh is no longer a shopping mecca. The loss of Saks Fifth Avenue last year, and the previous departures of Lazarus and Lord & Taylor, have hurt the Golden Triangle--and the downsized and downmarket Red Star is no longer a draw.

I think macy*s has made it obvious that they don't want the downtown flagship locations for the most part, since they are letting the buildings deteriorate and are eliminating anything that makes the stores attractive to customers. The macy*s at Washington (PA) Crown Centre is a smaller, one level store in a middle market about 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh; its competitors are smaller Sears and The Bon Ton. The store has a wide variety of merchandise (though not the top lines) and nice visual displays. macy*s seems to invest more in this store than the downtown Pittsburgh location.

How many more of the remaining downtown locations will be shuttered because of disinterest and disinvestment?


Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2013  5:10 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I'm glad to see our website up and moving again, and that Field's continues to be represented at the Macy's shareholder meeting. I did vote my proxy share (looking forward to the day when we can vote Marshall Field's shares).

On another note, the "Mr. Selfridge" series on PBS "Masterpiece Classic" aired its season finale last Sunday, with plans to continue. Even though its ultimate department store seems mere backdrop to a nightime drama of characters I probably would not want to meet, there are subtle messages that were summed up in a statement made to Harry Selfridge by another character--"You sow what you reap." Amid many mistakes and being burned for mistakes, Selfridge somehow manages to sow and reap the rewards of providing and innovating standards of quality and service to the customer. This is a lesson Macy's would be wise to learn from.


Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2013  9:58 am CT
Posted by: mikea

It was sad to hear that Macy's is closing yet another downtown store St.Louis. As long As I have been going to St.louis since 1989 that store has been there and at first was busy and did well. However over the years Dillard's closed, the mall closed and even stores around Macy';s closed. The failed Ballpark Village that was to open in 2009 for the All Star Game never materialized. Just now construction has begun on phase 1 of Ballpark village. This was supposed to revitalize downtown St.Louis.

Macy's said they will continue to pay their lease for the next two years. It is interesting to see if St.louis city had something to do with the closing. The St.louis Post dispatch reported that the city had bonds on the building and that the taxes paid from Macy's sales were to pay for the bonds. However sales fell about 17% in 2012 as compared to year 2011 leaving less money to satisfy the bonds.

I can remember doing business with May Company in 2001 and insiders there told me that if that store was not their headquarters it would have been closed years ago. I put the blame on the city of St.Louis for not investing in ballpark vilage earlier, not revitalizing downtown and letting it fall in respect to retail. There is really no reasson to come to downtown St.louis to shop in the last 10 years or more. Even Union Station is turning into a ghost town with yet another deveopler trying to turn that great Depot around.

I doubt that State Street will close unless downtown Chicago falters to a great extent ie St.Louis, Detroit. Macy's does promote that store alot in fact on par with Union Square and Herald Square. They even decorate it more for Christmas than Herald Square.

Minneapolis could be in jeapoardy of closing unless downtown starts to turn itself around. Already the store has been shrunk to 5 selling floors and stores in Block E have closed along with Neiman's across the street and Saks many years ago. The mall across from the Macy's is turning into a ghost town on weekends. It would e sad to see that happen, but downtowns in medium sized cities are loosing retail in large amount.


Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2013  6:35 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Flagships going under?? Even Pittsburgh, the one I thought was being spared as an acceptable NYC branch? Why would anyone buy a bunch of flagships, blab about a national branding, and painfully slowly strangle the stores to death one at a time...? For the same reason you buy a champion football team, pay them $10/hour, put them in thrift shop uniforms, give them budget footballs, and switch venue to a back lot. Then shrug and say no one cares about football any more, and fire them all.

Date: Monday, May 20, 2013  7:57 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Thanks to all for your patience with this blog over the past month. There have been some problems so the submissions have not been appearing. That in turn has meant that you may not have read or been able to respond in a timely fashion to the posts. Please accept my apologies.

As always, you have the option of submitting a writing by clicking the "post" button above or by emailing info at fieldsfanschicago.org. Be sure to state, "for posting" or "for publication" if you use the email option.

Best regards,

Jim


Date: Monday, May 20, 2013  11:48 am CT
Posted by: Joan K.

The great Field's clock is on the masthead of the Tribune again this week. Yesterday and today, so far.

Macy's is closing the St. Louis flagship store. For many years, the building had Famous Barr's flagship on the first first nine or ten floors. May Department Stores headquarters were located on the floors above. In recent years, the store was reduced to three floors plus a couple of other floors for Macy's administration purposes. The latter will be consolidated in St. Louis' suburbs.

For many years, the store had a great train set in the store windows. I wonder what will happen to it.

All the plaques that said Famous Barr were replaced with Macy's plaques in 2006, except one or two.

So this year sees the end of the flagships in Houston, Honolulu, St. Paul and now St. Louis. Can Minneapolis and Pittsburgh be far behind? Makes one wonder about State Street.

Macy's store closure is blow to retail scene downtown
http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/macy-s-store-closure-is-blow-to-retail-scene-downtown/article_9e17b5a6-327d-5493-bf94-3296dbc15c05.html

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013  8:23 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The following story from the Cincinnati Business Courier gives an overview of the annual Macy's, Inc. stockholder meeting, including that Marshall Field's was mentioned.
http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/05/17/five-takeaways-from-qa-with-macys.html?ana=fbk

Date: Friday, May 17, 2013  11:09 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Earlier today, I attended the annual Macy's, Inc. stockholders meeting in Cincinnati. Upon the conclusion of the meeting, there is an opportunity for stockholders to step up to a microphone and speak or ask questions for up to three minutes.

I used the opportunity to once again restate the case for bringing back Marshall Field's, especially to State Street. In a few days, I will expand on what transpired, but my hope is that I properly represented the massive collective view that restoring Marshall Field's would mean so much not only to the shoppers of Chicago and the world, but also Macy's stockholders.

Yours truly,

Jim


Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013  11:06 am CT
Posted by: cy gaffney

I recently sent my sis in Palm Springs a sixty year old copy of 'give the lady what she wants' and my sis was so happy.My dear mum used to let me use her charge card and have nice meals at field's in the seventies. I had two terrific folks who I was proudly caregiver for in their infirm years.They were always there for me and turnabout is fair play.My dear grandmama worked in the 'notions section many moons ago. When I walk through Macy's now,two words come to my mind...rag shop.And many of the employees never crack a smile or attempt to make you feel welcome. Field's was welcoming to all walks of life and economic brackets,which is how it should be. And as a collector of playing cards since my golden youth, Field's always had such a wide selection and now Macy's does not even carry them.Che peccato.In the film 'exotic marigold hotel' Judi Dench says in voice-over that there is no past we can bring back by longing for it...I disagree.Thank you for letting me share.

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013  4:29 pm CT
Posted by: Sara

I called the State Street store today to find out more about tomorrow's Great Clock celebration. The first couple of people I spoke with knew nothing about it. I guess they don't look at their own advertising. Then I was told it might be cancelled. I'm not going to come down if it's not going to happen. Anyone else know anything?


Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2013  6:13 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

The Red Star in downtown Pittsburgh plans to commemorate the iconic Kaufmann's clock this weekend:
http://triblive.com/lifestyles/history/3897938-74/clock-macy-building#axzz2TJHknE5b
Sadly the merchandise selection continues to decrease as the large areas of empty floor space continue to increase throughout the store. Several employees I spoke with stated that downtown is no longer a "flagship" location for Red Star and the better brands are only available at some suburban locations (Ross Park, Monroeville, South Hills, Robinson). The store doesn't need even the downsized space and there are rumors of additional floors being shuttered. The store is being maintained but not upgraded.

Date: Sunday, May 12, 2013  4:31 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

An example for a revitalized stand alone Field's can be found in Montreal. Maison Ogilvy, now simply known as Ogilvy. Currently owned by Galen Weston and managed by his Selfridges team, it retains it's own identity and is a one store operation. It has packaging unique to the store (a tartan plaid) maintains some quirky traditions (a bagpiper goes through the store around noon) and back in the 1980s was one of the first stores to create the store within the store concept. Mr. Lundgren, please tell me why again that a single Field's couldn't exist?

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2013  3:45 pm CT
Posted by: Sara

Tomorrow's Sunday Chicago Tribune has a full page ad devoted to a Macy's ad campaign called American Icons. These are things America likes like Marilyn Monroe and the Hollywood sign. They have local events on a calendar, including an event to celebrate THE GREAT CLOCK! Of course, they don't mention Marshall Field's, but what does the clock stand for? MARSHALL FIELD'S! The event will be this Thursday, under the State And Randolph clock at 11 A.M. They will pass out to everyone a Frango Twist to celebrate. They say the clock is 100. I thought that anniversary is NEXT year!


Date: Thursday, May 10, 2013  10:39 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Gapers Block has a great story on Selfridge, Marshall Field's and Carson's. Good stuff!!!

http://gapersblock.com/ac/2013/05/09/mr-selfridge-the-chicago-connection/index.php


Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2013  7:21 am CT
Posted by: Leslie H.

We still miss Marshall Field's. I wish Marshall Field's would come back to State Street. I also wish they would open Marshall Field's in the former Oak Park location. It's available right now. Borders closed two years back. The Evanston store is similar. Now it's a Panera and a CitiBank.

Date: Monday, May 6, 2013  4:37 pm CT
Posted by: P.F.

Why would anyone want to have Donald Trump shirts and ties when they could have Marshall Field's shirts and ties?

I miss Marshall Field's. It was quality!


Date: Sunday, May 5, 2013  8:28 pm CT
Posted by: Sandi G.

The Fairmont Hotel on Columbus has a deal with Macy's. You rent a room overnight for $239 or more plus tax, they give you a $100 Macy's gift card to shop at State Street. The offer avoids mention of Marshall Field's. I don't remember deals like this to get people to shop at Field's. They weren't needed. This is like a variation on the Macy's Wow! pass coupons.

http://www.fairmont.com/chicago/special-offers/hotel-offers/promotions/shoppingatmacysonstatestreet/


Date: Friday, May 3, 2013  11:59 am CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Gayle Soucek's best-selling book, "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago," is now available as a limited edition hard cover. This is the fourth printing and probably the History's Press's best-selling title. Says a lot about Marshall Field's.

Here's the entry on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1626190674/ref=sr_1_2_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1369094627&sr=8-2&keywords=gayle+soucek+marshall&condition=new


Date: Thursday, May 2, 2013  5:28 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

The latest NY Times Dining section has a full page Macy's ad saluting the "10th Anniversary" of the "Macy's Culinary Council".........Really?

I think they mean "Field's Culinary Council"....right!!!!


Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013  8:01 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Letter to the Editor about Field's in this week's "Crain's Chicago Business."

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130427/ISSUE07/304279992/letters-to-the-editor


Date: Monday, April 29, 2013  7:12 am CT
Posted by: Sara

Watched Masterpiece's Selfridge's last night. I just adore Miss Towler and Mr. Leclair!!!!

They would fit in at Field's today!


Date: Saturday, April 27, 2013  2:07 pm CT
Posted by: Mary O., Streamwood

I've been in Bloomingdale's a few times since the decimation of Marshall Field's and Company. The one at Old Orchard seems dead even at Christmas time. Michigan Avenue and Wabash Home are passably busy.

Yet, what if they had changed Michigan Aveue and Wabash into Macy's and Macy's Home store and left Marshall Field's at State Street and Water Tower?

The money they spend on advertising for Bloomingdale's in Chicago could be better spent by on Marshall Field's. Any Bloomingdale's customer would love to have Field's back. And then they could have Macy's on Michigan Avenue where it wouldn't bug anyone that they took away our Marshall Field's stores in Chicago.

Shame.


Date: Thursday, April 25, 2013  12:04 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Several news stories today about workers protesting low worker wages at all sorts of stores in Chicago, including Macy's. One channel showed the Field's clock. I don't rememember anything of the kind when it was Field's.

And so it goes.....


Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013  10:55 am CT
Posted by: gle

Today's "Chicago Tribune" online has an article about workers striking for better wages on State Street, Macy's included. There is a comment blog.

"Chicago fast food, retail workers strike today" Tribune staff report, April 24, 2013
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-fast-food-strike-today-20130424,0,5930406.story


Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2013  6:25 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Neil Steinberg talks about change and Chicago in yesterday's Sun-Times.

Change happens. But where do we draw the line?
BY NEIL STEINBERG
http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/19624881-452/change-happens-but-where-do-we-draw-the-line.html

Excerpt:

Change frightens us -- offends us, almost, particularly when we realize on the small, hard, practical reasons behind the trashing of our beloved icons. Federated Department Stores changed the name of Marshall Field's to Macy's so they could run one unified block of national TV advertising, and to avoid the inefficiency of ordering red bags for all their stores nationwide except this little island of dark green bags in Chicago. Part of our civic heart was cut out to save on plastic bags.


Date: Monday, April 22, 2013  7:21 am CT
Posted by: Sara

Loved Masterpiece's Selfridge's:

"How will you put a car in the window?"

"Don't worry! We did it in Chicago at Marshall Field's and it worked like a charm!"

(Harry loves to say "worked like a charm," doesn't he?)

Love the show, but would love a thousand times more to have Marshall Field's back. Nothing beats the real thing!"


Date: Sunday, April 21, 2013  7:42 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

The iconic Kaufmann's Clock in downtown Pittsburgh turns 100 this year. Surprisingly the Red Star is planning to commemorate this anniversary.
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/meet-me-under-the-clock-the-kaufmanns-clock-turns-100-684405/
Is it possible that the Red Star executives are FINALLY beginning to realize the value of the regional department stores? Perhaps they are starting to understand that shoppers have a connection to their home town store and hopefully may be inclined to return some of the beloved flagship department stores.

Date: Friday, April 19, 2013  12:59 pm CT
Posted by: O'Neil

The Selfridges show on channel 11 is a bit of a snoozer and I'm none too fond of most of the characters. But, I agree, the sets remind me of Field's.


Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013  8:16 am CT
Posted by: Chicago traveler

Chicago had one of its horrific thunderstorms with heavy flooding during morning rush hour today. In addition to a good umbrella, what every savvy Chicagoan needs to carry is one of those green plastic Marshall Field's shopping bags. I put my purse (a Field's purse by the way) into the bag while waiting endlessly for my train. By the time I finally got to work, nothing in the bag was wet. Chicago still needs its Marshall Field's.


Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013  1:32 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I, along with several others who have posted, enjoy "Mr. Selfridge" on PBS for the resemblances to Marshall Field's and other carefully-crafted historic details. I am ashamed of most of the characters, and glad to know some are fictitious (media productions seem to need things like that). However, the visions Harry Gordon Selfridge had for the evolution of retail and marketing are, I feel, much to his credit.

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013  12:37 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

It seems the show Mr. Selfridge is becoming a soap opera to some extent. The lives of the characters other than Harry are taking place which does keep the interest to the viewers , however the British acting is not the best. It is interesting to see how forward thinking Harry was in retail. What we take for granted was not there many years ago. Women did not buy ready to wear clothes and self service was not heard of. I know for a show taking place in the early 1900's so the outside scenes are limited and all of the props had to be made speciafically. I take it the store was much smaller in the begiining and must have been enlarged throughout the years.


Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2013  8:15 am CT
Posted by: Wm.

I'm reminded of seven years ago when Terry Ludgren announced "Macy's AT State Street." He's not a fan of Chicago.


Date: Monday, April 15, 2013  9:13 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The sets on "Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge" are amazing. They DO look so much like Marshall Field's. I could do without all the serial adultery, but the scenery and sets and all are very amazing.


Date: Monday, April 15, 2013  12:29 pm CT
Posted by: Leslie O.

The thing with Macy's is that every few years they need to acquire a great chain like Marshall Field's so they can get new ideas. Otherwise......


Date: Sunday, April 14, 2013  5:09 pm CT
Posted by: V.S.

Just a reminder:

If you haven't seen the PBS Masterpiece Mr. Selfridge Series, you can watch missed episodes on line for a limited time:

Episode 1
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch-online/full-episodes/mr-selfridge-episode-1/

Episode 2
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch-online/full-episodes/mr-selfridge-episode-2/

Episode 3 after tonight
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch-online/full-episodes/mr-selfridge-episode-3/


Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013  2:06 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Some names are simply synonymous with Chicago--among them, Roger Ebert and Marshall Field's. They both enriched are lives, contributed to our identify as a city. Those are things that cannot be changed.


Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013  6:52 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Ohhh yes, the Selfridge show......it was too clichÈ-ridden, almost Disneyesque, for my taste but I really enjoyed the sight of what looked so much like Field's in its infancy- the clerks stashing merchandise......I fondly remember Field's it before they took out the original first floor showcases and still think that was a foolish move. (And the gold "lipstick" on the classical detailing! Yes, the Greeks painted their buildings like cartoons but that is not the architectural heritage in question...) I will tune in again just for the whiff of MF&Co.

And what good news about the Soucek book! That says something about the cause! It does not seem possible that anyone could be so dumb as Macy's, that Field's could ever just vanish.

I think the universe needs Field's back and somehow it will happen.


Date: Friday, April 12, 2013  9:07 pm CT
Posted by: David, Dallas, TX

I want to add my voice to the others who mourn the loss of Marshall Fields Stores and the Quality  Products they sold.

Macy has lived up to its reputation as a lower middle store in the spectrum of department stores operating in the US.

Bring Marshall Fields back under Marshall Fields standards of quality.


Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013  12:27 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Regarding Macy's sales reports, like many retailers including Target, Sears and Walmart, Macy's is no longer releasing monthly sales reports. There will only be the quarterly reports, with Q1 2013 due in May.

Also, Macy's has released it's new annual report, proxy statement and fact book. You can download and view these at http://www.macysinc.com/for-investors/


Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2013  5:02 pm CT
Posted by: J.J.

I recently "won" a Macy's gift card. Imagine that!

What did I do with it? No. I did not cut it up since Macy's then gets 100% profit. That would be their fantasy come true. Instead, I purchased items that were on clearance and Marshall Field's related. That meant some Easter-themed Frangos and Cheggs on big clearance. An attempt to minimize profit for Macy's. That's making the most of a bad situation.

And I agree, the Frangos don't quite taste like they used to. Waxy somehow, indeed, as some have mentioned.


Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2013  4:05 pm CT
Posted by: Jeff

Was reading the business report today. Reminded how much I miss Field's, especially wen I walked through the deteriorated stoe at Woodfield over the weekend. The Martha Stewart/Pennies/Macy's trial is starting again. WHEN, WHEN DID YOU EVER HEAR PENNIES DESCRIBED AS MARSHALL FIELD'S RIVAL??? You hear it all the time now.


Date: Monday, April 8, 2013  5:32 pm CT
Posted by: Sharon Y.

The show on Chan. 11 reminds me of my research on Marshall Field's. I bet Selfridge and old man Field were polar opposites. That's why they did so well together!


Date: Monday, April 8, 2013  9:01 am CT
Posted by: T. Renwick

Saw a green truck driving ahead of me on the Ike today. Yep, sure enough, there was a mark where the Marshall Field's logo used to be. I miss those things!

My sympathies to the family of Roger Ebert! He was a true Field's Fan!


Date: Sunday, April 7, 2013  8:45 pm CT
Posted by: Patrice T.

Loving Mr. Selfridge! That green carpet running down the aisle transports me back to Fields! Macys is sure missing a tie-in for their business!


Date: Sunday, April 7, 2013  8:02 am CT
Posted by: Marion A.

We miss Marshall Field's. Now we miss Roger Ebert. Maybe Roger can pull some strings up there for us, eh?


Date: Saturday, April 6, 2013  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I did check out the ninth floor Flower Show at State Street last weekend. I have to say it was the best Flower Show since Macy's took over, in my humble opinion.

Still, as a friend reminded me, it was nothing compared to the French imported flowers and the like that Field's had when they hosted the show.

In case you missed it before, here's another perspective from the Chicago Tribune's "Chicago Now" blog:

Nice Try, Macy's. You're Still No Field's.
by Christine Adams, March 28, 2013.
http://www.chicagonow.com/spacing-out/2013/03/nice-try-macys-youre-still-no-fields

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2013  1:38 pm CT
Posted by: Robert H.

I'm sure Roger Ebert's in heaven where they have Marshall Field's and green everywhere, while Macy's is what you get in hell! (Hence Macy's red color.)


Date: Saturday, April 6, 2013  8:01 am CT
Posted by: P.W.

So sad about Roger Ebert!

We would have had Macy's plaques all around the store if it weren't for him calling for landmark status.


Date: Friday, April 5, 2013  9:33 pm CT
Posted by: Gayle C., Encinitas, CA

I grew up in Chicago going to Marshall Fields for the "little Red Hen" luncheon in the Walnut room. When I was in college, I worked as a tour guide and sold theatre tickets at the 3rd floor waiting room. I would proudly wear a button in California.

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013  9:40 pm CT
Posted by: Timothy N.

A great Chicagoan.

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013  8:26 pm CT
Posted by: Jeanne W.

Many thumbs down.

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013  3:55 pm CT
Posted by: Cisley

This is very sad. We lost a great reviewer, writer and a famous advocate for Field's and Chicago.

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013  2:55 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Roger Ebert has passed away. Roger's many commentaries on Macy's takeover of Marshall Field's were the blueprint and inspiration of our efforts here at http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/17320958-418/roger-ebert-dies-at-70-after-battle-with-cancer.html
Here are two of several commentaries that Roger Ebert wrote about the conversion of Field's to Macy's. Roger also Tweeted his unhappiness with the switch.
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20050922%2FCOMMENTARY%2F509220301

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20050127%2FCOMMENTARY%2F502010301%2F1023


Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2013  1:11 am CT
Posted by: Ron D

I watched the first installment of Mr Selfridge. I find it a very interesting chronicle of an era of a much different time in retailing.

But unfortunately Jeremy Piven overacts as usual, even when playing an over-the-top personality like H G Selfridge.


Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013  6:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

To respond to mikea:

I certainly think the Marshall Field's brand / store name is much, much more than the man himself; heck, it excelled for 100 years after he died. And Selfridge was part of it--the things that Field's didn't like so much are why he wasn't given partnership. But you need to reconsider the absurdity of your post--for the sake of you and your post having any cred. Selfridge's was on the verge of bankruptcy 30 years after it was founded and had to purchased to save it. Moreover, Selfridge died a pauper, ousted from from his eponymous store. While Field's had some rough years, especially with wholesale in the 1930s, the Field's retail business was what remained--yes, thanks in part to Selfrdige, as well as Shedd, McKinley and others. But Selfrdige did in fact fail; Field's never lost money to the point that it even came close to having creditor problems like Selfridge's.

Interesting trivia to note that when the store was sold and Mr. Selfridge was gone, the store's name went from "Selfridge's" to "Selfridges" without the apostrophe.


Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013  12:27 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

i watched the show Mr. Selfridge the other night. A few comments, Jeremy Piven was good, however the story line is to much like a British Upstairs /Downstairs. The other characters are kinda boring and the show is somewhat sleepy, since I almost fell asleep twice watching it. It is interesting to note that he had such showmanship and marketing skills to make a store great. He was a pioneer in his day. He made shopping fun and exciting. One thing in particular he said is , let's get more customers in here in the morning, so we are going to offer Morning Specials. Wow a current store offers Morning Specials (Macy's).

From what I read Marshall Field did not particularly care for Harry Selfridge. He did not like his marketing and showmanship and would not offer him to be a full partner which was the reason for his departure. I believe Field's would have never succeded if it were not Harry Selfridge abnd his policies.

I hope the seriers focuses more on the store than the soap opera characters, and it lightens up a bit and emits a little more humor but I do not think that to be the case.


Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013  10:40 am CT
Posted by: Mary Wallace

just want to first say thank you for continuing to host this site - and secondly let you know that although I now live in Washington DC (and Pittsburgh temporarily) I haven't shopped at a Macy's since they ruined the State Street store.

I lived in Chicago from 1989 until 2000. It was a wonderful experience -and I miss the city and its people very much. I spent at least 5 years working in the United Insurance building on the corner of Wacker and State. As a 20-something-year-old, I thought it was the best thing in the world to walk up the street on my lunch hour and shop at Marshall Field's. I would treat myself to lunch at the Walnut Room. I would buy all my clothing from Marshall Field's (boy do I miss The Country Shop - I still cherish my genuine Harris Tweed swing coat I found there!). At one time Marshall Field's had an 'outlet' store in Park Forest - not far from where I lived at one point. You would be amazed at some of the bargins I found there!

Christmas present to my family all came in Marshall Field's boxes. I used to say "Nothing ever bad happens to you in Marshall Fields" (a la Holly Golightly!) I grew up in Detroit and was ecstatic when I learned that Marshall Field's had bought Hudson's - a Detroit landmark. My mother, who worked in housewares in Hudson's would get asked by various native Detroiters what she thought about Marshall Field's taking over Hudsons. She would always answer that she thought it was alright. Her daughter lived in Chicago and loved Marshall Fields.

When I learned that Macy's was RUINING the State Street store, I was now living in the DC area. I hadn't initially minded shopping at Macy's as it was about the only game on the east coast. But after they changed the State Street store, I decided that I would engage in my own protest and stop shopping at Macy's. And, I've stuck to my commitment pretty much since then and frankly haven't missed Macy's at all. I'll do my make-up and perfume shopping at Lord and Taylor or Nordstroms - and find them preferable to Macy's -come let's face it. Macy's is about one step about Kohl's. It is a big box store with crap clothing and even crappy sales people - on the few occasions that I have had to enter the store (against my personal wishes), I've found Macy's staff ignorant and rude.

The bottom line is that typical of a 'New Yorker' who thinks that the world stops and starts at the Hudson River, they can't understand that other cities don't want their junk. They can't understand that other US cities take pride in their own history and culture - and yes it is quite possible that this history and culture is BETTER than the junk imported from New York.

I also find it very interesting that the current show on Masterpiece - Selfridges - has roots with Marshall Fields - NOT Macy's. Mr. Selfridge learned his trade with the Marshell Field's company.

Finally, I fail to understand why Macy's couldn't have just kept the State Street store as Marshall Fields. Let them change all the Mall stores, but keep the history of the Flagship store! Can you imagine what New Yorkers would do if someone bought the Empire State Building and decided to change its name? But, alas, what do you expect from arrogant Macy executives who don't have a clue about anything except their own small New York world.

-------

Note from Jim:
Just a clarification: Daytons and Hudson's purchased Marshall Field's -- Field's did not buy Hudson's.

Dayton/Hudson renamed itself Target around 2000 and in 2002, they also decided to concentrate on the Target discount stores and sell the department stores. They wanted to keep the Hudson's and Dayton's names so they renamed all the Hudson's and Dayton's stores Marshall Field's.


Date: Monday, April 1, 2013  7:28 pm CT
Posted by: L.E.

Regarding the PBS Selfridge show. How much of the store shown is the real Selfridges and how much is a set?

The scenes on the corner of the store look SO MUCH like Marshall Field's! Same for when there's the great aisle with the green carpet. Also the railings from the balconies.


Date: Monday, April 1, 2013  2:32 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I watched the first installment of "Mr. Selfridge" Sunday night on PBS at 8:00 p.m., and agree with comments about how much the store resembles Marshall Field's! I enjoyed the exquisite detail of the fixtures and fashion, and being able to witness a department store being developed instead of discarded.

Interesting to note, the character of Harry Selfridge was portrayed as rather a polar opposite to the reserved, disciplined image we often have of Marshall Field. I found it hard to think of the two being able to do business together, or even have a cup of tea. I am not surprised they separated, but wonder if much of the charm we love about was Field's wasn't part of the Selfridge influence. I look forward to the remaining episodes.


Date: Monday, April 1, 2013  12:06 pm CT
Posted by: Paul in Baltimore

Watched Mr. Selfridge. The scene were Ellen Love walked down the center aisle reminded me of the grand entrance you would make on Randaloph or Washington with the great expanse of store before you.

Date: Monday, April 1, 2013  7:42 am CT
Posted by: Anne T.S.

Pleased to hear from you. Thought I would check in. This is the spirit of Marshall Field's here. Yes.


Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013  9:22 pm CT
Posted by: Susan D.

RE Mr Selfridge: watching first episode now and it makes me want to cry-the store looks like an recreation of the old Fields-curved display cases the "card catalog "style stock drawers, marble columns etc etc-Pity that everyone is going to think Selfridge invented all this stuff..

I have a little anecdote for you: My mother was quite ill the last few years of her life and towards the end ,she could no longer walk and was entirely bedridden. One day, I went in to give her lunch:she was asleep and I had to wake her. She opened her eyes and said she had been having a wonderful dream. I said "Oh?" My mother smiled-" Yes-I was walking" " where were you walking, mama?" My mother smiled,she half closed her eyes,almost as if she wanted to see her dream again, "Oh ,it was so beautiful-I was shopping at Marshall Fields" Marshall Fields-the store of dreams-- I don't think anybody ever dreams of being at Macy's.


Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013  7:24 pm CT
Posted by: J.P.

Hopefully the PBS show about Selfridge will stir up good memories and momentum!


Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013  12:36 pm CT
Posted by: Blue Sky

Glad to get the newsletter. Keep up persistently!


Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago

Happy Easter!


Date: Saturday, March 30, 2013  11:55 pm CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago

-------------------------------------------------------
       FIELDSFANSCHICAGO.ORG
       NEWSLETTER  No. 34

       Saturday, March 30, 2013
-------------------------------------------------------

       PASSOVER, EASTER, SPRING:      
              Please enjoy the blessings and gifts of the season.
       -----
       MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: MR. SELFRIDGE       
              PREMIERES MARCH 31ST ! ! !

       -----
       Coming May 2013
              "Unpredictable Webs"       
              by Darlene Quinn

       -----
       Coming This Summer       
              Special Milestone Edition of
             
"Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago"       
              by Gayle Soucek
       -----
       We Consider Our Successes  & Look                  
       To A 21st Century Marshall Field's

       -----
         HOW TO ADD or REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS         
              FROM OUR LISTS


-------------------------------------------------------

       MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: MR. SELFRIDGE       
       PREMIERES THIS SUNDAY! ! !

       Sunday, March 31, 2013       
       WTTW, Channel 11, Chicago & PBS Stations Across the U.S.
      
       8:00-10:00 pm, CDT

This Sunday evening, March 31, PBS premiers its latest "Masterpiece Classic" series, the critically acclaimed "Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge."  The series is based on the 2007 book, "Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge" by Lindy Woodhead and stars Evanston-raised actor Jeremy Piven in the title role. 


Although the series is set in London, as fans, loyalists and  students of Marshall Field and and Chicago, this series offers much us excitement!  Moreover, it helps underscore the international stature of Chicago's Marshall Field's.
Wisconsin-born Harry Gordon Selfridge was a significant figure in the history of Marshall Field's and Chicago.  Starting as a stockboy, Selfridge rose through the ranks to become the Marshall Field's executive who, at the turn of the 20th Century, set the stage for the "style, glamour and razzmatazz" that remained a legendary part of the modern Marshall Field's experience all the way through its last full year in 2005.


Although Field and Selfridge parted ways, they continued to influence each other's renowned stores long after they themselves passed away.  After trying a store for 90 days in what  became the Carson Pirie Scott flagship on State Street, Selfridge eventually went on to start his own hugely successful store on London's Oxford Street.  Despite their differences, Mr. Selfridge revered Mr. Field and his store so much that a portrait of Mr. Field was a focus in his London office.  Moreover, Selfridge's flagship store, designed by architect Daniel Burnham, still to this day bears an uncanny resemblance to Marshall Field's on State Street.  At the same time, the 21st Century version of Selfridges informed the last, great reinvention of Marshall Field's on State Street in 2003.  As this reinvention of Field's was starting to bear success, it was cut short as a result of the conversion to Macy's.


Those who have seen the first episode of "Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge" have commented on how much they "feel the spirit of Marshall Field's."  Scenes from the Selfridges store conjure the same chills of excitement that once were part of the Marshall Field's experience.


After a very successful run in the U.K., "Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge" has been renewed for a second season.  While the series does not directly cover Selfridge's years at Marshall Field's, the first quarter of Lindy Woodhead's book is a fascinating story of Marshall Field and Company's retail store in the last part of the 1800s, told from the angle of Mr. Selfridge.


Please don't miss this exciting series which will surely inspire us all as we work for the return of Marshall Field's to State Street.   If you are unable to watch the first episode, some Starbucks coffee shops are offering the first episode as a free iTunes download.  Also, the entire first season will be available on DVD and Blue-Ray later this year. 


Learn more about Harry Gordon Selfridge, Marshall Field, and "Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge" via these links:


PBS
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/series/mr-selfridge/


WTTW Channel 11 Chicago
http://schedule.wttw.com/episodes/265838/Masterpiece-Classic/Mr-Selfridge-Part-1/

"Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge" 
Wikipedia Entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Selfridge

"Harry Gordon Selfridge" Wikipedia Entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Gordon_Selfridge

Chicago Sun-Times

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/television/19110806-421/jeremy-piven-felt-connected-to-marshall-field-exec-he-plays-on-mr-selfridge.html

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-mov-0329-chicago-closeup-20130329,0,6781174.column

-------------------------------------------------------
       Coming May 2013       
       "Unpredictable Webs"       
       by Darlene Quinn


Award-winning author Darlene Quinn has composed a series of books that are based on the real-life stories of historic department stores.  Ms. Quinn is a former executive with the storied and elegant Bullocks Wilshire, L.A.'s peer to Marshall Field's that was also converted to Macy's.  At Bullocks Wilshire, Ms. Quinn worked with Macy's CEO, President and Chairperson Terry Lundgren.  Her 2010 book, "Twisted Webs," offered a case for the return of Marshall Field's.  This spring will see the fourth book in Ms. Quinn's "Webs" series, "Unpredictable Webs."  Set in Chicago, the book was partially inspired by activities and events surrounding the switch from Marshall Field's to Macy's.  While we've not yet seen the final book, it promises to be a fun and fascinating read for all Marshall Field's fans.  Pre-order your copy now at fine book sellers including Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Unpredictable-Webs-Darlene-Quinn/dp/1608324249/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1364706301&sr=8-4&keywords=Darlene+quinn

-------------------------------------------------------
       Coming This Summer       
       Special Milestone Edition of
      
       "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago"       
       by Gayle Soucek

Gayle Soucek's "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" has become the top-selling title of all the History Press's books.  In what we believe to be at least its fourth edition, History Press will offer an unprecedented hard-cover edition--a first for any History Press book.  While relatively brief, Ms. Soucek's book is a comprehensive overview of Marshall Field's that is very satisfying, covering the period from its founding by Potter Palmer all the way through the post-Macy's rallies calling for Marshall Field's return to State Street.  You will want to read this book again and again.

Surely you will want a copy of this special edition, along with a few copies for friends.  Be sure to watch our web site, your local book store or book web sites for the exact release date.  Congratulations to Gayle Soucek and the History Press!

-------------------------------------------------------
       We Consider Our Successes & Look To A 21st Century Marshall Field's

While we have yet to achieve our ultimate goal of a restored Marshall Field's reinvigorated and reinvented for the 21st Century, we consider our successes so far.  We--and many others--believe our efforts have put the brakes on declines and reductions of the great Marshall Field's legacies, especially at State Street.  We also believe that Macy's has learned a great deal from our efforts.  Moreover, our collective efforts have set precedents that have prevented or slowed corporate takeovers and homogenizations of other Chicago institutions from Grant Park to Wrigley Field and others that have not been publicized.  Ultimately, we have kept the brand, the ethos and spirit of Marshall Field's alive for that inevitable, special day when forward-thinking business and civic leaders do what makes immense sense: the restoration of Chicago's international, iconic emporium, Marshall Field's.
Thank you for your dedicated and sustained role in making this great history possible as a return of Field's unfolds.


Read our case for " 21st Century Marshall Field's For a 21st Century Chicago." Please see http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/21
-------------------------------------------------------

       HOW TO ADD or REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FROM OUR LISTS

* TO REMOVE YOUR ADDRESS FROM OUR SUBSCRIBER LIST: Send email to REMOVE-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org
Please include the email address you wish dropped if it is not the one from which you are sending the request.
* TO ADD YOUR ADDRESS TO OUR SUBSCRIBER LIST: Send email to ADD-ME AT fieldsfanschicago.org
Subscription requests must be sent from the email address that is to be added to the subscriber list.
* SWITCHING ADDRESSES? 1. Send a "REMOVE-ME"  request from either you old address or your new one;
   THEN...
2. Send an "ADD-ME"  request from your new address.
Again, NEW add requests MUST come from the address to which this newsletter is to be delivered.
*  Please send all bug reports to info AT fieldsfanschicago.org
-------------------------------------------------------
This newsletter and the activities and events described within have NO affiliation whatsoever with Macy's, Inc. (formerly Federated Department Stores, Inc.), May Department Stores Company, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Marshall Field's, the Marshall Field Family, the Field Foundation of Chicago, etc., and the views and opinions expressed here represent only those of the writer.

-------------------------------------------------------
       END OF NEWSLETTER No. 34
-------------------------------------------------------


Date: Friday, March 29, 2013  9:14 pm CT
Posted by: http://www.chicagonow.com/spacing-out/2013/03/nice-try-macys-youre-still-no-fields//a>


Date: Friday, March 29, 2013  3:51 pm CT
Posted by:
Jim

A couple of excellent stories about "Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge" in Tribune and Sun-Times. As you know, Selfridge was in many ways the complement to Mr. Marshall Field in defining the entire spirit of the Marshall Field and Company retail store from the 1880s to 2005.
SUN-TIMES:
Jeremy Piven felt "connected" to Marshall Field exec he plays on "Mr. Selfridge"
BY LORI RACKL TV Critic/lrackl AT suntimes.com March 28, 2013 3:04PM
http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/television/19110806-421/jeremy-piven-felt-connected-to-marshall-field-exec-he-plays-on-mr-selfridge.html

TRIBUNE:
'Mr. Selfridge': The man who invented retail therapy
Jeremy Piven plays Harry Selfridge in a PBS series(March 28, 2013)Nina MetzChicago Closeup
4:32 p.m. CDT, March 28, 2013
http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-mov-0329-chicago-closeup-20130329,0,6058017,full.column


Date: Friday, March 29, 2013  12:17 pm CT
Posted by: D.J.

Passed through the Flower show at State Street today. It was pretty, but somehow it was smaller than when it was Field's. I was happy to see green plastic chairs in the cafe area outside the show. It reminded me of Marshall Field and Co.

It's just not the same since it's not Marshall Field's. Miss it.


Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013  1:23 am CT
Posted by: Rich

Hi all

Someone gave me a small box of Frango's at Christmas -- I STILL MISS Marshall Field's for Christmas ---- and all other ---- Shopping!

I ate them and was surprised -- they were ok -- minty -- but not as creamy or smooth as I remember -- and I used to eat them a LOT -- these were more waxy - I remember all the great flavors and special time limited flavors that Field's used to make available -- they made peanut butter ones for a while that were out of this world!

Like they used to say -- "There's no place like Field's"

How true!

Rich


Date: Monday, March 25, 2013  10:19 pm CT
Posted by: Michaela T.

I'm a native of Toronto. I have lived in Chicago for over 20 years. Marshall Field's reminded me of The Bay, but even better. The USA had few truly European department stores. Shame on Macy's for replacing Marshall Field's which was the most European of all. SHAME!


Date: Saturday, March 23, 2013  11:14 am CT
Posted by: mikea

i was in the store yesterday and happened to make my way to the 9th floor. even though the flower show officially was not open, they allowed guests to walk through it. It was done very nicely, and this year there were floweers on the first floor and 6th floors also in the Walnut room. It was sad though that the 9th floor is closed off to retail. It was not really a retail floor since the 1080's-90's renovation of the store and the opening of the atrium.

The corner windows on State street will be filled with flowers. the show is much better than last years.


Date: Friday, March 22, 2013  2:37 pm CT
Posted by: Mary S.

We're sad about losing the St. Paul store across the street from our office. It was very convenient. But what we really miss are the special trips to Chicago for the State Street store. We did this as a family even as I was a little girl. Dayton's on the Mall is also great...but Marshall Field's State Street was the same, yet on a larger scale and more European. Now, it's nothing special. None of these stores. They are all generic Macy's. I will now go to Herberger's.

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013  1:16 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I have been following the previews of "Mr. Selridge" on PBS television. The mini-series looks really exciting and well-done with EXQUISITE attention to detail. Perhaps it will inspire a trend. It certainly makes a point about why customers prefer a quality department store.


Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2013  6:11 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

In the 1800s, Marshall Field and Company was more than just the amazing retail store on State Street; there was also a huge wholesale division that offered a multitude of items from its home on what is today's Franklin Street and its replacement building, the Merchandise Mart. The latter was constructed as the wholesale division of Field's.

Mr. Field was the mastermind behind all these businesses, but it was his partner Harry Selfridge who made shopping an event and entertaining, an outing. This was an example for the rest of the world's merchants. As Roger Ebert put it, Field's showed the other stores around the world (like Harrods) what they wanted to be when they grew up.

After Marshall Field refused to rename the store "Field, Selfridge and Co," Mr. Selfridge set out on his own. First he opened a store in what was to be the Schlesinger and Meyer store at 1 S. State. It lasted 90 days before becoming the new flagship of Carson Pirie Scott. Eventually Mr. Selfridge moved to Oxford Street in London and opened his legendary store on Oxford Street. That store thrives today and is arguably the closest thing in existence to the real Marshall Field's experience. In fact, this store informed Marshall Field's successful "store within a store" concept at State Street of the mid-2000s, only to be cut short of realization by the Macy's buyout.

Now Britain's ITV(1) and PBS have partnered to tell Mr. Selfridge's story in a new "Masterpiece Classic" series that is in the same vein as acclaimed "Downton Abbey." Episode 1 airs at 8:00 pm on Sunday, March 31, 2013 on Channel 11, WTTW:

http://schedule.wttw.com/series/15759/Masterpiece-Classic/
You can also advance preview episode 1 by purchasing it a the iTunes store. You can get it free by going to participating Starbucks and downloading it to your computer via a free iTunes download.

"Women's Wear Daily" also has a free story on the series. The story discusses Selfridge's relationship with Marshall Field and Company.

http://www.wwd.com/eye/lifestyle/mr-selfridge-series-puts-spotlight-on-legendary-retailer-6853020?full=true
Examples like this and the BBC World Service cover of our rally in 2010 show that Europeans and the world appreciates what Macy's does not. What a pity Macy's is missing the chance to capitalize on this series by not having Marshall Field's on State Street.

Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2013  1:20 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Those are beautiful photos from the St. Patrick's Day parade of attendees modelling their Marshall Field's buttons.

Two of Chicago's great traditions have been the St. Patrick's Day parade and Marshall Field's. We still have the parade, now we need to get the other one back--GO FIELD'S!


Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2013  12:50 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

In response to the post by I miss the regional plates. Comparing product brand lines to a entire business is like comparing apples to oranges. It is easy to market different brands within a company as far as food, soap products etc. It is much different to running a entire division of a department store. Running a entire division requires different merchandise, a whole advertising and market department and the costs associated with that.

Recently I went to the Fashion Show mall in las Vegas. Macy's has opened up a new men's store. The store was awesome, clean neatly organized. Sales associates could not be more helpful and great sales. The original Macy's is being renovated for the womens department. Macy's needs to remodel and merchandise the Chicago stores in the Macy's West model. State Street could offer more specialty departments and do even more business with some renovations and remerchandising some of the departments.


Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013  10:17 am CT
Posted by: L.

I have been living in New Orleans the last 10 years, I am from the Bridgeport neighborgood. Turst me when I say Marshall Fields was a HUGE part of my life No store treated you the way Fields treated you.

When I come home to visit and go to the Loop to shop, I bypass Macy's. Again keep up the great work.

L. (Name withheld)
New Orleans /Chicago


Date: Monday, March 18, 2013  11:43 pm CT
Posted by: Lisa G.

A good way to bring back Marshall Field's is if you write to the management. If enough do, they will. BRING BACK MARSHALL FIELD'S!


Date: Monday, March 18, 2013  10:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to Tracy, Bee and all who helped make our button and flyer distribution at Saturday's St Patrick's Day Parade a huge success.

Neither sleet nor rain nor snow (all present) nor the advance of time dampened Chicago's enthusiasm for the return of Marshall Field's! St. Patrick's Day is about Irish pride, but moreover, it's arguably the holiday that comes closest to expressing pride in our Chicago. Marshall Field's reflects that pride in a huge, international way--EVERYONE (except seemingly senior execs at Macy's) loves Marshall Field's! Below are a few pics that show just that.

 
 


Date: Sunday, March 17, 2013,   7:45 am CT
Posted by: nancy k. I noticed that the numbers on the field's clock are faded to the point where they can't be read. on some sides. Bring back Marshall Field and Co.!!


Date: Saturday, March 16, 2013,   8:01 pm CT
Posted by: Mark in Minneapolis Macy's nee Marshall Field's nee Dayton's St. Paul flagship closed today. For the first time since the 1800s, downtown St. Paul doesn't have a department store.

For the past decade, the store has been subsidized by the city to prevent it from closing. The subsidy expired recently.


Date: Saturday, March 16, 2013,   7:08 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

We'll be out at the St. Pat's parade on Columbus Drive today passing out flyers and buttons. If you care to help or just want a button, email me by clicking my name at the beginning of this post or by calling (312) 662-8980.


Date: Friday, March 15, 2013,   12:01 pm CT
Posted by: Joi H.

Hello everyone;

The Chicago Fashion Incubator is having an social event next Friday, a week from today, at the Chicago Cultural Center. This will benefit the incubator and have a theme of historic posters from the past. One of my acquaintances is one of the six designers they have. I've noticed they don't seem to mention Macy's as much as they used to. Maybe it's a fluke. Or maybe they get the message that this is Chicago, not New York fashion. Whatever, you can buy a ticket at http://www.chicagofashionincubator.org/events/


Date: Thursday, March 14, 2013,   5:36 pm CT
Posted by: R.S.

I loved Marshall Field's. Everyone associated Marshall Field's with Chicago. What a wonderful store!!! What a great place to shop. Great customer service, good quality made clothes. Marshall Field's was Chicago!!!! Macy's doesn't have the Chicago feel whenever I walk into their stores. The closing of Marshall Field's was sad for every Chicagonite. Over 150 years, though. That is a long, long time for a store to remain open. Will always treasure the days when I did shop there.

Date: Thursday, March 14, 2013,   5:57 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I have to say it again - sorry - if all this logic was ever going to fly at Macy's, it would have by now. Logic, sense and sensibility, rationality and respect, whatever--- not part of the Lundgren scheme. I would like to think Macy's cannot prevail because the universe was meant to operate on a higher plane.

How long can he keep this pricey and shameful shell game going? If we all hang in long enough, we will be celebrating together.


Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013,   5:34 pm CT
Posted by: From Seeking Alpha

The head of Carson's parent, Bon-Ton, acknowledges that they don't have a flagship store--no single store of their 270-plus stores generate more than 1% of their sales. Furthermore, contrary to what he expected when he first came to the helm, he thinks having multiple store names helps them connect as their hometown store rather than one national brand.

Too bad he wasn't in CEO of Bon-Ton when it closed Carson's State Street. Carson's sticking around would have clobbered Macy's into bringing back Field's.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1271761-bon-ton-s-ceo-presents-at-bank-of-america-merrill-lynch-2013-consumer-amp-retail-conference-transcript?part=single

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013,   4:59 pm CT
Posted by: Rhonda T.

I miss Marshall Field's greatly. I applaud the efforts and that you are all in it for the long haul.

Yet, I have to comment on three recent posts.

1.) No, M.R., it's not like my BFF married some nice guy. In my book, Macy's is the psycho date that I'd talk her out of.

2.) Bloomingdale's was never as good as Marshall Field's. As someone else said, it only has a portion of what Field's had and the service and personality isn't nearly as good as Field's.

3.) Someone is comparing Field's to bottled water? Really? REALLY???? C'mon! There's so much more to it than that. The example mentioned about Bergdorf's and Neiman's comes closest. Ditto for the precedents of The Drake, The Palmer House Hilton and Hilton Hotels.

Just had to get those three things off my chest!

Carry on! Bring back Field's! We all miss it!


Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013,   7:08 am CT
Posted by: Lydia R.

The Great Marshall Field's Clock continues to remain on the masthead of the Chicago Tribune for the fourth consecutive day!

Iconic and Chicago! Marshall Field's!

XoXoXo,

Lydia


Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013,   9:17 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

This just occurred to me.

How can macy*mart say they are performing profitably when they have hardly anything to offer and eliminated all the great regional brands (including Marshall Field's)?

In this case, I have found a few examples from the food/drink/consumer products industry where regional branding, product diversification, and even bringing back a fan favorite REALLY pays off!

First of all, there's NestlÈ Waters North America, based out of Stamford, CT. They have their national brand of water (NestlÈ PureLife) as well as speciality brands (like Perrier). HOWEVER, although they acquired several regional water bottlers over the years, guess what? They actually retained the brands and their respective springs/sources and sales regions! Out west, for example, there's Arrowhead. In the South Central, there's Ozarka. New York State has Poland Spring, Florida has Zephyrhills, the East has Deer Park, and of course, the Midwest has Ice Mountain. The "Brands" section of the NestlÈ Waters section states, "Bottled Waters with Distinctive Tastes and Heritage."

Mothers Cookies, originally an Oakland, CA-based bakery, went out of business in 2008, but Kellogg's (already the parent of Keebler and Sunshine) resurrected the famous baker in May 2009. One of its signature products is Mothers Circus Animal Cookies. While the old Mothers made just one variety (pink and white), the new Mothers re-invented the Circus Animal Cookies and made vanilla & fudge, Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July, and jungle-colored varieties! A favorite product for many once thought to be vanished from store shelves forever...came back, bigger and better than ever! Unless you are cool with ordering food from Amazon.com, Mothers products are only available in stores west of the Mississippi River, unfortunately.

Proctor & Gamble? Kraft Foods? Ditto to both; they have a huge variety of products operating under various, recognizable brands. (Just for fun, look back at fall 2006 for a funny comment regarding if all Kraft products were renamed under a certain brand!)

Sure, all of these products may not be exquisite cuisine fare, but I just wanted to make a point: operating various brands with unique identities/features is good for business, and somebody WILL resurrect Marshall Field's...bigger and better than ever!

i_miss_the_regional_nameplates


Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013,   12:38 pm CT
Posted by: Mary D.

Dear Field's Fans;

Did you see the cover of this morning's Red Eye Tabloid? It had a Macy's wrap-around section for the impulse clothing line. Lots of photos of models. The photos all duct-taped down. How classy. The following copy accompanies it:

"THE PREMIER SHOWCASE FOR NEW YORK'S MOST CUTTING-EDGE TALENT, MADE FASHION WEEK NOW INTRODUCES A SERIES OF EXCITING NEW COLLECTIONS ROOTED IN THE CITY'S CULTURE, INSPIRED BY IT'S PEOPLE, AND INFORMED BY ITS STREETS. AVAILABLE TODAY, MARCH 12, ONLY AT MACY'S."

Showcasing NYC talent and fashion? When does Macy's ever give such attention to Chicago's talent with a wrap-around section?

All this hogwash about honoring Chicago! Give me MY MARSHALL FIELD'S!


Date: Monday, March 11, 2013,   5:08 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

At last, a decent story on the Martha Stewart, Macy's and J.C.Penney lawsuit. Apparently, Terry Lundgren started talking to Martha Stewart--beyond what the court required in arbitration. Maybe Lundgren and the Mayor will talk about Field's next. It's pretty bad when a CEO ignores most of a town's shoppers. And what would it hurt if Field's were to come back?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/business/media/martha-stewart-struggles-to-stay-on-top.html?hp&_r=0

Date: Monday, March 11, 2013,   1:27 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Bloomingdale's better than Field's and as good as Neiman Marcus?

No.

BTW: Macy's sells INC clothes and HOTEL COLLECTION at both Macy's and Bloomingdale's.


Date: Monday, March 11, 2013,   9:36 pm CT
Posted by: C. R.. Mn.

To Bryan Crowley:

Bloomingdale's was NEVER superior to Field's. Sure, Bloomingdale's had some of the hip departments that Marshall Field's had, but was never Marshall Field's equal, especially in terms of service.

I heard that supposedly when Marshall Field's became Macy's, Macy's got rid of quite a bit of high-end merchandise so as to direct those sales to Bloomingdale's. So if Bryan thinks Marshall Field's is lower than Bloomingdale's, he must be comparing the stores post-Macy's conversion.

Field's had something for everyone! Bloomingdale's is just a specialty store.


Date: Monday, March 11, 2013,   6:58 am CT
Posted by: Lydia R.

The Great Marshall Field's clock was on the masthead of yesterday's and today's Chicago Tribune as a reminder to set your clocks ahead.

I think it was mentioned here that last year, The Tribune referred to it as the Macy's clock. HUMMPHHH!!


Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013,   10:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Most any Field's shopper would, like myself, take issue with Bryan Crowley about his rankings.

Marshall Field's was comparable to ALL of those stores. Bloomingdale's was effectively a subset of Field's. They competed directly. In fact, when Bloomindale's entered the Chicago market on Michigan Avenue, Field's ran an ad welcoming them. That's how classy Field's was.

I DO agree that it is shocking that Macy's can't seem to clean the bathrooms at State Street and Water Tower, but they can afford to keep things clean and in tip-top shape at Bloomingdale's at 900 North Michigan. Methinks they are cutting corners at the two Field's locations to make up for profits. But it's penny-wise and pound-foolish.


Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013,   2:46 am CT
Posted by: Bryan Crowley

What amazes me most about Macy's is how bad the store sucks, yet Bloomingdales doesn't suck. If I was Macy's I'd bring back Marshall Fields and expand them Nationally and I'd create 3 tiers to my National Brand.

Bloomingdales - Upscale (Nieman Marcas & Saks)

Marshall Fields - (Nordstrom)

Macy's - the same as it it crappy clothes and household items.

Then I'd bring back the other stores that were killed like Bullocks, Kaufmans, Hechts, Filenes, Famous Barr and brand them as AMERICAN DEPARTMENT STORES that only sale merch from American Designers and AMERICAN Company's. Each buyers would be the same for each company but each location would also have a section for local designers.


Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013,   9:55 am CT
Posted by: gle

Lecture tomorrow:
Sunday, March 10, 2013
2:00 P.M.
"Remembering Marshall Field's"
Speaker Leslie Goddard
Wilmette Historical Museum
609 Ridge Road,Wilmette
$5 Non-Members
(847) 853-7666

Date: Friday, March 8, 2013,   11:05 pm CT
Posted by: Gina T.

I just found this site. We used to look forward to going to Chicago for Marshall Field. Macy's is something we have here in Memphis so going to Chicago for it isn't such a big deal. I hope you succeed. Then again, lower quality seems to be popular.


Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013,   1:46 pm CT
Posted by: Newswatcher

I heard a brief comment on Fox 32 morning news to the effect that Martha Stewart testified she went with JC Penney because Macy's didn't expand or do what it said it was going to do and she wanted to expand.

I also think MR is rather out of touch comparing the change from Field's to Macy's like having your best friend get married and change ONLY her name. The way I see it, it's more like the queen married the frog and turned into a toad.


Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013,   8:46 pm CT
Posted by: Paul in Baltimore

One thing I read regarding Macy's and Martha's contract was that she couldn't not sell at downmarket stores. How Macy's can consider JC Penny downmarket baffles me. About the only thing I find downmarket from Macy's is WalMart (and even there, there is a lot of overlap).

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2013,   12:26 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

I could not agree more with Marianne, who said Macy's is like your best friend getting married and becoming a Stepford wife. Field's was a unique store and brand, while Macy's are just cookie cutter chain stores with no individuality, truly the lowest common denominator of retailing. On another note, I am rather enjoying Terry Lundgren's court battle with Martha Stewart, two greedy plunderers turning against each other. The fact that Macy's is more like JC Penney than any other store only makes it richer.

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013,   8:39 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

To M.R.: No (and no offense), your concept of Marshall Field's being "married" to macy*mart is wrong on all counts! To us Field's Fans, macy*mart taking over Field's is basically the retail/business equivalent of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Sure, the buildings look elegant on the outside (except for the macy*mart evidence, of course), but inside, we see cracks in the tile, broken escalators, duct tape aplenty, scathing salespeople, outdated clearance merchandise, and of course, the "latest" counterfeit-brand and Z-grade celebrity merchandise overpriced and only reduced through incessant sales (with a zillion exclusions)! Therefore, both stores are NOT the same!

--------

And to all: Shop elsewhere (like I will in my hometown)! Pass out your flyers and buttons! Hope Terry will become the lawsuit loser! Continue raising awareness about Marshall Field's and hope for a MIRACLE ON STATE STREET!!!!! (Sorry for a long post - my time, browsing, and money NEVER go to the Communist store!)

i_miss_the_regional_nameplates


Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013,   7:17 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

In response to M.R.'s post: Obviously, you never had the chance to see Marshall Field's in its prime. It is not even a comparison to today's incarnation of Macy's. The old RH Macy of the late 1980s would have been slightly comparable but certainly not the cheap store it has become. Marshall Fields was NEVER compared to the likes of JCPenney, Kohls or Target as a competitor. Today's Macy's is lower grade to the mid to better tier stores that they took over (Bullock's, Rich's, Foley's, Burdine's, Jordan Marsh, Bon Marche' etc.) In my opinion, Marshall Fields would have been comparable to Bullocks Wilshire and I Magnin but was still on a different level since it was a much larger store and was a world class destination. If you truly believe that I really feel for you as you never saw Fields (or the other regional stores, including old RH Macy)and was quality shopping really was.

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013,   7:04 pm CT
Posted by: Marianne

Oh MR! Your comparison of Marshall Field's being taken over by Macy's to an old girlfriend who's gotten married and simply changed her name is ridiculous! It's more like your old friend changing into a Stepford Wife! The name placques are outside, but even the building isn't even the same, because of the lack of upkeep. So many great brands are gone, with cheap poor-value brands replacing them. Much more has been lost than just a name. But what a name! Marshall Field was part of the growth of Chicago into the world class city it has become, and Marshall Field's was a name worth preserving because of that history. Target and the May Company knew that, because they chose to keep the Field's name and to preserve much of what had gone before in terms of merchandising and classiness. Macy's wiped out the whole spirit of our once great store, and those of us who knew and loved Field's know how much was lost. And we don't want a Stepford store!

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013,   6:10 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

M.R.: Wife?!! You've heard of abusive husbands, no?

Time of one's life at a fallen Field's? I had the time of my life at a grand Field's. Take your pick.

s

Date: Monday, March 4, 2013,   5:45 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fans

Happy 176th Birthday, Chicago!

And we know that Chicago would be much, MUCH the lesser were it not for having Marshall Field's for all but 22 of those years!

Thank you Chicago and THANK YOU to Marshall Field's for making Chicago a great international city and much more than just another Midwest town!


Date: Monday, March 4, 2013,   12:24 pm CT
Posted by: M.R.

As a Macy's employee for the past three years, I've had the time of my life.

So it's amazing to read this site. I appreciate your loyalty, but consider what's really happening at these stores. If you do, you will realize that Marshall Field's is still there, better than ever! She's just your best friend who has gotten married and simply changed her name to match her husband's! She may have "Macy" as her last name, but through and through, the gal is still what she used be, but better than ever because she's married to a wonderful fella, Macy's.

Marshall Field's isn't gone. She just has a new married name! BE her FRIEND AGAIN! You'll be SO GLAD to catch up on what's new and how she's changed for the better!


Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013,   12:39 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

In response to the post about the Macy's downtown St.Louis store. true it is very sad what has happened to that store. However that store and downtown St.Louis retail has been on the downslide since the early 90's. Dillard's closed the downtown St.Louis store about 15 years ago and it was a pretty much vacant building until Embassey Suites took over part of it. The opening of the Galleria mall killed St.Louis Centre, which is vacant. Even Union Station has turned into a collection of junk stores, hoping the new owner revitalizes that great place. The May Company would have closed the downtown St.Louis store if it had not been thier headquarters. Sales there have been very poor. I am surprised that Macy's still keeps that store open. Rumors have been outt hat the new ballpark village once it gets going might bring some needed retail to downtown and maybe Macy's could relocate there to a better effecient store.

Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013,   7:57 am CT
Posted by: Geraldine, England, U.K.

I support the campaign to bring back Marshall Fields, in both quality and name. Although I live in England, United Kingdom, I used to shop at Marshall Fields when I worked as an air stewardess for British Airways, and that was for many years. I was quite upset when I heard via a friend of mine who used to live in Chicago (has since gone back to Canada to live), I really could not believe it.

I would be grateful if you would be kind enough to advise me who I write to, I really would like to give my support.

Many thanks.

Regards,
Geraldine (last name witheld)


Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013,   8:03 pm CT
Posted by: A.P.

Terry Lundgren's felt "gut-punched" when he heard about Martha Stewart's questionable deal?

Hey, that's how Chicago felt when TERRY LUNDGREN ditched Marshall Field's. And any smart stockholder would feel the same!

Sheesh! Such arrogance and what phonies. BOTH TERRY AND MARTHA!


Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013,   3:09 pm CT
Posted by: newswatcher

I find it interesting the emphasis the news placed on Lundgren slamming the phone down on Martha Stewart when she called to tell him she was signing on with JC Penney, and why she would even bother to call personally (if that is what happened). That is all the coverage I saw on Fox 32 and WGN 9 the day of the trial, and an addendum that Lundgren said the call made him sick to his stomach,.


Date: Friday, March 1, 2013,   10:02 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Details about Macy's Spring Flower Shows are up at their web site. There will be shows in NYC, Philly, D.C., Minneapolis and San Francisco, in addition to State Street. State Street's show runs from March 24-April 7.

This year's theme is "The Painted Garden" and has promotional tie-ins with an upcoming movie called "Epic." "Epic" is from the makers of "Ice Age" and bows May 24.

At State Street, Hilton's Homewood Suites Hotels are co-sponsors with Epic. New York's Herald Sqaure flower show also boasts Zyrtec and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish as co-sponsors.

The State Street flower show will be on the ninth floor, like last year. Some people here have raised eyebrows as to why it's not placed throughout the floor. To me, it's pretty clear--you need to keep the flowers cool or they will fall apart before the two weeks are up. This way, they don't have to freeze everyone "to death" through out the store. They just have to keep one area chilled right for flowers.

For more information, see http://social.macys.com/flowershow/.


Date: Friday, March 1, 2013,   12:35 pm CT
Posted by: C.F.

Looks like Macy's is taking a play out of Marshall Field's book with the new restaurant.

For those who aren't familiar, the other restaurants at Herald Square are Starbucks, the cafeteria in the Cellar, Aunt Anne's Pretzels, Jimmy's New York Pizza, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Au Bon Pain.

True, Marshall Field and Co. had TWO Starbucks at State Street, but then Marshall Field and Co. on State Street was one of the first places in the world outside of metro Seattle to have a Starbucks!!!


Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013,   8:32 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

The Wall Street Journal had a story today about how the head of JCPenney has run the ship into the reef. Page B6. Macy's has done a good job having steadily increasing profits over the past several quarters. JCPenney has a downward ski slope. The Wall Street Journal has a lovely chart comparing Macy's and Penneys. Good on Macy's.

But after a few seconds, it hit me. You never saw Marshall Field's compared with JCPenney.

Pete


Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013,   7:29 pm CT
Posted by: Rob R.

Lundgren gave emotional testimony and said that he felt like he had been gut-punched when Martha Stewart called?

Now maybe Lundgren knows how most all of Chicago felt when he decided to dump Marshall Field's. And he had the audacity to call Chicago "just emotional" about losing Marshall Field's.

Given Lundgren's logic, he should consider Martha's deal with Penny's to be business and not an emotional choice.

Crocodile tears.....


Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013,   11:23 am CT
Posted by: Chicago misses Field's

Was listening to the radio and they had a commercial for a Go Red event here in Chicago. It was sponsored by some fine local companies and institutions. And then I heard that the Chicago Fashion Incubator was participating. I wondered if that was the same as the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's on State Street. Apparently it is, but it's interesting that Macy's isn't mentioned. Maybe a sponsor conflict or something? Is Macy's distancing itself from the incubator? Or is this just a one-time fluke?

But it reminded me of some scuttlebutt I heard a few months ago. I've heard that Macy's CEO Lundgren and Mayor Emanuel don't get along well, if it all. Has anyone else heard that? You don't see those two together like you used to see Daley with the CEO.

Maybe Rahm gets the message that it's stupid for Chicago to build its fashion brand on name that is synonymous with NYC. Or maybe the Mayor doesn't like a store that sells ties endorsed by a guy who insists his former boss is lying about his birthplace and ineligible for the Presidency. Etc. Etc. Or maybe I'm wrong.


Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013,   11:49 pm CT
Posted by: drew

How sad that poor Mr Lunkhead has been stabbed in the back by his "friends" Ron Johnson and Martha Stewart:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jc-penney-ceo-ron-johnson-194604261.html
Reminds one of the old saying about "karma." Couldn't happen to someone more deserving.

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013,   10:40 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

Saw this and thought it may be of interest. So sad...
http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2013/02/abandoned_macys_midwest_headquarters_an_eerie_photo_tour.php?page=3

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013,   10:22 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/dining/stella-34-trattoria-is-set-to-open-inside-macys-midtown-store.html?_r=1&

Imagine if they spent this kind of money on State Street


Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013,   9:51 am CT
Posted by: JasonMChicago

This may be a good place to comment on Macy's Inc and their Martha Stewart case. It is read buy a lot of branding people.

http://adage.com/article/news/macy-s-ceo-terry-lundgren-emphasizes-exclusivity-martha-stewart-courtroom-battle-involving-j-c-penney/240025/

Date: Monday, February 25, 2013,   9:17 pm CT
Posted by: James McKay

I don't know that I entirely agree with Philip's post. Maybe someone from Macy's is reading this and can respond and clarify.

=====

Mr. Lundgren's testimony in the trial with Martha Stewart, JCPenney and Macy's has been getting attention today. My humble opinion that I've been posting is as follows:

There's more testimony to be heard this week, but so far I'm siding with Macy's on this. Most I know associate the Martha household items as being "only@ Macy 's." Maybe Ms. Stewart, Mr. Johnson (CEO, JCP) and others will shed new light later this week, but my take is that unless MSO shops are completely "MSO-run" stores just leasing space inside JCP, it sounds like Macy's is justified. Maybe JCP will win on a technicality.

Macy's execs are doing the right thing to protect what is basically Macy's shareholders' investment in MSO's brand.

With all that in mind, I find it ironic that Macy's has pretty much moth-balled the still hugely popular and very valuable Marshall Field's brand in Chicago. The last year it was itemized in the annual report, Marshall Field's trade names were appraised at $419 million; Mr. Lundgren says that Marshall Field's was overvalued at that time, but conservatively, Marshall Field's trade names were worth at least half--$210M, if not much more. That's more than the combined valued of all the other ten or so department stores Macy's acquired at the same time. $210M is more than MSO's entire market cap of around $200M. And yet Macy's goes after MSO, but ignores Marshall Field's?

While I so far applaud Macy's for their due diligence in pursuing exclusivity on Martha Stewart products, the precedence justifies that Macy's should unlock value and realize greater returns for shareholders by returning Marshall Field's to State Street in Chicago and as a private label. Marshall Field's is STILL the "It" Chicago brand and Macy's is ignoring an asset of huge shareholder value.


Date: Sunday, February 24, 2013,   3:47 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Rick's post about Hart Schaffner and Marx suits piqued my interest, so I went to Macy's website.(won't go in a store) Clicked on the find it in store tab, put in my city apartment's zipcode, and State Street, Water Tower and the closest suburban stores all came up "not available".

Here's my theory: They probably did bring some suits back and they were a total flop. Why? First of all, all their best sales people left, so there was no one with the knowledge to sell this product. Secondly, if you recall, Macy's got rid of in store alterations. Who is going to purchase a suit and then go find a tailor when other stores still do alterations in store? Something else caught my eye on the Macy's site. It listed the suits as "imported". Unless Macy's is getting some special cut rate suit from Hart Schaffner and Marx, this is erroneous. Hart Schaffner and Marx went in and out of bankruptcy late last year and one of the big outcomes is that its' suits are still made in the USA; the HSM suits are made in Illinois and their higher end label, Hickey Freeman, are made in upstate New York. That was big news, it saved 1000 jobs, it was splashed all over the media. My guess is few if any products Macy's sells are made domestically, so who ever writes the copy for their site just assumes everything is imported.


Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013,   5:17 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Dear readers: It has much too long since I have checked in with all of you. I want you to know that I remain "Macy's Free" and equally horrified at the current state of the former Fields' stores. Bleak comes to mind.

I took a little tour of a look M outlet a few days ago. Yes, Jimmy Gimbels goes to Macy's so you don;t have to. First impression was how low the quality has tumbled in the clothing arena. I did not think it was possible to make shirt fabrics so thin. Amazing all Fall, holiday and winter merchanidse that is still around.

I did get a good laugh at M-stores latest promotion: "ONE STAR". While most business strive to claim a five star rating. Macy's is happy with one star.

You all take care. See you soon at Lord and Taylor.


Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013,   3:20 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Masterpiece Classics on PBS TV Channel 11 is anouncing what looks like a mini drama about Mr. Selfridge and his vision for creating the perfect department store. It is to start March 31.

[For those who don't know: Harry Selfridge is often cited as being Marshall Field's right hand man. He was key to setting the stage for Field's retail ethos for the 20th Century. After a parting of the ways with Mr. Field--due to his wanting the store to be known as "Field, Selfrdige and Co."--Selfridge operated for 90 days out of what then subsequently became the Carson's flagship on State Street. Eventually, he opened a new, eponymous store on Oxford Street in London which still flourishes today. Marshall Field's customers are struck by how similar Selfridges is to Field's. Moreover, the modern Selfrdiges inspired the reinvention of Field's State Street in 2003. That reinvention was becoming a success when Macy's tragically pulled the plug and took the store downmarket as Macy's.]


Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013,   10:59 am CT
Posted by: mikea

It looks like maybe next January Macy's will announce a store closing in the Chicago area. The old great Fiel'ds in River Oaks may be gone. That mall is going down vey quickly. Carson's closed in January and Sears will be closing in May. That leaves Macy's and JC Penney left. JC Penney will probaly close too this year. They are doing poorly. It will be sad since River Oaks was on the scale of store design as was Old Orchard, Mayfair and Oakbrook, Very classy designed and well built stores in the old Field's tradition. However that mall has been on the downslide for many years and a closing would not be surprised, but sad!!!

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013,   8:21 am CT
Posted by: Zelda

A few days ago, I was crossing Washington Street at Wabash and I saw a sign I'd never seen: "Honorable Marshall Field's Way." As always, such experiences prompt two reactions, first joy that the greatness of Field's is still recognized, then the usual sadness that it's gone. I'd so much rather have the store than the sign. Macy's is a sad sad store, with cracks in the floor, displays set up near doorways to block shoplifters, and no class.

Date: Friday, February 22, 2013,   10:00 am CT
Posted by: FYI

Macy's, Inc., parent of Macy's and Blooingdale's, will hold its FY 2012, fourth quarter conference call this Wednesday, February 26 at 9:30 am CHICAGO TIME. You can listen by following the links at macysinc.com. You should probably test in advance to see if you have the correct browser plug-ins installed. If you miss it, they have an archive eventually, although sometimes the post report Q & A is truncated.

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013,   9:03 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I've seen several stories where the court case between Martha Stewart, Macy's and JCPenney is being heard. Apparently, Terry Lundgren takes the stand Monday, Martha on Tuesday and JCPenney's Ron Johnson on Wednesday. Gee, Macy's is fighting for Martha Stewart when they could care less about the better brand, Martha Stewart.

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013,   7:52 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Hi Field's Loyalists!

Nordstrom is reporting sales being up 20%. Nordstrom is just a subset of what Field's offered. You think Macy's would like to use Field's.

I bet they'd get 50% increase at those stores!


Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013,   11:52 am CT
Posted by: Sharon S, Joliet

We miss Marshall Field so much. I'm delighted to see the quest continue.

Macy's would lose no business by bringing back Marshall Field's to some stores like State Street, Oak Brook and, of course, Orland Square. But they do lose business by not bringing it back. A no-brainer opportunity. They are blowing it.


Date: Monday, February 18, 2013,   5:23 pm CT
Posted by: Alicia

I noticed that Bloomingdale's Clinique counters are offering cosmetic purses that look a lot like the purses, bags and umbrellas that MF&Co was selling when Macy's killed them. I'm talking about the ones with the water color images of lady shoppers on State Street on the main sides and the side panels that are black, pink or mint green.

I like my Field's bag WAYYYYYY better.


Date: Sunday, February 17, 2013,   10:01 am CT
Posted by: Wanting Field's to Come Back

I was at the first rally that happened the day the switch became official. What especially impressed me was the store employees who gave us thumbs up through the windows and on the sidewalk. What didn't impress me was Macy's having waiters walking around the store in black Macy's T shirts, passing out Doughnut holes on silver trays. How tacky. How perfectly NOT Marshall Field's.

I was glad to be out there to support my favorite store. I will try to come to a rally or picket when there is one.


Date: Sunday, February 17, 2013,   7:02 am CT
Posted by: L R

Was around Greek Town the other day. Marshall Field's is everywhere. The Mariano's Grocery Store has a photo of the Marshall Field's clock on the wall in the deli section. Then there's a Marshall Field's clock photo in the National Hellenic Museum. A couple, actually. Then I saw another in a shop. We miss Field's! Is there a connection to Greek heritage?


Date: Saturday, February 16, 2013,   9:38 am CT
Posted by: Rick

I know Macy's brought back some Hart Shaffner & Marx suits to State Street after Obama won, but do they still carry them? I saw some on the web site that Macy's has, but they didn't indicate they had them in Macy's retail stores. For the record, I was comparison shopping prices, but plan to buy elsewhere.


Date: Friday, February 15, 2013,   5:01 pm CT
Posted by: Ann H.

I was surfing the web when I came across a review of the movie, "Mahogany" starring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. In the movie, Diana Ross' character worked her way up from being a secretary to a fashion buyer at Marshall Field's. The Movie was shot in Marshall Field's on State Street.

I thought that was interesting.


Date: Thursday, February 14, 2013,   8:32 pm CT
Posted by: Former Field's Employee

Field's is a special place in all of our hearts. I met my partner when we worked together in Trend House. He has since passed on. Everything must pass, but his passing and the passing of Field's happened much too soon.

We quietly hope for the return of Marshall Field's. It was so great!


Date: Thursday, February 14, 2013,   12:03 pm CT
Posted by: Paul R.

I was just reading some SEC filings. It seems that Lundgren recently received something like $7 million in special stock. Other Macy's execs also get bonuses, all totaling about $17 million. I wonder if they get these bonuses based on how long they keep Marshall Field's gone.

I've always been troubled by Target's and Macy's treatment of Marshall Field's. Aside from the obvious that Marshall Field's was replaced with Macy's, it's amazing to consider that major shareholders pressured Target to sell Marshall Field's because its profits weren't increasing AS FAST as Target's. I think the department store division was increasing at about 2% a year while Target was increasing at 6% profits.

While looking at the filings, it appears that Blackrock is the largest shareholder of Macy's with over 5%. Blackrock is also a significant holder of everything from Safeway to Apple and much, much more. Blackrock is about 70% owned by PNC Financial, the parent of PNC Bank. Consider that there really is no owner that has more than 5% or so; then you see that for all practical purposes it is Terry Lundgren who controls Macy's and Marshall Field's.

It sucks!


Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013,   8:05 pm CT
Posted by: Kathy B. Palatine

I miss Marshall Field's a lot. I just saw the Christmas Video and it was VERY TOUCHING!. I know bean counters don't care about that sort of thing...but that emotional feel makes more than a hill of beans! It makes A MOUNTAIN OF BEANS!


Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013,   2:35 pm CT
Posted by: Bob T.

We were just talking around the office. 1. Macy's isn't nearly as special as Field's. 2. Never saw Frangos as on sale as much as Macy's puts them on sale. I can't compare the prices of merchandise that Field's carried versus Macy's since I don't buy clothes there any more. However, I find it suspect they way they jack up the regular price of Frangos and then have all these discounts and coupons. A lot of game playing.

And that's the way I see it.

Bob T.


Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2013,   8:12 am CT
Posted by: Sharia

Haven't been back in a while. Last night I thought, "If the Pope can resign after 600 years of that not happening, then so can his Lundgr-Ego-ness!" Afterall, getting rid of Field's is just Lundgren's megamillion-dollar ego trip at the expense of Chicago and Macy's stock holders.

Keep the faith!


Date: Monday, February 11, 2013,   7:56 pm CT
Posted by: ge

I passed through both Macy's and Target on State Street around 1:00 pm. Target was doing very brisk business; Macy's was pretty dead even though Valentine's Day is comeing and Frangos are significantly discounted. Books about Marshall Field's are selling. The Walnut Room was largely empty. Maybe two or three tables with customers as far as I could see.

Bring back Marshall Field's!


Date: Monday, February 11, 2013,   2:16 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

In response to "Mikea:" Back a couple of weeks ago, at the same announcement that Saks was departing, Dallas Galleria also announced that Belk will take over the space ASAP as its fourth flagship store in addition to Belk flagships in Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta.

I remember that Old Orchard used be really busy as Field's. When I was last in the store a couple of months ago, Macy's had places which were overly cluttered while others are were empty, especially in the basement. I'll take Old Orchard over Northbrook any day. Both stores maintain the "Macy's retrofit look. Last I was there, they had Frangos in the middle of the cologne department in Northbrook(?) How does Bloomingdale's stay in business at Old Orchard? Bring back Marshall Field's to State Street with satellites at Old Orchard and business will go way up! "Mikea", aren't you connected with one of the contractors who does renovations? Of course, you think it needs to be renovated.


Date: Monday, February 11, 2013,   11:40 am CT
Posted by: mikea

It will be interesting to see what happens to the old Field's in the Dallas Galleria. Saks has announced that they will be closing th estore this summer and moving out of the Dallas area. Maybe another Neimans, Dillard's or a second Macy's store. That mall is vey well kept and does a good amount of business. Valley View lost both the macy's and Dillard's stores some years back. Maybe Dillard's

In response to the comments about Old Orchard. Yes that store is very dumpy, old clutttered needs renovations. Field's only remodeled that store way back in the early 90's. When they opened northbrook, they kinda let Old Orchard go by the wayside. Macy's is doing the same and more. It seems that Macy's promised no cluttered nice stores when they took over the Field's However Old orchard sure does not seem that way. I was in the St.louis downtown Macy's , yes a small store but it was clean and not cluttered. They need to work on Old Orchard!!!!!!


Date: Sunday, February 10, 2013,   8:24 pm CT
Posted by: s.b.

I went through the Marshall Field's in Old Orchard and was astonished how horrible it has become. Now mind you, I have not entered the store since it was Field's. The Men's Store looked like a Sears - CLOTHING PACKED to the brimm... coats everywhere. No displays really more like a fully-stocked Sears or Mervyn's or what not. I remember then old men's accessories section with cuff links and wallets and stuff. That was all gone. The men's suit section was like Burlington Coat Factory. Oh gosh the whole place was a mess. There were bargain hunters there going through the racks but it was no Marshall Field's.

(no disrespect to the other stores I shop at Target, Century 21, etc. but they never have PRIME real estate in major cities and take away a beloved store to do so. Macy's is just masquerading as a "better department store." That's the point, it's not. It is a tiny bit higher than today's Carson's and ON PAR WITH the Carson's of yesteryear.)


Date: Sunday, February 10, 2013,   9:10 am CT
Posted by: Joe T.

Just a reminder that Target still feels strongly enough of their debt to Field's history. They still carry Fieldcrest brand as their highest-end textiles. Fieldcrest towels on sale this week. You can still get Field's quality.

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2013,   2:55 pm CT
Posted by: gle

There may be those who say, "Are you still at it, why don't you just give it up already," to supporters of Marshall Field's. However, I am hearing more and more of that sentiment directed toward Macy's when I wear my "I Want My Marshall Field's" or "Time to Bring Back Marshall Field's" buttons. "After all this time, why doesn't Macy's just get it," they tell me, "That store is crumby, I don't even shop there!" It still appears that even if Macy's doesn't know/care what potential customers think, the customers do know.

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2013,   12:37 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Marshall Fields pulled out of Texas in the 90s. Does anyone remember what their restaurants were called in The Galleria in Houston, Town and Country and Dallas Galleria?

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2013,   12:26 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

I read what a prior contributor posted about Macy's website has about State Street. Then, pursuant to their comment, about their referral to a historic store in Houston. As many of you know, they took over Foley's and had listed the 10 floor downtown Houston location as the flagship until they decided to close it in January. What amazes me is they now list the original RH Macy's store in The Galleria that opened in 1986 as their "historic" store that is a must see in Houston. That is a BIG laugh. They have let that store decay so badly it is shameful. I went through it last year and it was horrible. stained carpet, broken tiles, the original escalator signage and all from the 1980s. You can even tell where The Cellar cafe was. They have merchandise stacked in boxes where the tables were. It looks pitiful. Are the people running Macy's nuts?!! They could at least have listed the former Foley's at The Galleria since it is larger and much newer and well kept.

The morons running Macy's never cease to amaze me. I took a business trip to Dallas this week and dined next to what was Marshall Fields in the Dallas Galleria (Its now a Saks Fifth Avenue as they purchased the former Marshall Field's stores in Houston and Dallas when they pulled out in the 1990s). When I looked up at that store I remembered the quality and unsurpassed elegance that was Marshall Field's. Its so sad.


Date: Friday, February 8, 2013,   11:09 pm CT
Posted by: Maresella

What boggles the mind is why Macy's want's the same stuff every where that I travel. I pass through Macy's and it looks the same in Miami as it does in Chicago as it does in Boston. I hear thety have this thing where they customize for local customers, but what store doesn't? People want something a little different. The Jordan Marsh story shows that. Moreover, that Macy's won't let the name used by anyone else says it has value. It's really weird. And I agree. Field's is on a whole new level. For half of what they spend replacing Field's with Macy's, they could have had an exhilarated Field's. King Lundgren would then be the head of THREE great stores, all unique.


Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013,   7:21 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Anyone I know who still admits to shopping Macy's does so only to buy Frangos. That's all.

Why can't they get it through their skulls that people want Marshall Field's???? They have something good that people want and they won't sell it. Bizarre!


Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2013,   12:21 pm CT
Posted by: Robert S.

I noticed that Macy's has a web site called visitmacyschicago or something like that. They don't mention Marshall Field and Company by name. How disrespectful!!!! I also noticed that they consider two mall stores in Houston and New Orleans to be on par with Field's and Herald Square. They say something like you can't visit those cities without not shopping there. Those stores are look like shopping mall stores. To use an expression, "what are they smoking" at Macy's????????


Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013,   8:01 pm CT
Posted by: Lindsay W.

We visited Chicago from Danville this past weekend. We walked through Field's but it didn't seem right. MISS YOU, MARSHALL FIELD'S!!!!!!!!!!!!! COME BACK!!!!!


Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013,   8:23 am CT
Posted by: Just another Field's Fan

I noticed that the Chicago Tribune featured the Great Marshall Field's clock as part of their masthead yesterday. Today it was replaced by the Wrigley Building clock. Last spring, when the clocks changed, the Tribune said that the clock was the "Macy's clock." It was effectively the icon of Marshall Field's--no one thinks of Macy's first when they see that.

Date: Monday, February 4, 2013,   4:26 pm CT
Posted by: PhilipEichler

In response to Just Another Fields Fan, I would offer the following: You are correct that Field's had different types of stores, all major retailers do. For over a century Field's was a dominate force in Chicago retailing. That began to change in the 1970s. On the high end, the likes of I.Magnin, Saks, Bonwit Teller, Neiman-Marcus expanded into the Chicago market. However, the worst was Lord and Taylor opening stores like crazy. While the bosses wife might be shopping in the 28 Shop, most Field's business was in the middle to better catagory. Lord and Taylor hit that hard, thus Field's had no choice but to expand in the suburbs to defend its market share. You mentioned Spring Hill, that is the perfect illustration. The pad currently occupied by Kohl's was originally slated to be a Lord and Taylor, but more interesting is the current Carson's store. If you've been there you might notice that it really doesn't look any other store around Chicago. That is because it was built as a Charles V. Wiese store and was their prototype to expand into the Chicago market. That plan was abandoned when Wiese's parent, Maus Freres SA was able to purchase Carson's. While Field's did sell luxury goods, I believe this broader, more middle class base is a major reason that so many mourn the loss of Field's as it was everyone's store. The perfect illustration of that is the sheer size of State Street, it had something for most everyone. Compare that to Saks' flagship in New York; you could fit Saks in a corner of Field's State Street.

Date: Monday, February 4, 2013,   12:27 pm CT
Posted by: Mike a

In response to the comments from the visitor to the southwest suburban stores. Yes I agree the Joliet mall store might close in the future or they may get a lease reduction. The mall is becoming a grade C mall. Eben though Westfield owns it, the quality of customers there was never up to Field's standards. However in the late 70's and early 80's when Joliet, Spring Hill and Stratford opened, Field's was selling lower priced more moderate merchandise and was trying to be a store for the masses. All 3 of those malls are not the best in the Chicago area. If the new mall is ever built off of I-80 and I-55 I would think some of the major stores would relocate there and close their Joliet mall location. Von Maur is supposed to go there, but the recession put a hold on that and a couple of other projects in the suburbs.

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2013,   2:18 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Interesting set of stories about an entrepreneur testing trademark laws to open on-line and mall kiosk versions of Jordan Marsh, a very beloved Boston department store. The stores became Macy's around 1996. Macy's lawyers are fighting it, but check out this story.. Apparently, he also is trying to bring back some other stores in the same way.
http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/bottom_line/2013/01/jordan-marsh-revival.html

http://traffic.outbrain.com/network/redir?key=481be49a140881e591bebc7101ca79ac&rdid=461395519&type=IMD_d/RF_ch&in-site=true&idx=2&req_id=664b3ad1b4de9bebe181c21ea44e1cf9&agent=blog_JS_rec&recMode=7&reqType=1&wid=100&imgType=0&refPub=1996&prs=false&scp=false

I know this isn't a board about Jordan Marsh, but it shows how these brands and stores are still valuable but Macy's ignores that value. In fact, I think Marshall Field's is more valuable.

Date: Friday, February 1, 2013,   7:18 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I just became aware that there's been some problems with the posting script. As a result, no one's been able to post for the past 12 days. I have a received a handful of items that people have asked me to post in the past few days. I will post those this weekend in the space below. Thank you for your patience.

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's.




Date: First submitted by email, Wednesday, January 30, 2013,   12:39 pm CT
By: An email message from Anne S.

I've noticed that Kroger has managed to keep a number of grocery stores operating under different banners, even with different formats. For example, they have Ralphs, a full-line supermarket here in L.A. Then there's Food4Less which is a warehouse supermarket. I also don't think Bloomingdale's is doing well in Chicago. That's just my opinion.

Click here to view items from before February 1, 2013

 

Standard disclaimer: This is a non-profit, non-commercial, non-sponsored site developed with the sole intention of focusing on what Marshall Field’s has meant to Chicagoans or anyone who lo ve this great Chicago institution. The views and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of the authors listed and do not necessaarily represent thos e who operate this site. This site is NOT affiliated in any way with Marshall Field's, the May Company, Federated Department Stores, Macy's, Inc., or keepitfields.org. ©2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 All Rights Reserved.

email the webmaster <webmaster@fieldsfanschicago.org>