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, obviously incorrect, disrespectful or abusive posts will removed 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. The ethos is conversational--corrections are welcomed. Differing or opposing views are welcome and such posts should respect 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--during certain periods, 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, and sometimes even immediately. Thank you for your patience, support, and written contributions.

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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..

Our latest survey shows 79% want Marshall Field's--13% prefer Macy's.

See our 2011 Survey Page for complete details including survey results.

Below are blog posts from January 31, 2012 backwards to February 1, 2011.

Please click to return to our most recent posts.


\ Click to access posts even further back, prior to February 1, 2011.

Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2012  7:40 am CT
Posted by: R.

I live in New York City and work as a manager at Bergdorf Goodman.

Reviving Field's does indeed have much potential, just as Bergdorf Goodman is a precious jewel of the Neiman Marcus Group.

My heart is with Marshall Field's. You guys are the best. Keep up the fight until Marshall Field's is back!

Date: Monday, January 30, 2012  7:36 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Russell

JC Penney's new commercial is great. Going after the sale mentality of Macy's and Kohl's

Date: Monday, January 30, 2012  6:39 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Depends on whose private label, I suppose- my husband still has his ratty old Marshall Field terry robe. Wasn't ratty to begin with, for sure, but it outranked all the others for a loonng time. Back to "what's in a name"-- the Field's name meant something so the house brand was not a matter of settling for a sham or here-today-gone-tomorrow.

Penney's plan may work wonderfully---it may be the best idea to pursue if you are not Field's. I understand the role of brand names to convince shoppers the store is a good one-- but without an overriding, obvious character of stability, pride, and trustworthiness on the part of the host store, it still means shopping there is kind of a shell game under an available roof.

Date: Monday, January 30, 2012  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: Joe M.

I was walking west down Randolph Street today and glanced in the employee entrance of what used to be the greatest store in the world. I did a doubletake and paused! On an easel, there was a huge photo portrait of what looked like dozens of Macy's associates all in black standing amongst the beautiful interior of Field's. They were all swarming around Terry Lundgren who was in the center!!!!

How egotistical can you get?!?! It's like being brainwashed into stepford wives or something.

I hope it was all a bad dream, but I think not.

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012  7:41 am CT
Posted by: Michael Russell

Just read this short article on the best places to work. Nordstrom's made the list, [Macy's did not.]

Date: Friday, January 27, 2012  3:43 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

In an interview about changes at JC Penney, Ron Johnson, the new CEO took what had to be a swipe at Macy's. He stated that they are asking every major national brand to give them a proposal why they should have a shop within shop at Penney's. He then stated that they were going to promote known brands over private label brands because private labels don't MEAN ANYTHING to the shopper in the store!!

Got that Terry?

Date: Friday, January 27, 2012  1:57 pm CT
Posted by: Suasn NY

Bullets! How about spitballs. Ptoooey.

How long, how long will Macy's think it is cool to be clunky even if it is for the purpose of dismantling a superior rival? Their name is on the mess!! The longer they persist, the worse they look.

Let me see- to make my shopper's heart leap, what would I rather see when I enter?? Men's undies, or Coach bags? Perhaps toilet tissue would be good- everyone can relate to that. Sure to tease me further into the store, drooling just the good old days.

And I hate to think Sear's would lose out to U-No-Wut. Next up, Walmart.

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2012  6:31 pm CT
Posted by: Katrina, Philippines

Miss Marshall Field's here. Please send a button! God bless us always!

Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2012  3:27 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Well it's all over the retail scene, Macy's is suing Martha Stewart over the JC Penney's deal. In addition, JC Penney today unveiled their version of a department store for the 21st century..(have they been reading this blog??)And if this team can pull it off, they'll eat Macy's lunch! Sephora and Martha Stewart are just the beginning of the shop within shop concept. They plan on having as many as 100 of these in each store. Looks like one of the few bullets in Macy's arsenal are all those mothballed regional nameplates...

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012  9:30 am CT
Posted by: drew

Interesting. The Red Star is suing Martha Stewart for signing on with JC Penney:|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

Martha Stewart dog collars and "dog waste bag dispensers (to hang on your dog's leash)" at Petsmart, paints at Home Depot, craft items at walmart--it's not exactly an upscale, "exclusive" brand. Plus many people still associate Martha Stewart homewares with Kmart.

Wouldn't the Red Star want to distinguish itself as a purveyor of "better" merchandise rather than just another outlet for mass market wares?

Date: Monday, January 23, 2012  4:45 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Hot off the Press from the "Chicago Tribune:"

"Macy's Sues Martha Stewart Living" January 23, 2012 by Reuters,0,2832979.story

Date: Monday, January 23, 2012  12:31 pm CT
Posted by: Diane, Ohio

Still weep for Field's.

Date: Sunday, January 22, 2012  5:02 pm CT
Posted by: Paul W.

I'm taken back to several years ago when they had a trunk show on the first floor room at State Street. That's the corner room next to the Starbucks at Randolph and Wabash that is now Men's underwear. It's a sad commentary that they moved the men's stuff down from upper floors so that, as they put it, men could get in and get out. As Field's, men would want to linger.

Anyways, I miss Field's annual trunk show. It was always this time of year, late winter.

Date: Friday, January 20, 2012  12:09 pm CT
Posted by: Anne W.

I'm reminded of Poplar Creek Music Theatre. Some concert conglomerate had rights at The World in Tinley Park, Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates and Alpine Valley in WI. They decided one had to go so they could have economies by scaling down. So they went by location. They got rid of what was by far the best venue for sound, Poplar Creek. While Sears built a new HQ nearby, the land that was the music theatre remained largely vacant until a shopping center went up. The actual land that was the theatre is still vacant.

So it similarly went with Field's. Same thing in action.

Date: Friday, January 20, 2012  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: B.E.

I miss Marshall Field's. I fully support your cause.

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012  11:02 pm CT
Posted by: B.E.

Interesting reminder of what Macy's did to Marshall Field's legendary windows. This was happening back in 2008. I think it was right after they got rid of the legendary Amy Meadows. Not much has changed.
The site that hosts this, ArchitecturePlus, as other interesting articles on Macy's taking over Field's.

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012  1:23 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Regarding Macy's Nostalgia shop. Even the history is wrong. OUr favorite store was founded by Potter Palmer in 1851. They don't even count it as starting until 1865 when Palmer's name was dropped.

Nostalgia shop (which is hard to find:
Specific page for Marshall Field's:

BTW: These look cheap in my humble opinion which gives me another reason to not buy from Macy's. Go on ebay for the real thang!

Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: JMC

This is an interesting site... and interesting observation (that we've all made already) that the retail landscape is getting too homogenuous.

Date: Monday, January 16, 2012  1:46 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

I was just on another web site, Town Hall. Buried in the content pages is an ad for Macy's highlighting the green Field's tote bag (it is back on the Macy's site at full price). There must be something more to the challenge of the trademarks/store names. Why else would Macy's be advertising these items? However, on the Macy's site, there no longer is a "heritage brand" shop in the side tool bar like there was a month or two ago. If it isn't related to the protection of keeping these names under lock and key, perhaps they are trying to lure customers back by reminding them of beloved names they have worked so hard to obliterate? There isn't enough profit to be had advertising these totes, even if they're on fairly obscure sites.

Unrelated, on the retail-worker website, the only two stores that have active posts are Macy's and Sears. I always check the Sears' posts and there was one that quoted an analyst as saying that Sears has lost customers to their RIVAL Macy's! Would anyone have ever called Field's and Sears rivals? NOT! And they just told us it was just a name change...

Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012  7:05 pm CT
Posted by: B.T., Washington State


I am more than happy to share my story about Field's.  When I was a little kid, we would go down to the State st store and have brunch in the main room.  I always looked forward to seeing the tree and the cool ceiling designs.  When I got older, I always wanted to buy my clothes from Field's casue my parents told me that all department stores are not the same.  "Field's is an important part of Chicago.  You're also going there for the service and the history."

I would greatly appreciate a button for my backpack.  I go to school out of state and would never miss an opportunity to spread the word about MF.

Date: Friday, January 13, 2012  10:48 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I checked out the new Walgreen's on State and Randolph Wednesday after work. It was CROWDED and BUSY. It was diffucult to get near the merchandise. I did strut my "Time to bring back Marshall Field's" button.

Across the street from the bustle, "Messy's" windows were draped in black curtains with the familiar "pardon our appearance" signs. Inside was the familiar after-Christmas ghost town, with a few people ambling around, and the familiar cracked floors.

Walgreen's came back. It's time for Marshall Field's to come back, too!

Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012  10:58 am CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

We were given a box of Christmas motif Frangos recently. They were horrible! I haven't had a Frango in 5 years and I do not remember them to be hard and chalky. I remember Frangos to have a certain creaminess, which these totally lacked. The box was not dated, so perhaps they were old? However, old chocolates usually have a white "bloom" on their surface, which these did not have, so I would assume they were fresh.

On another note, a news website that I visit was littered with ads between Christmas and New Year's with ads for Macy's Jordan Marsh tote bag. At times, there was up to 8 ads at a time on this web page. And it always was an ad for the same tote bag. I wonder if whoever advised Macy's on trotting out these "heritage brand" items told them they needed to advertise them as well and picked a cheap obscure place to display them? It just seemed so odd, as Macy's never advertises on this particular site and why Jordan Marsh? Jordan Marsh was the Field's of Boston (sorry Filene's fans, but it was, Filene's was the Carson's of Boston)Any thoughts?

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012  10:48 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi, Field's Fans!

It happened again. I walked into a lovely boutique and heard someone talking about how wonderful it was when "they" made their own candy right on the premises. Of course, I immediately knew she was talking about Field's! I joined right into the discussion, along with 3 or 4 others. We are not alone! Everyone misses Field's! The boutiques are getting the business that was once Marshall Field's business. Macy's will never cut it with anyone who remembers. Even those who don't remember will be ripe for better markets, because Macy's just doesn't have a clue about running a class operation. The likelihood that there will be a better store than Macy's is very high, because the standard is so low. And no one will be in despair when Macy's falls.

Yet here it is, several years after the takeover of Field's, and people are still in deep mourning. This says so much!

Your friend in Field's,


Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012  10:39 am CT
Posted by: R.M.

Marshall Field's is just too valuable and iconic a brand to just let disappear - I'm shocked that Macy's board doesn't realize that. I'm sure the Field's stores did much better at Water Tower and State Street, especially among tourists who would buy anything in order to carry-around a Marshall Field's bag.

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012  6:50 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

If making the most of a great financial asset was the point of owning Field's, then we would still have Field's. If destroying the only remaining entity that could distract attention from Macy's was the point of owning Field's, then we would have a Macy's.

There is no use reminding them of their stupidity. Being savvy is not the point. Serving the Macy ego is the point. When enough board members figure out that it is not working to their greatest advantage, maybe the earth will open at Macy HQ and Lundgrinch will disappear into the crevasse.

Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2012  11:04 pm CT
Posted by: B

Hi All -- Havent posted for a LONG time -- But still in touch and still support the Return of the Great Marshall Field & Co. .

Another Christmas season without Field's -- When I lived in Chicago Field's was THE store for all my Christmas gifts -- When I moved away in 05 I returned for the last year of Fields Christmas with the May Co. controlled and designed year and it was good -- Have NOT been back since of course, since Field's is temporarily gone and replaced by an interloper -- and from my reading of this site I can tell that it would have been useless to return anyway.

I ALSO keep Fields beautiful green boxes which I re-use each year and store with the Christmas stuff-- I have some shopping bags as well -- it is REALLY difficult though to replace the ease and selection of fine quality merchandise that was readily available at Field's -- that last year in 05 May Company used "There's No Place like Field's" for the slogan and BOY WERE THEY RIGHT!!! Remember the cute 05 Christmas commercials with the little kids and the "show" that they were putting on showing all the reasons to go to Field's -- Whimsy cuteness and taste all in one -- in typical and Great Field's style!

To The once and Future Marshall Field's !


Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2012  3:10 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I remember the previous Walgreen's at Randolph and State. While the building was getting run down, it was very convenient for every-day items some of the smaller Walgreen's didn't carry. I was sorry to see it close. It never sold junk. Now Walgreen's has returned to that corner--bigger, brighter and better than I ever assumed Walgreen's would be--even in today's economy. Who says things can't come back. I hope this will serve as an example of what can happen on State Street.

Why shouldn't Field's come back? The customers are still waiting.

Date: Monday, January 9, 2012  CT
Posted by: PAT C




Date: Monday, January 9, 2012  8:00 pm CT
Posted by: AChicagoan,0,7599378.story

Who says a store can't come back? And how come Macy's can't do with Marshall Field's what Walgreen's is very successfully doing with Duane Reade?

The new Walgreen's flagship at State & Randolph is a perfect example of what a company can do that's right when it takes over another chain.

Despite the fact that New Yorker's have a love/hate relationship with Duane Reade, Walgreen's kept the best of Duane Reade--even its name--when they bought the chain. Then Walgreen's adopted the best parts of Duane Reade for Walgreen's stores elsewhere, including at this new flagship Walgreen's.

Compare this with Macy's: They got rid of the much world-renowned Marshall Field's name, many of the best things about Marshall Field's, and much good will among Chicago and international customers alike.

In short, despite the fact that Walgreens and Duane Reade are more mundane than Marshall Field's. Walgreen's got it right. Macy's blew it and continues to do so. Four out of five Chicago shoppers still want Marshall Field's instead of Macy's, according to a survey of 830 last spring. Macy's should bring back Marshall Field's at key locations, just like Walgreen's has kept Duane Reade at key NYC locations. Macy's should even incorporate the best of Field's at Macy's outside of Chicago. It would be a win-win situation for customers, Macy's, and Macy's stock holders.

Read more:

Date: Sunday, January 8, 2012  8:02 pm CT
Posted by: Bill A.

Was downtown and decided to run up to the Walnut room before the tree comes down. I was not impressed. Whatever it is, something, something big, is missing since Field's became Macy's.

Date: Saturday, January 7, 2012  8:00 am CT
Posted by: Field's Fans Info

We've heard that Gayle Soucek's book, Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago is so successful that it is about to enter its second printing!

Congratulations to Gayle and the History Press on their success! The huge success of this book is yet another indication of how Chicago longs for Marshall Field's!

If you have read the book are aware of any corrections to be made, please either email them to INFO AT or post them to the blog--in this case we won't feature the corrections on the blog; instead we will forward them on to Gayle.

Thank you!

Date: Friday, January 6, 2012  10:24 am CT
Posted by: Brad

Just think for a minute to what federated did by converting all of the regional name plates to Macys. The fact remains that Macys could not compete with the regional department stores on their home turf. In order to try to make Macy a success, they need to destroy the regional stores and convert them to Macy. Especially here in FLorida where I resides, Burdines ran rings around Macys and was indeed the most profitable division within federated. Just like Marshall Fields, in Chicago and all of the surrounding states Macy could not compete. In my opinion, the mind set of New York business people is one that only the New York establishments are worth saving. Look at what they did, they saved Bloomingdales and they sold off Lord &Taylor instead of converting it to Macys. Both stores are New York establishments with great history in that city. But for everyone else they didn't gave a dawn about what the other cities thought about their beloved regional department stores. Keep up the work I am glad to see that everyone is still keeping up the fight to bring back Marshall fields in Chicago.

Date: Thursday, January 5, 2012  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Gee, you'd think Macy's P.R. department would be smarter than to link Bloomingdales to Macy's. Many Field's lovers won't shop Macy's. In my office coworkers went to Bloomies thinking they were boycotting Macy's. Thanks to the announcement about store closings from Macy's P.R. dept, they now know to boycott Bloomindale's too.

Bloomingdale's sells expensive stuff without any soul. Macy's simply sold its soul years ago.

Date: Thursday, January 5, 2012  4:56 pm CT
Posted by: Embarrassed

I didn't know Bloomingdale's was Macy's. Make my boycott of both Macy's AND Bloomindale's.

Date: Wednesday, January 4, 2012  1:11 pm CT
Posted by: Robert M.

I’m sure you’ve seen the on-line article in the Trib on Macy’s closing Bloomingdale’s furniture stores in Oakbrook and [ Bloomingdale's full line stores ] in other cities. There have been almost 40 comments posted…[ without any notice here ] which says that Field’s is still a hot-button issue in Chicago.

Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012  4:09 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

I just thought the Christmas windows at Field's (oops, Macy's) on State St. weren't very good this year. Yes, Make a Wish Foundation is a good cause, but the windows of years past told a story. The story was obvious, be it a fairy tale or some other holiday themed story. The windows drew crowds. The crowds went into Field's. They shopped and had something to eat. They stayed.

The current windows seem to repel me and maybe other potential shoppers. I am NOT at all interested in buying celebrity ornaments. I really don't care about a Martha Stewart ornament, or any of the others. I wouldn't buy all shiny gold clothes that don't even seem to match or go together.

It's obvious to me that Macy's still doesn't get it, and doesn't get Chicago or State Street.

Date: Monday, January 2, 2012  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Let's hope that this is the year that Field's comes back!

Date: Sunday, January 1, 2012  CT
Posted by:

HAPPY 2012!

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

Date: Saturday, December 31, 2011  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: B.K.

One of my favorite Chicago photos is of the Marshall Field's clock at State and Randolph surrounded by fireworks. I think it was from around 30 years ago in the 1980s.

I would love to see Field's back in 2012. Can the city and state do anything to help this? They seemed to have helped Sears. Or would it not matter? Is Macy's ego is just that big that even financial support wouldn't matter?

Date: Friday, December 30, 2011  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Lee

Marshall Field's and Company IS CHICAGO! Macy's IS NEW YORK! Why can't they respect that!?

Date: Friday, December 30, 2011  12:43 pm CT
Posted by: Anne Berteau

What Macy's did was horrible to Marshall Field's and, in the process, the City of Chicago. But I can't help but think the slide really gained momentum when Target remodeled the first floor some 20-plus years ago. That truck court really hurt the Burnham Atrium.

Thanks for the newsletter. It's always a nice surprise to get.

Date: Thursday, December 29, 2011  2:03 pm CT
Posted by: Lee

Good to see this thing still going.

Macy's is OK, in some ways, in a Kohl's/J.C.Penny kind of way. But Marshall Field's was so special. The mystique is gone when you walk in. It's just another store.

Date: Wednesday, December 28, 2011  6:59 pm CT
Posted by: Mike S., North Central Illinois

For Christmas, I received not one but TWO books -- both by Arcadia Publishing -- on Marshall Field's (I also had bought one as a gift to give to my sister-in-law). Both should be required reading by all the CEOs of Macy's. I really don't think they fully understand what they have their hands on. All they saw were dollar signs when they bought the Field's branding and then wound up throwing it in the trash.

I haven't bought a thing from Macy's since they wrecked Field's.

Keep the faith,

Mike S

Date: Wednesday, December 28, 2011  11:00 am CT
Posted by: Juli W.

The only "real" Santa Claus for me growing up was the one in Marshall Field's. We went EVERY year for 20, perhaps 30 or more years, to look at the windows, see Santa, and eat in the Walnut Room. Gosh, I miss all that..

Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2011  2:11 pm CT
Posted by: Michael D.S., Phoenix, AZ

It's too bad that Chicago outsiders can't understand the love and loyalty that Chicagoans (and visitors) have for the city of Chicago and it's trademarks and cultural history. Everyone knows what a sham Macy's name is for the Chicago State St. store; it's a dirty feeling going into the store. If Macys owns it so what, CHANGE the name back and the green Marshall Fields bags, etc. and get rid of the ugly, hideous red stars. Are you that stupid ? If you want any sense of class and style, get back to the Field's customer service and mindset.. Lucky for the folks in Lake Forest that Macys is pulling out---now something with class and style will get the advantage of a good location.

Keep fooling yourselves Macys----the folks from Chicago and their visitors won't forget what a mistake you made with the Chicago loop store. New York City Macys can stay in New York City.

Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2011  11:45 am CT
Posted by: Pam Adams

I had shopped at Marshall Field's everytime I was in Chicago for over 40 years. Especially during the holiday seasons, there was always a pleasant uniformed guard posted at every exit. The same held true for Carson's. They smiled and nodded to the customers as they passed. A necessary precaution and for law abiding people, it was nice to know they were there. This past Nov 30, after being in Chicago for only 3 hours to see a studio that I had just purchased sight unseen downtown -- a dream of mine for a long time, I was robbed inside the revolving door of Macy's on the south State St. corner entrance. It was cold, just before 5 PM, and my husband and I were getting tired as we walked back to the apt. I suddenly decided to detour through Macy's, and I took a quick turn toward the door. I did notice a woman dressed in black rush to the door, too, on my right. I opened the door and walked in through the air lock to the revolving door and the woman was behind me. That was the last I paid any attention to her. I entered the revolving door and as my hands were up pushing the door around, I felt my shoulder bag lighten just slightly in weight, so the moment I stepped out of the door, I put my hand into my purse, looked down at the floor to see if my missing wallet had fallen out and instantly realized that the woman had stolen my wallet while in the revolving door and kept on going around and out onto the street. I knew in an instant I had been robbed, went straight to the cosmetic counter in front of me and told the saleslady to call security. I waited at least 10 minutes before anyone showed up. The store's cameras turned out to only focus on who the people in the security office are watching at the moment and do not focus continuously on any of the doors. One would think that shoplifters will always head toward a door, so why are there no cameras on the doors? Why was there not a single uniformed presence at ANY of the doors into the store to deter crime or help a customer? When I spoke to a police officer on the phone to make a report since my cash,ID and all credit cards were now gone, I began with, "My wallet was stolen from my purse at Macy's...." He interjected, "Let me guess, you were in a revolving door." So, OMG! If the police are fully aware this type of crime is happening, then so must be Macy's! I was so miserable after this experience, I hardly did any shopping at all for the entire holiday and it so ruined my trip to Chicago and extinguished all joy at owning a place there that I just wanted to go home and never see Chicago again. Suffice it to say, I had no money or credit cards left to spend at Macy's anyway, and will never go into any Macy's again. They did nothing to protect their customers or to deter this from happening. Shame on them! (Trying to fly home 3 days later with no ID was also no picnic.) I miss our Marshall Fields!!

Date: Monday, December 26, 2011  12:02 pm CT
Posted by: Mary A.

We save Marshall Field's shirt boxes for wrapping our Christmas gifts in every year. We put them away with the Christmas decorations. We miss Marshall Fields and do not shop at Macy's.

Date: Monday, December 26, 2011  8:31 am CT
Posted by: An old friend

I am 75 years old and shopped at Fields all my life. My mother and grandmother would take me to Fields a couple of times a year to shop and eat at the Narcissus Room. I have pictures of me sitting on santas knee. What wonderful memories, please bring Fields back.

An old friend.

Date: Monday, December 26, 2011  CT
Posted by:


Date: Sunday, December 25, 2011  CT
Posted by:


Date: Saturday, December 24, 2011  8:56 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

Wow Drew, thanks for the article! (I like your messages [especially your "macy*mart" and "Red Star Store" comments] here on this blog.) Just hearing the fact that macy*mart REALLY IS planning to sue Strategic Marks for the use of the expired trademarks really makes me angry! Is nothing sacred in the business world anymore? (And trust me, I have a bachelor's degree in Business, but no way would I use my business skills for evil!) That proposed website ( would have been another destination for my hard-earned dollars!

So what will Santa give Mr. Lunkhead this year: two Donald Schlump suits and what is left of "Con-Woman's" housewares?

May 2012 be the year of the Red Star's failure and a Grand Re-Opening for Marshall Field and Company!


Date: Friday, December 23, 2011  7:20 pm CT
Posted by: L.D.

Sorry I missed everyone under the clock today. Just got the message. See you in Sept.

Date: Friday, December 23, 2011  4:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jerry Hund

My father's first job was a delivery man for Marshall Fields. This was in the late 30's early 40's I remember him telling us how nice this place was to work for. I worked at a company named Binks for 19 years. Its founder, Joseph Binks, worked at Field's during the Columbian Exposition. He worked as a maintenance painter and invented the first paint sprayer while working there. My son worked at Fields for almost 10 years doing security. He was sick when the company changed over to Macy's. Everything went downhill when this happened. Fields has been a part of my family for 3 generations. I want my Marshall Fields back! I will never ever buy anything from Macy's.

Date: Friday, December 23, 2011  2:03 pm CT
Posted by: gle

To Field's Fans:




or just


Everyone's continued support is encouraging.

Date: Friday, December 23, 2011  12:20 pm CT
Posted by: P.

As someone who is in close touch with Macy's employees....please dont consider a half-assed attempt to name the down town store Marshall Fields.!! The way they disrespect the employees and the small regard they have for customers (if it werent for the constant barage of coupons like a schlack store they would have no customers. It's a bargin basement dream.......not to be compared to MF. 

We dont want the next generation to wonder what all the fuss was about with the loss of Marshall Fields when they go to Macys and are seeing nothing but similarities to Carsons (at best) K-mart. Target- Sears- JCPenny and Kohls. I met an 18 year old the other day who only knew the name of mf....never was there. He was in Macys and said, "I dont get it. THIS was Fileds??? So whats the big deal?" You cant explain certain things to the next generation....they wont get it...and the Fields special glow and name will be lost in the  dust if you try to name the store Fields without the service, quality, care and respect!

PLEASE! Re think this!

Date: Friday, December 23, 2011  11:50 pm CT
Posted by: L.

How about looking into the book;''State Street One brick at a Time'' by Robert Ledermann published by The History Press.......Its GREAT.......I Promise.....Fantastic photos of FIELD'S

Date: Friday, December 23, 2011  11:00 am CT
Posted by:


       NEWSLETTER  No. 32

       Friday, December 23, 2011


       In This Newsletter...

     * What YOU Have Already Accomplished
               Thoughts & Thanks at Christmas & the Holiday Season
     * FIELD'S OF THE FUTURE:         
                A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago

     * Our 2011-12 Christmas & Holidays Season Flyer
     * New Books With Marshall Field's Content
           We Need Your Financial Help to Continue

       P L E A S E    F O R W A R D...
       to all potentially interested family and friends.

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

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 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 slated 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 believe much of this is true.

In a recent interview, one of the organizers at 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.


       FIELD'S OF THE FUTURE:       
A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago

Special thanks to the Chicago Tribune for its story that was published November 27, 2011. It's good to see that the Tribune still recognizes the issue as important to our city -- as it should.  But we also remember that it is in no means in the same life--or-death categories of some of the other moving stories that appeared on the same page that day.

You need to know that the reporter, Ryan Haggerty, was very thorough and professional. He generously conducted a 40-minute interview and called back to double-check and clarify.  Let that be a testament to the Tribune's thoroughness and journalistic quality.

We point out that limited space in the Tribune seemed to allow only about ten minutes of our discussion to appear.  There was much more discussion on how Field's could return and focus on all of your collective efforts.  Of particular note was our recent study showing that four out of five Chicago shoppers STILL prefer Marshall Field's ( see ).  Another focus was our proposal for more than just a name change at 111 N State Street.  We propose a reinvented Marshall Field's in the vein of Harrod's that promotes our beloved city's history, as well as its important, new cultural talent under Chicago's best-known retail name and brand.  That brand is, of course, Marshall Field's and not New York's Macy's.  Doing so would help to make Chicago one of the great, relevant fifty cities of the world in the 21st Century.

If you haven't already done so, please read our proposal, A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st century Chicago at  And then be sure to tell a friend to read it.  Spread the word.  You never know who might eventuall see it and take action.


       Our 2011-12 Christmas & Holidays Season Flyer

Please see for the complete Adobe Acrobat PDF of our 2011-12 Christmas and Holiday Season leaflet.  Print and distribute your own!
As we approach the distribution of over 157,000 flyers, we thanks all of those who have made it possible, especially, Mike, John, Doris, A., Z., and, as always, "gle".
"Meet us under the clock" during Noon hour at State and Washington TODAY (Friday, December 23, 2011) to receive your bookmark style flyer and a free "Time To Bring Back Marshall Field's" button.


       New Books With Marshall Field's Content

While we look forward to the immense possibilities of "A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago",  we'd like to bring to your attention to a couple of new books that look back on the immense history of Marshall Field's greatness.

Remembering Marshall Field's (Arcadia) by Chicago-based author Leslie Goddard features more than a few wonderful and rare images of what was the world's first modern department store.  The Book Stall in Winnetka and Centuries and Sleuths in River Forest are two Chicagoland bookstores that sell the book.  You can also obtain it through

Chicago's Classic Restaurants (Past, Present and Future) (Chicago's Books Press) by Neal Samors, Eric Bronsky and others is an all-encompassing overview of Chicago restaurant history that also nods to the future, just as we do at  Several pages are devote to the Marhall Field and Company's Walnut Room and Men's Grill.  The book has been out for just two weeks and is already doing well at Chicagoland booksellers and

Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago (History Press) by Gayle Soucek has been out for over 14 months and continues to be at the top of everyone's list.  A comprehensive but succinct history of Marshall Field's from the mid-1800s to 2010, Soucek's book has been acclaimed by many Field's lovers as their favorite.   The book is available at many Chicagoland bookstores in the "local interest" section and online at the likes of and

Details on these books and others can be found at the bottom of our "Shopping Guide" page at

------------------------------------------------------- on FACEBOOK & TWITTER

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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--

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           We Need Your Financial Help to Continue

In these tough times, we acknowledge that there are many causes deserving of your support.  If you are so moved, we welcome your assistance in offsetting some of the expenses of our ongoing leaflet and button distributions, as well as other activities in support of Marshall Field's.

We are totally committed to continuing our efforts.  People have come forward in amazing ways to help, donating leaflets, pin-on buttons, bumper stickers, advertising and more.

Thank you for your help so we can continue to inspire others to support the return of Marshall Field's.

If you can donate, please email DONATE AT as to how and where to send a check.  Alternatively, PayPal contributions are accepted at
100% of all contributions are channeled to offset the cost of our activities.

Thank you for your amazing support!

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.




Date: Friday, December 23, 2011  8:03 am CT
Posted by: Anne A.

The lobster bisque was dropped off the menu. Enough complaints brought it back......

Merry Christmas every one, while visions of FIeld's dance in our heads!

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011  8:09 pm CT
Posted by: Mike Thomas

In response to an earlier post about the Lobster Bisque not being on the Walnut Room holiday menu, this is not correct. I ate at the Walnut Room this past week (and enjoyed a big bowl of lobster bisque) with my family, and I have to say it is as good (if not better) than it was years ago when it was Field's. The service and food was stellar. My entire family enjoyed our annual tradition. We also stopped over at the candy kitchen where they were making fudge and handing out samples. My kids were pressed up against the glass watching the candy makers. Brought back fond memories of when I visited Field's as a kid.

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011  5:02 pm CT
Posted by: Steve A.

Lobster Bisque is seasonal.

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011  5:01 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Sorry []... - Have to say it- no such thing on my mind as the f-word for any one/thing. It is [Chicagoist's] prerogative to use it but please don't claim it for everyone else without checking first.

Inclined as I am to agree that Macy's at Field's is evil, that would be why Macy's cannot triumph. SOME day the Right Way will come back to 111 because it has to. Here's to the Sequel: Miracle on State Street!

There is no getting around the fact that Field's enhanced and expressed the mood substantially...but...even without it, -- Merry Christmas! -- which is waaay bigger than even our beloved Field's.

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011  12:30 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Last night I went to give the Salvation Army bell ringer a contribution under the clock at State and Washington. A woman with a couple of kids asked her if there is a Marshall Field's anyplace else. (They were by the window with the gold metallic fashion glitz display.) I told her the sad news, and she asked if Messy's was at least continuing the Marshall Field's windows. She came to see the Marshall Field's windows. I pointed out the "Wish Factory" windows. She and her kids went to one of them and then disappeared into the rushing crowd. I assume she didn't see what she was looking for. I'm glad to hear Field's Fans plans to be out there leafletting on Friday.

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011  11:21 am CT
Posted by: Michael Russell

A friend of mine describes the takeover of Marshall Field's on State Street as "The rotten apple invasion".

Merry Christmas to all of you dear people. Let's hope for a Marshall Field's Christmas in 2012.

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011  5:32 am CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Marshall Field's Holiday Windows

A TV special on WTTW 11 and 11.1 HDTV.

Tonight, 9:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: Sarah H.

Today I was walking down State Street past the windows of the store formerly known as the Great Marshall Field's.

What happened to the corner windows? Are these really "holiday" or "Christmas" windows? They just seem to be selling ornaments.

Could they also leave off all the text on the windows? It used to be that you could tell what was going on in the windows or at least wonder like great art work.

If Macy's window designers purchased the Mona Lisa, they probably would have a huge explanation of what the painting was.

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011  Sundown CT
Posted by:


Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Sharon Cavanaugh

I still cry when I think how Field's is gone. Please bring it back.

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011  1:02 pm CT
Posted by: Eric F.

Sure Chicago wants Marshall Field and Company back, but Macy's is the retail darling of Wall Street these days.

Does class really sell anymore?

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011  11:56 pm CT
Posted by: Dave R.

Flipping through channels, I saw that Entertainment Tonight had a thing on Macy's about all the celebs they feature at their stores, more than any other, etc., etc., etc. I think Macy's is working the PR machine. Do people really want to be like celebrities? I don't think so. They want quality. Marshall Field's had it. Macy's is junk by comparison.

Also, has anyone else noticed that Macy's PR is focussing on NYC and not on Chicago so much anymore? Seems that way to me.

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011  11:34 pm CT
Posted by: Lisa B.

The people at Macy's are just plain evil. They simply don't care about their shoppers. OR they would listen.

I haven't spent one red cent there.

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011  7:41 pm CT
Posted by: Steve J.

[Headline from the newsblog]
Christmas is the time of year when, among other things, Chicagoans remind themselves to say "F&%* Macy's". [Video is] Courtesy of Rick Klein at the Museum of Classic ... Bracketed words added at 5:11 pm, Thursday, December 22, 2011 by the webmaster for clarification purposes.

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011  9:34 am CT
Posted by: R.O.

I really want Fields back in Chicago! 

Date: Monday, December 19, 2011  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Karen E.

I would love to see Marshall Field's come back to State Street and even all of Chicago. I have not stepped in the store since the rebranding as Macy's. Mr. Macy's would even be turning over in his grave.

Date: Monday, December 19, 2011  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: Rene


Date: Monday, December 19, 2011  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: drew

macy*mart is filing a lawsuit against an Internet retailer planning to use some of the store brands and logos it mothballed:
Especially interesting is the rationale for the proposed web site:

Strategic Mark LLCís goal is to bring back the old shopping experiences and brands you remember. Look for a really cool shopping experience coming soon that will bring back choice, selection and service to shopping.

Something we believe has been lost.

Date: Monday, December 19, 2011  6:34 am CT
Posted by: Perplexed in New York

The Macy's flagship is here in New York. When I travel, I would go to Marshall Field's because it was so much better. This homogenization must stop. How come stores like Macy's don't care what customers want? And too many of their "designers" are just "celebrities" who have no talent. Jessica Simpson a designer? PULEEZE!!!!!

Date: Sunday, December 18, 2011  10:31 pm CT
Posted by: Judy marth

Enjoy everyone! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May our ONLY wish come true in 2012! MARSHALL FIELD'S BACK ON STATE STREET!!!

Date: Sunday, December 18, 2011  4:55 pm CT
Posted by: S.D.

We still miss Marshall Field's. It's shocking that Macy's doesn't see what a gold-mine it has in Field's.

Date: Sunday, December 18, 2011  10:32 am CT
Posted by: Paula, Golf

I've heard that Lobster Bisque is no longer on the Walnut Room menu.

Is this true? I can't stand the thought of even entering the store as Macy's.

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2011  9:55 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to all who helped make distribution of hundreds of flyers and buttons a success this afternoon, especially "gle". Again, everyone who stopped by was enthusiastic in their support.

We are looking at repeating one last time before Christmas--but mid-day on Friday, December 23 instead of on Saturday since it is Christmas Eve.

Best regards and many thanks,


Date: Saturday, December 17, 2011  7:02 pm CT
Posted by: Kris

I am a doctor who works in the Garland Building. Like just about every Chicagoan, I miss Marshall Field's more than I can say. But I wanted to tell you about something wonderful. The card that the Garland Building management sent out this year has Marshall Field's on the front - no sign of Macy's. Made me so happy! I am framing it and putting it out every Christmas from now on. Field's is still a part of my Christmas.

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2011  2:38 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

One addition to Messy's for the holidays I actually endorse: A fresh supply of "Marshall Field's, the Store that Helped Build Chicago" by Gayle Soucek. They can be found in Barbara's Bookstore on the lower level, on tables near the entrance and exit areas of the Walnut Room, in the 7th floor archives gift area and on a book shelf near the entrance to the 7th floor food court. I noticed a couple of weeks ago about 20 of them by the entrance to the Walnut Room, then a week later that went down to 5. They are still a hot item.

Another book I thought worth checking out (and that Bob Sirott mentioned on Fox News) is "State Street, One Brick at a Time" by Robert Ledermann. Most of it is dedicated to Field's, with some great photos. I found it at Barbara's Bookstore on the lower level.

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2011  2:26 pm CT
Posted by: cheryl brown

At the very least, please restore the Marshall Field name to the store on State Street. It holds dear memories for so many.

Date: Friday, December 16, 2011  7:12 pm CT
Posted by: Mary J.

We simply miss Field's. Macy*s does not measure up!

Date: Friday, December 16, 2011  6:07 pm CT
Posted by: Denise Wells Palfy

I still cannot get used to the Macy name. I am writing to see if any Field's fans would like to have the Field's Christmas collection of glasses that I have saved. We are trying to downsize and I would rather they go to someone who will appreciate them. I do not want any compensation for them.

Date: Friday, December 16, 2011  5:23 am CT
Posted by: P.W.

I no longer shop there since it became Macy's.

Thank you for your efforts...

Date: Thursday, December 15, 2011  10:46 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

A friend was talking about some unique Christmas gifts he had purchased for friends and family over the years. He mentioned he used to receive catalogs called "Signals" and some others he couldn't name, but these were always a source of distinctive, quality items. He has several Frank Lloyd Wright style glass screens which he purchased from one of the catalogs and he said they are among his most treasured possessions and have garnered many compliments.

He said he remembered these catalogs had come from Marshall Field's and he had ordered "hundreds and hundreds" of items over the years. He lamented that he no longer received the catalogs and couldn't understand why they had been discontinued. He was totally shocked when I told him Marshall Field's was no more--and he was sickened when I told him how the store had been swallowed by macy*mart.

Here is a person who never set foot in a Marshall Field's store, yet enjoyed many items selected from their catalogs! One wonders how much business macy*mart threw away when they discontinued the various Marshall Field's catalogs.

(Incidentally, this gentleman absolutely despises macy*mart because they took away Kaufmann's and Lazarus in the Pittsburgh area.)

Date: Thursday, December 15, 2011  3:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I have also heard someone at work saying they waited hours for their turn in the Walnut Room. By the time they are called, the room was partially empty. Maybe it's Macy's way of making people hang around the store and maybe buy something.

Date: Thursday, December 15, 2011  5:11 am CT
Posted by: Marylee

Please bring back Fields... I miss the quality and the feeling of elegance when you walked into any of their stores... I haven't been able to shop at Macy's since they took over.... What were they thinking? I would proudly wear a Bring Back Marshall Field's button and so would all my friends and family too!

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011  8:31 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Supporter

Gayle Soucek's "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" is awesome. If you are looking for more, consider also getting Leslie Goddard's new Arcadia book on Marshall Field's. Both can be purchased on line or at The Book Stall in Winnetka and Centuries and Sleuths in River Forest.

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011  7:41 pm CT
Posted by: Dylan

Why not state funding for a return to Marshall Field's on State Street? Sears and the CME can get it.

Writes NBC5 blogger David Wolinsky:

"Hey, we lost Marshall Field's to Macy's and Frango mints to Pennsylvania, so it was certainly plausible that when the Hoffman Estates Sears..."

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011  12:25 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Some details emerged today with the SEC filing for Penney's purchase into Martha Stewart. The agreement prohibits Martha from licensing home goods to certain other retailers, but did not say who. JCP will have about 600 Martha Stewart shops up and running by Feb 2013 as well as a jointly owned Martha Stewart e-commerce site. That is breakneck speed fast and would lead me to believe that this deal was in the making for some time. Just designing the shops and products would take months, let alone implementation. JCP gets 2 board seats at MSLO. MSLO will get commission on everything sold in the shops, as well as design fees and a minimum annual ad dollar amount promoting the brand. The minimum value of this is 172.4 million dollars over ten years. Earlier this year MSLO started to shop themselves around. Another possible side note to this is a year or two ago, MSLO bought the Emerilware brand from Emeril LaGasse, who happens to be one of the original members of Field's Culinary Council! Wonder if Macy's will give the boot?

Obviously, the Macy's relationship is over. I always found it odd that whenever Macy's or Martha Stewart had pressers about earnings etc., each of them always pointed out how great their relationship/earnings were. I guess it was really not so much.

I made a mistake in my Walnut Room post, I left out the word NOT, as in the room was NOT even filled to capacity.

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011  11:49 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Chicagoist story.

Weekend Diversion: Memories Of Christmas At Marshall Field's: Chicagoist

From Candy Cane Lane to Santa's Cozy Cloud Cottage, Marshall Field's did Christmas better than any Macy's could. Enjoy these misty water-colored memories of Christmases past.

Be sure to login and leave comments.

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011  10:10 pm CT
Posted by: Rick J.

Marshall Field's.

"Nothing like it back home."

"There's no place like Field's."

Those slogans are so dead-on.

There's many store names for which I feel nostalgia. They even sold few things here and there that I miss to this very day. But Field's was much more, meaningful to me to the very end.

I even shopped Foley's. It was a decent store to shop when I needed a shirt or shoes while on business in Texas.

Five years later, people continue en mass to ask for the return of Marshall Field's. This board continues.

Tell me Richard and I Miss Etc Etc, where are the boards for Foley's, Eckerd, some obscure restaurant chain, etc.?

You should write on the boards for those stores so that they come back.

Oh. There are none.

There's a reason.

There are none because the decimation of Field's is on a much higher level. That you even start to compare Field's to Eckerd or even Foley's is an insult to Marshall Field's, not to mention all those who want it back.


Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011  5:04 pm CT
Posted by: D.C.


Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: David K.

[Link to "Baby's Day Out" (at Marshall Field's flagship.]

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011  4:27 pm CT
Posted by: David s

Just spent over an hour catching up on the blog while taking a train to Boston for business where there will be no Jordan Marsh or Filenes for Christmas - thanks to you know who..........

Missing fields is so poignant and heart wrenching at this time of year

I believe it can come back, if any of them can it's Marshall Fields!

Jim, thanks for keeping this alive for us all......

Merry Christmas!

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011  12:06 pm CT
Posted by: Pam Turlow

I can't believe this, but actually, since it's Macy's, I do. Oh, the sick irony. The cast of "Miracle on 34th Street" must be rolling in their graves:

Yep. Macy's fired the Santas who made for a magical Christmas (and had real beards) and hired cheaper ones, with the beard that goes behind the ears (Remember how Natalie Wood's character Susan made fun of them?)

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011  9:17 am CT
Posted by: gayle s.

Happy Holidays to all my Field's friends! Just had to share a recent experience...hubby and I were in the market for some new furniture, and didn't know where to go. In the past, most of our stuff came from Fields. We searched almost every major furniture store in the Chicago area, and just about everything we found was either bland in styling or cheaply made--usually both. After hearing a radio ad, we stopped into Penny Mustard Furniture in Lombard. Absolutely beautiful, stylish, sustainably made-in-America pieces that are a little pricy but worth every dollar. We found exactly what we wanted, but the one thing that impressed us the most was our salesperson. He knew every exquisite detail about the furniture, and never crossed that fine line between being helpful and being pushy. As he was ringing up the sale--to the tune of 9K--he mentioned offhandedly that he used to work in the furniture department at Marshall Field's! Well, of course. That explained everything: his style, his training, and the obvious pride he took in his job.

On the way home, it occurred to us that it was just one more sale that Macy's had lost. Had Field's still been around, we never would have looked anywhere else.

Date: Monday, December 12, 2011  10:17 pm CT
Posted by: gayle s.

Happy Holidays to all my Field's friends! Just had to share a recent experience...hubby and I were in the market for some new furnture, and didn't know where to go. In the past, most of our stuff came from Fields. We searched almost every major furniture store in the Chicago area, and just about everything we found was either bland in styling or cheaply made--usually both. After hearing a radio ad, we stopped into Penny Mustard Furniture in Lombard. Absolutely beautiful, stylish, sustainably made-in-America pieces that are a little pricy but worth every dollar. We found exactly what we wanted, but the one thing that impressed us the most was our salesperson. He knew every exquisite detail about the furniture, and never crossed that fine line between being helpful and being pushy. As he was ringing up the sale--to the tune of 9K--he mentioned offhandedly that he used to work in the furniture department at Marshall Field's! Well, of course. That explained everything: his style, his training, and the obvious pride he took in his job.

On the way home, it ocurred to us that it was just one more sale that Macy's had lost. Had Field's still been around, we never would have looked anywhere else.

Date: Monday, December 12, 2011  4:08 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates, in Texas

Hi "Richard in Houston,"

Your comments here on this blog are right on the mark. I've lived in Texas since 1995, and I definitely remember shopping at Foley's for eleven years. During the latter 30 or so years of the 20th century, Texas was THE crossroads of the retail and restaurant industry: you could buy your groceries at Safeway (a West Coast store, before their leaving in 87-88 and buying Randalls/Tom Thumb in 1999) and Winn-Dixie (a Southeastern supermarket), pick up your prescription from Eckerd (also Southeastern; now CVS or Rite Aid), and have lunch at Del Taco (a California eatery; they are slowly returning to this state), all while wearing clothes from Lord & Taylor and Marshall Field's (New York and Chicago, respectively). Basically, the reasons for these were: competition and attracting non-native Texans to shop or eat.

However, beginning in the late 90s/early 2000s, all of that disappeared.

My comments on Foley's now: having the feeling of a regional store just feels great and unique to the community we live in. There, my family had purchased some of their clothes (we also went to stores like Dillard's and Nordstrom for our apparel in Texas), as well as all our kitchen housewares, a crystal gift for Mother (one time in 1999, there were two engravers who had come all the way from Ireland just to engrave any Waterford purchase free of charge! And this was at a suburban Dallas Foley's!), plus my two younger brothers' first beds! (They still have most of these items, BTW) Since the macy*marting of America, all of that, sadly, came to an end. Being in the same Foley's we used to go 1995-2006, it feels like a ghost town in there, with employees (who don't appear original to the building) standing around feeling depressed, ripped/cracked/scuffed building material (floors and walls), and the usual suspects of Alphony, STINC, Donald Schlump and others. Since then, we have committed ourselves to Dillard's, which had skyrocketed in popularity after Foley's disappeared. (Oh, and another macy*mistake: there was a 2-set of frying pans that were $29.99 originally, but you can pay only $24.99 -- ONLY IF YOU PLACE IT ON RESERVE FOR TWO DAYS!!!!! Seriously, why walk into the store and wait a couple of days just to save five lousy bucks????? Foley's was never like this!!!!!)

Please, I hope all the old names, especially Field's, return in style, service, quality, and selection! Oh, and kudos for the "Con-Woman" finally dropping out of the Red Star Store!


Date: Monday, December 12, 2011  2:20 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Two Field's stories:

Last Friday night I had dinner with a client and her husband. I knew she had put herself through Northwestern Law School by modeling but never knew the story. Back in the 70s, she had purchased a hamper at Field's and since she would be taking mass transit back to her apartment, she was making other purchases and rather than carry more bags, she was placing her purchases inside the hamper. She noticed a man was following her through the store. She was beginning to panic, fearing that this man was a loss prevention guy. When he finally approached her, he identified himself with being in the fashion office of Field's and asked her if she'd like to model for Field's. She did and also caught the eye of Victor Skrebneski, who also featured her in ads for Saks. Thus, Field's helped her get through school.

Yesterday I was talking to a friend in her 60s. She still refers to State Street as Marshall Field's. She has a 40 year tradition of visiting the Walnut Room for lunch with 3 other friends every Christmas. They went last Wednesday and arrived at the store at 10. They went promptly up to the Walnut Room, where they were given a pager, told not to leave the store and earliest table was going to be 2:30. Thus,instead of waiting in line (and not generating any revenue)they were "trapped" inside the store. When their time came, they noticed the room was not even packed to capacity. They also called the windows and tree "despicable".

Date: Monday, December 12, 2011  11:06 am CT
Posted by: Marina Vamvakos

I truly miss Marshall Field's at Christmas especially...I have such fond memories of going to the State Street store as a child to see Santa and also to have lunch with my Mom and my aunt who was a long time employee of Marshall Field's...I was a very well dressed child!! The customer service was by far the best!!! I continued the tradition as I got older and I even worked at Marshall Field's during High school & college!! I loved it!! It truly upset me that Macy's took over....It just not the same...I recently was at the Macy's in Skokie and they dont even have a gift wrap department anymore...!! I'm all for reviving the State Street Marshall Field's!!!! It's apart of our history here in Chicago...they should have never ever closed the State Street Marshall Field's!!!!

Date: Monday, December 12, 2011  6:03 am CT
Posted by: Jim

A while back, it was reported that Macy's started selling "cheap" (but not inexpensive) handbags and tee-shirts with the logos of regional department stores lost to Macy's. Names included Filene's, Jordan Marsh, A & S, Foley's, Burdines, Hecht's and others. For some reason, Famous Barr and The Jones Store were not offered. Of course there were selections for Marshall Field's, including a big green shopping back with the logo and the clock image at 3:00 position. still offers all of them, although at sale prices. There's an exception. The bags with Marshall Field's logo on them are sold out. The tee-shirts that say Marshall Field's are on black instead of green. I'd say that's why THOSE haven't sold out. I think that says something about the great brand value of Marshall Field's.

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2011  6:49 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

At this time of year I am always a little bit thankful for Macy's.


No, no. Let me explain. It was soooo cold last weekend. Most people were parked near Nordstrom or Carsons or Penneys...even Sears. I was able to snatch a parking space right near the doors. Always plenty of parking around Macy's.

Typical Macy's...those wacky folks have merchandise stacked on the floors...and on tables bending under the weight. Looks much like Costco. Very few clerks. NO service.

What is this? Summer merchandise still on clearance?

I've noticed many of the stores look tired...walls need paint, fixtures full of dinks and dents...and carpeting actually worn down to the backing.

Maybe someone should glue the hands back on the "Believe" meter. Door handle still broken (3 years and counting) and elevator went out of service.

Gee for a Saturday at 11 AM, the place is empty. Nice crowd at Carsons...and Pennys...and Sears.

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2011  3:38 pm CT
Posted by: Eric B

A new book that is surely of interest to Field's Fans has just been released: CHICAGO'S CLASSIC RESTAURANTS - PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE, by Neal Samors and Eric Bronsky, with Bob Dauber.

The first half of this 208-page book explores the city's classic restaurants from the early years on up through 1970. Included are large photos of Marshall Field's Walnut Room and the Men's Grill, along with comments from people who dined at the former.

The second half of the book covers restaurants in the 1970-to-present period. The book is lavishly illustrated with photos, postcards, menus and other memorabilia, with color used throughout the book.

For more information about this book, please visit It is now available in many Chicago area bookstores as well as online at and

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2011  9:23 am CT
Posted by: Zelda

Can you believe it? That door handle on the Randolph (near Wabash) outer door of macy's has broken off again, for perhaps the 5th time since the takeover. I don't remember a door handle ever coming off a Marshall Field's door, but if it ever was, you could be sure it would be fixed within the hour and not require repair for a lifetime. We have to remember that when macy's took over, the first thing they did was fire many of the Field's maintenance crew. After that, you could see duct tape on the marble floor cracks of the main floor, and crews would be vacuuming during shopping hours, and of course the door handle fell off and was "replaced" at least 5 times in the last few years. Business may be up, but quality is not. The beautiful Field's flagship has become a crowded and rather shoddy looking warehouse.

Date: Saturday, December 10, 2011  10:05 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Thank you to all who helped make our button and flyer distribution under the clock a success this afternoon, especially "gle." During our short time, hundreds of bookmark-style flyers (leaflets) and buttons were snapped up. Not once did a person disagree with our cause--and we heard many words of support.

We were there at the tail-end of the lunch hour until about 2:15 pm. It appeared that the store was busy in the morning until the 1:00 pm cut-off point for the end six-hour sale that started at 7:00 am. Then it got relatively slower.

Later that afternoon, all the stores on North Michigan Avenue looked much busier than the stores on State Street.

I hope that you can join us next Saturday afternoon, December 17th when we will again pass out buttons and flyers under the Great Clock at State and Washington. Please email INFO AT FieldsFansChicago DOT org or call (312) 662-8980. Thank you and best regards.

Date: Saturday, December 10, 2011  7:16 pm CT
Posted by: Inverness

Thank you for the button and information I was given today. WE WANT FIELD'S!!!

Date: Saturday, December 10, 2011  12:58 pm CT
Posted by: C.C. Chicago


Date: Friday, December 9, 2011  4:36 pm CT
Posted by: C.C. Chicago

I was in a stationery store on the North side yesterday, when I met a woman and her husband who are currently living L.A. They wanted to know where the Merz Apothecary on Lincoln Ave. was. While I was telling them, they mentioned that they were shocked and dismayed that their beloved Marshall Fields had become a Macy's. She said "Why did they do that? Why did't they call it Macy's Marshall Field's or something?" I explained to her about Fields Fans and how we've been protesting. (She is originally from Chicago.)

We both agreed that now you can find exactly the same stores with the same merchandise in every city. There is no reason to travel to Chicago for Christmas shopping anymore, since Marshall Field's is now Macy's. They decided to look for unique gifts from German stores and headed to Lincoln Square.

Date: Friday, December 9, 2011  2:05 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I received a couple of comments from people who have eaten in the Walnut Room recently. They express disgust that the small trees surrounding the great tree each seem to be dedicated to a celebrity connected with one of the designer ornaments featured in the holiday windows. Somehow that seems absolutely sacriligious (even if you aren't religious), if not downright arrogant.

Date: Friday, December 9, 2011  7:01 am CT
Posted by: Jim

We'll be out on State Street tomorrow afternoon from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm under the Great Clock at State & Washington passing out bookmark flyers and buttons. Please join us by emailing INFO at fieldsfanschciago DOT org or calling (312) 662-8980 (please leave a message and call-back number, if necessary.) You can reach us at that phone number during our session under the clock.

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2011  11:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

I've received links to videos about everything from Foley's to Venture to old Woolworth's commercials and more. Every now and then, I hear people say snarkily, "How come you don't also work to bring back Zayre or White Hen Pantry or Venture?" I prefer to focus on Field's of the future and only consider history insofar as it promotes our cause. When I indulge in it, I have fond memories of other stores, among them the ones where myself or family have worked. Some of these even became Macy's. But no one in my family, nor myself, ever worked for Field's. I don't even think of posting links to videos here about those stores--Carson's, Sears, Hechts, Wieboldt's, Montgomery Ward, and Famous Barr. There's no way those stores nor, I'd wager, Foley's, compared to the internationally recognized emporium that was Marshall Field's. Forward looking from this point on, only links to videos that support our cause of restoring Field's will appear. Otherwise, it detracts, if not misinforms, about why it matters that Field's comes back for the future.

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2011  10:29 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston


Great job on the Field's Christmas! I thought I would share five links to Foley's Christmas Commercials. These five are prior to the takeover by May which took Foley's downmarket. Then, of course, Macy's really finished them off. There are clearance racks everywhere for $6 now and the store has no personality at all.

Of particular interest is the fourth commercial. Like Fields, Foley's was classy enough to support civic causes, schools, arts and theatre in Houston and its other markets. This specific commercial shows how they were willing to pay for a commercial simply to wish their loyal customers a Merry Christmas WITHOUT advertising a single sale. You would never see Macy's doing that.

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2011  3:01 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Martha Stewart going with JCP is a big deal. Remember in 2006? The head of Macy's said the strategy was to combine all stores under the same banner. Then there were three new selling points for all stores going forward. ONE: Frango. TWO: Martha Stewart. THREE: IPod Vending Machines. And then a reduced reliance on coupons. Five years later, coupons are bigger than ever. IPod machines don't make a Macy's a destination. Martha Stewart has a strained relationship with Macy's. Frangos are great but they remain largely regional in appeal.

And wasn't it odd that Lundgren and Martha Stewart and Rachel Roy made a trip to Haiti for relief efforts months ago. Now their relationship is on the rocks. I agree. Couldn't Macy's pony up $38M to keep Martha, essentially buying the brand? My two cents? A clash of two egos. But if decide to get rid of Martha, then goes their best known brand. Maybe they will have Jessica Simpson cookware or Alfani towels.

What's next?

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2011  10:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I missed these but there have been two recent letters to the editor in the Chicago Tribune that are deserving of our response.

One, from December 1, is critical of Macy's windows and how the author feels they do not compare to those by Marshall Field's.,0,7158696.story
Another appears in yesterday's print edition, December 7, and says that more than a name change back to Field's would be required for the State Street store to be a success:,0,7310241.story?page=2
You can also email a "Letter to the Editor" at I'm sure it would help.

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011  3:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Regardless of how you feel about Martha Stewart--I happen to appreciate some things about her work, especially how she has helped people of even modest means have a deeper appreciation for fine living. Keep in mind, also, that long before Macy's came on Field's scene, Marshall Field's sold Martha Stewart-branded furniture.

That said, I agree with Philip. I'm rather surprised. Martha Stewart was launched five years ago at Macy's with much fanfare. Martha was featured prominently in Macy's commercials, ads and even Christmas window displays. Now the response from Macy's is that they will review their relationship with Martha Stewart as a result of the JCP deal. To me this clearly says Macy's was taken off guard by this shift. Macy's pushes an image that it is doing great and I'm sure Macy's will find a new celeb homemaker for its products. But it also suggests that there are problems behind the happy facade at Macy's since they seem off guard by this deal. Martha Stewart is struggling a bit, but if everything was rosy at Macy's, then Martha Stewart Omnimedia would still be with Macy's as MSO's exclusive department store.

So Macy's may say everything is great but when something like this unexpectedly happens, it suggests otherwise and that our cause has hope, despite exterior appearances and PR.

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011  12:57 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Looks like one of macy*mart's "exclusive" celebrities has jumped ship:
Wonder what prompted the discount store domestic diva to leave? Wonder how macy*mart will fill all those shelves that are packed with Martha Stewart homewares? Wonder if they will create another knock-off line (All Glad, Harbor Ware, Sundream) or just expand the Charter Club and Alfani lines?

Poor Mr Lunkhead.

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011  11:40 am CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

This might be off topic, but an interesting announcement was made today that will affect Macy's. JC Penny has purchased a 16.6% in Martha Stewart Omnimedia and inked a 10 year deal to create dedicated Martha Stewart shops in almost every Penny's location. The shops will also be staffed with employees specifically trained for these shops within shop. The products will include most home catagories and will be designed by Stewart's staff, but sourced by Penny's. No mention was made about Macy's existing relationship with Martha Stewart other than saying that their target with Macy's was 400 million a year in sales and their target for these new shops is roughly half at 200 million. Obviously, Macy's just lost a very serious component of their retail plan. It begs to question that if things were going so wonderfully at Macy's, why would Martha jump ship? The other thing to note, if Macy's keeps Martha products on their sales floor, they will actually be lining Penny's pockets, since they now own a nice chunk of Martha Stewart!

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011  6:19 am CT
Posted by: Judy Marth

Putting the ornaments on the tree - It's a Marshall Field's Christmas! The memories of being in Field's at Christmas time - I can still "see" it in my mind! Hope the memories turn into reality soon!!!

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2011  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I did pay for a copy of this study--it's pretty pricey to unlock access and print. It was the first I was ever aware of it. Thank you David, for bringing it to my attention. It's fascinating in several ways. The study considers our cause from the vantage of branding. Among other things, the professor analyzed our posts on this blog during four periods about four days in length each. The professor considered Macy's and Marshall Field's as similar, although not virtually identical retailers, with the suggestion that the main difference was that one is associated with NYC and the other with Chicago. I personally think there is more to it than that. My dedication to this cause was profoundly informed by how many New Yorkers who were Macy's shoppers who told me they were shocked at the change and preferred Field's. So perhaps a future study could look at those who shopped both stores and control perceptions of each. If you read it, keep in mind that it is an academic study so there are more controls than you might find in a similar investigative piece in, say, a newspaper.

If you are able to, please down load the paper.

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2011  5:36 pm CT
Posted by: David Kmetz

Has anyone read this or know anything about it, I'm so curious about the results!

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2011  9:19 am CT
Posted by: David Kmetz

Remember FieldsFans, if we have any issues we need to go straight to the source. Go to, click on "Tell us about your recent Macy's Shopping experience," and let them know how you feel. They need to know we're not backing down. Venting to each other on here isn't going to make our voice heard. Merry Christmas...

Date: Monday, December 5, 2011  10:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Just a reminder:

If you wish to email the author of a post, click on their name and "copy the link." Depending on which email program you use, a new message addressed to the author may be started. Be sure to change AT to @ and DOT to a period. However, by default, we keep the author's email private to avoid spam issues. If the email address says "onfile", please email Your email will then be forwarded by us to the author who will respond if they choose to do so.

Best regards and many thanks,


Date: Monday, December 5, 2011  8:53 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

This is a text I received from my sister in Dallas:

"I've been walking around Macy's for 20 minutes trying to find someone who will assist me with an exchange. Then they wonder why people don't want to shop here."

Date: Monday, December 5, 2011  7:46 pm CT
Posted by: B.J. THOMAS

I worked at Marshall Field's a long time ago and I felt like a real classy lady just because I worked there. I loved selling ties in the Store for Men and I was quite good at it. I grew up with 8 brothers and I used to help them dress.

When Chicago lost Marshall Field's, I cried hard. Not only that, but taken from us at the same time were Carson Pirie Scott and

Lord & Taylor and they left us with "trash"...and you know what I mean by "trash"...

I will begin joining all of you out there and will help in any other way that I can. Also, I have an absolutely amazing story that will leave you "shocked" about a dream experience that I had about Marshall Field!

I look forward to seeing you all out there soon!!!


God is working His Purpose Out...Don't give up!!!


Date: Monday, December 5, 2011  1:58 pm CT
Posted by: Eric B (aka "Electropickle")

Two years ago, I made a video titled "Marshall Field's Christmas Memories" as a fun project. Anticipating that my friends and a few others might watch it, I posted it on YouTube. Well, since then, it's been viewed 64,000 times.
Chances are you've already watched the video, but please revisit that page just to read the many great comments posted there in recent months -- some nostalgic, some emotional, and some downright angry -- but all supporting the return of Marshall Field's. Here's one relatively recent response that made my day:

"My father was the Chairman of Marshall Fields in 1983-1990. This is a great tribute to the beauty of American Retailing. Merry Christmas!"
- Philip G. Miller

Enough about my video. Here's a link to a brand new video that was posted on YouTube only the other day. You don't want to miss this one!

Marshall Field's Incredible Impact on Chicago
by Rebecca V. Larkin

Date: Sunday, December 4, 2011  7:27 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

was talking with a student and we were discussing the lack of quality shopping options these days. He said "I know you hate macy*s but they really aren't THAT bad." When I asked him why he said the statement he replied "They have sales all the time! The prices are so low and there are always lots of clearance and discount racks." When I asked him how the clothing held up, he paused and stated most of it really DIDN'T wear well or fell apart after a few washings.

This young man is in his early 20s, Lunkhead's prized demographic group. He said when he goes shopping with his girlfriend, he won't let her buy their fashions because the styles would make her look trashy and cheap. He also admitted that when he looked at macy*mart for gifts for his parents and family members, he was unable to anything suitable.

This guy is attending college and working part time, so he is looking for bargains at this point in his life. Once he starts working in his chosen career, he will need better quality clothing and his girl friend will want higher quality home goods. Since he's now interested low prices and not in style or quality, will he remain loyal to macy*mart once his economic status improves?

Date: Sunday, December 4, 2011  2:13 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's button wearer

I attended a big neighborhood ethic holiday event Saturday, and as expected was barraged with comments about my "I Want My Marshall Field's" button. Comments are pretty much the same as those I hear everywhere--Marshall Field's was THE special store, and Macy's doesn't know how to do anything right. I ended up giving away all the leaflets I had with me.

I don't know why some news reporters seem to think there are so few people who miss Field's. I don't have much trouble finding them.

Date: Sunday, December 4, 2011  12:00 pm CT
Posted by: Kathy

Field's was always special. Macy's is OK, but it's nothing special, just another store like Carson's or Penney's or Kohl's.

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2011  9:12 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Many thanks to all who made distribution of hundreds of flyers and buttons a huge success this afternoon, especially Fred in Virginia, Gail in California and, as always, "gle" in Chicago. Rain past the lunch hour caused our session to be abbreviated, but the experience during our shorter session was very worthwhile. All interactions were supportive of the restoration of Marshall Field's--there wasn't anyone who stopped to disagree.

We'll be out there again THIS Saturday afternoon. Please email infoATfieldsfanschicagoDOTorg or phone (312) 662-8980 if are able to assist us.

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2011  8:11 pm CT
Posted by: Cheryl

I went Bath & Body Works at River Oaks in Calumet City today. I parked by "Marshall Fields" old side entrance. When I left the mall, I had to walk by "Fields". Instead of going in like I would in the past, I just walked by and looked at it and remembered what was there. :( When it was Fields, I always went in to look around regardless if I needed something or not. Sure you have the Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and other designers that are still the same, but I can get them at Carsons. The other brands they carry....inferior to Marshall Fields brands. I still have and wear Fieldgear sweatshirts and sweaters. Don't EVEN get me started on the thumping trash music in the perfume/cosmetic department!! No class trash!!!!


Date: Saturday, December 3, 2011  7:02 pm CT
Posted by: b.k.

I hope this is a petition to get Marshall Fields back in Chicago.

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2011  1:49 pm CT
Posted by: Dave, East Coast

Field's had a certain something... class, style, whatever one wants to call it...  that apparently is beyond Macy's comprehension. Field's was just plain enjoyable to go to. Macy's was... serviceable.

It's a whole lot easier to avoid Macy's out here... I never cared much for Hecht's anyway, so I can walk right past Macy's without giving it a second thought. (Although come to think of it, Hecht's was better than Macy's too.)  Next time I DO get back to Chicago... whenever that may be... even the call of the Frango ain't gonna get me thru Macy's doors.


Date: Saturday, December 3, 2011  10:42 pm CT
Posted by: Kevin in Chicago

Every year at this time I realize ( again) just how much I miss Fields. It was the perfect place for getting that perfect gift. Not to mention the annual Christmas lunch in the Walnut Room with the perfect tree. Sob sob.

Thanks for the moment of venting.

Date: Friday, December 2, 2011  2:47 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

WOW! It appears that an internationally-known American brand is ACTUALLY listening to the voice of the people, even if the "rant base" is limited!

If you've seen those white Coca-Cola cans that, from a distance, looks very much like Diet Coke cans, Coca-Cola has announced that they will bring back the traditional red can:

It happened about a quarter of a century ago with the infamous "New Coke" and Coke decided to release their ORIGINAL formula along with the NEW formula (the latter for a limited time); now, it's happening to what is probably Coke's shortest-lived holiday design yet! I especially got a kick out of what consumers thought of this "negative color" disaster!


Field's Fans, is this scenario familiar or what? Around 1992 or so, Dayton-Hudson replaced Marshall Field's signature green bags for a drab, ordinary-looking brown bag only to reverse course like a week later or something. Even the Chicago newspapers carried a full-page advertisement apologizing Chicagoans for the bag change! Look back on this blog; there are plenty of those posts available.

macy*mart, despite having been around for over 150 years (and I don't like how in recent years they are taking credit and bombarding newspapers, mailboxes, and tourist guides with incentives to enter their stores), isn't doing the same thing with Marshall Field's and other regional stores! Please, Mr. Lunkhead, take this "New Coke Can" story into consideration and give Chicago and other communities our style, service, selection, quality, and NAMES back!!!!!


Date: Friday, December 2, 2011  10:44 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

We'll be out on State Street tomorrow afternoon passing out buttons and flyers under the Great Clock at State and Washington. We'll be out there from 1:00 to 2:00 pm and either before and after. If you'd like a button, come by. To make sure we connect, you can call (312) 662-8980.

Thank you to all who have helped make this a success.


Date: Friday, December 2, 2011  7:54 am CT
Posted by: David Kmetz

Greetings Fields Fans,

Once again another Christmas is upon us without the glory and magic of Marshall Field's. Anyway, I was reading Mr. Lundgren's profile at and I see that he is entering his 60s, which means he will most likely be retiring within the next five years or less. Could this change in management be an opportunity that we've been praying for? Could it be possible to convince whoever replaces him to return Marshall Field's to State St? At least we could try right?

Merry Christmas

Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011  4:27 pm CT
Posted by: Kevin Clarke

I recently drove past the front of Macy's Oakbrook, IL store.

2 windows had uninspired holiday decorations and the third front window was a display of Ralph Lauren. There is a Ralph Lauren store already in the mall. The two northerly windows I saw were covered with black drapes with a snowflake print. Halloween maybe? The Marshall Field's that used to be there was always bustling, but not Macy's. I do not no where to go to find the Marshall Field's experience.

Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011  1:03 am CT
Posted by: Robert

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 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 slated for a great reduction, even at the flagship store on State Street. Now, influenced by Field's, Herald Square is being bettered. For years, the cellar was Macy's premiere culinary presence. Field's Culinary Council has set the new bar at Macy's.

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. The report comparing Field's to Duane Reade, F.A.O. and Berdorf-Goodman are 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.

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011  10:54 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Every now and then, I hear from someone, usually in Michigan or Minnesota who starts complaining about how Marshall Field's bought Dayton's and Hudson's and how Marshall Field's made those stores into Field's.

The reality, of course, is that Dayton/Hudson purchased Field's, took Field's down some notches and placed the Field's name on what were in many--but not all--cases lesser stores. Dayton/Hudson rebranded itself Target, sold Field's to May Department Stores and then May was taken over by Macy's. Target still owns the Dayton's and Hudson's and still even takes you

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011  2:31 pm CT
Posted by: State Street Spectator/PBS Viewer

I watched the new walking tour of Chicago's Loop by Geoffrey Baer on PBS Channel 11 WTTW last night:

All-in-all, I found the presentation (about 1 1/2 hours long) FANTASTIC as far as photography, historical and architectural education and entertainment value.

On the Marshall Field's part, I have mixed feelings. Mr. Baer did stress how Marshall Field introduced quality and service to retail, believed in giving the lady what she wants, and that the store's Daniel Burnham architecture became a prototype for other retail establishments. He also said Chicago cringed when Macy's red replaced Marshall Field's green, but then added that much of Marshall Field's is still there. He mentioned the clock, the Tiffany dome, the Walnut Room and even chicken pot pie. However, I did not hear mention that the reason some things remain is due to the building's landmark status, not necessarily any goodwill of Macy's. In fact, when the Marshall Field's plaque was shown, I could see an obvious green stain above it. Those who frequent State Street can't help but notice that the building hangs on in spite of Messy's apathy towards it.

That's my review. I do recommend the program, and assume WTTW will rebroadcast it.

Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2011  10:10 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Even I was taken aback at touch at the number of tweets from various parties expressing how much they prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's. Seemed like there were a couple of dozen at least. The tweets--from the past six days-- especially seemed to come come from those uner thirty years old. Fascinating.

Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2011  8:24 pm CT
Posted by: (i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

I still have a feeling that Field's can make a stunning comeback. Epic comebacks have occurred before, and not just in retail!


- The University of Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team of 1952-53 and the Southern Methodist University Mustangs football team of 1987 were given "the death penalty," an NCAA-sanctioned punishment which is the worst a collegiate athletic program can receive. Years later, both of these programs totally improved and were better than ever! The Wildcats are now one of the best men's hoops teams in the country (having made it to the Final Four ten times beginning in 1958; four of these appearances were champion titles), and the Mustangs are not only appearing in bowl games once again (a 25 year drought from 1984 to 2009), but one of their players (Emmanuel Sanders) now plays for an NFL powerhouse team, the Pittsburgh Steelers!

- The Boston Red Sox traded their star player, Babe Ruth, off to the New York Yankees in 1918, which obviously placed a "curse" on the Red Sox. As a result, they have failed to win a World Series for 86 years! That all ended in 2004 when they beat the St. Louis Cardinals to "reverse the curse!" Not only that, but before the series started, they came back from a 0-3 deficit (a first for baseball) against -- who else -- the New York Yankees to win the AL pennant! The Red Sox ended up with another World Series win in 2007 as well.

- It is possible for NFL teams to lose all or most games in a single season, yet rebound at some point. The Dallas Cowboys began in 1960 with a 0-11-1 (one tie) season, but ended up with five Super Bowl titles, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began in 1976 with a 0-12 season, but won the Super Bowl in 2002! The Detroit Lions were 0-16 (a new low for the NFL) in 2008, but this season (as of typing), it looks like the Lions are wild card-bound!


- Remember when cable and satellite were the viewing formats to watch in the 80s and 90s? There were practically hundreds of channels of variety (movies, music, sports, family shows, documentaries, news programs, etc.), all running on a fixed schedule with marathons only on holidays. Well, that all ended in the early 2000s because every channel wanted to be MTV-like: lying about what they play, showing too many reality shows, all in monotonous marathons; subscription TV suddenly became a waste of time and money. However, because of the switch from analog to digital antenna back in 2009, some creative media minds created subchannels for local television such as "This TV," "Antenna TV," "MeTV," etc. (actually those three are based in Chicago!) which are all reminiscent of cable channels in the 80s and 90s! With just an antenna, you can watch classic shows Nick-at-Nite used to play (plus some lost classics!), cartoons from the latter half of the 20th century, round-the-clock local/national weather forecasts, and more!

- In April 2007, a classic rock station in my hometown decided, WITHOUT WARNING (like what ALL radio stations do), to drop their classic rock format along with the branding they have used for over 20 years (funny, they had JUST celebrated their 20th anniversary at that time, too!) and replaced it with country music under the "Lone Star" branding. Their morning talent show went M.I.A. at that time as well, but slowly returned a month later. I have noticed the outrage my area had when the classic rock station went away, but in April 2008, the owners of that station (Clear Channel, no less) decided to revive the classic rock format in its entirety, including their famous "block party weekends!"


- Food companies have recently brought back retro packaging either for a limited time, for a special promotion, or to selected stores. For example, Frito-Lay has Doritos "taco-flavored" chips in their 1970s packaging, Pepsi has a "throwback" design on some of their products, Hostess offered their dessert products in their 70s packaging along with an alarm clock promotion, and Target stores are selling General Mills cereals in their 70s/80s box designs!

What point am I trying to make, Field's Fans? It is possible for long lost, revered things to come back, whether or not the power of the people is involved!

I've said this before, and I'm saying it again: Terry Lunkhead's macy*mart experiment is nothing more than a big corporate/economic suicide. I mean, sure, at the time, May Department Stores really thought Federated's takeover would be nothing, right? Well, sadly, it turned out to be something: Mr. Lunkhead would use the acquisition of May to transform Macy's from a New York store with class to an 800-store retail Frankenstein! I know somewhere in this blog (I'll look back right away), Target actually apologized for their selling off Marshall Field's and it turned out that Macy's would discontinue the MF brand. Target's original intention for selling MF (according to Wikipedia) was that it would " 'let Field's be Field's' and allow it to recapture its former cachet and upper-class customer base." Well, it kind of did that, but it then went the opposite. Nowadays, I cringe in fear when I hear about the spinning-off or sale of an exciting brand because of this!!!!! I had experienced this jolt when I heard of Harrods being sold off in 2010, but I let out a HUGE sigh of relief when I heard that the Qatar Investment Authority would become the new owners!

If Lunkhead had a heart, he would have kept his Macy's and Bloomingdale's chains, plus the venerable Marshall Field's chain, and all the regional nameplates, their inventories, and their identities/jingles/slogans (e.g. The Bon and "Day-o!", Foley's and "Foley's...OF COURSE!", Burdines and "The Florida Store", etc.) intact! All of the regional chain ads and bags would have said at the bottom: "When in New York/Atlanta/San Francisco/Dallas/Houston/New Orleans/Mall of America/Miami, visit Macy's...New York City at its finest!" This sounds kind of like the ending to all the old Universal movies of the 70s/80s/90s: "When in California (or Florida), visit Universal Studios Theme Park!"

Hoping for the best and the return of fine American retailing (including Field's),


Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2011  3:11 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Reminder, of interest to Field's fans:

Tonight, Tuesday November 29 at 7:30 p.m.
on WTTW Channel 11 TV
A new walking tour of Chicago's Loop
with host Geoffrey Baer

The previews of this included a shot of the Marshall Field's clock, and mentioned places you loved to visit as a child.

Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2011  1:34 pm CT
Posted by: S.F.

Growing up, my Grandmother worked at Field’s downtown.

It was a special time for my sister and I to visit Grandma at work.

My mother would get us all dressed up to take the EL train to go downtown.

I was so excited to see Grandma at work. She would show off my sister and I to all her co-workers.

What I remember the most was the Field’s employee Christmas party.

Back then, the stores were closed on Sunday so the store was open to employees and their families only.

The store was beautiful. The “real” Santa was there. We ate in the Walnut room under the big tree and the good fairy was also there to grant a wish and sprinkle fairy dust in our hair.

I will ALWAYS remember Marshall Field.

Macy’s is just not the same.

Please bring back Marshall Field.

Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2011  11:41 am CT
Posted by: F.S.

I was thrilled to read about the efforts to restore the Marshall Fields flagship store on State Street, as reported in the Chicago Tribune this past Sunday. Bravo for everyone's efforts! As a life-long Chicago resident, I too long for the day when the State Street store can once again be a Marshall Fields store, and not a Macy's.

The "Fields" name has long been associated with quality and service, and it would be a wise business decision for Macy's to restore the Field's name to just the State Street store. There has got to be a workable solution to this problem with Macy's!

Date: Monday, November 28, 2011  10:39 pm CT
Posted by: Annie

I started taking younger cousins downtown to see the windows about 20 years ago, when I was just old enough to drive. Eventually took nieces and nephews.

Yesterday, I went with my son.

Ouch. Crass, soulless and utterly forgetful of the "magic" in Christmas that is for children. We went to the Walnut room and the trees made me deeply sad. Solid gold for Donald Trump. Tommy Hilfiger? Martha Stewart? Emeril Lagasse?? What do any of them have to do with Christmas?

And why are the windows shilling their ornaments that you can buy in the store?

The enormous silver, black and white tree looked like something a Bridezilla would demand at her pretentious wedding. The branded mini-trees were straight out of the aluminum glitz factory Charles Schultz invented in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Gross. Vulgar.

Between the cacophony of Irish bar tunes from the lounge, the distantly piped in Christmas Caroles, and the screetching escalator that no one bothered to shut off, it was hardly pleasant or uplifting at our table beneath the monstrosity called a Christmas tree.

Berghoff next year. Or the Drake. Or anywhere where they still understand that Christmas is not for designers and dancing with the stars.

Date: Monday, November 28, 2011  7:09 pm CT
Posted by: A.C.

Love Marshall Field's!

Date: Monday, November 28, 2011  3:15 pm CT
Posted by: C.C.

I'm a Chicago expat currently in California, but hope to return home sometime next year. I REFUSE to shop at the Macy's here for obvious reasons, and because they also sucked up Robinson's, another good old department store (though no Fields by any!) here in my area.

I have forwarded your site URL to all my relatives at home and beyond!

Date: Monday, November 28, 2011  2:35 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

As of Saturday, the four piece box of Frangos is $3.75. If you want four pieces in a CHRISTMAS design printed box, the price is ... $5.00!!! (The box is not wrapped in wrapping paper.) I suppose this would make a nice souvenir if you were visiting Chicago, but I fail to see what you're getting for the extra money.

Date: Monday, November 28, 2011  10:44 am CT
Posted by: J.

Talk is that Macy's is thinking of closing the downtown store in St. Paul, MN.

While the store was Dayton's and Marshall Field's, it was given a tax break. These days, Macy's says the store is profitable but not profitable enough. So rumor mill is that that Macy's will close it in 2013.

I've recently read that that's what happened with I. Magnin in the SanFran area. I.Magnin was profitable but not as much as Macy's liked. So they made them Macy's.

So much for the community.

Date: Monday, November 28, 2011  2:14 am CT
Posted by: Chitown Fielder

Christmas is here again without Chicagoís Fieldís.

I wanted to point out the last time I purchased Frangos I could not find a box with an expiration date on it. I asked an associate why none had it and they said it is all automated by a series of numbers listed on the box and associates continually check to ensure each box is fresh. It just seemed a little strange that this information would be removed from the box. The customer should be able to sight this information as it was at Field's but it was nice to find a batch of boxes that had retained the Marshall Field's logo above FRANGO.

I also believe its funny how macys never wanted to mention or remember the countless department store names they gobbled up and absorbed into just another macys anywhere on their website and now they have this whole "brand heritage" campaign just so they can say the trademarks are all in use.
Christmas will never be the same without Field's. Chicago needs its unique world-renowned emporium back at State Street now more than ever for a prosperous future where everyone benefits.

there's no place like field's

Merry Christmas!

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  10:12 pm CT
Posted by: Anna Beller

Count me among the Field's Fans!!!!

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  7:44 pm CT
Posted by: Customer, Aurora

I was glad to read this is still happening. Macy's is no match for Field's!

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  7:01 pm CT
Posted by: Mary C.

I still miss Marshall Field! Take Carsons away or Sears or Bloomingdale's. BUT I WANT MY MARSHALL FIELD!

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  4:50 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Macy's has apparently converted the Frango "kitchen" on 7 into a fudge making enterprise. Among the types of fudge will be a Frango flavored variety. I just saw the announcement on the State Street website. Which, by the way, they have copied the State Street website for several other flagship locations around the country.

While I find that converting something like Frangos into fudge somewhat demeaning to the brand, Macy's must be given credit that they're adding something unique to 111 North State. In addition, if you look at their website for Union Square in San Francisco, they have expanded the food offerings with new Culinary Council themed venues, much in the style of Field's.

Lundgren said something like there wasn't a place in retail for Field's anymore. Well, Macy's is certainly finding alot of "inspiration" from that store that didn't have place in retail!

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  4:03 pm CT
Posted by: C.

I saw the article today in the Chicago Tribune about bringing back Marshall Field's.  

I hate Macy’s.

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  3:23 pm CT
Posted by: R E H

So happy to see there are still people working to bring back the Marshall Field name. I had no idea there were so many people with the same thoughts as mine. I'd be happy to make a donation for the pamphlets/pins. I, too, have refused to set foot in Macy's. Thanks for keeping the cause going!

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  3:01 pm CT
Posted by: Eric B.

Media coverage like the article in Sunday's Tribune generally helps our cause, however the overall tone of this article might be summed up in the one phrase, "... time has hurt the cause." This makes it sound as though Field's advocates are quietly giving up. Of course, opinion polls and the continuum of encouraging and supportive comments on this blog clearly show that our commitment towards the return of Field's has remained as strong as ever.

Well, my goodness, the irony of having a full-page Macy's ad back-to-back with this story! Note that the ad suggests writing a letter to Santa Claus. What a wonderful suggestion! Here goes: "Dear Santa: For Christmas, please bring back my Marshall Field's ..."

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  8:59 am CT
Posted by: D.S.

Fields was a highlight of my childhood. Does any other store compare to that first floor on State Street? Just look up.

And the Walnut Room. Does anything else say Christmas from my childhood?

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011  8:50 am CT
Posted by: Anita Silvert

I, too, have not walked into a former-Field's store since the change. I was not as offended by the purchase of the store as I was by the loss of the name. I have an empty green Field's gift box in my closet, just as a reminder, to save. I am a third-generation Chicagoan; my grandmother had one of the first Field's credit cards (wish I had that!), and my first card was a Field's card. I remember the day I got it...felt very adult, very Chicago.

Good luck with the cause.

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011  9:12 pm CT
Posted by: M.F.

I saw the article about Marshall Field's. I think it should come back to other stores too.

Parts of the story seemed to be playing down that DOZENS were there this past September for the rally. I didn't know it was happening.. I would have been there. It wasn't about lack of interest.

Keep fighting the good fighT!!!

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011  7:19 pm CT
Posted by: Ann K.

It would be great to have Marshall Fields back. Our family misses it. I don't like the merchandise at Macy's.

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011  2:57 pm CT
Posted by: Steve Solano

SGlad to see the call to action go on. EVERYONE I know wants Field's back.

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011  12:04 pm CT
Posted by: M.F.

I know they are on line and at Macy's in NYC. Do they have Frangos nationwide or just a fragment of the stores. When Field's sold Frango, it was unsual for them to go on sale. Wasn't needed to draw in the throngs.

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011  9:01 am CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Tomorrow's Sunday Chicago Tribune has a short story on In the early edition, it's on page 10. Some good points are made, although of course, not everything is in sync with explaining what were all about. I haven't been able to read the whole thing, but there are some details to quibble with and I don't think it covers the solid arguments of "A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago." But at least there is coverage, no small feat considering that on the right-side page opposite the story, there's a full-page, full-color Macy's ad, one of at least a dozen for Macy's and Bloomingdale's in the paper. (There must be well into the six-figures of Macy's advertising dollars in tomorrow's paper.)

You can read the story and you are encouraged to offer comments at:,0,2660488.story
You can also email a "Letter to the Editor" at I'm sure it would help.

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011  5:34 am CT
Posted by:

ore. Haven't stepped in the store since it became the M store.

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011  10:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

In response to "i_miss_the_regional_nameplates."

Indeed a similar protest yesterday occurred yesterday at 111 N. State St. around maybe 12:45 pm. Several hundred protested against fur sales and for animal rights--our site and .org almost always does not take positions on outside issues. I should point out that such activities date back before Macy's took over and the store was Marshall Field's. As in past years, I witnessed the activities first hand as I was passing out leaflets. That said, Macy's security and other staff, along with the Chicago Police, were appropriately measured and very professional. Contrary to the suggestions of your post, Macy's, in fact, handled it very well.

Sometimes it's useful to raise hypothetical issues and scenarios. At the same time, it's important to be fair, realistic and honest.

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011  9:42 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

Hope your Black Friday was a safe and "Communist Store"-free one! Usually these days are full of crazy people wanting great deals on the hottest gifts -- however, even the nicest stores (certain locations, to be exact), unfortunately, HAVE to be avoided on this day.

In this case, sad news out of Dallas: our historic downtown Neiman Marcus store was vandalized with fake blood by animal rights protestors (obviously these people don't like animals being made into fur coats):
This report from my local CBS station states that the people responsible for this damage were reported to the police and arrested. Animal rights groups typically protest at this very location on Black Friday.

Although the news report doesn't appear to mention the store's cleanup post-protest, I am assuming that Neiman Marcus was quick enough to clean up that mess! Last time I've been in that vicinity, that Neiman's sure seems to still be in immaculate condition! Being in their stores, I've noticed that their locations have an in-house maintenance team. Like the salespeople themselves, the maintenance workers are well-dressed for the job (they look like they should be hosting a home improvement show!) and they maintain and repair EVERYTHING in their stores (apparently even their own escalators and elevators)!

Now IMAGINE if 111 State Street in Chicago faced a similar fate. Would macy*mart even care to clean up the mess? PROBABLY NOT!!!!! [ ]

Yes, Mr. McKay, NOW is the TIME to bring back MARSHALL FIELD'S! Let's hope such a situation NEVER happens to 111 State Street!


P.S. to Jimmy Gimbels: You provide us with some of the funniest, wittiest observations of Chicagoland macy*marts! Will you be the first to tell us that macy*mart netted $0.00 on Black Friday and that their 4th quarter earnings are SUBLEVEL?!?!?? (This is just a dream, folks; one that I hope will come true!)

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011  4:47 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Twenty odd years ago, I purchased some china at Field's. Each piece is some different architectural element; dinner plate has a band of a stone and brick garden wall, salad plate looks like herringbone brick paving, etc. Earlier this year, we downsized our apartment in the city, so this china made it out to our place in the country.

A month ago, I pulled it out for a dinner party. A guest sits down at the table and she asks me where did I find this china? I said Field's, to which she replied "I hate Macy's". While an Illinois native, this woman has lived the last 30 or so years in New Orleans. Next to her, was a business professor from Iowa. He adds in "The conversion of Field's to Macy's has got to be the dumbest branding decision in the history of retail". Basically all twelve people at the table jump in and nothing positive was said about Macy's.Yesterday we used this china for Thanksgiving. Our guests were a couple originally from Detroit. Once again, first thing out of the wife's mouth was "where did you get this china". I said Field's, to which she replied "God, I miss that store, Macy's is not the same". Her husband chimes in, " no it's not the same, Macy's is a dump".

Now here we are 5 years after the "conversion" and 170 miles from State Street and people that aren't Chicagoans still miss Field's and dislike Macy's. If any trolls from Macy's are reading this, take note!

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Many thanks to all who contributed to making our lunch time efforts on State Street a success today, Black Friday. Several hundred bookmark-style leaflets and buttons were distributed. Only one person stopped to disagree: it turned out that they miss Marshall Field's but are cynical since it is not back yet. I reminded them that the State Street mall was considered flop circa 1979 when it was unveiled; but it took until the mid-1990s to remove the "mall" and set things back on track.

Special thanks to all who helped make this all possible, especially Fred S. in Virginia and "gle".

Hope that you can join us when we repeat in the coming weeks on Saturdays, December 3rd and 10th and other dates and times.

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011  10:04 am CT
Posted by: Martha G.

The holidays aren't the same without Marshall Field's. I felt the sadness when I woke up this morning and realized it was the start of the Christmas season.

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011  9:23 am CT
Posted by: M.P.

We live in Oregon. We miss Marschall Field's and Company here too. We don't shop Macy's.

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011  7:23 am CT
Posted by: Margaret C.

When Disney took over Jim Henson's studios, they didn't become "Disney's Muppets" and the movies from Pixar stayed "Disney Pixar" like Toy Story.

Seems like a no brainer--they should have at least left it Marshall Field's.

Date: Thursday, November 24, 2011  CT
Posted by:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011  11:12 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Macy's --and especially its predecessor R.H. Macy's & Co.--does deservedly hold a very iconic place in the American retail landscape and in the hearts of more than a few million shoppers. But Marshall Field's holds such an amazing, unmatched iconic status as an emporium and institution that is beloved by millions upon millions, even many New Yorkers. It's sad that Macy's can't recognize that by restoring a hugely valuable asset and icon to Chicago. They'd win so much good will.

Periodically, I just have to comment that some of the criticisms of Macy's are extreme or sometimes exaggerated. I think this simply is another side of the immense passion Marshall Field's lovers world-wide feel for our lost emporium and how much we still want it back at State Street.

Blessed Thanksgiving to all.


Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011  10:14 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

According to this Yahoo article, macy*mart is one of the best stores for BARGAIN shopping. Can you "Believe" macy*mart (along with Target and Toys R Us) offer more Black Friday discounts than their competitor walmart?
Perhaps their holiday advertising should emphasize the bargain store notoriety by using this slogan: "Nothing says CHEAP like a gift from macy*mart!"

Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011  5:49 pm CT
Posted by: Rudy Treece

Marshall Field's Faithful:

Don't forget to give THAT RED PLACE absolutely ZERO on Black Friday especially. Imagine the impact if every retailer in Chicago is BOOMING on Friday (and tomorrow during this crazy year) and THAT RED PLACE is only attracting crickets and those that don't know any better.

Onward toward the return of Marshall Field and Company

Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011  4:01 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

Best wishes on Black Friday and the weeks until Christmas for the leaflet distribution! Your latest leaflet design sounds pretty clever (with the Great Clock and all)! Too bad I am unable to make it there on those dates, but I totally support the "once and future Marshall Field's!"

Have fun and let's make this a "Miracle on STATE Street!!!!!"


Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011  1:53 pm CT
Posted by: gle



Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011  9:01 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

We'll be out on State Street distributing leaflets and buttons this Friday, November 25 from at least 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. In the coming weeks, we will be doing the same on Saturdays December 3 & 10. More dates will be announced here. Be sure to come by under the State & Washington clock if you'd like to help or receive a pin on button. Our latest design says, "TIME TO BRING BACK Marshall Field's" with a drawing of one of the Great Clocks.

Have a great Thanksgiving and many thanks for your support.

Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2011  9:32 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Passed through Macy's at Woodfield and both Macy's and Bloomingdale's at Oak Brook today. Of the local ornaments at Macy's, a glass ornament replica of a square Frango box seems to be selling well; not so much for the Marshall Field's clocks. As mentioned, some of the local-themed ornaments seem to be mid-range quality versions of higher quality ornaments offered by Field's. Bloomingdale's is also selling local-themed ornaments; they are very nice and seem to be locally made but are very expensive. A Chicago Theatre sign ornament goes for $50.

The stores weren't all that busy but it was a Tuesday afternoon, so that wouldn't be so unusual. While in Bloomingdale's it struck me how Macy's, Inc. could have easily had a third wildly-successful store and brand--Marshall Field's. Truly a missed opportunity.

Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2011  3:12 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

National Retail Federation releases list of retailers with best customer service. 9,400 shoppers named the following, listed in alphabetical order:

Once again, no Macy's or Bloomingdale's.

Story at

Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2011  8:45 am CT
Posted by: Mary H.

We miss Marshall Field's. Macy's isn't as good, not even close.

Date: Monday, November 21, 2011  8:30 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

A "Field" report from Dallas, TX.


I was at a mall in North Dallas the other day. Although a week before "black weekend," I am sorry to say that I found some people carrying macy*mart bags. The silver lining: I only spotted 3 or 4 of them!

AND HERE'S EVEN BETTER NEWS: about 75% of people in the mall were carrying Neiman Marcus bags and about 66% of them were carrying Nordstrom bags! And yes, these stores were packed to the brim with shoppers! I'm pretty sure this is because Dallas's economy is still healthy (more or less), and that there are people trying to avoid the Red Star, but starting this month, Neiman Marcus has welcomed Visa and MasterCard holders to their stores! Don't worry, Neiman's is still that great, fancy store from Dallas everybody knows and loves, even though they added those "commoner cards" to their registers in addition to Neiman's, Bergdorf's, and American Express cards!

You know what this reminds me of, speaking of? Spending some time in the Northwest many years ago, I think I remember Nordstrom used to accept only two cards: their own and Visa. Beginning in the late 90's or early 2000's, Nordstrom added MasterCard, Discover, and American Express to their credit card lineup, bringing their card roster up to five. Nordstrom, however, still rose in popularity, quality, service, and of course, style. Does anybody know Marshall Field's credit card history? Have they always accepted all the major four credit cards in addition to Field's own, Target (early 90s until the sale to May), and could you ever use Saks Fifth Avenue cards when Field's was owned by British American Tobacco?

I mentioned Neiman's before, and I just wanted to add something to the Harrods report I posted: some of the Christmas windows were promoting Swarvorski (?) crystal, and some of these windows had a Moroccan theme! I know since the mid-80s Harrods had some mid-Eastern connection (was owned by a rich Egyptian, later sold to the Qataris), but those Moroccan windows reminded me of Neiman Marcus's old "Fortnight" celebrations: every fall, Neiman's used to have a two-week salute to a foreign country, showcasing goods from that representing country and holding events such as dances and art exhibitions from that country as well! There are framed posters of these "Fortnights," which can be seen from dressing rooms to restrooms and even at their in-house restaurants (e.g. the Zodiac).


While I'm in Dallas, here's a great, Field's-like establishment I would recommend to any Field's fan residing in or visiting/talking to friends/family/co-workers in Dallas: Stacy Furniture! No, the building may not look totally bright inside, but I like what that always-family-owned establishment has to offer. They have an entire upper floor devoted to furniture; these are mostly name-brand furniture along with Stacy's own brand, and many of these items are made -- where else -- in the U.S.A.! The furniture looks very nice, and come in many styles for many rooms for many tastes! The downstairs is where it gets even better: stores-within-a-store! I found an appliance store where 95% of its inventory comes from Viking, Fisher & Paykel, Wolf, Miele, Thermador, Electrolux, Bosch, KitchenAid, etc. (you know, the good stuff that'll last forever?), plus they offer free bottles of water, free sodas, and fresh cookies daily! There's also a Carpet One store, a children's furniture store, an interior decorator center, and a restaurant/bar with curbside takeout! I found a darkened, vacant space temporarily used for storage; perhaps someone could start a Field's-like or Harrods-like bakery to accompany the dining room sets they sell? There is so much to see and do there, I could feel the calories burning! Currently, they have a Grapevine location (near our airport), a Plano location and an Allen location, and their slogan is: "If you're not shopping at Stacy's, you're burning money!" (Cue the flaming stash of $100 bills here, LOL)

Anybody know if there are stores like this in Chicago? If so, consider adding a Chicago equivalent of Stacy's to the alternative shopping list!

Sorry again for another "novel" on service, selection, and quality, but that's the Field's Fans Chicago spirit, isn't it? I shall continue to seek more gems like these and I have already blueprinted my future shopping plans -- and that CERTAINLY ain't macy*mart!


Date: Monday, November 21, 2011  6:18 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hello Field's Fans,

I was walking on Randolph St. yesterday and noticed one of the Macy's windows. It's a Christmas display full of stuffed animals and people, gathered to sing carols. A flash of green caught my eye, as one of the creatures is holding a little book (presumably of Christmas carol music), in TWO SHADES OF GREEN. It is clearly left over from the former Glory Days of Marshall Field's. I don't know if the window dresser knew its signifance or not, but I felt such a wave of nostalgia for a real Field's Christmas! I can't decide if the little touch of Field green made me feel better or worse - better because even a trace of Field's conjures such happy memories, or worse because the "m store" has taken away the pride and joy of Chicago, Marshall Field's, which was more of its splendid self at Christmas than any other time.

Now more than ever, in this season of hope and renewal, we must continue our boycott of macy's and hold out for the rebirth of Field's.

With love from Zelda

Date: Sunday, November 20, 2011  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Oh me, oh my. It has been such a long time since I've written to my fellow Fields Fans. The holidays are upon us and that has me thinking more and more of Fields. Lots of decorations from that fabulous store...and plenty of Fields boxes to put gifts in.

I found myself at Old Orchard Mall a while back. I've have not been in the mall since the Macy's invasion. Once thing about the building, you can clearly see the scar where the Fields signage was placed. Those wacky folks at Macy's never thought to clean off the building. Inside, the lack of customers was noticeable. Down at Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor, the places were jumping even on a Wednesday afternoon. Macy's was quite the ghost town. This is why I tend to doubt the press releases sent out by Macys that claim sales are just fine...I honestly never see very many people in the stores. For November, the store had rack upon rack of of summer markdowns. Even at 60% off, no one was looking. In the home goods areas, plenty of empty shelves since Macy's does not seem to have enough merchandise to fill housewares.

The ornaments in Holiday Lane are uninspired. Don't bother. I checked them out so you don't have to.

No sales people. No service. Jumpled tables of merchandise spilling onto the floor. Dusty boxes of Frangos. You know, the typical Macy's experience.

Holiday decor in the store in once again a stack of red boxes wrapped in a bow. Yawn.

By the way, check out the new book "Gimbels Has It!" with content contributed by yours truly. After all, "Gimbels in the store of a million gifts." Available on Amazon and e-bay.

Date: Sunday, November 20, 2011  7:13 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

A few days ago, Crains Chicago Business had a couple of articles on State Street which were very informative. But the most interesting were the comments for each which had a heavy emphasis -- and many "recommended"'s -- for bring back Marshall Field's on State Street.

One can view the two articles at the following URLs:

State Street Gets Decked Out

State Street Nixes Holiday White Lights

Date: Sunday, November 20, 2011  12:20 pm CT
Posted by: Mary Carol C.

Last week I was at our local Michigan mall, which used to have an actual Marshall Field's. Of course, now it is Macy's. I looked for the Food Department, to purchase the smallest box of Frango Mints that they carry. I also hoped to browse the delectable assortment of jams, jellies, crackers, teas, coffees, and gourmet foods that Field's always carried, that used to remind me of the splendor of the Christmas season, both by sight and smell. As I exited the escalator, I walked ahead to the Food Department. After searching the entire lower level, I realized that the tiny candy counter tucked under the escalator, was the Department. Sigh. I just want my Marshall Field's back.

Date: Saturday, November 19, 2011  10:16 pm CT
Posted by: Alan

One must give credit where credit is due, and the Downtown Pittsburgh Red Star looked clean, neat and somewhat festive when I visited this afternoon. Last night was "Light Up Night" featuring fireworks and all sorts of family activities in our walkable, safe downtown and the sidewalks were quite crowded with pedestrians today. The Red Star holiday display windows were certainly much better than last year. The Fifth Avenue window (under the famous Kaufmann's clock) had a display promoting the "Yes, Virginia" television special. The windows along Smithfield Street had circles cut into dark backgrounds; the inside of each circle featured animation and the backgrounds told the stories. Basically, the theme is how the holidays are brought to us by the "exclusive" Red Star "celebrity" designers. People WERE looking at the animations and this was certainly a vast improvement over last year's construction paper cutouts. The other display windows along Forbes and Fifth avenues featured store merchandise and holiday decorations with the Believe theme; these also looked decent--nothing spectacular, just okay.

The main floor and arcade level were fairly busy and there were some people carrying Red Star shopping bags. The decor was green swag garland accented with shiny red balls--same as last year. Santa sat on a throne on the main floor which somehow lacked the "magic" of the former Enchanted Village on the now closed 7th floor.

The crowds and decorations thinned out as I ventured to upper floors. Most of the decor consisted of shiny red balls hanging from the ceiling and Believe posters. It looked okay, pretty much like Sears.

What caught my eye in the 6th floor homewares department (edited down from 6, 7, 8 and 10) was the THANKSGIVING & HOLIDAY COOKBOOK produced by the macy*s Culinary Council. The book was very nicely done--again I must give credit where it is due--and contained information on the Thanksgiving parade as well as gourmet recipes. The listing of chefs was impressive and the cookbook was attractive, but this might be considered a rather strange publication since the Red Star has closed many of the in-store restaurants throughout its empire and has eliminated most of the "better" cookware lines. (Highly unlikely these famous chefs would be using Martha Stewart kitchen implements or equipment.)

Date: Saturday, November 19, 2011  12:20 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

As if anyone's interested, Messy's finally unveiled the State and Randolph corner window. This is the RED window. Two giant RED holiday ornaments provide a centerpiece (one is flashy sequined and the other plain), against a RED backdrop. Mannequins sport mostly plaid attire (some RED and and some white). There's a big RED "Believe" sign across the glass. That's that window.

I must admit it provides some contrast to the frosty white theme along Sate Street, and the almost blinding party-flash gold in the State and Washington corner. I fail to understand Messy's problem with diversity and mixing colors. Of course, I don't understand Messy's anyway.

Date: Friday, November 18, 2011  7:29 pm CT
Posted by: Alan

I think the post about Walgreen's and Duane Reade is highly relevant. Walgreen's purchased Duane Reade right when the latter embarked on a major campaign to renovate its stores (many of which were old and drab). It would have been the perfect opportunity to convert them all to Walgreen's way of doing things, but instead Walgreen's kept up the existing program. If you have a chance to visit NYC, the renovated Duane Reade stores are actually very nicely laid out and appointed, and a lot nicer than most Walgreen's, CVS, or Rite Aid stores (even relatively new ones). They took a brand that had started to lose its luster, and rather than kill it off, they restored it.

I often wonder why Macy's didn't do the same with Marshall Field's, particularly after they launched their regional "My Macy's" program (a repudiation of their previous national strategy that resulted in the rebranding of the May stores). Field's didn't even need "restoration," since Target had done a good job toward the end of its ownership in improving the stores.

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011  9:15 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

I may not have mentioned this before, but I am a fan of aviation, too.

I was browsing around at some of the airplane trips people have taken when I came upon this excellent trip report: an airline fan from Ireland had taken a day trip to shop at Harrods for Christmas!

(I do apologize, but you'll have to scroll down a LONG way to get to the Harrods part.)

Looking at those photos, THIS is what I think a revived Marshall Field's should be like. Beautiful Christmas windows, decorations galore, yummy culinary delights (sit-down or take-away, as the Brits call it) - and not a single fruit fly in sight! Makes you really feel for the Cook County health inspectors - the State Street store probably aced their routine food inspection tests with flying colors (as Field's, of course), but when "the Communist store" had taken over - State Street started to get "straight F's" on their reports! And boy, I'm sure some of these inspectors were broken-hearted to notice this!!!!!

Fields IS Chicago - boycott macy*mart!


Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011  7:17 pm CT
Posted by: James in Minneapolis

Hi All---

Wow---Macy's has just announced its 8th floor holiday show here for 2011. Since the mid 1950s it has been an animated display that changes every year and it takes about 20 - 30 mins to walk through. This is the 4th year that Macy's is doing the same show---"A Day in the Life of an Elf." Even a columnist in the Star Tribune was guffawing the fact that its the 4th year of the same show. Dayton's & Marshall Field's here put significant resources into creating wonderful, new, unique shows every year.

There was grumbling last year and attendance was down. I suspect this year will be a year of very large decreases in attendance and significantly more complaints. And that may be the end of the show completely as Macy's decides to abandon it due to apathy toward this "wonderful holiday tradition produced by Macy's every year for the people of Minneapolis."

But then again----who know? They tried for 2 years to pull the Spring Flower Show out of the 8th floor Auditorium and put it on the main floor of the selling floor space. That was an incredible disaster for them; it has returned to the auditorium. They tried to say things like, "New! Creative! Fun! This will now match what we do in NY & San Francisco Stores." And everyone here saw that it was a much less fun, much less creative, much cheaper version of our Minneapolis Flower Show. Attitudes here were, "That might work in NY and SF----not good enough for the Minne-Apple."

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011  12:30 pm CT
Posted by: interested party

This changing retail climate is a reality, we lost the old great stores Gimbels, Wannamakers, Miller & Rhodes, Field's, Carson Pirie Scott, and almost every hometown chain except for Boscov's is pretty much gone. Even Macy's is not the same as it was in the 80's and 90's. A new book has come out on amazon .com Gimbels HAd IT. It should be interesting to read about another icon gone, in fact it was the first one to really go. The old May Company stores were really nothig aof what they used to ie Hecht's, Filene;s, Foley's etc, just a clone of the Famus Barr Company in St.Louis.

I can at least remember the old days when the stores in most major citires , Chicago, St.Louis, Houston, Philadelpia, Pittsburgh would try to outdo each other for Christmas. State Street deccorations Field's, Carson,s Wieboldt's, Goldblatts, Sears. Now Carson's puts up a few store decorations and that is it. Dillard's the same.

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011  8:54 pm CT
Posted by: drew

How exciting! The Downtown Pittsburgh Red Star holiday window display is based on "celebrity" ornaments:
So are these display windows a gift to the community or just an advertisement for the Red Star's "exclusive" celebrity merchandise?

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011  7:29 pm CT
Posted by: Stephen G.

I did not see Macy's on the "best place to work" list either. Not sure why, but possibly to validate that, a co-worker was hired by Macy's for the Holiday Season specifically to fill in hours where other employees did not show up. She was expecting very minimal hours to be offered, but to her surprise, she was called daily (if not twice a day) to fill in for employees who did not show up. She had to resigned the position after the first 10 days because she could not even begin to/or able to work all the hours she was offered..!! This could be a "telling" story on why Macy's was not on the "best place to work" list....or maybe not..??

Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2011  5:59 pm CT
Posted by: AJ.

The decorations inside State St look like Sears'. The windows are really just sails windows...they are selling bad ornaments. I don't think they mention Christmas once. The store doesn't look nearly as good or elegant as it used to. The decline at the Stores-Formerly-Known-As-Marshall-Field's represents what's wrong with this country.

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Here's a review on a newly published book about "Burdine's--The Florida Store."
Be sure to read (and perhaps add to) the comment section. Most of the remarks are anti-macy*s; shoppers want something unique to their area and the cookie cutter, bland, uninspired merchandise of America's discount department store doesn't seem to interest shoppers.

In addition to several books on Marshall Field's, recent publications feature Lazarus, Gimbels, John Wanamaker, Hutzler's, Hess's, Foley's, Jacobson's, J. L. Hudson's, and other beloved regional department stores. Evidently there is still an interest and fondness for these stores. If the arrogant, celebrity struck, triple headed narcissist who runs the Red Star would check around, perhaps he would find that restoring some of these regional stores in name and quality would bring even more shoppers and their money into his stores. His "lowest common denominator" strategy isn't working and sales result only from massive discounts and excessive coupons. There is no loyalty with shoppers who are only looking for the lowest possible price; shoppers who want value, quality and style have moved on.

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011  5:22 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Really enjoyed the comments by "i miss the regional nameplates." Shopping ISN'T fun any more, in large measure because every mall and retail venue has the same stores. With the holiday season approaching, so many people are looking for a "good outfit" (or several) and for "special" gifts. While the "regional nameplates" were the usually the source of clothing one would be proud to wear and gifts which were a joy to give and receive, the bland and mundane wares of macy*mart are sorely lacking. Indeed, so many people have walked into macy*mart and have walked out empty handed because there was nothing distinctive. While Kohl's and JC Penney are stocking more brand names and upgrading their stores and merchandise, macy*mart has become nothing more than another discount store. Several Black Friday news stories have stated macy*mart's "competition" is Target and walmart--enough said.

Also liked the article about Walgreen's taking the best of Duane Read stores and upgrading its namesake locations. They GET it! Interesting that women are not buying cosmetics at department stores as much as in the past. Wonder if the shoppers who have given up on macy*mart for clothing and homewares have now purchasing cosmetics elsewhere. Perhaps some other retailers recognize all the mistakes made by macy*mart and realize the importance of "giving the lady what she wants."

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011  10:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Exactly a year ago, the Chicago Tribune had a special report of the highest-ranked places to work in Chicago in 2010. Macy's was ranked in the report as number 2. I believe that was both overall and among large businesses. The 2010 study is at There was also a special insert section.

Today, the Tribune repeats the report for 2011. I can't even find Macy's on the list--anywhere. Am I missing it? Here's the link to the new 2011 report:,0,2444402.story
and a searchable database

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011  5:34 am CT
Posted by: State Street Observer

I walked through the lower level of the Marshall Field's building from the Lake Red line subway station to 25 E Washington yesterday just after 5. It was dead enough that I could have rolled a bowling ball down the main aisle from the subway entrance past Frangos to the food court and not hit anyone.

The only way Macy's seems to get customers is to offer huge sales and coupons. Imagine if they had done the same for Marshall Field's. They'd have double the business, at least. It's Christmas season and I truly miss Marshall Field and Company.

Date: Monday, November 14, 2011  10:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The Chicago Tribune's Sandra Jones has a couple of interesting articles on Walgreens and State Street.

Sandra Jones' story on Walgreens all but officially confirms that the drugstore is returning to State and Randolph with a flagship store that is better than ever, featuring a few things they picked up at Duane Reade. It will be Walgreen's largest store and even restore a Walgreen's soda fountain. Meanwhile, in NYC, Duane Reade keeps its identity, but where it makes sense to be national, it shows a small Walgreen's logo, like on its pharmacies.

We here at point to Walgreen's as an example of a national chain that has done the right thing in acquiring and assimilating a regional chain, dovetailing it nicely, and incorporating the best of NYC's Duane Reade into Walgreen's nationwide, while localizing by keeping Duane Reade's name and developing its best attributes.

As we pointed out in our proposal, A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago,, Walgreens presents a fine example of Macy's should have done with Field's.

The other story is simply about State Street.

Here are links to the two articles--be sure to comment!

On Walgreens flagship at State & Randolph (featured on the front of the Business section of the Sunday, November 13, 2011 Chicago Tribune):,0,1335930.story
State Street, from last week:,0,5806236.story

Date: Monday, November 14, 2011  12:01 am CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism has a well-written explanation of Macy's third-quarter report from last week. Profits up a lot but margins down a lot:

Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011  9:51 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

Another peek at Google Maps; unlike the "Seattle Surprise" I discovered, there's no humor here.

(Note that I will be posting a single link at the end, hence the list that follows)

- Westfield Fox Valley (west side)

- Oakbrook Center (southwest side; note the parking garage)

- Stratford Square Mall (northwest side)

- River Oaks Mall (southwest side)

Okay, so this isn't a complete list, but I think you get my point...

Note that these are satellite shots; I haven't had time to check "Street View" as of typing. Isn't it just sad to look at those Marshall Field's wings just to see little or no parking action over in those areas?

Now for something different: if you compare the Oakbrook satellite shot to the nearly-identical, circa-1998 version on "MSRMaps," the parking lots around Field's were so full (except for the parking garage), some of the cars were parked very close to the streets! (Type in "Oak Brook, IL" and look for the mall as an "AERIAL PHOTO.")


Moving on: I really, really enjoy this website and all (sort of a "Jump the Shark" for retailing, though its TV counterpart fell victim to corporate greed almost 3 years ago), and I totally support Field's return, but there are some things that really irk me when I read the comments: first (and this is an important one!), why does there seem to be glorified comments and articles on how well macy*mart is performing? For example, Mr. McKay's November 9th posting states that their "crown jewel locations" of Herald Square (soon to be extensively remodeled), State Street, and Water Tower Place have performed "very well." Your research and hard work is excellent (especially your "21st Century Proposal" and your annual trips to confront Mr. Lunkhead!), but I don't want to watch the "Red Star Store" amass profits or try to woo back Field's shoppers after 5 tedious years. Honestly, I want to watch macy*mart crash and burn; I want to see them admit that their tarnishing a well-established New York brand to trash unique regional nameplates, fire even the heritage salespeople, and replace high-quality local and designer favorites with low-brow, counterfeit-like junk such as Alphony, STINC, Choker Club, Tennis Elbow, Donald Schlump, Martha "Con-Woman" Stewart and others was a TERRIBLE MISTAKE!

Second, I hate how "Lunkhead and his minions" is trying to attract the 15-30 year old crowd or something into liking their stores and letting them run the show. I'm in my mid-20s and even I despise what macy*mart has in store. My family and I have grown up on Polo Ralph Lauren products and we have admired their designs and quality so much. Growing up (I was born in Florida), I may have worn some clothes from "Burdines - The Florida Store" and I also remember "Frederick and Nelson," "The Bon Marche," "Foley's," and of course, "Marshall Field's." When we came to Texas in 1995, we have enjoyed going to the Galleria and we had both a "Marshall Field's" from the early 80's (now a new location for Saks Fifth Avenue) and -- guess what -- a Macy's from the mid-80's! Both were exceptionally nice stores with a nice selection of products; the latter mentioned store (Macy's) was, of course, before they sold their soul to the Corporate Devil about 10 years later. Although I still like that mall because of the Sony Store, Macy's used to be the whole reason why I enjoyed shopping at the Galleria -- now, ironically, Macy's is the whole reason why I am seeking shopping alternatives! Thank goodness I'm still in Texas; we've got Dillard's (a great store), Nordstrom (we were excited with joy when they came to Texas; they are hugely popular here), and our hometown store, Neiman Marcus! (I've got an interesting story on Neiman's I will post later. It may have already loaded; I had a bit of trouble uploading it last time.) Sorry if this sounds pro-Macy's, but I still enjoy their Thanksgiving Day Parade, though.

Finally, I know times are tough, but I hate how people keep mentioning in some previous posts that we should be shopping at Wal-Mart nowadays. I mean, looking at movies and TV shows from yore (especially in the first half of the 20th century, as well as the late 70s/early 80s), there were always people dressing in nice clothes, living in haute establishments, doing things rich people do -- why can't we still have that feeling today? I'm sure the mid-to-upper tier storefronts (such as the original Sharper Image) were already performing well in the mid 2000's; the macy*marting of America was just one big corporate/economic suicide. I mean, once THAT happened, nobody seemed to be interested in shopping anymore; I know we (even myself) are trying to avoid the Red Star by seeking alternatives, but even these alternatives have/are suffering, too! Gone are Sharper Image, Linens 'n Things, Circuit City, Mervyn's, Filene's Basement, etc. (okay, some of them have always been bottom-of-the-heap, but I think you get my drift) In one post a long time back, the General Growth Properties bankruptcy mostly stemmed from the macy*mart changeover!!!!! I like what Strategic Marks LLC is doing (sorry if I keep mentioning that in EVERY post; I also want their proposed trademarks back as well) to fix the retail industry; looks like instead of just McKay and a few others going to Cincinnati every year, we need the whole town of Chicago to fight Mr. Lunkhead! An army camouflaged in both shades of Field's green -- now THAT would be awesome!


WHEW! Sorry if I kept you reading (or if I went far from my original points), but I just wanted to vent my feelings on what damage "the Communist store" has done not only to Chicago and retailing in general, but the entire world. If any of you are reaching out to Lunkhead, Strategic Marks, Selfridges, Qatar, etc., I found an archived list of ALL former Field's locations so that we can start fresh!
(Look for "Former Locations" on that page.)

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and be sure to look at the "Shopping Guide" to help keep your time and dollars away from the Red Star!

And remember: this Field's (and specialty store) Fan checks for crazy "Google Maps" regarding macy*mart SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO!!!!!

Until I post again...


Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011  6:32 pm CT
Posted by: Vanessa

I was in the State Street store on Friday, passing through.

The store was busy and the Walnut Room had a little bit of a line. I decided to take a look at the Field's t-shirts I've read about here, the one's Macy's is selling. I was referred to the customer service desk... the talk among the employees at the desk was that the store was busy for a sale with Veterans' Day tourists who had come in on rental buses.

The store would do better without a lot of fuss if it were simply Marshall Field's.

Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: Fred S., Virginia

Marshall Fields fans want to restore Chicago's iconic retailer in every metropolitan american shopping mall where it once was located. We boycott Macy's and stopped shopping Macy's as a result a long time ago. We no longer purchase our clothes from the stores that are now Macy's. Please restore Marshall fields as well as Hechts. If Macy's were to bring these stores back to America's metropolitan shopping malls they would surely win more customers and even more good will.

What Macy's has done to the department store is a reflection of the same bigger problems in today's America. We hope that Macy's and other corporations will do the right thing and listen to its customers. If so, in ten years, we'd see a lot more job creation and prosperity. Restoring Marshall Field's, Hechts and like would serve this cause. You build it--they will come. In the mean time, consumers will save their discretionary funds. But bring back these old chains like in the old glory days of America and we'd see a rebirth. Restoring Marshall Field's would be the greatest service to our country and its people. Thank you.

Date: Saturday, November 12, 2011  4:20 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

As of last Wednesday, the State Street window under the clock (Washington and State) finally added a display--"Be Brilliant." Golden, icy and silvery, with some contrasting black, ultra-glitzy attire is flaunted by mannequins. It definitely says party, but not really holiday. The window at State and Randolph was still undercover of a black "pardon our appearance" curtain. Wish factory windows in between are as described in previous posts.

Traffic in the store seemed to have settled back into the usual curious trickle, after a stepped-up crowd for the tree-lighting November 5. Interior decorations are simple and not much different from previous years--lots of red, green boughs, plain silver balls, and yellow lights.

I am happy to see copies of "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago" by Gayle Soucek, as well as other books mentioning either Field's or Christmas on State Street at several locations on the 7th floor by the Walnut Room. The Walnut Room was less than half full at about 5:30 p.m., I saw no line.

Tables to write Virginia letters to Santa can be found by the center escalator on the lower level, and the entrance to the 7th floor archives room. I made use of a green crayon and gave Santa my Christmas wish to bring back Marshall Field's.

Date: Saturday, November 12, 2011  10:55 am CT
Posted by: David S.

Watched "The Time Travelers Wife" last night - shed a tear.

One of the opening scenes is a young girl running through a suburban Chicago field with a Green Marshall Fields Shopping Bag.

It caught me by surprise, and I couldn't really focus on the movie for a few minutes because it made me so happy to see it - but so sad at the same time.

Christmas is here with no Marshall Fields again - so sad.

Happy Holidays to all..


Date: Friday, November 11, 2011  2:34 pm CT
Posted by: Mary Atkins, Wheaton, Illinois

We miss Marshall Field's in our house. Macy's is not much better than Kohl's and is about the same as Carson's. Why can't we at least have State Street back?

I don't shop at Macy's since five years ago. Sad but true.

Date: Friday, November 11, 2011  4:21 pm CT
Posted by: Per-Gunnar F.

We are planning to come to Chicago from Delft [near Rotterdam, The Netherlands] next month. We wish that Marshall Field and Company was brought back.

What was great about Marshall Field was that it was a truly European department store but also American. No other store, even Macy's in New York, matches it.

We plan to pass on Macy's in Chicago and hope that you are successful someday.

Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011  5:58 pm CT
Posted by: L.W., Northridge, California

I love the movement you are working at! 

Marshall fields was always the first, and most time, only place to do your shopping. When I was little, it was always an outing to go have lunch at Fields.

I have fond memories of my mother, aunt and especially my grandma and us kids going there for lunch and then getting a treat from the candy counter afterwards.

We went there to get our school clothes at the beginning of the year and our snow boots and winter parkas.

Of course, where else would you go to sit in Santa's lap and tell him what you hope to get, for which you where rewarded with a candy cane.

It was always so special to come home with those green bags filled with shopping goodies! Remember when they tried to change them to brown bags? The green came back pretty quickly!

Boy, do I miss Fields! I hope they can be brought back sometime soon!

Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011  7:01 am CT
Posted by: [Private]

After the survey results for renaming Marshall Field's, I have to agree that it's hard to believe that Macy's says anything without a lot of spin.

Keep trying.

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: State Street Observer

What I got out of the comments is that views Chicago as having two flagships. Apparently so since she mentioned both State Street and Water Tower. You think they would "allow" (sarcasm) one of them to be Field's. It would be the maximized use the store.

A while back I was poking around Macy's web site. They have all sorts of photos of their stores in NYC, San Fran, Florida and California. None of Chicago.

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Whatever the case, two things are certain:

One: If they had spent even half the money they have spent ramming Macy's down our throats instead on Field's, it would be doing double the business they are now.

Two: The vast majority of people still want Marshall Field's instead of Macy's. Macy's still does not listen to its customers.

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  1:23 pm CT
Posted by: Mary Stangora, or just call me skeptical of Macy's spin.

In 2005 or 2006, before the switch, Macy's Terry Lundgren announced that they had a survey that said no one cared if Field's became Macy's. I think they said 60% didn't care.

About the same time, the Tribune ran one of those "click me" surveys which showed otherwise. It was around 90% who wanted Field's to stay.

How could there be such a discrepancy? Roger Ebert said in his commentary that either the results were unlikely or "useless, since no one believes them anyways."

So now Macy's says the two downtown Marshall Field's stores are their biggest in the Macy's chain.

I would believe it, but I need to see numbers, especially after such controversy. I think they are playing with numbers to shut people up.

How is it that these people at Macy's can say things without actual numbers? If the numbers are so great, they should be happy to announce the stats and show how they arrived at them. Maybe they don't want competitors to know everything, but this is exceptional. And it's not like the stores are doing badly, so they claim.

Regardless, Marshall Field's is a great name worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Even if they attached it to State Street's Macy's and re-instituted the green bags, I'm sure they'd rake in more dough than ever. Why don't these people want to make customers happy????

It's time that Macy's showed its hand. If they did, this would all go away.

In other post, I'm looking for one of those Marshall Field's bags for Christmas that they had about twelve years ago. AND I NEED IT FOR THIS WEEKEND! There was a clear plastic window on it. You can call 312-804-6814 if you have one to sell. (Could my phone number be deleted after this weekend?) I'll pay up to $10. Thx.

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  11:39 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Be sure to check out, download, printout and distribute our new book mark flyers designed just in time for the holiday season.

Flyer and instructions can be viewed here.

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  10:20 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Listened to Macy's, Inc. Q3 2011 conference call and a portion of the subsequent analyst Q & A with CFO Karen Hoguet.

Ms. Hoguet cited three regions in the south as being their best-performing regions in the 3rd quarter; she also specifically mentioned by named the tourist destination stores of Herald Square, State Street, Water Tower and Union Square (San Francisco) as being their best-performing follows: "In addition, tourist stores in other regions like Herald Square in New York, State Street and Water Tower in Chicago, as well as San Francisco did very well..."*

With four out of five Chicago shoppers indicating that they prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's, consider how well they could do if they returned Marshall Field's to State Street. The last appraised value of the Marshall Field's brand is worth double the entire market cap of Carson's parent and about 4% of Macy's entire net worth.

* The words were lined out and replaced with the italicized quote from "Seeking Alpha" at 4:35 pm, today. See

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  9:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

When I was reading the posts about the closing of Filene's Basement last week, I was a bit skeptical in a certain way.

But for Bostonians, Filene's Basement (separately-owned and operated from Macy's owned Filene's) was an anchor and tourist destination for Downtown Crossing, an area loosely similar to State Street.

There in Boston, there is a movement to bring back a single Filene's Basement--in a temporary location at Downtown Crossing for now--for SOME of the very same reasons that we want to bring back Marshall Field's.

Here's a great story on the topic--I hope that you will read it:

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  8:23 am CT
Posted by: Pete

It's curious that Terry Lundgren nor Rahm Emanuel showed up for the tree lighting. Lundgren was at every tree lighting from 2006-2010. Daley was there from 2007-2010.

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  6:23 am CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Who says a store can't come back?

After a hiatus of five or six years, Walgreen's is indeed moving back to 151 N State, across the street from the Marshall Field and Company Department Store building. The store will be one of their most important in the chain.

Construction is already underway. A permit in the window indicates that officially it will be Walgreen's.

While there are over 6,000 Walgreen's stores, this was one that is well known, especially because of its proximity to Field's. Walgreen's was a fixture in this location for something like 70 years. Around the time that we lost Field's to Macy's, the Walgreen's building was replaced by a new tower housing the Joffery Ballet. Loehmann's moved in to a new two-story space on the lower floors where Walgreen's stood.

If you would have said that in four years, Walgreen's would be back in this location, people would have thought you were nuts.

But flash ahead to 2011: Loehmann's has gone out of business and now Walgreen's is returning to the location. But it won't be your average Walgreen's. One floor at this location would be huge Walgreen's, but this Walgreen's will be on both stores, a huge flagship prototype based on what Walgreen's has learned from KEEPING and DEVELOPING the Duane Reade brand of drugstores in NYC.

If this is what can happen with a drug store, think of what could happen with the former locations of an amazing, world-known department store down the block!!!!!

BTW: Would like to point out that when the Joffery moved to Chicago, they changed the red five-point NYC star in their logo to a red six-point Chicago star. Bravo!

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011  1:37 am CT
Posted by: PATSY WOODS

With everything in our world constantly changing, I must say that after all this time I still get teary eyed when I think of how I can no longer visit my favorite store. I used to save up just to be able to go shopping there. How I miss seeing the workers making the candy. How I miss riding up and down the escalators and feeling a great sence of pride because I not only lived in one of the largest cities in the world, but I also had the privelege of shopping at that wonderful store on State and Randolph. Since I was a little girl that wonderful clock meant so very much to me. PLEASE, IF THE "FIELDS" FAMILY GET TO SEE THIS TELL THEM TO PLEASE RE-CONSIDER AND COME ON HOME. WE NEED THEM. I am now 58 years old, and ex executive assistant and I would LOVE to work in the billing office part-time. I just wanted to show my love and sincerity.


Patsy Woods

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011  10:47 pm CT
Posted by: Margaret

I have several Field's Christmas ornaments, also, I took my Field's Rewards Credit Card and turned it into an ornament for my tree. What a joy it is to see it every year! I just couldn't bear the thought of destroying it.

I miss Marshall Field's and do not shop at Macy's.

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011  5:24 am CT
Posted by: Judy Marth

Has anyone seen this yet? A friend sent it to me...I had tears in my eyes..

The comments are fabulous!

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011  12:35 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

Stopped by the State Street store Saturday evening. A few comments. The windows are much better than last year, the store looked awesome all lit up with on the outside. Some of the windows were not done yet along with some of the inside decorations. The main ailse looked not right withouot the large silver ornamented green swags that Macy's bought for the store. Why they are not up is a big question since they must have cost Macy's alot of money and are not being used. The tree is not the best, the old Field's tree was much better. It was a classic Christmas tree and Macy's did a great job on it in 2008, this new tree is way to techno with its lights etc for me, however the 14 designer trees add a real nice touch to the room. Also there were no decorations on State Street yet. I hope the city is not cutting that out this year.

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011  5:24 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Yes Virginia- there can be a Miracle on State Street. The Berlin wall came down, didn't it?

If Grinch Macy's has reason to build a fake Field's on its home turf, then it there is reason to believe we can have our own real one back-- someday.

Date: Monday, November 7, 2011  9:39 pm CT
Posted by: Lisa

My fiance's family is from Chicago, and every year they would make at trip down during Christmastime and visit Marshall Field's. One of our very first dates was spent wandering the floors and enjoying the giant Christmas tree. This year we look forward to returning to the building and, once more, lamenting the loss of Chicago's [--indeed, the world's--] finest emporium.

Date: Monday, November 7, 2011  5:39 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

Just for the curious, the above link is the full press kit on the Herald Sq project. Macy's NY is a cool store and in a class by itself, with that said, it will never, ever hold a candle to State Street.

Date: Sunday, November 6, 2011  5:42 pm CT
Posted by: a.s. in Massachusetts

Frango mints. Christmas decorations, make-up - knowledge sales people.

My grandmother worked there, and we still have her pin for her years of service. Fields is everything. My sister and I were just talking about how there is (was) no place like Fields. We both live out of state. I have lived in two other states, and she has lived in at least four and we say - none of them states - not a one - had a store like Fields.

When my children were young - I took them Fields. Now you must know - we live in a small town. My daughter never saw anything like Fields.

We were standing up on one of the balconies overlooking the store.

She just said she could not take it. She got sensory overload.

Needless to say - she got use to it fast - she went back a couple of times before it closed. It is right up there with the Buffalo Ice Cream parlor - No, wait, it is above the Buffalo.

I have requested two Marshall Field's buttons. One for me and one for my sister. I will wear it out in Massachusetts.

Thank you...

Date: Sunday, November 6, 2011  4:12 pm CT
Posted by: gle

On the day Messy's lit their holiday tree inside November 5, people outside on State Street continued to grab our leaflets with a smile and said they are still interested in seeing Marshall Field's return. The public attitude is very encouraging.

My impression of the windows is still a turn-off. There was nothing that indicated holiday-- religious or secular--warmth, color or togetherness. Only one display even mentioned Santa. That was the one asking people to write Virginia letters to him, and actually had some red color with a clock in the background. The basic theme is an animated wish factory, in mostly white, frosty, glittery cold colors (like a Chicago winter). As mentioned in other posts, designer names like Donald Trump and Tommy Hilfiger are displayed prominently. I guess holidays are superstar ads now, not holidays.

The tree in the Walnut Room was a little better, and at least has the addition of some concept of colors. A main large tree in the center is green and frosty, with smaller trees around it of diverse colors. The center tree still has the statue-of-Liberty-hat-style star on top as last year.

That's enough for now--I have to go back and turn in my Virginia letter to Santa reminding him I still want Field's for Christmas.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2011  6:47 pm CT
Posted by: jeff s.

Checked out the State Street Store today; gone are the magnificent Main Aisle Swags coming down from the Tiffany Dome and the North Light Well. Some simple red ornaments, recycled from last year, hang forlornly. While the windows are not my favorite, they are an improvement over last year. However, nothing like what Field's had. Also, I do not like the cone-shaped tree in the Walnut Room. They had a new tree they used only a few years, what happened? I recognized the branches being used for props on 6 in Holiday Lane. The color light show, is however, an improvement for such a plain tree.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2011  5:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks especially to Gloria as well as everyone else who made leaflet and button distribution a great success today. We were out there for about two-and-a-half-hours and distributed over 600 leaflet/flyers. All but a couple of people were very supportive of our cause.

The windows, IMHO, are better than last year. Like last year, there are seven windows along State Street dedicated to telling a story; this year's is an offshoot of Macy's "Believe" theme and tells the tale of how wishes are processed. The windows are done in a "steampunk" style with shades of white being the overall chromatic. Similar windows were also designed for Herald Square in NYC and Union Square in San Francisco. Each window also showcases some celebrity ornaments for sale in the store designed under the auspices of Macy's "designers" like Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart and what I term "branders"--Donald Trump, Jessica Simpson and the like. The two "corner windows" at State/Randolph and State/Washington have yet to be finished but they appear that they will be selling merchandise. The windows are an improvement over last year but not as good as the Marshall Field's windows.

We'll be leafleting again as Christmas approaches. Additionally, there has been discussion of the idea of caroling on State Street in December with pro-Field's lyrics sung to the music of traditional Christmas songs. Please email info at FieldsFansChicago dot org if you wish to carol for Field's this holiday season.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2011  10:38 am CT
Posted by: Jane Nicoll

Saturday November 19, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. the Park Forest Historical Society will host, Leslie Goddard, historian, presenting a lavishly illustrated program on her new Arcadia Publishing book, "Remembering Marshall Field's." The program will be held in Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive in Park Forest. After the program Ms. Goddard will sell and sign copies of her book. The program is free and open to the general public.

Marshall Field's Park Forest Store Bricks will be on sale by the society after the program at 1 for $15; 2 for $25. Each brick comes with a certificate of authenticity and a one-page history of the Park Forest store. The bricks are always on sale at the 1950s Park Forest House Museum, at Park Forest Recreation and Parks desk in Village Hall, and can be purchased via PayPal on the society website at Museum hours through November are Wednesdays 11-2; Saturdays 12-3. Hours will be increasing for December. Check the website.

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard, about 4 blocks from Village Hall, will be open from 12-3 on Saturday. Stop by for a visit before the program! We are decorated with Thanksgiving Gurley Candles in November. Donation is $5 for adults; 12 and under are free. With the purchase of a brick at the museum, the tour is free. We now have convenient street parking in front of the museum.

In December we invite you to "Step Back into a 1950s Christmas," at the museum. Period decorations are on display in every room. Donation for admission in December is $3.

We hope to see you at the program or at the museum in December, or both! Many Marshall Field's collectors purchased bricks last year.

Jane Nicoll, Museum Director, 1950s Park Forest House Museum.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2011  10:22 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

They are rejoicing (and gloating) in Macyland and NY City Hall.

Now it all makes perfect sense. Looks like pure Field's Envy.

Here I have been faulting Macy's for lack of vision, little suspecting they were patiently carrying out an outrageously bold scheme, not merely to turn the original Field's into Macy's, but to turn the original Macy's into Field's while reducing the rest of the nation's beloved department stores into skeletons, so only ONE towers above the rest--in the Big Apple. And Chicago let it happen. Can this be called robbery if it was done legally while everyone watched?

Undoubtedly Wanamaker's was allowed to keep some of its character because it is a future Megapolis branch worthy of the new Fieldcy's.

Macy's cannibalized all those other stores--most particularly Field's--so as to exalt their NYC madam disguised expensively as Field's. Resistance is futile since Macy's controls and suppresses potential contenders, and blocks the use of certain unplugged but potentially viable trade names. Kudos to Macy's for carrying out a coup no one (few?) suspected they were nasty enough to dream up. This should go down in Ferengi history since even widespread customer alienation will be outweighed by the blockbuster attraction they are preparing to unveil.

There is small consolation that the Field's nameplates remain fixed to the building-- but expect to see them neglected (happening already I believe) and then-- a clean stony spot where they once gleamed, protected status notwithstanding. Even the landmark clocks are probably scheduled to disappear one day, accompanied by an excuse that they were too old and decayed to maintain. The iconic Walnut Room will probably be pulled apart and made into dentist offices or something. Epithets like "old fashioned" will be used, but walnut will appear in Herald Square....

No use pouting that we want Field's-- it ain't gonna happen, not in Chicago anyway. Field's style aped at Herald Square will never have the same cachet, but it will draw all the attention, which was the carefully-choreographed plan. 111 N. State didn't stand a chance. No wonder Macy's was complacent and mealymouthed all the while.

I don't think you can write this deliberate debasement off as "time moving on."

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2011  12:25 am CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

all this talk about Filene's basement makes me sad. you know what Filene's had in common with Field's? Same architect, as well as John Wanamaker in Philly.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2011  11:32 am CT
Posted by: S.

My husband was born and raised here. he misses Marshall Field's.

And will not go to Macy's.

I am newer to Chicago and also miss Marshall Field's and the family feel in the store.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2011  6:30 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Re the article relating the updating of Herald Square:

"...remain a retail store in a class by itself..." I guess so. They have eviscerated the competition of yore. Apparently there really IS reason to have such a thing as a department store or they would not be doing that at home. It's just not OK for Chicago, Philadelphia, etc.

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011  9:06 pm CT
Posted by: Jasmine Chavez

i want marshall field's back because my mom loves the bags and the food there. She likes the clothes from there as well. Mom loves the clothing from the store and I like the food and the drink. My mom also bought high hells from the store too. She even bought clinique makeup there. And she loves christmas stuff too. Marshall field's was a good store. my mom loves the store ALOT!

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011  10:51 am CT
Posted by: Maryann J. I loved marshall Fields ...

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011  7:45 am CT
Posted by: Brian Bettenhausen

I just read that yesterday morning Filene's Basement is closing forever due to bankrupcy. So sad to see, but Now not only Filenes is gone due to macy's, but the very basement they started and spun off as a separate company due to the Federated hostile take over of Filenes many years ago, is now gone, due to an economy ruined by Macys. People stopped shopping when the specialness of a REGIONAL department store died in this country. Nothing was unique, so as things got tough, people rather than keep their roots deep and thick, pulled root, and left for greener pastures. I know I went for amazingly green pastures.

I miss Fields, but it's nice to walk down Bloor Street in Toronto and see Holt Renfrow and the familiar labels I was used to at Fields, as a life long resident of the Chicago area.

This economy is killing all my friends in the U.S. and I feel for them everything I read a US newspaper online, or happen to fly in and out of Chicago to check on a family member in a nursing facility. I will always make an hour in my schedule when in town to walk threw every floor of the building known at Marshall Fields. I can't believe how early they are rolling out the Christmas windows, and displays, and packaging. I mean what next? Mothers day, THEN Christmas Shopping season?

So remember this year to GO, Be Great, and BE GREEN! Environmentally, and to reflect the attitude that Fields gave to us. We can still give back to our communities even though Fields can't

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011  7:33 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

After you have extracted all the blood and marrow from your stepchildren you can arrange a transfusion for your own. Isn't that what stepchildren are for? Probably ought to be another Ferengi Rule of Acquisition.

Classy. Macy's has been able to add to what was already a pretty comprehensive list of principles of avarice. They didn't invent the idea but doing it with a nationwide assortment of high-profile beloved community institutions is a pretty brazen stroke worthy of the galaxy's preeminent merchant race. Nonetheless, the Ferengi are very alert to the dangers of alienating or eliminating a customer base and would have been more clever at managing Macy's assets.

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011  4:49 am CT
Posted by: Aida, Brooklyn, NY

Time to bring back MARSHALL FIELD'S!

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011  11:07 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

Although a separate, off-price division of a "macy*marted" regional nameplate (as of typing), it appears Filene's Basement of Boston, MA, will be closing its doors for good:

The sole survivor of the (sadly discontinued) Filene's family of stores was known for its "Running of the Brides" event, where brides-to-be would "race" for their hopeful wedding dresses at discounted prices. I know Marcy Syms, chief executive of FB's current parent Syms ("An educated consumer is our best customer"), said that this poor economy caused the FB chain to close, but do you think the "macy*marting" of America was another factor in FB's demise?

And while I'm talking about Filene's, check out this photo I found of the Filene's flagship, courtesy of a Flickr user:

What a beautiful interior! I have found older pictures with the EXACT SAME interior (I believe this location dates back to 1912), but on this particular photo, I spot some signage on the right side that is very similar to what Macy's is using on their plethora of store locations (all of which SHOULD go back to their regional roots, IMHO). I remember these signs first appearing around that time at the Foley's stores here in Texas; did Marshall Field's start changing the signs circa late 2005? And if so, was that truly the beginning of the end for the Chicago institution that deserves such a TREMENDOUS COMEBACK? And finally, why was Macy's DUMB ENOUGH to implement new signage in the Filene's store when Macy's knew they were going to close that store? (That latter question was just another macy*mistake we have discovered, folks.)

Hopefully Strategic Marks LLC (when the lawsuit is all said and done for!) can add "Filene's Basement" to their portfolio of stores to resurrect! That should make some brides-to-be happy again!


Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011  2:22 pm CT
Posted by: gle

TV's WTTW Channel 11 will air a new walking tour of Chicago's Loop November 29, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. with popular tour host Geoffrey Baer. The previews mentioned "things you enjoyed as a kid," and showed the Marshall Field's sign and a floral centerpiece in the Walnut Room. Sounds like a must for avid Field's fans to look into and comment on.

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011  12:53 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

It is great to see Macy's spending money on renovations and creating jobs. However I wish they would spend some of that on State Street. True they are doing outside work to the building, but they can expand the store within a store concept, remerchndise the 9th floor again and open up the boarded up escalators. They claim that they would like mens to take over the entire 2nd floor, they should do that and more. Sad to see Filene's go, bit maybe Ross will come in. Maybe the Filene's space on michigan Avenue could be a small Carson's.

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011  12:46 pm CT
Posted by: David Briggs

To Stephen in NY:

What an inspiring vision you have for a resurrected Marshall Field's!

Very good idea too about trying to interest the Qatar Investment Authority (current owner of Harrod's) in purchasing the Field's brand from Macy's!

However, as I observed in my 9/11/11 post, Macy's will *NEVER* voluntarily allow Marshall Field's to be raised from the dead. They bought it to kill it, and *NOTHING* will ever deter them from the strategic priority of keeping Field's buried in the cemetery of nostalgia.

Also, as I suggested in my 9/11/11 post, the City of Chicago has eminent domain power which can be exercised to acquire the Field's nameplate as well as the State Street store.

Once acquired as City property, Marshall Field's can then be managed by any number of retail industry professionals specifically contracted by the City for that purpose.

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011  11:32 am CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

found reading the pr release for Macy's Herlad Square renovation to be quite interesting. Many of the improvements seem to be based on a store at 111 North State Street! Food service has always been a big component of Field's and now Macy's is going to have 22 food service stations in Herald Square including a pub (InFields) a table service restaurant on 6 with windows overlooking the street (Walnut Room). And of course the food concepts will be based on members of the Culinary Council (also lifted from Field's)

The store will restore previously remodeled areas, feature luxury boutiques; the list of Field like improvements goes on.

This could be viewed as a positive for the State Street store. Macy's clearly looked at State Street (though they say the looked overseas)so perhaps they see the value of leaving store alone and not shrink it like Kaufman's.

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011  12:04 am CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

I wish they would invest this much time and money into State Street.

Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2011  5:31 pm CT
Posted by: gle

WOW, Messy's plans big rennovation makeovers for its New York flagship store, per the following link to a "Chicago Tribune" article. How about what people would really like--a MAKEBACK of all the stores it swallowed up to their former identities.,0,5284678.story

Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2011  6:36 am CT
Posted by: Maureen

I have fond memories of Marshall Field’s shopping with my mother from my childhood and now as an adult of taking my friends from out of town to see the great State Street Store!

The wonderful windows during Christmas were always a treat as my birthday is near Christmas my family would take the train into the city to see them as part of the celebration.

It warms my heart to see the Marshall Field’s sign on the State Street building—and I’m so very glad that this has not been removed and that the clocks remain also.

Date: Sunday, October 28, 2011  3:46 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Messy's says it is decorating for the holidays. I went to State Street to view the work-in-progress last week.

So far the store that boasts of reinventing and change appears to have the same tired-looking, very plain floor decorations as of years past--plain red and silver balls on green artificial branches that look fresh out of the dusty packing box. The home decor shop on the 6th floor sports a gaudy, platinum style that seems to be its tradition. State Street windows model their traditional black shades with "pardon our appearance" signs. What's new? Yes, the media says window displays soon will reveal a "wish factory" as of November 5. Does that mean we can still wish for Marshall Field's? Various departments within the store are labeled as versions of the "Believe" theme--"Be Santa," "Be-Home," Etc. Now if only it could "Be-Field's."

Date: Sunday, October 28, 2011  3:39 am CT
Posted by: Stephen in NY

Hi all. Glad to see the campaign is still going strong.

Was interested to read Joans comments about the Marshall Fields "brand" and how this could be revived by Macys. Here in London, House of Fraser (who are slowly eradicating many of the original local store names) did the same thing with Dickens & Jones.

Dickens & Jones was quite an upmarket store a bit like Lord & Taylor housed in a beautiful building on Regent Street.

House of Fraser ( who inherited the store when they bought Harrods Group) kept the store's separate identity (different coloured carrier bags, logo etc) but failed to keep the store relevant to todays shopper and sold the same bland merchandise as other stores in the group. They eventually closed the store and sold the building. BUT a few years ago brought back the Dickens & Jones name as a House of Fraser womens clothing line (made in China no doubt)

It would be sad indeed if the same fate befell the Marshall Fields name - to be reduced to being a Macys in house label for some sweatshop produced tat. Doesnt bear thinking about.

In a lucid dream moment I saw a re-invigourated Marshall Fields selling predominantly Made in USA and European goods much as it would have done pre 1980s. What an amazing selling point that would be - a place where you could by clothes and homewares not made in china combined with the cachÈ of the Marshall Feilds name... With a global website, environmental responsibility, cutting edge fashion & design..

I want to shop there NOW!!!

Has anyone emailed the Qataris about buying MF from macys yet?

Date: Friday, October 28, 2011  4:50 pm CT
Posted by: gle

WGN Channel 9 9:00 p.m. news had rather interesting coverage of Messy's holiday windows in process. It went something like:

Anchor person: It's not even Halloween yet, but the Macy's on State Street is already ...

Laughter in background

Anchor person: Oh stop it!

More laughter in background

Anchor person: ... (finished the sentence) setting up for Christmas.

I don't know what the joke was, but it sounded good.

Date: Thursday, October 27, 2011  11:08 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

While we collectively as do not take positions on issues outside those that are directly related to the restoration of Marshall Field's, it is inspiring to note that another grassroots group has achieved success in its civic goals. ( has much to celebrate. News stories indicated that the Chicago Children's Museum will not be moving to Grant Park in the foreseeable future.

A few years ago, it looked as if their cause would not succeed. Things did eventually change. The same can happen for our cause of Marshall Field's.

Best regards,


Date: Thursday, October 27, 2011  9:02 am CT
Posted by: Joan H.

I am a PhD student studying apparel marketing. The focus of my dissertation is the social-psychology of apparel brands and labels. Of special import is how consumers identify with the brands they buy and why. One area which I am studying is the significance of reputation and history to a brand or label's value.

Macy's use of brands and labels is quite interesting.

Some have historical significance and were recently revived after being dormant. R.H. Macy's and Co. jewelery is one such example.

Others were developed recently, but consumers seem to identify with them as mainstream and of mid- to high-quality. Macy's I.N.C. International Concepts is such a brand that appears to have secured a niche that makes it a good fit with their upscale Bloomingdale's stores as well.

On the other hand, Macy's also has what suggests knock-off brands. It seems that Alfani is intended as a knock-off of Armani.

My work investigates customer identification and satisfaction with such brands and labels. What compromises and rewards do consumers experience when choosing Alfani versus Armani? Does choosing one or another reinforce their current social status or suggest aspirations for social mobility?

What brought me to your site is that I am studying Marshall Field's within this context. In addition to being a highly-respected and much-prized department store name, Marshall Field's was also a well-regarded and highly-valued apparel brand and label. As a brand and label, Marshall Field's still garners strong aspirational points among all consumers across demographics. Alfani, I.N.C. and Taso Elba scored lower in this area. This suggests greater appeal, and thus greater profitability if the Marshall Field's brand was reintroduced in addition to, or in place of, the likes of the Macy's brands mentioned.

I have yet to finish writing my dissertation, but it is in its final stages. So as you might have guessed, I'm thinking that some of you here can offer additional insights into the benefits and disadvantages of Macy's using a knock-off brand like Alfani versus an established and respected brand like Marshall Field's versus the middle-ground as represented by I.N.C. If you are interested, please contact me. My email address is joanyh905 AT yahoo DOT com. Thank you.

Joan Hoyle

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2011  8:02 pm CT
Posted by: Rich F.

Macy's is so common place.......Marshall Field's was such a unique jewel.

What a waste to make Marshall Field's on State Street just another Macy's.

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2011  9:31 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Another sad sigh. Steuben Glass finally bit the dust.
This article says it all- it is not too different a situation from that of Field's in that a vision for the best is considered too costly by the MBAs who want to wring as many golden eggs out of the goose as fast as they can. Yes, the market for crystal is down apparently- nevertheless how sad that there are so many instances when the best is subjected to tinkering to bring costs down so as to raise profits. Surprise! It dies! One by one we are being stripped of the Bests, and left with virtual reality and voyeur TV and Gaga and denim and Salvation Army to call "Culture."

Remember the Steuben 'store' within the Field's store on the second floor in The Day??? For that matter, how about the Georg Jensen you could feast your eyeballs on? and so on.

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2011  7:02 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Ohhh sigh. What they call this kind of ploy is dog-in-the-manger. In this case, weasel in the manger. Actually with apologies to weasels everywhere----there really is nothing in the animal kingdom with which to compare the baddest human behavior. Cockroaches do what they are designed to do, so we must give them credit for reliably responding to their highest calling.

Macy's et al is, from my point of view, a good example of what not to be or do, an embarrassment to humankind. If more of them stood on their hind legs maybe they could see the lay of the land better, and take a better course. It's called Vision. High success in business (as in other endeavors) is usually attributable to someone's Vision and Dedication--- the ability to divine what the customer will want and to make it so wonderful it is irresistible.

Bye Steve. Sniffle.

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011  12:29 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Greetings Fields Fans! Here is the link to the article I referenced yesterday concerning Strategic Brands, LLC purchasing the trademarks of Robinson's, Filene's, Jordan Marsh, Abraham & Straus among others to bring the stores back. Macy's has filed suit and began marketing the store names on lunch and tote bags recently.

I find it compelling how Macy's describes on its own website -next to the bags and totes how valuable each store was --if that was the case, Macy's (which it was), why did you choose to eliminate them?

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011  12:01 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Hello Field's Fans!

I see many of you noticed Macy's sudden marketing of lunch bags and totes with all of the famous iconic store's names. As Jim indicated, once a name is not used for a number of years it reverts back to public domain. A white knight of sorts has come forward and purchased Robinson's, Filene's, Jordan Marsh and others and plans to bring brick and mortar stores back as well as websites. However, Macy's has filed suit to block this. As a part of this, they have introduced the items for sale in the last month or so to prove they are now using the names. I have the article saved on my work email (I have been corresponding with the company that purchased the names) and will try to post the article in a separate entry. Keep up the fight!!

Date: Monday, October 24, 2011  12:01 am CT
Posted by: Drew

The fear that a formerly vibrant downtown corridor is becoming a "ghost town" is worrisome to many:
Could this article about Pittsburgh apply to other cities which lost the iconic flagship stores which offered something special and unique?

Date: Monday, October 24, 2011  11:30 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

While the blog was on hiatus, Shia Kapos' blog at Crain's had a bit on the Ambassador East Hotel being turned into the Public Chicago with a completely remodeled Pump Room. The headline: "Public Hotel's Schrager hopes for Chicago success like Macy's."

Despite not being mentioned here in this forum, it was interesting to note how much disagreement there was with this headline in the comments section of the blog item. Pro-Field's comments fielded the most "recommends" by far (a couple had 15 or so compared to about five or six for any that were pro-Macy's. IMHO, the one by P.F. was the best; it's featured here since the article and all other comments are now only available to Crains Chicago subscribers:

P F. wrote:
I think a person needs "success like Macy's" like he needs a hole in the head. What a hideous curse of a headline. My goodness what was the editor thinking with this one.

All the best of luck to the renovated hotel, and yes, keeping the name Pump Room is an important and respectful nod to Chicagoans and our history. -- Something totally ignored by the executives at Federated Department Stores when they eliminated Marshall Field's and ruined the stores as "Macy's"

I think the gentleman should learn something about Chicago. People still boycott Macy's and whether or not some people shop at the discount store now operating in the spaces once occupied by Marshall Field's doesn't qualify as a ringing success. The whole mess was and is a downright failure, one of the worst branding mistakes since New Coke, at least in my book.

I hope the hotel does far better.

10/12/2011 1:16 AM CDT
Recommended (13) | Report Abuse | Permalink

Date: Monday, October 24, 2011  11:02 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks for your patience while the blog updates have been on hiatus while I took care of some family matters.

If you have concerns about your post and did not hear from me with an explanation, please email me at jjmckay AT FieldsFansChicago DOT org.

Best regards and many thanks,


Date: Sunday, October 23, 2011  1:08 pm CT
Posted by: gle

A "Chicago Tribune" article discusses how Sears is realizing the importance of focusing on the reputation of its well-known brands, such as Kenmore and Craftsman, that are unique and can't be found just anyplace.

The Marshall Field's name and quality have a reputation even more obviously unique. That reputation is still alive, though the though the store has not operated for five years. It seems Messy's, or some other business entity, would be wise to wake up to the marketing potential a revitalized Marshall Field's could have on State Street.

"Sears banks on its brands" October 23, 2011 by Sandra M. Jones,0,4578323.story

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2011  9:07 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

CVS stores in the Pittsburgh area are offering free $ 10 gift cards with the purchase of $ 30 or more of specially marked items. In addition to CVS gift cards, shoppers may receive gift cards from GAP, Shell gasoline, Barnes & Noble, Applebees and--YOU GUESSED IT--macy*s! How bad is it when America's ultimate discount store has to give away free gift cards to drug store shoppers who purchase paper towels, toilet tissue, laundry detergent and batteries? Perhaps people can stock up on necessities at CVS then go on a shopping spree with their macy*s gift cards.

Incidentally, the promotion started on Sunday and when I was shopping at my local CVS on Thursday, the cashier said that NOT ONE macy*s gift card had been claimed! Of course, I didn't want her to open the sealed package of macy*s gift cards she showed me, so I selected some of the few remaining Barnes & Noble cards.

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011  5:44 pm CT
Posted by: P.

I don't understand all of this Occupy Wall Street movement, but I can't help but see a little bit of commonality with our cause.

In the case of Field's, I've heard time and time again that Target was under pressure from Wall Street and shareholders to sell Marshall Field's because it wasn't increasing its profits as fast as Target's discount stores.

Then I have heard that May Department Stores acquired Field's to make it a much more attractive corporate takeover target for Macy's.

Then we keep hearing how Macy's had to get rid of Field's so they could have one name plate and the same shopping bags everywhere to make Wall Street and shareholders happy.

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2011  12:20 pm CT
Posted by: C

I think that the former Marshall Field's customers have moved to Nordstrom. I know I shop there when I can. They seem to be the closest to Field's in quality and service, but the quantity is lacking. 

I think the people shopping at Macy's do not know Chicago that well and don't know or care about what they're missing.

I passed through Macy's at Watertower recently and noticed that they have the same junky house brands for sale on the Mezzanine as they did last year. The merchandise almost looks the same, in women's hats and scarves. (Did they just put it in storage for the winter and drag it all out again this year?) Women's purses were not inspiring to me. I just kept thinking "Is this it???" It's very sad to see such a lack of selection and quality.  

I also looked at the same Betsy Johnson Halloween jewelry that is available at Carson's. It's in the $30. and up range and is costume jewelry. That was attractive.

I don't know what will happen in the future, but I still think we could have the Macy's on Michigan Ave. (since there is no Carson's there or on State St.,) and STILL have a Marshall Field's somewhere downtown or on Michigan Ave. I also think Carson's is better than Macy's!

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011  9:39 pm CT
Posted by: H.

Preparing for a bridal shower. We miss Marshall Field's!

Date: Sunday, October 16, 2011  5:44 pm CT
Posted by: Tricia, MI

I love Marshall fields!!

I used to shop there at least 3-4 times per month!!

Date: Sunday, October 16, 2011  8:58 pm CT
Posted by: D., Long Island

I am a huge Fields Fan!

Been following this site since the beginning - I'm impressed that you all are still keeping the faith.

I will not shop @ Macy's - my friends all make fun of me they call it "the store that shall remain nameless" because they all shop there - because ya kind of have no choice these days - The only thing I will buy there is Frango Chocolates from the cellar on 34th Street, and I have to admit I bought a couple of Burdines items from the collection I mentioned.

I was a huge Burdines fan as well -

I still find the whole thing sad - and I so applaud your efforts -

Do most of my shopping at Lord & Taylor now -

I literally used to go to Chicago just to go to Fields and spend the weekend - great city - did plenty of other stuff too - but the thought of State Street with no Fields and no Carsons kinds of keep me from going back....

Happy Holidays to you!

Date: Sunday, October 16, 2011  2:15 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

It's painfully obvious that the Red Star is investing NOTHING in its downtown Pittsburgh location. The original Kaufmann's brass plaques on the outside of the building are turning green while the newer macy*s plaques are dull and dirty. Overall, the store IS clean and neat, but does look rather shabby. The last time the building received a major overhaul was when Lazarus opened its new downtown location a block down Fifth Avenue in 1995. Needless to say, the paint is fading, the floor tiles are worn, and the carpeting is stained.

The downsizing is in process as some of the clearance furniture remains on 8 while other furniture has been moved to 5. Signs in Bradley's Books on 9 state they will be moving to 5 on October 25. Watch Repair has already been moved, the deli/restaurant on 9 has closed--leaving only the Tic Toc eatery on 1, but no signs indicating where (or if) the Travel and Picture Framing services will go. (Kaufmann's once hosted two formal restaurants, several casual restaurants and a number of snack bars throughout the store--as well as a post office, dentist, several hair salons, optometrist, coin and stamp sellers.)

All the Red Star "merchants" did was MOVE the merchandise--no paint on the walls or polish on the floors to brighten up the sales environment. Patrons will be "excited" to know that the Red Star is using the "Believe" theme AGAIN this year as evidenced by the many plastic display posters throughout the store. (Good thing they saved the posters from the past two years!) Wonder if they will recycle their holiday window displays again also?

Holiday Lane (with crooked letters)is being set up on the first floor, and signs indicate merchandise is already 30% off. Interesting to note the Gourmet Food department on the Arcade level has a table featuring a variety of Frango candies in holiday wrappings. Of course, the boxes had no mention of Frango history or significance.

Date: Friday, October 14, 2011  10:14 am CT
Posted by: S.B.

I'm sure you've all seen this... but looks like others outside of Chicago are getting tired of Macy's

Date: Friday, October 14, 2011  7:05 am CT
Posted by: C.

we one marshall fields back in illinois

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011  8:29 pm CT
Posted by: David

So you're not going to believe this.

The Macy's web site has ALL THE OLD REGIONAL NAME PLATES in it right now selling: Bags, T shirts, and Totes.

Marhall Fields, Jordan Marsh, Burdines, Filenes, Foleys, Strawbridge & Clothier, Robinsons-May, Meier & Frank - everthing...

I totally boycott Macy's, but once in a while check in to see if they have anything that reminds me of fields........

I hate to say it - but you should buys some of this stuff - it might be the encouragment they need to realize how much equity there is in these names - maybe they are testing the waters.

you won't believe your eyes - put the store name in the seach field...

Response from the Webmaster:

I think that this goes back to a thread from a couple of months ago. Macy's is selling a few items with the old store names on them to retain ownership of the names. If Macy's doesn't use them for a certain number of years then they legally revert back to the public domain. One should note that may be what happened to Wannamakers since does not offer any of the bags or t-shirts with that name. Wannamakers went away in 1995.

Another similar case was with Lucky supermarkets in California. In that case, many were upset that it was replaced with Albertson's. After a period of perceived dis-use, another chain started branding their stores with the Lucky name and logo. (Old) Albertson's sued, claiming they still had a few shopping carts in use with the Lucky name and logo printed in them. That and some other esoteric usage moved the courts to allow Albertson's to retain use of the name.

Note that doesn't offer Dayton's or Hudson's merchandise; Target appears to still own the rights to those names as well as and

As far as what Macy's is offering, all of the brands--save for Marshall Field's--appear to be printed on a handful of bag styles that aren't even necessarily true to the stores' original bags. For instance, they offer the same pin-striped bag with your choice of Filenes or Jordan Marsh or other store names. The striped lunch bag with the Marshall Field's logo also can be purchased with other store names on it instead. But an exception is the green tote which seems only to be offered with the Marshall Field's name. No doubt in my mind that this is in part because used Marshall Field's paper bags go for $5 on ebay. Searching ebay, I couldn't find any other paper shopping bags for sale that carried the names of other store names discontinued by Macy's.

It also seems that these bags are priced significantly what Field used to charge for similar offerings. Could it be that by pricing them so hight they are trying to discourage too many of the bags from being sold? I certainly can't say for sure.

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011  5:15 pm CT
Posted by: B.W.


Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011  4:20 pm CT
Posted by: Sue W., Erie, PA.

Was in Chicago visiting friends this past weekend and stopped by Schaumburg at the Woodfield Mall. I was suddenly taken back to 2005 when Marshall Field's was really great. I would spend Saturday afternoons shopping there. It was great. A great feeling of warm fondness welled up in my heart. It was more than sentimentality--it was like, "Damn, that's when things were good."

We could use some more of that today. The U.S. needs a little Marshall Field's to cheer us all up. But the corporations like Macy's won't have it.

Date: Monday, October 10, 2011  4:20 pm CT
Posted by: Doug

Macy's Columbus Day ads are just plain tacky. All of their ads a bit sexist, in my humble of opinion. Field's was always more tasteful by a long shot.

Date: Friday, October 7, 2011  4:20 pm CT
Posted by: C.

Will we ever have Marshal Field's again?

Date: Thursday, October 6, 2011  3:42 pm CT
Posted by: Mike Russell

Interesting article on Saks and Nordstoms

Date: Thursday, October 6, 2011  3:15 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Evidently "the magic of macy*s" makes the competition as well as shoppers disappear:

This comment from a Saks Fifth Avenue spokesperson is interesting:

"There have been major competitive shifts in the Pittsburgh marketplace in the last several years that have reduced our revenues and continue to challenge our business, which prompted our monetary request," she said in a statement.

Would the "competitive shift" from the beloved regional icon Kaufmann's to the downsized, downmarket macy*s have caused a decrease in customer traffic and thus harmed other retailers? How has the loss of Marshall Field's reduced the revenues or forced the closure of neighboring businesses on State Street and in shopping malls? In its descent to become America's most nondescript, bland, discount department store, how many other businesses and shopping districts has macy*s dragged down?

Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011  11:49 am CT
Posted by: Ken Allan

There is still life in the art of a well run department store, not to mention the passion that comes from a family owned operation.

After almost folding, Boscov's is re-opening their largest location at the Monmouth Mall, and they are having a real old-school grand opening starting Sunday, October 9 (Shirley Jones, no less !)

Story about the opening.

Link to the festivities.


Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2011  7:52 pm CT
Posted by: Candy

I work downtown and occasionally walk through Macy's on my way to run an errand. I am always carrying around an old Marshall Field's green canvas tote bag, and today I walked through Macy's with it over my shoulder. There was a guide with a tour group on the first floor, and I heard him saying, "I know a lot of you wonder about the change from Marshall Field's to Macy's," and he went on to talk about how the Field's family divested itself years ago, etc. etc. (like Macy's was some great hero rescuing a mismanaged store), so I walked behind him, held up my Field's tote and pointed to it, winking at the crowd, then walked out. Couldn't resist letting them know that many of us still care and hate what they've done to our once great store.

Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2011  7:41 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

J.C. Penney hires Target (and Marshall Field's) exec as its president

Francis got his professional start working Marshall Field's State Street flagship and seems quite proud to point this out in the stories covering his promotion to J.C. Penney's President. My understanding is that Francis' move to Minneapolis in the 1990s helped what was then Dayton-Hudson understand and appreciate Field's.

At J.C.Penney, Francis will join Ron Johnson who takes over as CEO this November 1st. Johnson also comes from Target where he was no stranger to the greatness that was Marshall Field's. But in between Dayton-Hudson/Target and J.C.Penney, Ron Johnson spent ten years, oh, basically creating a retail revolution with the Apple Store. Ten years ago, Steve Jobs was interested in creating retail stores; however, back then, Gateway and Dell were failing with their own retail stores. Johnson developed and implemented these revolutionary stores. One can't help but ponder both Francis and Johnson's connections to Marshall Field's, what they achieved in the past ten years, and their curious career return to the department store. Somehow, I think that this bodes well for Field's.

Date: Monday, October 3, 2011  8:45 pm CT
Posted by:barry thomas

A video on Marshall Field and his home town in MA.

Date: Monday, October 3, 2011  1:52 am CT
Posted by: Shira

I was looking at vintage sewing machines and came across this reallly old looking picture from a seller. The sewing machine in the picture says "Marshall Fields & Company Standard Rotary". Looking at the table, design and stuff, it looks really old! So I searched about it. Found the infor on Marshall Fields on wiki and stuff but nothing about this company marketing sewing machines! I felt that this machine needs to be placed into the hands of people who actually view of it as any importance. Please check it out

I would buy it if I could but this person's shipment method is through pickups and I am not flying to the west to pick it up :/

Even the metal designs on the sides of the table have the word "FIELDS" on it. If anyone can find a home (museum, main story, something that can preserve it) for this sewing machine please find out how. Personally I think this should be a display at a original Marshall Fields & Company store

Date: Sunday, October 2, 2011  7:28 pm CT
Posted by: Marcus, Texas

Marshall Fields was a very good place and I recommended its comeback to everyone

Date: Saturday, October 1, 2011  3:53 pm CT
Posted by: Cynthia in AZ

My Grandmother would take me to Marshall Fields when I was young. She was always so put together and wanted me to have the very best. I passed on the same style to my daughter.

I refuse to shop Macy's now.

Date: Saturday, September 27, 2011  5:41 pm CT
Posted by: Nivlem

So has any one found a Field Gear alternative? With this kind of demand there has to be something.

All my Field Gear clothes are several years old and starting to show some wear. I need some nice long-sleeve business casual shirts- size MT (for medium tall)

Date: Saturday, September 27, 2011  11:32 am CT
Posted by: Luann

I'm so grateful that Jim McKay and others continue to sacrificially fight the good fight. Five years later, and I still get an empty feeling on State Street, with the simultaneous loss of Field's and its friendly competitor, Carson's. We used to have a jewel to showcase our tourists, uniquely Chicago yet widely renowned,and elevatory. When will this city again seek excellence?

Date: Sunday, September 25, 2011  3:37 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I love the post about Roger Ebert. I hadn't had a chance to read his views the first time that came around. I'm so glad Jim you had the opportunity to talk to him and give him a supply of Field's buttons.

Date: Sunday, September 25, 2011  3:35 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I checked out the new Walmart in the West Loop (Monroe & Jefferson) and couldn't help noticing:

It was much cleaner and more crowded than Messy's;

because they sell food, the merchandise was more useful, fresh and exciting;

sales associates were everywhere asking if you needed any help; AND

sales associates wore dark green shirts and shopping carts were dark green.

Just noticing.

Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011  6:45 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Yes- I weary of the naysaying- can't do this and can't do that. Can't have this and can't enjoy that. This is not trendy and that is not fashionable. Life is narrow and times are rough. Must have big box and low end. Must give up.

Yes I actually purchased Schiaperelli stockings (not pantyhose yet) in The Day- at the counter on the main floor with the aid of a saleslady. it worked nicely. It felt good. Now we pump our own gas and fill our own carts and pick our own pantyhose off the rack and toss them in with the celery and chuck roast. It is a different day and mind set, few women stay at home with the vacuum cleaner. But there is always room for Field's. (If not, we are doomed!)

I just finished reading Whitaker's "Service and Style" (re department store history)óI learned a lot and I am glad I read it but I am a bit put off by the rather condescending tone of the book- indicating that my and your attraction to Field's is that of a gullible wannabe. It is bigger than that. It is not merely a matter of wearing Schiaparelli stockings for best. (Yes they WERE superior.) It did not matter to me who else wore them, what their social standing was, or how much money any of us made. It was not a matter of being hoodwinked into buying a bra that worked rather that one that was junk. It was nice to buy a record (or book or pair of shoes) from someone who knew the merch. Rose Records sold em cheaper, which was the death knell in the 60s for my section, but no one at Rose helped you sort it all out. Yes, a Field's taught us a thing or two, it really did. There is such a thing as an aesthetic sensibility (which in the broad sense includes recognition of quality, suitability etc) which lurks in all or most of us, and Field's was one place where you could begin to come to terms with it in the trappings of your life.

If you lived in a mud hut you would still be looking for ways to make your life better or more beautiful or effective or convenient or meaningful. At least, that is how the civilized ball started rolling. Merchandising and trading are as old as time, receptive customers are out there wanting stuff that makes their life better in some way. Yes, morally, one can object to all that eager consuming-- but there were moral objections to putting chimneys over open cooking fires in the house, too. Fortunately, chimneyites prevailed and the civilization ball rolled forward. Were we manipulated, bamboozled into wanting something we could do without? - maybe. A fire still cooks without a chimney, and as some claimed, the smoke kept the bugs at bay. However there is a bigger force operating in all this: the recognition of the Better Way. And department stores, most especially Field's, served up a smorgasbord of Betterness, not only with merchandise but the experience as a whole.

Of course we miss it. We should.

I would like to think there eventually will be some comeuppance in this for Macy's after they have sucked the life out of their victims, and have only corpses left to dispose of. People will be so glad to have a Field's back when it ever happens. I imagine that is a shadowy component of the success behind Apple stores- I know I felt that old Marshall Field twinge when I went into the one closest to us. Like the good old days, it was.

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Met Roger Ebert at the Old Orchard Barnes & Noble earlier this evening.

He was very gracious, to say the least. While, of course, he is unable to speak, his eyes lit and up and he gave a huge "thumbs up" when I presented him with about dozen of our Marshall Field's buttons, featuring at two each of all the designs we've had over the past five years!

Remember a couple of columns he has wrote on Marshall Field's:

It's time to save Field's :: :: News & comment
Plowing Field's won't grow business :: :: News & comment

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay


Again and again, you ignore what's being written, including the proposal A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago.

Regarding points, I'm answering them to drive home what we have been talking about and what you (and few other critics) ignore:

1) Returning State Street to a one-of-a-kind destination while reactivating what would amount to about $500 million in unutilized assets would be a hugely strong, positive statemet to Wall Street, as further fine-tuning the "My Macy's" iniative. As pointed out in the report, Field's brands were appraised at $419 million; Macy's brands at $377; and ALL other MayCo brands (Famous Barr, Meier & Frank, Foley's etc, even Lord and Taylor) at around $183 million. These figures are from their annual reports. Between the brand, the very uniqueness of the State Street store, yes, it definietly deserves HUGELY special treatment on an international level. This is from the investors' vantage if nothing else. It sends a message to Wall Street that Macy's is maturing in it's integration strategy and knows what should be streamlined and what shouldn't.

2) Macy's and Bloomingdale's bridal registries already do some "talking together." Macy's, Inc. DOES have a strong IT department. Sure it could work. And then cosider that other brands, labels, vendors, etc. DO want to come back to reborn Field's on State Street.

3) Bags and credit cards? Please...give Macy's credit for more. They currently offer special shopping bags for events and for seasons. They sure could come up with bags for Marshall Field's on State Street. And credit cards? Again give them credit for being able to affordably handle this. When my Field's account was still active (before they turned it off due to inactivity last year) they would send me a new Macy's card in February to tell me that my customer level had been down graded. They sent me a new one in 2007 and then a downgraded one in 2008. If they can have dozens of gift card designs and Discover Card (among others) can offer many card designs, so can Macy's offer a Field's card.

4) Yes, they could expand the "stores within a store" concept at State Street but they haven't! At the same time there are more than a couple stores that want to locate or return to a Field's on State Street. As Field's there is dramatically more allure for this to happen.

5) People want more than just the name "Marshall Field's."

6) Whatever the case, having Field's back as a one-of-a-kind, international destination emporium could fill up the store all the way back up to 11 or 12.

"mikea": please do your homework and read up on what we have proposed before you harrass us here and in person on State Street. You pretty much have worn out your thin welcome as curmudgeon.

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  1:42 pm CT
Posted by: mikea

Macy's to bring back Marshall Field's would

1) Tell the investment community and the retail community that the My Macy's concept is not working. If we bring back one name, why not bring back all of the former names including Broadway, Famous Barr, Meir & Frank, Foley's etc.

2) Macy's cannot afford to run an entire new division. Having Bloomingdale's and Macy's run the store with the Field's name would be nothing more than a combination of Macy's and Bloomingdale's. The brands and merchandise that Field's previously carried would still no longer be offered if they are not offered at Macy's and Bloomingdale's

3) The store would have to have its own bags boxes, charge cards, advertising and buying and merchandising staff. The current staff at State Street work with the buying organization in New York. They are also responsible for more stores than just State Street.

4) Macy's could expand the store within a store concept at State Street. They could expand the offereings and still bring in some higher level more unique merchandise with the store still being under the Macy umbrella.

5) They could rename the store Macy's at Marshall Field's as they do in Portland calling the store Macy's at Meir and Frank Square. Renaming it would allow them to operate it as a more unique Macy store but still be under the My Macy's concept.

6) The store was only downsized by the amount of merchandise on floor 9. Floor 9 was remember when Field's remodeled was only a clearance center with small selling space. The store was rebuilt to go up to Floor 8. Walling off the Wabash escalators was a poor decision, however only 4 elevators were closed, due to asbestos in them.

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  Noon CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thank you all for your patience.

I've been tied up with some other endeavors, playing catch up after the rally a couple of weeks ago. Your posts and other submittals will appear within 12 hours as I collate those posts submitted through the blog with those emailed in.

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's and thanks to all who helped make our rally a success!

Jim McKay

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  11:05 am CT
Posted by: Another Field's Fan

Nation Retail Federation to pump up lobby and work for reduced corporate taxes:
An excerpt:
"We felt our voice was not being heard," said Terry Lundgren, chief executive officer of Macy's Inc. and chairman of the NRF.




The NRF recently added more than a half-dozen staff positions, including several congressional-liaison jobs.

Among the issues NRF plans to tackle first is corporate taxes, said its chairman, Mr. Lundgren.

He said the group will push Congress to lower the corporate tax rate to 20% from the current 35% and to close loopholes that allow some companies to pay much less.

If Congress would act quickly, Mr. Lundgren said, it would restore voter confidence and encourage companies to spend more money.

Mr. Lundgren said that if his own company's tax burden were lighter, he would remodel Macy's stores and invest in technology that would better integrate the Internet into Macy's and Bloomingdale's brick and mortar facilities.

"Right now, companies like mine are afraid to invest," he said.

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  10:30 am CT
Posted by: drew

The "magic" continues as stores are downsized and community sponsorship programs are eliminated:|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

Are things so bad at the Red Star (and are they so desperate to cut expenses) that they can't support the

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  10:00 am CT
Posted by: drew

Just as the loss of Marshall Field's has been devastating to State Street, the loss of Kaufmann's has had a negative impact on Downtown Pittsburgh:

Both the flagship Marshall Field's and Kaufmann's were destinations in their own right; evidently the Red Star hasn't done anything to "wow!" shoppers as shown by the constant need to decrease selling space. Especially sad is Red Star is not investing in updated decor or fixtures, just "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic."

The founding families and generations of employees and shoppers of many wonderful American department stores would be truly saddened by the destruction of quality, innovation, goodwill and service .Wasn't the macy*fication project supposed to "excite" shoppers with its nationwide "magic"?

If discount store Target can generate so much excitement with its Missoni line, why can't an alleged department store with all its resources and coast-to-coast locations do the same?

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011  12:22 am CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

ake a look at this gem I found on "Google Street View" out of Seattle, WA.

I was playing around with the Street View in downtown Seattle, right by the old Bon Marche flagship store (which I remember very, very much growing up) and coincidentally, I happened to find quite a surprise!

Just go to "Google Maps" and type in "407 Pine Street, Seattle, WA" and orient the Street View in a northwesterly direction. Look at what the banner says!

It just show you that regardless of where you are in America, everybody sure wants their old stores (The Bon Marche, Foley's, Marshall Field's, etc.) back! May Strategic Marks LLC (glad that was mentioned on this blog!) help bring some of the regional retail magic back! (Right down to the "Day-O", too!)


Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Steve V.

Another customer survey of all retail operations shows that Nordstrom is in the Top Ten of Stores with the "most admired retail experiences." Keep in mind that back five years ago, among department stores, Field's was right behind Nordstrom in national surveys--and Field' was regional.

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011  11:48 am CT
Posted by: David W.

I have so many happy associations to Field's. Among my earliest memories as a young child in the late '50s was going downtown to eat there with my mother, which was a thrill. I always ordered the "Field's Special." When I grew up, and had a job, I still met my her there once every couple of weeks for lunch in the Walnut Room. The "Field's Special" was no longer on the menu, but I discovered that they would still serve if you asked. We continued doing this until it was no longer Fields, at which time my mother was in her late 90s. I can't tell you how sad she was when it became "that other store." A very important part of Chicago, and of my own personal history, disappeared with Marshall Fields.

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011  9:23 am CT
Posted by: drew

A more detailed article about the Downtown Pittsburgh Red Star:

How sad for shoppers, employees and the entire region.

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011  7:00 am CT
Posted by: James P.

(This was submitted to our blog back on July 31st but some how omitted. My apologies to all, especially James P.)

I do have to acknowledge this. I don't per se, hate Macy's....I grew up on Macy's, and it was a very different store 20/30 years ago. Being from Connecticut, we had a huge and well-stocked branch in New Haven that my family shopped at regularly, as well as a number of their other stores when I travelled to the NYC area and shopped there. Back then, before they became part of Federated, Macy's had its own distinct culture and vibe, and it was a terrific store. That said, I would frequently shop Field's when I was in Chicago...and that was often. I truly enjoyed visiting a store that was more like an event and someplace different with customer service that was knowledgable and made any purchase seem worth the trouble. Many bad twists of fate brought us here, but one thing I hugely dispute with Macy's Inc is this ridiculous insistence that they needed to make this change because Field's wasn't that much of a draw any longer. By the early 2000s and because Macy's had so blanded itself out, I made it a point to shop Fields (and Nordstrom) whenever I could. I cannot imagine, in a world where specialty retailers now dominate their respective focus' with specialized services, displays, promos and merchandise, all once the province of department stores, why they CAN make it work while the department store industry for the most part can't or won't. I truly believe it is the fact that the leadership of these chains never have to experience their stores like the rest of us nor have a passion for them. As a CEO, Mr Lundgren and lives and is catered to at a whole different level, and he has no idea what he had with Field's. He neither saw nor appreciated none of our passion they had as a customer base, and since many of us here are rapidly transitioning out of being their 'prime' demographic, he and his minions seem to be working overtime to not cater to our concerns. I do not think Mr Lundgren is evil, but I do think he is terribly narrow-casted in his business focus of creating a coast to coast department store chain that has to be milquetoast to economically survive. With the recent blanding (renovation?) of the Water Tower Place store, he is proving he is truly incapable of admitting a need to correct course. And with this I bid you all 'regards'.

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2011  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's has done similar things at other former flagships including the former Famous-Barr flagship in St. Louis and the former Dayton's flagship in Minneapolis.

I'm sure they plan the same for State Street...but it really doesn't have to be this way. They could fill it up with "Stores within a store' if they brought back Marshall Field's and bring back a unique, world-renowned destination.

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2011  8:59 pm CT
Posted by: drew

The downsizing of the Pittsburgh Red Star continues:

As the merchandise offerings are reduced, there becomes less reason to visit the downtown store. As fewer shoppers visit the store, further reduction of retail space becomes an option. The "magic" of profitability has been accomplished through cutbacks. How much longer can the Red Star continue this downward spiral? ===== A friend recently participated in a women's golf tournament in Florida. Of course, the tournament schedule allowed time for sightseeing and shopping. My friend and her companions were bitterly disappointed to find the nearby mall contained only the same stores available at home--Sears, Penneys, Kohl's and, of course, macy*mart.

One of the members of their group who resided in the area explained they once enjoyed "Burdines--the Florida Store" which offered unique shopping environments and merchandise.

My friends and her companions said "Why bother stopping at the mall when there is nothing special?" and they sought out some small shops to purchase souvenirs and gifts.

Wonder how many sales are lost when visitors find that the unique, beloved regional department stores no longer exist in most communities? Who will purchase a gift to from a store that can be found at the local mall? ===== Another news article about the Downtown Pittsburgh Red Star reducing its retail space:

Date: Monday, September 19, 2011  5:48 pm CT
Posted by: Carmen Schmidt

Marshall Field's is a part of Chicago's history. If the store could not continue, Macy's should have still respected the history by maintaining the look: green awnings with the cursive script.

Marshall Field revolutionized the industry in the early 1900s and gave women a place to shop free of an "escort". The elegance and service of the store can never be matched.

I have the fondest memories of visiting the State Street store with my aunt when I was a little girl. I felt like a princess in a magical department store at Christmas. Carrying the signature green shopping bag, tasting the Frangos at the candy shop, and all the lovely golden decorations. It's just NOT the same one bit with Macy's. So sad. History needs to be respected.

Response from Jim, The Webmaster:

Thank you for supporting the return of Marshall Field's. It's been a year since I last visited Macy's at Herald Square, however, on several visits, even their NYC flagship have had dark green awnings. I will try and check this out when I am in NYC next week or maybe can verify if they still have the green awnings. The Herald Square flagship is quite a hodge-podge of styles compared to State Street.

Date: Saturday, September 17, 2011  5:48 pm CT
Posted by: Tim Feaser

As a child growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, we often traveled to Chicago to visit Marshall Field's. What an incredible store for a kid to explore. Today, over 50 years later, I live in New York City. I often shop at Macy's in Herald Square (the World's Largest Store). But my experience in New York never seemed to match my memories of Marshall Field's. It always seemed that Marshall Field's was a better, more dramatic store. So, I was shocked when I visited Marshall Field's a few years ago, only to discover that it was now a Macy's. I can't figure it out. Why would a large corporation spend millions of dollars purchasing a name, only to retire the name. If I were a shareholder, I would be outraged to find that management had squandered an asset as valuable as Marshall Field's. That's akin to Hyundai purchasing Cadillac from GM,then making a cheaper Cadillac type car, but calling it a Hyundai and retiring the Cadillac name. It makes no sense. Go for broke FieldFans! I wish you the best.

Date: Friday, September 16, 2011  7:08 pm CT
Posted by: John C.

I knew Marshall Field's.

Marshall Field's was a great store.

Let me tell you: Macy's is no Marshall Field's!

Date: Friday, September 16, 2011  11:04 am CT
Posted by: Sandra Mak

I grew up in Chicago.

I now live in Nashville.

how horrible that I can't even go back to the place my mom and would go into town and have lunch and shop. Same on them who ever sold this wonderful place. I understand that it may be the sign of the times but come on.... first the sears tower and now this!!

Date: Thursday, September 15, 2011  4:01 pm CT
Posted by: denise

Congrats to everyone who participated in this yrs rally and made it such a success. (I was hearing about it on WBBM78 as I was driving that afternoon) Thanx to everyone!

Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011  5:59 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

A week or two ago, someone (a critic of our cause) reminded me of how coveted Marshall Field's shopping bags were (and still are)!

But then I attended the rally! Somehow passed along by former Field's employees, two parties brought a total of about 60 fresh, never used shopping bags. About 30 were plastic in the style of the early- to mid-2000's; another 30 were large paper, green ones from the early 1990s, right after Dayton-Hudson learned from their "brown bag" debacle.

Field's shopping bags are still auctioned at eBay.

I remember when I lived out of the Chicago area in the 1990s, people asked me to bring them Field's shopping bags.

At one point in the mid- to late-1990s, the head of Marshall Field's had to request that Field's employees stop giving out the bags for free and also to bring back any that were being hoarded at home. That's how valuable Field's was and still is as a brand.

Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011  5:59 pm CT
Posted by: Amy

Miss Field's!

Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011  5:51 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

I've added photos to our front page photo slide show. Check here.

Special thanks to gle.

Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011  9:02 am CT
Posted by: M.R.

Here's to Field's. Lord and Taylor may have been around longer, but for most of its history it hasn't been a department store. Field's is truly the first modern department store! It is also THE BEST!

Date: Monday, September 12, 2011  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: john

thanks for a great rally!!!!!

Date: Monday, September 12, 2011  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: M. (not M.) is great site to see what we've been missing as Field's has beecome the M-Store. Miss it!

Date: Monday, September 12, 2011  9:01 am CT
Posted by: gle

I was greatly encouraged by the on-going support of Field's fans at our anniversary rally September 10 "under the clock" on State Street. It was great to see familiar faces as well as passersby who picked up a sign and joined our march, and many who didn't have time to stop but voiced strong support for the return of Marshall Field's and disgust with Messy's. Several friends who couldn't make it said they heard us on WBBM radio and offered thanks for Field's fans continued efforts. After 5 years, Chicago hasn't forgotten where it wants to shop--isn't it time to bring back Marshall Field's?

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011  7:28 pm CT
Posted by: Kate & Chris

We still want Marshall Field's to come back!

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011  3:01 pm CT
Posted by: L.J.

I like the new buttons!

Glad to see everyone still supporting the return of Marshall Field and Company!

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011  10:55 am CT
Posted by: Karen B.

I'm 68 years old and my parents took my sister and me to the Cozy Cloud Cottage and to have lunch "Under The Tree" every year while we were growing up. We kept up with the tradition until a couple years after, I can hardly say it, Macy's took over. The tree is still put up but there are not decorations around the popovers, no walnut candies and no Uncle Mistletoe:(

The beautifully decorated store that was Marshall Fields is just not the customer service, displays are dull and the wonderful world of Marshall Fields does not exist under this owner.

I don't have any of the gift boxes, but I do have shopping bags, the cookbook with history and a replica of "The Clock". I treasure all of these things but the clock is a wonderful reminder of all the times my Mom and I met my Grandmother and my Father for shopping and dinner "Under The Clock"!

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011  10:28 am CT
Posted by: David Briggs

Macy's has always viewed killing the Field's brand as crucial to its success in the takeover of the "high end" market here in Chicago. The last thing they are ever going to seriously consider is re-opening Field's or even selling the name and mark to someone else who can run with it and revive it. They want Field's to simply Rest In Peace and for Chicagoans to just be satisfied with fond memories.

What needs to happen is for the Chicago City Council to pass a resolution which finds that Marshall Field's is a trademark, brand and marque with *municipal* importance, and as such is property which ought to be acquired by the City, and taken through eminent domain if necessary. And the fair market value to be assigned to the taking? It can't be much, according to Macy's own treatment of it. Salvage value at best. Once the City has the intellectual property rights in its hands, any number of joint ventures can be solicited and considered for their suitability to open for business under the Field's name, under an agreement which best replicates the Marshall Field's we remember and retains strong public interest control in that brand identity and shopping experience forever.

This is a new way Field's fans can pursue wresting Marshall Field's away from the party whose sole desire is to keep Field's dead and in the grave: Get The Chicago City Council Involved. Get The City To Use Its Eminent Domain Power. It is, I believe, the only strategy which can possibly work. Protests and boycotts will never do it. Time to get tough, people.

Response from Jim, The Webmaster:

Thank you for supporting the return of Marshall Field's. I don't think this would work in a number of ways. Personally, I don't think Macy's would rollover and do nothing in regards to this. Personally, I'm convinced that all involved can win--even Macy's and it's shareholders--in other, less extreme ways over a sustained period of time.

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: Carlos

Was great meeting everyone on State Street today! I wish I could have stayed. Can I get a Field's T-shirt anywhere?

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Many thanks to all who helped make today's rally a huge success! Special thanks to Gail, Lucy, Carole, A., Tim, Paul, and, of course, Zelda and never forgetting GLE.

Reports of rally coverage have been forwarded to me. I understand that Newsradio WBBM 780 AM/105.9 FM and FM News 101 both covered the rally.

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011  3:01 pm CT
Posted by: Carla C.

Just heard about the rally on the radio. I didn't know you guys existed. Keep up the good work.

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011  11:12 pm CT
Posted by: P.W.

Wish I could come! Glad the weather is nice!

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011  8:04 am CT
Posted by: Vanessa

good luck with your rally today.

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011  6:14 am CT
Posted by:

(CHICAGO-September 10, 2011) ANNOUNCES


Contact: Jim McKay, Co-Organizer,

Phone:            312-662-8980   


What:              Rally in support of the return of Marshall Field's

Where:        "Under the Great Marshall Field's Clock", State & Washington Streets

When:               TODAY!  NOON to 1:15 pm, SATURDAY, SEPT. 10, 2011

Five years ago, on Sept. 9, 2006, Marshall Field's was converted to Macy's.  On that day, hundreds of supporters converged at State and Washington under the Great Marshall Field's clock to demonstrate that Chicago--indeed, the world--wants Marshall Field's, not Macy's.

AT NOON, TODAY, SAT., Sept. 10, 2011, Marshall Field's supporters will once again meet under the great clock to rally and demonstrate that more than ever, Chicagoans and want the return of Marshall Field's to State Street.

In recent months, organizers at the grass-roots have been especially focused on restoring Marshall Field's to its flagship location on State Street, reinvented as a modern Chicago emporium of international stature.  The result has been a four-part study and proposal,  "A 21st Century Marshall Field's for a 21st Century Chicago." coorganizer Jim McKay says, "While much has been rightfully made of Marshall Field's tremendous history and cultural impact, Marshall Field's also reinvented itself repeatedly over its 154 years.  Our goal was to suggest through precedents and numbers how a reinvented and reborn Marshall Field's at State Street could be feasible and result in overwhelming economic, cultural and societal benefits for Macy's, its shareholders, State Street, Block 37, the Loop and, of course, the people of Chicago and its visitors.  "A 21st Century Marshall Field's for a 21st-Century Chicago" can be reviewed at .

A recent anonymous survey conducted by interviewed a total of 830 North Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers as to their preference for Marshall Field's or Macy's.   Completed in May 2011, the statistically rigorous results from 830 subjects indicated that 79%, or four out of five, still want Marshall Field's instead of Macy's.  Comparable surveys administered in 2009 and 2010 yielded similar results of 78% and 81%, respectively, with a very strong preference for Marshall Field's over Macy's.

The results of the survey were presented to Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, Macy's Board of Directors, executives and shareholders during the "questions and comments" segment immediately after the annual Macy's shareholders meeting held in Cincinnati on May 20, 2011.

Started in 2005, is a grassroots organization that has staged protest rallies, letter-writing campaigns and boycott activities with the goal of restoring Marshall Field's in quality and service, as well as name.  Its activities have included distributing more than 150,000 leaflets and almost as many pin-on buttons and lapel stickers; participation at Macy's stockholders meetings; and media coverage at the local, national and international levels with coverage by Reuters, Associated Press, BBC World Service, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Post, CBS Sunday Morning, WGN, National Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio, the local and national television news reports of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, and  more.

For further information, please contact Jim McKay, Co-Organizer of, at or (312) 662-8980.



Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  9:12 pm CT
Posted by: B.B.

It was a mistake to get rid of Marshall Field's!

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  7:03 pm CT
Posted by: Dee

I would like to attend to tomorrow but if it rains I will not. Still, my heart yearns for Marshall Field's and COmpany.

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  5:23 pm CT
Posted by: C.R. in Chicago

It's a good idea to present forward-looking statements about the reestablishment of Marshall Field's. Even Macy's will admit to Marshall Field's history.

Marshall Field's a huge asset that is worth more than the $18 t-shirts Macy's sells to preserve their trademark rights.

This is something matters to all shareholders. That the value of Marshall Field's brands was worth $419 million should even be of concern to institutional stock holders. This is a significant amount. For example, PNC has invested in at least 4% of Macy's, Inc. stock worth about $48 million.

Wishing you all success of successes tomorrow.

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  5:01 pm CT
Posted by: Pat R.


Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  3:59 pm CT
Posted by: R.N.

Attended the first rally in 2006. I live in Nevada now and still boycott Macy's.

Wish I could be there.

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  2:51 pm CT
Posted by: Lisa A.

Hoping to attend the rally. We miss Field's!

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  12:41 am CT
Posted by: Another Field's Fan

I have about 30 plastic Marshall Field's bags in perfect condition and plan to bring them to tomorrow's rally!

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  8:57 am CT
Posted by: gle

I am proud to support Field's Fans rally September 10 at Noon for the return or Marshall Field's.

How Chicago longs for a fresh and exciting Marshall Field's on State Street rather than a run-down, neglected Macy's facility.

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  7:41 am CT
Posted by:

(CHICAGO-September 9, 2011) ANNOUNCES

Contact:  Jim McKay, Co-Organizer,

Phone:    312-662-8980   


What:      Rally in support of the return of Marshall Field's

Where:        "Under the Great Marshall Field's Clock", State & Washington Streets

When:   Noon to 1:15 pm, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011

Five years ago, on Sept. 9, 2006, Marshall Field's was converted to Macy's.  On that day, hundreds of supporters converged at State and Washington under the Great Marshall Field's clock to demonstrate that Chicago--indeed, the world--wants Marshall Field's, not Macy's.
AT NOON, TOMORROW, SAT., Sept. 10, 2011, Marshall Field's supporters will once again meet under the great clock to rally for the return of Marshall Field's and to demonstrate that more than ever, Chicagoans and want the return of Marshall Field's to State Street.

In recent months, organizers at the grass-roots have been especially focused on restoring Marshall Field's to its flagship location on State Street, reinvented as a modern Chicago emporium of international stature among 50 great international cities.   The result has been a four-part study and proposal,  "A 21st Century Marshall Field's for a 21st Century Chicago." coorganizer Jim McKay says, "While much has been rightfully made of Marshall Field's tremendous history and cultural impact, Marshall Field's also reinvented itself repeatedly over its 154 years.  Our goal was to project through precedents and numbers how a reinvented and reborn Marshall Field's at State Street would result in overwhelming economic, cultural and societal benefits for
Macy's, its shareholders, State Street, Block 37, the Loop and, of course, the people of Chicago and its visitors.""A 21st Century Marshall Field's for a 21st Century Chicago" can be reviewed at .

A recent anonymous survey conducted by interviewed  a total of 830 North Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers as to their preference for Marshall Field's or Macy's.   Completed in May 2011, the statistically rigorous results from 830 subjects indicated that 79%, or 4 out of 5, still want Marshall Field's instead of Macy's.  Comparable surveys administered in 2009 and 2010 yielded similar results of  78% and 81%, respectively, with a very strong preference for Marshall Field's over Macy's.

The results of the survey were presented to Macy's CEO, executives and shareholders during the "questions and comments" segment immediately after the annual Macy's shareholders meeting held in Cincinnati on May 20, 2011.

Started in 2005, is a grassroots organization that has staged protest rallies, letter-writing campaigns and boycott activities with the goal of restoring Marshall Field's in quality and service, as well as name.  Its activities have included distributing more than 150,000 leaflets and almost as many pin-on buttons and lapel stickers; participation at Macy's stockholders meetings; and media coverage at the local, national and international levels with coverage by Reuters, Associated Press, BBC World Service, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Post, CBS Sunday Morning, WGN, National Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio, the local and national television news reports of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, and  more.

For further information, please contact Jim McKay, Co-Organizer of, at



Date: Friday, September 9, 2011  7:10 am CT
Posted by: Lee S.

Hello, Fellow Friend[s] of Field’s Fans--- I cannot attend this Saturday’s Rally. Wish [ed] I could bring my 94 yr young Mom as she has always been fond the Greatest Store on the planet: Marshal Field’s. She has always been a collector, smart saver of items. Well, I’ve been cleaning/clearing things and Have found several original Marshall Field’s shopping bags,,, the paper ones with cord/rope carry handles. They are is nice shape too… ! I suppose you and others probably have Field’s items /memorabilia! Have a great rally , Lee S

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011  11:01 pm CT
Posted by: Kathyrn

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

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011  5:30 pm CT
Posted by:


A 21st-Century Marshall Field's for a 21st-Century Chicago

Part 4:
A Reborn Marshall Field's Means Greatness for Chicago, Macy's and the World

In 2002, the City of Chicago and all of the world celebrated the 150th anniversary of Marshall Field's.  A complete magazine section in the Sunday Chicago Tribune documented Marshall Field & Company's history and world impact.  The sweep of congratulatory ads from top-of-the-line vendors, fashion figures, designers, and public figures demonstrated the reach of Marshall Field's stature as a world-class institution.

But, never to rest on its laurels, Marshall Field's proclaimed that the first 150 years were just a warm up for the the 21st century.

The next 150 years of Marshall Field's began with--what else?--another reinvention of Marshall Field's on State Street.  Just eight years ago, in 2003, with much fanfare, Marshall Field's pioneered the American version of the "stores within a store" concept for department stores.  As noted in FieldsFansChicago Newsletter No. 28, today's retail experts are making much of the concept as the future of the American department store--and Marshall Field's was the first to implement it.  Even Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren has hailed the concept.

Across the Atlantic, other stores like Berlin's KaDeWe and London's Harrods are stores with one-of-a-kind locations experiencing great success with the "stores within a store" concept.  London's Selfridges--the store that traces its lineage to Marshall Field's--is the most prominent and successful example of this concept.

It is now time for Marshall Field's to come back better than ever by picking up where it left off on State Street, leading the way with  the "stores within a store" concept for its next act in the 21st century. 

While State Street would be restored to being the legendary Marshal Field's, Macy's could continue to operate the acclaimed Water Tower store as its Chicago flagship. 

As successes bear out over time, other suburban stores could be considered for designations as Marshall Field's at certain special locations.  Such conversions would be judicious so as not to oversaturate the market with Marshall Field's stores.

This one-of-a-kind emporium on State Street, when operated in the unique spirit of Marshall Field's, would achieve at least four objectives--but the benefits would be boundless for all involved:

* First, restoring Marshall Field's to State Street would reclaim for shareholders the maximum value of the Marshall Field's tradenames and its historic flagship building.

Marshall Field's tradenames are greatly underused corporate assets whose shareholder value and impact are grossly unrealized.  In 2004, just before Macy's acquired Marshall Field's, May Department Stores (MayCo) placed the value of Marshall Field's tradenames at $419 million.  By comparison, the combined value of all other ten MayCo department store tradenames--including Lord & Taylor--was just $183 million. (1)   Macy's tradenames combined were valued at $377 million in 2004 and  $487 million in 2007. (2, 3)  (Since 2008, Macy's no longer breaks out this amount in annual reports.)

The immense value of Marshall Field's tradenames is most fully maximized when they are used in conjunction with the historic State Street store.  Conversely, the maximum value of the State Street store is realized when it is operated in name and style as Marshall Field's.

* Second, restoring Marshall Field's to State Street would reinvigorate Chicago's international fashion, design and culinary reputation under Chicago's best-known name.

During a recent public forum hosted by Chicago Public Radio at the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel underscored how Chicago's greatness and growth hinge on maintaining its status as one of the world's 50 international cities. 

With Marshall Field's on State Street, Chicago had one of only a handful of the greatest department stores in the world; a local emporium with something for all; and a culturally rich, international institution that dramatically elevated Chicago's global status and influence.  It makes no sense to dramatically reduce the international prominence and stature of Marshall Field's and Chicago by operating it under a name and  style associated with New York CIty.  Is it really productive to grow Chicago's fashion, design and culinary reputation under the New York-associated brands of Macy's?  Utilizing world-renowned names likes Trend House, The 28 Shop, the Fashion Incubator and others can best maintain and build Chicago's stature when operated under the international name associated more than any other with Chicago--Marshall Field's. At the same time, Macy's, Inc. would have an international store with a unique identity for testing what could not be done in a relatively ordinary department store like Macy's.

* Third, restoring Marshall Field's to State Street would generate increased revenues for both Chicago and Macy's (or any department store operator).

Since the State Street store became Macy's, more than a few very respected shops associated with the 2003 "stores within a store" concept left and scattered to Michigan Avenue, Oak Street and other areas.  While Macy's has replaced some of these, the store still is not nearly up to the levels of occupation prior to the conversion.  This has resulted in the reduction of utilized selling space in the store and reduced cachet for what was once Chicago's third most popular destination. (4)  Escalators and elevators have even been walled off as a result of shrinking the sales floor of the store. 

Moreover, the emptied retail spaces appear to have resulted in property tax appeals and reductions from the Cook County Assessor's Office based on "partial occupancy."  Our preliminary investigation at the Cook County Assessor's web site suggests that the appeals for the six properties making up the State Street flagship resulted in a tax break of $1.9 million or 35% for 2009.  Such property tax breaks were not effective when the store was Marshall Field's flagship. (5)

Bringing back Marshall Field's would bring back a number of exclusive brands, labels, designers, and shops that left when Marshall Field's was discontinued.  Informally, we at hear much interest in returning to the store should Marshall Field's be reborn on State Street.  Moreover, others eager would be eager join the revived emporium for the first time.

As presented in our last newsletter, the examples of Bergdorf Goodman, F.A.O. Schwarz, Harrods and others demonstrate how a single, special destination store can reach customers in very unique and successful ways that their parent retail chains cannot.

The reintroduction of Marshall Field's at State Street with its "stores within a store" would thus generate more sales traffic and taxes.

* Fourth, restoring Marshall Field's to State Street would be a tremendous boost to the economy and spirit of Chicago while generating immense goodwill for Macy's.

For three consecutive years since 2009, has conducted statistically rigorous, anonymous surveys of Chicago shoppers on State Street and Michigan Avenue.  The overwhelming yearning for the return of Marshall Field's has not wavered with four out of five surveyed insisting on the return of Marshall Field's to State Street. (6)

Restoring Marshall Field's to State Street would create immense positive buzz for Macy's, State Street shopping, Block 37, the Loop and Chicago.  In these difficult times, we have seen how offering something truly special and unique can be an overwhelming success.  Consider from our previous newsletter the example of Apple.  After almost folding 15 years ago, today Apple is a wildly successful company and retailer that has bucked today's difficult times by combining must-have products, top-notch service and a unique experience.

During a recent interview with Women's Wear Daily and other members of the press, Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said that the time is right to test new concepts and for "encouraging a higher level of risk-taking across all functions...We have to try new things - all kinds - and if one of them doesn't work, that's OK."  (7)

As we begin the 21st century with difficult times, it is perfectly clear that restoring and reinventing Marshall FIeld's on State Street is a low-risk opportunity that would provide massive excitement,  profits, value and joy to all.  Four out of five shoppers overwhelmingly want Marshall Field's back.

One of our favorite blog entries comes from a Field's Fan named Zelda, who wrote,

"Now is the time for the restoration of Field's.  It would absolutely warm Chicago's heart, and people would turn out in droves to shop there.  If anything would get people to spend again, it would be such a turnaround.  Lord knows we could use a sign to reassure us that all will be well again.  That's what Marshall Field's stood for, if you think about.  In good times and bad, it was a gentle reminder of the good life.  A fine store was a reminder of tradition and quality, even in the Great Depression.  We need Field's more than ever. "

Marshall Field's has long set an example for the spirit of Chicago.  Having survived fires, relocations, wars and economic depressions, the return of Marshall Field's is an eventuality. 

The first 150 years were just a warm-up.  Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's, a 21st-century emporium for a 21st-century world-class city, Chicago.


   (1) The May Department Stores Company Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2005.
   (2) Federated Department Stores, Inc. Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2005.
   (3) Macy's, Inc. Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2008.
   (4) Marshall Field's literature, 2005; also (2005) (2006)
   (5) Cook County Asessor's  Office Website,,  Property Search Database, Appeals.
   (6), 2011 Survey Results,
   (7) Womens Wear Daily,,  May 23, 2011, "Macy's Speeds Up Innovation Agenda."


Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011  4:41 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Karl Lagerfeld may have some new stuff at Macy's, but the designer nods to Marshall Field's as part of his success:

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011  11:01 am CT
Posted by: Jill M.

I'm here in Portland, Oregon but wish I would be in Chicago this Saturday. Godspeed!

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011  5:00 am CT
Posted by: Avis N., New City, NY

I was born and raised in Chicago and spent many happy hours at the flagship store in the Loop shopping for myself, and in the "saddlery" department where we purchased items for my American Saddlebred show horse. I can remember the large wooden horse statue that stood in the department.

Macy's can never take the place of Marshall Fields, a Chicago icon.

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011  12:44 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

I was watching "North by Northwest" the other day with my daughter. The Twentieth Century Limited had just arrived in Chicago from New York. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint were making their way out of the train with him disguised as a "red cap". She told him not to forget to change his clothes when he replied "Where am I going to change them, in Marshall Field's windows?" That was in 1958. It is a shame that such an icon of Chicago was wiped out. We even associated the Marshall Field's branch stores in Houston with Chicago when they came to town in the 1980s. Out of all the regional stores, Marshall Fields was by far one of, if not the, most internationally known store that others would be compared to. BRING BACK MARSHALL FIELDS! Of course, we still would love for a white knight to bring back our Foley's in its pre-May/Macy's form.

Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011  11:45 pm CT
Posted by: Mary

Sorry I can't make the rally. Will be monitoring the site from here in Wisc.

Mary, Brookfield, WI.

Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: Bob.

Here's to Marshall Field's. I hope it comes back.

Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011  2:19 pm CT
Posted by: An Observer

It's interesting to compare activity here with the Sears Tower web site. It died down after a few weeks. This place is like the Energizer bunny. It keeps going and going and going and... year after yar. Do you know why? Because Field's was great in so many ways! Macy's should pay you all for adding value to their trademark.

Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011  2:09 pm CT
Posted by: Claire H.

I miss Marshall Field and Company. I especially like how people are talking about what could be if it came back.

Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2011  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: A.H.

I'm skeptical it can come back because businesses don't often do the right thing anymore. But if they did, Chicago would be elated if Field's came back! Sales would go through the roof. Even ifjust downtown, you know it was the favorite store. You had to go when you came to town.

Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2011  6:45 pm CT
Posted by: r r.

You most certainly will have my participation (at the rally Saturday)! I'm going to Facebook it to get more support! I'm talking to my friends about it.

Date: Monday, September 5, 2011  6:45 pm CT
Posted by: Steve

I remember five Labor Days ago, in 2006. It was the last weekend as Marshall Field'd and I worked (at a suburban Chicago store). It was very sad for all of us. As a Marshall Field employee I was so proud of my work and what I did. Same for everyone else who worked there. Pride is what our country needs right now. It's sad to go in the former stores. I hate to shop there even though I get a discount as a retiree. Godspeed with your efforts,,, Macy's Terry Lundgren is one tough cookie.

Date: Sunday, September 4, 2011  10:12 am CT
Posted by: Mary L.

Did you know that Marshall Field and Company was one of the first stores to carry Jockey underwear? That was decades ago. The 30's I think. Marshall Field and Co. was first in so many things! Bridal registry too. That's why everyone liked them. We still miss them.

Date: Saturday, September 3, 2011  4:24 pm CT
Posted by: T.L.V.

Did you know a head board member for macys just recently retired? I only know this because an associate of mine that is a neighbor of his was recently talking about it.. Just thought you all might want to know if you don't know already. Maybe this could offer a change of heart on the board. :) Marshall Field's is a brand that is worth a lot!

Date: Friday, September 2, 2011  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: M.A.

Will there be protest signs for me to use at this year's rally? or should i make my own and bring it?

Response from Jim:

Thank you for your interest. You are welcome to bring your own but we will also have some on hand -- the same ones from last year as shown on our photos on our main/home page. Please use whatever gets you most in the spirit of Marshall Field's.

Date: Friday, September 2, 2011  1:33 pm CT
Posted by: Mike Pfeffer

Maybe there were too many Marshall Field locations, but geez Louise, you gotta have State Street Marshall Field's!!!!!!!!!!

I hope to come on the tenth.

Mike in Belvidere

Date: Friday, September 2, 2011  10:49 am CT
Posted by: Ron D.

The Drake was owned by Hilton International and was formerly a subsidiary of TWA. Hilton International was not allowed to use the "Hilton" name in the USA except for the former Kahala Hilton. That lead to the Vista International brand for Hilton International's domestica hotels. Conversely Hilton Hotels could not use the "Hilton" name internationaly which lead to the Conrad International brand.

Hilton had a long history of not always changing names of their hotels. The Plaza Hotel was once a Hilton the Waldorf Astoria is also part of the Hilton, but now a separate brand.

A few years back the two divisions were reunited as one hotel.

Conversely when Conrad Hilton purchased the Stevens Hotel on Grant Park, he changed the name to the Conrad Hilton Hotel. It is now the Hilton Chicago and Towers. When Hilton purchased Statler Hotels they all became Statler Hiltons.

Renaming hotels completely is more of a recent trend in the hotel industry.

Date: Friday, September 2, 2011  10:27 am CT
Posted by: Ron D.

The "beloved flagship" of FAO Schwartz closed before the bancruptcy and is now occupied by Bergdorf Goodman's Men's Store.

A new store was opened up across 58th St in the General Motors Building in 1986.

This is the only FAO Schwartz store still operating.

Date: Thursday, September 1, 2011  8:45 pm CT
Posted by: Steve Croce

Marshall Field and Co. was something special, out of the ordinary. Macy's is just average.

Date: Thursday, September 1, 2011  4:43 pm CT
Posted by: A.J.




Date: Thursday, September 1, 2011  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: Kim S.

I will be there Saturday the tenth. Will wear something from Field's.

There would be huge business if Marshall Field came back to Chicago.

Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2011  10:55 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Well, I finally did it. I entered a former Foley's at The Woodlands mall today. I have not been in there since the takeover in 2006. It was just as I expected. The fine china and crystal departments were partially dark and no merchandise or displays were on the walls. Racks and racks of clearance clothing with large $7 signs. It looked awful. Of course, gobs of signage for Tasso Elba, Alfani and other of their own in house junk. May had already taken Foley's downmarket from what it was but, wow, this takes the cake.

Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2011  7:21 pm CT
Posted by: Raul Solano

Marshall Field's was Chicago. It's wrong for a company to hold it hostage. I will not shop there. I have not since it went Macy's. Macy's is so New York and kind of chintzy. Everyone knows that.

Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2011  1:15 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Today's Chicago Tribune Voice of the People (On-Line Edition) features a letter about the Marshall Field's Great Clock appearing on the Trib's front page masthead:,0,6960979.story

Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2011  6:03 am CT
Posted by: Will S.

Glad to get the newsletters. We liked to come from New York City for Marshall Field's. A really class-act store.

Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2011  12:34 pm CT
Posted by: Kim S., Lisle

My husband and I attended the protest for Field's the day it changed. We plan to go again this year. Keep at it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2011  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: S.D.

Is the Frango demo setup on the 7th floor working again or has it been completely dismantled? Last Time I was there, it was just a bunch of dead equipment with some boxes stored in the middle. Such a shame for such a prominent space. Also, how can you tell which Frangos were made in Chicago and which were not? Not that I plan to buy. I just want to see them.

Date: Monday, August 29, 2011  4:40 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

It is interesting that all the examples in this months newsletter FAO, Bergdorff Goodman, and Duane Reade are all in NY. I assume this is because NY is very specific about keeping it's local identity. They got a little upset when Target Stores, Costco, Home Depot etc. entered Manhattan. That's great... but why shouldn't other cities have the option of keeping their identity too!

Date: Monday, August 29, 2011  3:53 pm CT
Posted by: gle

What I would like for the future is definitely not a bunch of run-down Messy's buildings all over with endless hordes of trendy trash.

A fresh and exciting Marshall Field's on State Street with merchandise for several categories of shoppers would be so welcome, and make Chicago so much more unique.

And speaking of fresh, my neighborhood had a presentation by the CEO of Mariano's about a year ago. I was really impressed with his attitude. He emphasized top-quality (not just top trend), customer preferences, and closed by saying "I look forward to the opportunity to serve you." Yes, we could use a re-invigorated Marshall Field's on State Street run by someone with such principles.

Date: Monday, August 29, 2011  10:23 am CT
Posted by: Jim

All week, the Chicago Tribune is featuring a pen and ink rendering of the Marshall Field's clock on paper's masthead, between the words, "Chicago" and "Tribune."

Send a letter to to show your approval.

Date: Monday, August 29, 2011  1:43 am CT
Posted by: J.H.

I am very near completing a delightful and very informative biography of Marshall Field's as well as Mr. Field himself.

The title is "Give the Lady What She Wants" written in 1954. One of those "page turners" where you can’t put it down.

I had no idea that John Shedd had succeeded MF, nor that Potter Palmer had preceded the "Prince of Merchants".

Must reading for all us Fields Fans.

Date: Sunday, August 28, 2011  7:56 pm CT
Posted by: Susan

I grew up with Field's.

I haven't entered a Macy's since they took over.

Date: Saturday, August 27, 2011  8:56 pm CT
Posted by: gle, et. al.

The News Star, a neighborhood paper serving Andersonville, Uptown and other north side areas has a story about our rally in this week's edition. It is dated August 24-30, 2011. The story is on the reverse side of the back page. You can obtain a copy for free at many locations including convenience stores like 7-Eleven and coffee shops like Perfect Cup at Damen and Leland.

Date: Friday, August 26, 2011  1:40 pm CT
Posted by: R.M.

The best thing written in the FFC newsletter on this topic! Anyone with even an iota of marketing experience would see the logic in this. But I don’t think anything will happen with Lundgren at the helm. Let's hope he retires or gets fired soon. Perhaps the sentiment at Macy's regarding Field's on State Street will change.

Date: Friday, August 26, 2011  11:32 am CT
Posted by: Jim

[From's Newsletter No. 30. ]

A 21st-Century Marshall Field's for a 21st-Century Chicago

Part 3:
Neiman Marcus & Bergdorf Goodman, Toys "R" Us & F.A.O. Schwarz, Walgreen's & Duane Reade

In contrast to Macy's conversion of Marshall Field's, the national chains Neiman Marcus, Toys "R" Us and Walgreens have each acquired local stores, retaining and even enhancing their local stores' identities, much to the pleasure and satisfaction of customers and shareholders alike.

In each of these three cases, the national retailers have recognized the local uniqueness of a local retailer that they have acquired and have used them as contexts for learning; as a way of connecting with local customers; and of building prestige. 

Nieman Marcus & Bergdorf Goodman

Nieman Marcus is a national upscale specialty retailer in the same category as Macy's Bloomingdale's stores. Neiman Marcus has 41 stores coast-to-coast in 21 states plus the District of Columbia. By comparison, Bloomingdale's also has 41 stores in 12 states plus a single store in the United Arab Emirates.

Despite Nieman Marcus' national reach, its parent, Neiman Marcus Group, continues to also run a single store as the even-more-upscale Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Nieman Marcus has no namesake store in Manhattan. Furthermore, the two buildings that make up Bergdorf Goodman's Fifth Avenue store constitutes Neiman Marcus Group's largest location, with 25% more square footage than the largest Neiman Marcus store and 60% larger than the typical Neiman Marcus location. Neiman's could have converted Bergdorf's so that they would have a New York City flagship. just as Macy's converted Marshall Field's on State Street so they could have a Chicago flagship. Instead, Neiman Marcus Group respects and sees great value in Bergdorf's history, clientele and potential. 

Toys "R" Us & F.A.O. Schwarz

Founded in 1862, New York's F.A.O. Schwarz is considered to be the United States' oldest toy store. Known worldwide for its New York City flagship, F.A.O. is perhaps best known to Chicagoans for their Michigan Avenue store that operated in the 1990s and its operation of toy departments in Carson Pirie Scott's State Street flagship circa 2003 and at Macy's on State Street circa 2008-09.  

Despite its legendary history, F.A.O. Schwarz has experienced difficult times in the past two decades. F.A.O. eventually filed for chapter 11 and was purchased by the massive Toys "R" Us conglomerate. All F.A.O's stores were eventually closed save for the beloved N.Y.C. flagship.

If Toys "R" Us had followed Macy's precedent, the F.A.O. flagship would have been closed since they already have an N.Y.C flagship. Instead, Toys "R" Us valued F.A.O.'s history, tourism and inspirational spirit. Toys "R" Us is even willing to print up special shopping bags just for one location.

Walgreens & Duane Reade

Duane Reade is a chain of New York City drug stores that grew to over 250 locations, permeating much of Manhattan and the New York City region. Started in 1960, Duane Reade is not especially key to the Big Apple's history, but its ubiquity makes it a familiar store with which locals have a love-hate relationship. Despite a fledgling remodeling program, financial and management troubles over the past decade led to Duane Reade's acquisition by Deerfield-based Walgreens. With 7,000 locations nationwide, including some in the New York tristate area, it would have been understandable if choice Duane Reade locations were kept and converted to Walgreen's while the more run-down and less desirable locations were closed. Instead, Walgreens saw Duane Reade as an opportunity to connect with the unique clientele of New York City. 

Not only was Duane Reade kept as the store name, Duane Reade's remodeling program was accelerated, even creating experimental specialty-format Duane Reades in the Financial District, Upper Manhattan and Brooklyn. Walgreens is using these stores to test new concepts that can then be rolled out at certain other Walgreens nationwide.* Furthermore, certain Duane Reade brand items were expanded nationally to all Walgreens stores while Duane Reade's pharmacies were cobranded as being part of the "Walgreens Pharmacy Network." The new Duane Reade in the Financial District will likely be the precedent for a new Walgreens rumored for State and Randolph Streets here in Chicago. Rather than discard Duane Reade, Walgreens has created a newer and better Duane Reade in N.Y.C. that in turn influences newer and better Walgreeens nationwide.

All three of these cases illustrate how Macy's could rejuvenate Marshall Field's at State Street. The return of Marshall Field's would create excitement and profits in Chicago, and, in turn, create a better Macy's, Inc. for its customers and stockholders. 

Bringing back Marshall Field's to at least State Street, just as Neiman Marcus has fostered its single Bergdorf Goodman's prime location and Toys "R" Us celebrates its very special F.A.O. Schwarz location, would restore the highest and best use to what has always been Chicago's premier retail destination. Better yet, Macy's could do what Walgreens is doing with Duane Reade, using Marshall Field's as Macy's, Inc.'s ultimate localization connection with what the customers overwhelmingly want.

Likewise, when Hilton Hotels took over the Palmer House and The Drake hotels, Hilton let those locations keep their storied, international identities, distinct style of service and, of course their names. This was despite the fact that both hotels are mailine Hilton locations.

Based on these success stories and others like them, Macy's could bring back Marshall Field's, and in doing so it would unlock immense shareholder value, generate enormous goodwill among Chicago shoppers, and, most of all fulfill the ultimate value of this unique asset.

A Reborn Marshall Field's Means Greatness for Chicago, Macy's and the World

Coming next in's Newsletter No. 31.

"A reborn Marshall Field's offers a huge opportunity for Chicago, Macy's (or any operator) and the world as we head into the 21st century."

Date: Friday, August 26, 2011  7:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim

[ Posted this to Facebook earlier this week. ]

In 2002, Marshall Field's announced their 150th Anniversary with the slogan, "The First 150 Years Were Just a Warm-Up."

So nostalgia and history is way important, but personally, I hate to see this group get weighed down with that since that, by itself won't bring back Field's to State Street. Even Macy's CEO will say good things about Marshall Field's history and past...but what do you think Marshall Field's of the FUTURE will be all about in the 21st CENTURY?

I think Marshall Field's is Chicago's best known international name, brand AND label upon which all sorts of merchandise, service and experiences can be based upon. Chicago fashion, culinary products and more should be developed under the name Marshall Field's since it is already synonymous world-wide with Chicago. I see (and have casually spoken with) other businesses--local, national, and international--who want to be part of the revived Marshall Field's on State Street, but not part of a Macy's on State Street.

When teaching design, it seemed that aside from Marshall Field's, local people had no internationally recognized Chicago name, save for Marshall Field's under which to develope. I don't think Chicago designers (fashion, interiors, culinary arts and more) should have to go to NYC to build their rep--but nor should they build them in Chicago under a New York brand since that mainly builds NYC's rep.

Field's also was definitely on the right track with the "stores within a store concept" employed at State Street from 2003-2005 until Macy's took over in 2006.

So I look forward to hearing what YOU envision a 21st Century Marshall Field's would be all about. It's those of kind of thoughts--and not so much the nostalgia--that will bring back a Field's, A Field's that is always fresh and exciting. That's why we loved it so. Thanks for your forward-looking thoughts.

Date: Thursday, August 25, 2011  7:10 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Was in the Mariano's Fresh Market on Western and Roscoe for its Grand Opening. It reminded me of the spirit of what I hope a Marshall Field's of this decade should be like.

Mariano's is run by and named after the former CEO of Dominick's who left with many others when Safeway purchased the Chicago-spirited chain in the late 1990s.

While our groups takes no stand on issues other than Marshall Field's return, there is significant consensus in the public opinion that many people don't like Dominick's as much since it effectively turned into Safeway in every way but name. At one point circa 2003, Safeway almost closed Dominick's.

That said, Mariano's feels just like Dominick's if it had stayed independent. What made it feel like Dominick's from the 1990s? The cheerful staff who seemed to be genuinely thrilled to be working there, with smiles everywhere. That's a classic value that would be an asset of any grocer even a hundred years from now.

At the same time, Mariano's isn't a nostalgia trip back to the Dominick's of the 1990s. From the cafe to the departments and merchandise, it's clear that Mariano's didn't come back just like it was before. Instead it came back better, like Dominick's would/should be in 2011.

It's great to see the best come back.

It is in that spirit that I hope Marshall Field's returns. Some classic things never change--yet the goods, merchandise and more was always changing to be at the forefront of today and tomorrow.

I'm progressive and all for change--in fact, it's what Marshall Field's was all about. However, I'm only for change that is for the better. Few, except for mainly those with a financial interest, think Macy's is a change for the better from Marshall Field's.

Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2011  1:43 pm CT
Posted by: From Michigan

I will be EXCITED to see MARSHALL FIELD'S come back!

You know, a lot of "good" ideas these idiots have had (Terry Lundgren and pals, most notably) prove themselves in the end to be what we always knew they were: BAD ideas. I'm excited everytime I see ANY part of Americana returning as we have lost so much of our country's individuality along with losing our retail stores that were special. I hope to see these stores return in all their glory, along with seeing Americans return to our uniqueness as Americans. Any good news is great news at this point! is my favorite blog on the entire web!

Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2011  11:15 am CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

Another example of a large retailer allowing a single stand alone store to operate is John Lewis in the UK. For decades, John Lewis has owned the Peter Jones department store in London. Peter Jones has remained a middle to better store while John Lewis is more mid tier. Like the Field's store, John Lewis spent millions renovating the Peter Jone store, which is an iconic piece of 1930s modernism. ( I believe the first curtain wall in the UK) Many of the products in Peter Jones are John Lewis brands, but the store still maintains an indepedent identity as John Lewis was smart enough to know that a Sloane Square shopper wants Peter Jones!

Oh, and about those new Macy's tee shirts; am I just being sensitive, but the Field's shirt is BLACK, which is also the color for the Burdine's shirt. Burdine's was once known as the Florida store, couldn't they have at least made a Florida shirt white? (and Field's green?) Reading the descriptions, they mention things they destroyed at each store, such as Field's trend house, which last time I looked, was filled with boxes or at Burdine's Miami flagship, its cloud ceiling, which I believe they painted over. So much for respecting a brand.

Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2011  6:11 pm CT
Posted by: Richard In Houston

I was in Fort Worth, Texas on business last week and was having a business luncheon. Shopping came up during the conversation and guess what? Folks in Dallas/Fort Worth have a disdain for Macy's as well. Some of the comments were cheap merchandise and poor selection. One of the colleagues indicated there is no business wear to speak of. Other stores are getting the business previously had by Foley's. I noticed Dillards is advertising the Hart, Schaffner and Marx suits that Macy's dropped after taking over Foley's (among the other designer names). I feel for the vendors. When you think back to 20 to 30 years ago when there were thousands of stores to choose from and sell your wares to. The consumer has reallly gotten the raw end of the deal with all the consolidations.

I also noted the shirts on the Macy's website that have the iconic brand names of the stores they took over. This is merely a ploy to keep the trademarks active to prevent someone from bringing the stores back.

Date: Monday, August 22, 2011  1:08 pm CT
Posted by: Katie

What does Marshall Fields mean to me????

Marshall Fields is Chicago.

I can remember being a small child and riding the train to go to Marshall Fields downtown to see the Christmas Windows. Marshall Fields for school shopping and Frango Mints. While I kept the tradition with my own kids they went and changed and now years and years of family traditions are gone.

Date: Sunday, August 21, 2011  2:10 pm CT
Posted by: gle

There are things that come back. A couple of examples outside of retail:

I remember railroad trains becoming extinct in the 1970's. Then in the 1980's commuters decided METRA was the best way to get to work. Now people can't live without their trains.

And how about the TV news concept of survival for the future--hire ONLY young-looking, trendy (and in my opinion) scatterbrained anchor persons. Recently I turned on Channel 2 and was shocked to see classic veterans Bill Curtis and Walter Jacobsen returned to their former posts. And they weren't trying to act young and foolish to fit in.

The stock market doesn't stay the same. The weather doesn't stay the same.

There are customers for a Marshall Field's on State Street. It could come back. It will be very welcomed to come back.

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2011  11:34 pm CT
Posted by: S.W.

I just got done reading a book about Marshall Fields. I work a block away and walked there to look around at the architecture. Makes me weep that they would have the gall to splash their red stars everywhere.

My mother in law (86 yrs) worked ther when she was 16. She refuses to shop there now. I found an old Field's plastic garment bag and she cried when I gave it to her.

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2011  7:14 pm CT
Posted by: K.E.

I want my Marshall Field's!

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2011  12:44 am CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

I can't believe you can actually buy a Strawbridge's, Filene's, Kaufmann's, Marshall Field's etc shirt on So this is to preserve the trademark? That is so crazy. I guess they must be one size fits all, because there are no sizes listed. Also, I find it interesting that they talk about the historical significance of, say, Strawbridges, which they closed when they took over May Department Stores. How sad and lame. Marshall Field and Lincoln Filene must be rolling in their graves.

Date: Friday, August 18, 2011  9:58 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

In response to the post about Carson Pirie Scott being truncated to Carson's: No surprise. The Bon Ton's advertising for its own namesake stores has been cut to "Bon Ton." Evidently history, sense of community, tradition and class are no longer valued in today's market.

The Bon Ton operated mid to better level department stores in smaller communities in PA and surrounding states, but unfortunately they too have gone downmarket. Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg PA hosts both a Bon Ton (formerly Pomeroy's, originally Troutman's) and a Red Star (originally Kaufmann's). Bon Ton offers more brand name merchandise than Red Star but it has gone downhill in selection and quality. Perhaps since the Red Star has destroyed so many quality department stores, there is no incentive for the other other operators to try to compete.

Marshall Field's and the other top regional stores were retail benchmarks for quality, innovation and service; the Red Star lowered the standard to mediocrity and lackluster merchandising.

Date: Friday, August 18, 2011  5:15 pm CT
Posted by: J.A.

You should remind readers in the next newsletter that
  1. The Bon Ton corporation bought Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's and those stores retain the name and customers.
  2. Harrods was considering building a store on Block 37 across from Marshall Field. Do you think they would have built a retail store across from one not on Fifth Avenue in NY? They wanted to build across from another world class exclusive store and that ain't Macy's.

Date: Friday, August 18, 2011  3:58 pm
Posted by: P.S. in Virginia

I grew up in Chicago in the 60's and 70's and Marshall Fields's was a big part of our family. Regular trips to the Oakbrook store were routine when anyone in the family needed anything. The highlight of the year was taking the train downtown from the suburbs before Christmas to look at the State Street Field's Christmas windows and have lunch in the Walnut Room.

Date: Friday, August 18, 2011  2:49 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fans

From our just-out Newsletter No. 29:

A 21st-Century Marshall Field's for a 21st-Century Chicago

Part 2:

In last week's Newsletter, we inaugurated a series of examples that make the irrepressible case for a reinvented 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago.

This week we answer those who say Marshall Field's could never come back by considering another extraordinary example of how an iconic company and brand can come back better than ever. Please consider the story of Apple.

Apple was founded in 1976, by "the Two Steves" of Apple (Wozniak and Jobs) who helped to jump-start the personal computer revolution, developing not only ground-breaking products but also a certain ethos with a highly allegiant following dedicated to quality and design in some ways not unlike supporters of Marshall Field's.

In the mid-1980s, under pressure from Wall Street, Apple eventually hired a more "corporate-minded" CEO. When the dust settled, Steve Jobs--Apple's creative Polaris--was cast out in a contentious internal fight. Many Apple loyalists were dismayed at Jobs' exile. Jobs set out on his own, starting NeXT, Inc., an innovative niche computing company that never became mainstream.

Post-Jobs, Apple's fortunes increased for six or seven years, but at the expense of innovation and passion among its engineers, developers and customers. Nevertheless, Apple's stock peaked in the early 1990s, and financial experts declared that the removal of Steve Jobs was vindicated.

Yet Apple's fortunes ultimately sank. Quality and innovation skidded. By 1996, Apple stock had hit bottom, its product innovation was of dubious potential, and its formerly legendary quality control was humbled. Analysts started predicting the closing of Apple and that its plants would be sold to a rival for the manufacture of Windows-based PCs. At that point, the minions of Apple fans were looked upon as naive for still pleading for the return of Steve Jobs to Apple.

But then the seeds of a miracle were planted. Steve Jobs was asked back to Apple as a consultant, and Apple acquired NeXT. After all these years, it did happen: the Apple loyalists' dream of the second coming of Steve Jobs was realized. Then more unthinkable things happened. In an amazing show of support, Apple's archrival, Microsoft, acquired 10% of the company to help it make a comeback. Apple started to innovate with new products like the iMac, the original iPod and the rededication of NeXT's computer operating system as Apple's new Mac OS.

Apple came roaring back.

In 1996, any business expert would have thought you were crazy if you would have predicted that on August 10, 2011, Apple would exist as an independent company; be led by Steve Jobs; and be the United States' most valuable company.

But that's exactly what happened

Today, Macy's may be doing relatively well in the tumultuous business climate. But history runs in cycles, with the best ultimately rising the top. With four out of five Chicago shoppers still pining for the return of Marshall Field's, it is important to remember what happened with Steve Jobs at Apple.

Indeed, in business anything can happen--Marshall Field's can come back, a greater destination than ever.

Date: Thursday, August 18, 2011  10:32 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

I've heard on some occasions that Macy's people think our example of Neiman Marcus running a single Bergdorf Goodman store in NYC (where there are no N-M stores) does not compare to Macy's. They say that Neiman's is regional while Macy's is not.

Then have to wonder. Bloomingdale's is supposed to be national. In fact, Macy's has about 40 Bloomingdale's stores in 14 states. Neiman Marcus also has about 40 stores--but in 23 states. Which is more "national"?????

Neiman Marcus is a good example of a national chain that kept and respected Bergdorf Goodman because it made sense to do so.

Date: Thursday, August 18, 2011  2:22 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

You can't begrudge any charity event in this tough day and age, even if it's run by Macy's.

That said, media recaps of Glamorama didn't show too many well-know guests at last Friday's event.

Date: Thursday, August 18, 2011  12:01 am CT
Posted by: Field's Fans

Happy 177th birthday to Mr. Marshall Field.

Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2011  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Checking the web

Checking the web, I see that Macy's has started selling T-shirts featuring the names of the department stores they have moth balled.

For $18 you can buy T-shirts with store logos on the "crest"--the upper left corner front. You can select store brands like Jordan Marsh, Filene's,Hecht's, Famous Barr, Foley's, I. Magnin and many others, including, of course, Marshall Field's.

I'm sure they are hoping to make some money, but of course, the main goal of selling these shirts is that it allows Macy's to continue to claim rights to these names.

[ Note that Hudson's and Dayton's shirts are not being sold: Target owns the rights to those names. In fact, as has been pointed out before, and redirect to ]

Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2011  2:01 pm CT
Posted by: M.C. with Jim McKay

Who says store brands can't come back, even if Macy's currently owns them?

Looks like The Broadway, Joseph Magnin, Robinson's Department Store, Filene's, Abraham and Strauss and others are on their way back, according to--for what it's worth--Wikipedia:

As of April 2011, Strategic Marks, LLC has obtained 'The Bon Marche' trademark and plans on re-introducing the famous department store name as part of a virtual mall, along with other nostalgic stores such as The Broadway, Joseph Magnin, Robinson's Department Store, Filene's, Abraham and Strauss and may others. The goal is to bring back the great department stores of the 20th century, with the hopes of re-opening the actual 'Brick and Mortar' stores throughout the US.

Another story from News Zone:
Jim writes: My hunch is that, if this is for real, it would be something similar to Montgomery Wards. After disappearing, someone bough the rights to Wards and opened a retail site at

If true, then it is interesting that certain other brands didn't seem to be acquired, like I. Magnin and, of course, Marshall Field's.

Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2011  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

You don't have to be a Walgreen's fan to be a Field's fan. That said, here's a new example of something happening for which anyone would have been labeled by experts as being crazy if you had predicted it three or four years ago.

For decades, at least back to World War II, there was a Walgreen's on the northeast corner of State and Randolph. The store closed around the same time that Marshall Field's was converted to Macy's. It was torn down and a high-rise was constructed housing condos, the Joffery and Loehmann's.

Flash ahead to summer 20011. Loehmann's is gone and Crains Chicago Business recently said that Walgreen's is about to ink a deal to move back to the northeast corner of State and Randolph where it will move into the former Loehmann's which is where Walgreen's used to be. The store will likely be a 27,000 square foot Chicago-flagship, akin to their special Duane Reade store at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan. The deal is not yet official.

Who says a store can't come back?

Date: Monday, August 15, 2011  9:01 pm CT
Posted by: A.G.

Maybe you stopped being a Carson Pirie Scott customer in 1990 after P.A. Bergner purchased it and took it down market.

Maybe you stopped being a Carson Pirie Scott customer in 2007 when Bon-Ton closed the historic State Street landmark.

Maybe you stopped being a Carson Pirie Scott customer in 2007 when Bon-Ton took the merchandise even further down market.

But as of yesterday, Sunday, August 14, 2011, no one is a Carson Pirie Scott customer. Bon-Ton heretofore has changed the store's name to simply Carson's.

Bon-Ton isn't too bright. I might even prefer that they were taken over by Macy's at this point.

Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011  6:11 pm CT
Posted by: V.R., Maryland

I am originally from the Chicago area and it not fair that Macy’s got rid of a Landmark store. I will wear my button proudly.

Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011  11:36 am CT
Posted by: Eileen Kelly

I'm busy cleaning out old boxes of clothes. I just found an unopened Pair of Marshall Field pantyhose. When were these last sold?

Date: Friday, August 12, 2011  3:10 pm CT
Posted by:


       NEWSLETTER  No. 28

       Friday, August 12, 2011


       P L E A S E    F O R W A R D...

       to all potentially interested family and friends.


       S A V E    T H E    D A T E !
       Under the Great Marshall Field's Clock at

       Be There for Marshall Field's!
       Be There for Chicago!


       In this Newsletter ...

     * Marshall Field's: Constantly Changing,
              a Model for the 21st Century

     * In Business Anything Can Happen: The Example of Apple

     * Forward This Email as an E-Leaflet"

     * Rally for the Return of Marshall Field's, September 10



The story of our great city of Chicago--its very destiny as one of the world's premier cities--was forged with much thanks to Marshall Field & Company.  Thanks Field's, for your philanthropy--for the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium, the Merchandise Mart, and of course, the Field Museum.  It is no wonder that five years later, four out of five Chicago shoppers still want Marshall Field's to return, especially to State Street.

Some say that if Marshall Field's were to return, it would never be the same as before, ... and in the most positive sense they are correct.  That is because Marshall Field's sustained its greatness by constantly reinventing itself while always adhering to a tradition of high quality, value and service. 

Consider that the man Marshall Field ran a world-renowned emporium in the latter half of the 1800s, yet during his lifetime he never saw the current State Street store completed, never heard of The 28 Shop, nor ever ate a single Frango mint.   All that was yet to come.  Marshall Field & Company kept changing, but always remained uniquely Chicago at its best--bringing internally renown to the city.

The Marshall Field's of the 1890s was not the same as the Marshall Field's of the 1920s, just as Marshall Field's in the 1940s was so different from the Field's experience of the 1970s. 

Marshall Field's on State Street was again setting a new standard for the American department store when it was dismantled into just another Macy's.  It is complete "bunk" that Marshall Field's wasn't on the cutting edge when it was replaced by Macy's in the mid-2000s. 

The most recent reinvention of Marshall Field's was presented on State Street in 2003.  Just eight years ago, with much fanfare, Marshall Field's pioneered the American version of the "store within a store" concept.  The concept's success grew, and a second implementation was planned for Minneapolis when Macy's took over.  The potential of the latest version of Field's was cut short by Macy's.

Just last week, the concept of "a store within a store" was cited as the future of department stores by Stephen Hoch, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School Business.*  While Macy's is cited as dabbling in the concept, Field's supporters know it makes complete sense for it to reenage at State Street under the Marshall Field's name because that would best attract the highest-quality and best-known brands and in-store shops that would not settle for being in Macy's.  The floors that have emptied out at State Street since Macy's took over attest to the power of the Marshall FIeld's name.

When we rally for Marshall Field's return to State Street, it is in part to celebrate its great history and even engage in some nostalgia.  But ultimately, with that history as a rock-solid foundation, we look to the future with great hope for a new Marshall Field's as Chicago's 21st-century internationally renowned emporium.



Coming next week in's Newsletter No. 29:

"Fifteen years ago, Apple Computer was on the verge of folding.  Moreover, the minions of Apple fans were looked upon as naive for endlessly pleading for the return of Steve Jobs to Apple, especially after his contentious exit in the mid-1980s.  In 1996, any business expert would have thought you were crazy if you would have predicted that on August 10, 2011, Apple would not only still exist, but would also be the United States' most valuable company led by Steve Jobs.

In business anything can happen."



About twice a week, leading up to our September rally,  you will receive a newsletter like this one.  Please help by forwarding this email to all your friends and family as a sort of electronic leaflet.  Word-of-mouth and social networking are the best ways to get support for our September 10th rally.

As in the paragraphs above, each newsletter will also offer additional perspectives on why we think the return of Marshall Field's is not only inevitable,  but essential for the 21st Century.



Please join us at NOON on SATURDAY, September 10, 2011, to remind Macy's, Chicago, Wall Street--indeed the whole world--that Chicago overwhelmingly STILL wants the return of its iconic MARSHALL FIELD & COMPANY to STATE STREET.

Overwhelming demand for Marshall Field's continues to hold steady among Chicago shoppers. Our 2011 survey of over 800 Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers found that 79%--four out of five Chicago shoppers--still prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's.  Similar results were yielded in 2009 and 2010.  Full results are at

These results were presented to Macy's top-level executives--including the CEO and Board of Directors--at the Macy's, Inc. shareholders meeting in Cincinnati on May 20, 2011.

Even after five years, Marshall Field's is STILL, by far, Chicago's best-known international brand, unmatched by any other Chicago name.  This September 10th, we will celebrate Marshall Field's amazing 154-year history.  Moreover, we will demonstrate  support for a reborn Marshall Field's on State Street as Chicago's priceless emporium and international brand with immense potential for the 21st-century.

We need YOU to come out to State and Washington Streets at NOON on Saturday, September 10, 2011, to make the message even clearer to Macy's: Chicago wants its Marshall Field's! 

Please, come rally for our international icon, Marshall Field's, and our great city, Chicago.  You will help to make history.


       Be There for Marshall Field's!
       Be There for Chicago!

       SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011

       N O O N

       Under the Marshall Field's Great Clock at


       We're asking for just an hour of your time
       to stand up for our beloved international city
       and also help bring back Marshall Field's
       --the institution that brought us 154 great years


       *  Field's Fans should start gathering at 11:45 AM
            under the Great Marshall Field's Clock at
            State & Washington Streets
       *  Wear your "Marshall Field's Best" or something
            dark green (please, no profane t-shirts).
       *  Bring signs and placards with Marshall Field's slogans.
       *  A limited number of additional signs will be available at the protest.
       *  Carry a Marshall Field's Shopping Bag.
       *  Carry a City of Chicago Flag.
       *  Please be peaceable and dignified in the spirit  of Marshall Field's.
       *  Please be careful not to obstruct the doors to the store.
       *  Please do not stand in or block the street.
       *  Check,  our Facebook Group,
            our Twitter crawl and your Email box for last-minute news and bulletins.



Send email to REMOVE-ME ((AT))
Please include the email address you wish dropped if it is not the one from which you are sending the request.

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

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


* Source: "Can J.C.Penney's New CEO Reinvent the Department Store?" Motley-Fool, Knowledge@Wharton, July 24, 2011,


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




Date: Thursday, August 11, 2011  10:01 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Back on July 23, 2010, Zelda posted:
Did you hear the latest? Macy's uses slatted doors in its dressing rooms so the associates can spy on the customers (to prevent shoplifters). Well, what about the privacy rights of most customers? THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED AT FIELD'S. There are no spies at Carson's or Nordstrom or Saks, and that's where I'm shopping.

Full story and list of other stores that don't engage in this practice:
Now the news parody site "Unconfirmed Sources" (a site in the same vein as "The Onion") parodies Macy's and the aforementioned news story, but in doing so arguably makes a stinging commentary. This can viewed at:

Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2011  11:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Macy's 2Q Earnings up 64%,0,2301187.story

During Macy's conference call, CFO Karen Hoguet said that Macy's was doing especially well at stores across the south (from Florida to California) plus at stores that were part of tourist destinations like New York City, San Francisco, Miami, ... and Chicago.

Date: Monday, August 8, 2011  1:55 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Messy's plans to release its 2011 2nd quarter earnings in a webcast Wednesday, August 10 at 10:30 a.m. ET

Date: Saturday, August 6, 2011  7:20 am CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

hey jim-- after reading your recent post I just wanted to ask you about what they had planned for Nicolett Mall store. I have been in there a few times. I didn't realize that Field's had planned something for that store. I would love to hear more...

Jim responds:

In 2003, Field's introduced an Americanized version of the "store within a store" concept at State Street. Word is that it was just really taking off when Macy's took over. The "store within a store" concept was about to also be implemented at the Nicolett Mall store in Minneapolis. It was the former Dayton's flagship.

Date: Friday, August 5, 2011  8:58 pm CT
Posted by: NP

Not Borders, too (Stores no more: Remember these?)! Marshall Field's is #17!

Date: Friday, August 5, 2011  6:38 pm CT
Posted by: Emily

I grew up in the Chicago area and always shopped at Marshall Field's with my mom and grandmother. Ever since Macy's took over I refuse to go in. I keep telling everyone that it is just not the same! I am very excited to proudly wear my Forever Marshall Field's button.

Date: Thursday, August 4, 2011  2:18 pm CT
Posted by: Lynne

It was the summer of 1982. I'd moved to Virginia in August of 1981, in order to take a teaching job as a reading specialist. When I returned to Illinois for what became my annual "school's out hit the road" trip, one of my first stops was to Field's State Street store. I needed undies. The saleslady (sorry to say, I have forgotten that wonderful woman's name) looked at me and declared, "Where have you been? You have missed the best sales!" When I told her I'd moved to Virginia, she looked at me with sympathy. "Is there anywhere to shop?" "Not like here," I told her sadly. I bought a year's supply of new "seat covers," and she hugged me, saying, "Next year, same time, same place, but get here a week earlier so you can take advantage of the sales!"

When they moved the Frango operation out of Chicago, I knew it was going to be bad. They haven't tasted right since. Of course, I do have a Dept. 56 Frango Factory on the shelf of my studio, along with Wrigley, the Art Institute and the Water Tower...I added some other generic types of buildings that would be found in Chicago. But I don't eat what they call Frangos because they just aren't worth it.

Nothing out of New York will ever replace the customer service, the elan and the excellence that was Marshall Field & Company. They have no idea who we are and they don't get it. I miss the restaurants....all those strollers at the Walnut Room at Christmas? Ugh! Those children are not old enough for that experience. If the store still had the other restaurants, the young families would be far more comfortable and the slightly older kids would get a chance to exercise their party manners in the Walnut Room as the rite of passage it was intended to be.

I'm sorry to rant.... But Macy's has a fourth rate level store here in Virginia, and I avoid it assiduously. I shop there only when I need to do a bridal gift that can be sent. (and who invented the bridal registry?????) The service is poor and the quality is nowhere near what Marshall Field would be been. I had to shop in the State Street store a few years choice.... It's just like any other dopey department store.

I need a bumper sticker more than a button. I'll happily wear a button, believe me, but a sticker is seen more, and around here there are plenty of people 'of an age' who remember fondly their visits to Chicago and to Field's.....

Lynne (last name withheld by webmaster) DieHard Cub Fan, former DieHard Marshall Field & Co. Shopper

Date: Monday, August 1, 2011  10:50 am CT
Posted by: J.S.

Was I in Aldi Foods? No, I was at the once beautiful Marshall Field store at WoodFIELD! Sunday afternoon, downstairs, gourmet food area (of what's left of it) a customer purchased 3 things. The sales gal gives the change, puts the receipt on top of the merchandise, and moves on to the next customer. The customer had another bag; was she supposed to put the merchandise in her other bag? I don't know. She asked for a bag, and she did give the customer one. I thought Aldi's was the place to "bag your own". I also noticed the candy counter is gone. Everything is pre-boxed. Also, one of the display windows facing the mall is now some kind of cosmetic "department".

Date: Monday, August 1, 2011  8:09 am CT
Posted by: Michael R.

This post is to MDS.

Could you possibly give more information or a photo on the clock? Would love to know exactly where it is and find a suitable home for it.

Michael R.

Date: Monday, August 1, 2011  5:20 am CT
Posted by: MBEI BrainTrust Consortium

Marshall Field's effect still resonates. See footnote in recent MLive post by MBEI BrainTrust Consortium reproduced below:

It's just a matter of time, citizens of Metro GR. How fast it is forgotten that the GR region's central reason for not now being a Lord & Taylor metro is that then-Hudson's* had the contractual power to prevent its landlord - Taubman & Company of Metro Detroit - from adding what would have been a superior store to compete at the other end of the Hudson's corridor at Woodland. The East Beltine/28th street intersection would be a tremendously more upscale area now and would have assuredly forced GR onto the demographic radar of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Roots Athletics and other super-regional draw retailers by now.

GR will be fine . . . . but start supporting and frequenting those sought after icons when they finally arrive. Don't forget that GR is still in the thoughts of Von Maur, Dillard's, Nordstrom and Cabella's - even though some of their local reconnaissance and projects have recently ground to halts or been stalled. The more cosmopolitan retailers that many in the Grand region hope for are watching now for signs of the willingness of the area's diverse residents to come together and evolve into a quality-of-life center and economic hub that is an attractive place to visit, work in, learn in, play in, heal in and live in - recent negative anomalies notwithstanding.

You can believe that a metropolitan triangle between Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland that contains 1.3 million people and that also includes destinations and facilities like Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Michigan's Adventure, Downtown Grand Rapids, the 47-mile long Lake Michigan Grand Riviera beachfront (the really nice coastline from Muskegon through Grand Haven and Holland to Saugatuck) and a new south-metro casino in Gun Lake has begun to flicker on demographer's viewscreens - especially those connected to things upscale.

Trader Joe's and Whole Foods at least are an inevitability. The very customers they seek are the same that are growing the converged media, urban tourism/hospitality, education and bio-tech portions of the Metro Grand economy. The fact that a homegrown U.S. First Lady recently made America and some others throughout the world stop and notice where she reposed (across the River from the photo-op highrise cityscape) will surely help in the public relations department as well. GR will be fine....really.

MBEI BrianTrust Consortium

MLive Grand Rapids Press Blog, 7/31/2011, 8:39p

*(out of respect for former retailing and style icon - MARSHALL FIELD & COMPANY - being so needlessly and wastefully wiped away, MBEI does not recognize the Macy's name, claim of quality nor equivalent status as a retail entity for the people of Chicago and Midwest America outside of the use of this footnote)

Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011  1:10 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

Reading some of these post can be a joke. I cannot believe people here say good things about Dillard's. That is the most horrible store next to Walmart. They treat their associates like dirt and their sales are poor. Most of their merchandise is high priced and private label. Foley's was a cookie cutter May Company store . All May Company stores were 90% the same with the exception of Lord & taylor.

I have been to Lord & Taylor and yes their new merchandise is great, good diplays neat stores, however I have seen at Woodfield the same item at both Mcy's and Lord & Taylor and yes Macy's sells it for less. True Macy's stores carry much more merchandise and the stores need to be neater, but the asociates are great and the sales are the best. Macy's should make State Street different it is a gem of a store. Yes they do well in Chicago Oakbrook is crowded most times I am there and so is Water Tower.

You Field;'s fans want a high end store like Bloomingdale's , Nordstrom etc. Macy's CANNOt change the name to Field's and run the store the way you want it. They will never bring back the old Field's with the The Field's brands etc. Changing the name back even for one store wil tell the investment community that the My Macy's program is not working. The cost for running a new division would be very high. Yes they can change the name to Macy's at Marshall Field's like they call the Portland store Macy's at Meir & Frank square. Unles the company goes private , which most likely it won't remember in 1985 Macy's went private and then went into bankruptcy and FDS rescued them. Hudson's Bay the parent of Lord & Taylor will be going public with a IPO in the fall. Privately owned companies hava very hard time making it.

Norsdtrom is geat if customers are willing to pay their price points. Macy's nedds to change asome of their merchandise especially in Home and furniture. They had the best and now it is bland home store, however I see they have customers. Fields' furniture was the best , but what is the market for 10,000 dining room tables now? We are repeat still in a recession and the housing market is still falling in most parts of the country.

Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011  8:31 am CT
Posted by: Janet F.

Your YouTube videos are beautiful. Thank you.

Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011  6:19 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

How ironic that in the beginning, Field's etc were perceived as a Walmarty threat to businesses. (Thanks, Leslie, for pointing that out!)

What seems to me to be an obvious truth is that I would rather shop in a department store because all the shoes are in one place, etc. I do not have to traverse miles to shop for a pair of shoes. If I want to look at furniture after the shoes, I can use the elevator or escalator to "fast forward" to the furniture floor. Shopping is exhausting enough without it being made into a marathon.

I like the idea of the store administration running the whole operation- that suggests consistency in quality and policy, an inherent concern for making me want to come back for more. I would know that, even if I had not visited each department on my trekking, I would be pleased to return to spend more money as desired in another department. Or section!

What is so desirable about sprawl? I suppose if an entrepreneur is able to throw up a mall cheaply, requiring no great engineering expenses-- then charge ghastly rentals which pay for the building in a year and yield gobs of profit for another 10-15 years...that is all that is required. The mall slowly crumbles (probably built cheaply) and dies as initially optimistic small vendors give up on the high rentals and leave. Some entrepreneur builds another a few miles away, the kiss of death for the first. The Mad Hatter's Tea Party it is... think of the ghost malls you know. Is that what we need more of?

In this day of squawking about carbon footprints, the mall paradigm looks even more ludicrous. It would seem that the Marshall Field idea is the idea of the hour- compact, organized, focused, on a physically small footprint. A machine for shopping, to borrow an earlier insightful notion about living... I think the department store model has to be seen with new eyes for what it is--- smart. Of course it requires someone with a soul bigger than his/her bank account to want to run such a place.

It's a new frontier.

Date: Sat, July 30, 2011  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

What these retails experts are saying JCPenney and Macy's should was what Field's was doing at State Street and about to do at Nicolett Mall right before Macy's bought Field's and pulled the plug on it. Shame, especially for the stockholders.

Date: Fri, July 29, 2011  11:25 am CT
Posted by: Dianne E. Shanley

I attended the demonstration after the closing of the store (was that really in 2006--it doesn't' seem that long) and the one the year after that. Unfortunately since then I have not been in Chicago on the date of the demonstrations or I would certainly have come.

I will again not be in town for this year's demonstration, however, I will be there in spirit. I have read in other blog submissions how people go into the former Marshall Fields just to see how badly Macy's is doing. I do the same thing at Water Tower Place and notice that the store is not really ever very crowded. My question is: Why are Macy's executives not getting this? Does anyone have a take on what their sales numbers are here in the Chicago area? Are they doing sufficiently well in other areas to keep the Chicago stores open anyway? I know I do see people carrying Macy's bags -- I imagine that they are mostly tourists but I am sure that there are still Chicagoans that go there (that other 30 some odd percent of folks who did not respond to your survey that they wanted Field's back).

I too no longer go to Macy's or Bloomingdales (both of which are 10 minute walks from my Chicago condo). Instead I go to Nordstrom's which is certainly less convenient although I do think their merchandise is of Marshall Field's standard.

By the way things that I miss about Field's: Down Under, their furniture floors with such marvelous design room vignettes, the quality, the architecture of the downtown store, the wonderful first floor with the cosmetic counters, scarves, gloves, leather goods, all the wonderful things that spread out over that magnificent floor. I even remember when there was no atrium and the two ground floor sections of the store were divided by an alley.

Oh, those wonderful days when Fields was just the most wonderful store in the world! Not too long ago.

Date: Fri, July 29, 2011  12:51 am CT
Posted by: David Christensen

I worked for Marshall Fields in the early 1960's when I was going to college and my family always shopped at Marshall Fields for years.

40 years later (2006) I returned to Chicago on a trip with my new wife from the Philippines. I was shocked to find it now had becaome a Macy's store. I took my wife through the store and found it no longer had the charm and splendor that Field's was. I tried to explain what the store used to be like but she didn't understand of course.

I spoke with one of the employees and mentioned that I used to work for Field's and she was quite rude to me and my wife and told us "so what?"

Macy's does not have the same quality of the Field's organization by ANY MEANS!

Date: Wed, July 27, 2011  7:40 am CT
Posted by: Mary and Tom S., Milwaukee

We'll be coming down from Milwaukee for the rally on September 10.

Mayfair hasn't been the same at all...not even close...since Macy's ruined Field's.

Date: Mon, July 25, 2011  8:28 pm CT
Posted by: mds

I had an unexpected Marshall Fields surprise today. I was looking through one of the antique malls in Springfield, Ohio today and was suprised to find a rather large Marshall Fields icon. Anyone who has even been to the Marshall Fields store at Columbus City Center mall will remember the 40' clock tower that stood between the escalators. Paterned after the great clocks on State Street, the clock's base was on the first floor and four pillars rose from it to hold the four sided clock two and a half stories high. The clock was very impressive and the centerpiece of this Field's location. This mall was sadly torn down a couple years ago and I had often wondered what happen to the clock. Occording to the info sheet, Fields paid $146k when they commisioned it for the store in 1988, it is one of a kind and would cost approximately $245k to make it again today and is currently being offered for $120k. I wish I had the space and the cash--it is an amazing piece.

Date: Mon, July 25, 2011  7:42 am CT
Posted by: Ben W.

Marshall Fields has ment SO much to me and my family. We used to go to Marshall Fields as a family to spend time there.

We had lots of memories there, such as my child lost her first tooth there.

Me and family and friends want Marshall back.

I have been on your side for awhile and havn't shopped at Macy's ever since.

I will be at the rally.

Date: Sun, July 24, 2011  2:09 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Keep up the fight! I wish Carson's would not have abandoned their home across from Marshall Field's. It is a shame such a fine architectural masterpiece is home to Target now. I guarantee that would not have happened had Field's remained intact. You would likely have seen Von Maur, Lord & Taylor or a collection of fine b boutiques inherit the building.

I was in Dillards the other day purchasing some Perry Ellis clothing when the salesperson told me no one goes to Macy's (formerly Foley's here) as their merchandise is comparable to Walmart in quality. I couldn't have agreed more. By the way, there is a new book out on Foley's. It is called "Foley's" and is available through Arcadia publishing. I got a signed copy by the author, former CEO of Foley's pre May, Lasker Meyer. He is already working on a sequel.

Date: Sun, July 24, 2011  11:31 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Seems as if all the disappointment and outrage and betrayal expressed here is neither here nor there (including mine). It may make us feel better but if it mattered to Macy's we would have seen something change for the better by now. They had an agenda from the start, and have steadfastly pursued the intended course. They are in the driver's seat and never turned on our radio station and don't intend to because the plan has nothing to do with what Field's customers prefer-- except inversely, perhaps.

It's too bad that the Windy City could not distinguish the hot air coming from the direction of Macy's while it was still far down the road, and it's too bad there was no one with the will to exercise power on behalf of the city's best interests when the blast began rattling the signs over the doors.

I don't suppose there is any legal way to force Macy's to back off. For each person registering dissatisfaction here or elsewhere, there are probably a hundred suffering in silence, but that is not power. I believe even money is not power enough in this case-- I am firmly convinced Macy's defilement of Field's is a deliberate, savored act of jealousy that money could not buy them off-of. An entrepreneur with any instinct for making the most of an opportunity does not set out to destroy his best prospect. In fact, one would think he would be able to recognize the best chances for success, the quickest way possible.

What bothers me most in all this, second to losing Field's, is that there are folks out there (like Macyans )who think that mediocre/indifferent is good enough, across the board. No room for excellence with today's human species, in today's culture. I don't believe it for a minute but so far it would appear that even one Marshall Field's is too much for the nay sayers, led by a Macy's all too happy to make it so.

So what can we do? I guess that gets us back to continuing the watch, the comments, the wishing and sighing and hoping. A new generation is verging on shopperhood without ever having experienced Field's. (Yes I have childhood bonding memories of Field's) Perhaps from among them will emerge the genius with all the right parts to save the day. It takes a special sensibility but it is not an impossibility.

Date: Sat, July 23, 2011  6:23 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Did you hear the latest? Macy's uses slatted doors in its dressing rooms so the associates can spy on the customers (to prevent shoplifters). Well, what about the privacy rights of most customers? THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED AT FIELD'S. There are no spies at Carson's or Nordstrom or Saks, and that's where I'm shopping.

Full story and list of other stores that don't engage in this practice:

Date: Fri, July 22, 2011  12:58 am CT
Posted by: Pericles G.

Regarding Tony's letter to Macy's:

Well said and Bravo!!!

Date: Thurs, July 21, 2011  6:22 pm CT
Posted by: Tony Hoover, Hollywood, CA

Thank God Mayor Riordan got behind our effort to save the Bullocks Wilshire building and that most of the items that Macy's removed were returned.

Hopefully you all will be successful in restoring Marshall Field's for the people of Chicago.

Date: Thurs, July 21, 2011  1:06 pm CT
Posted by: DSZ, San Francisco

Fields Fans,

I cheered as I read the item from Mr. Hoover. I too have boycotted Macy's once it took over so many of the stores I enjoyed on my travels. One by one, my shopping choices disappeared... Bullock's Wilshire, Meier & Frank, Robinson's-May, Filene's, Foley's, and, yes, Marshall Fields all morphed into Macy's. Imagine how tough this is for me....I can walk to a Macy's from my home in 15 minutes!

I truly admire your determination and cheer you on.

San Francisco

Date: Thurs, July 21, 2011  11:43 am CT
Posted by: Terry M., Toronto, Ontario

Thanks to Tony in Hollywood for this information.

It's useful (and sad) background to have. I live in Toronto but still visit Chicago frequently. I also travel a lot to other U.S. cities for work, and refuse to set foot in Macys stores anywhere.

Date: Thurs, July 21, 2011  11:43 am CT
Posted by: Steve Thomason, Los Angeles

I was in Chicago 3 weeks ago. And I went into my favorite EX store to see how they had no customers to speak of.

Each time I would go to Chicago. I always made it to that store as it was Chicago.

Also that I live in Los Angeles and all of our great stores are gone to the Macy's  family we are at loss too. But I can live with it. But the great folks of Chicago will not let it go as they want our Marshall Fields back.

How hard is it to fix this flagship store and say its Marshall Fields part of the Macy's family.

Please just give us our store back.

Steve Thomason
Los Angeles, CA

Date: Thurs, July 21, 2011  6:34 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to Tony for the story about Bullocks Wilshire. By coincidence, I just had a long talk with a friend from Los Angeles about Bullocks Wilshire last night. How serendipitous!

I think the L.A. Time story that Tony posted offers some important lessons...very much worth reading. Many thanks to Tony.

Date: Thurs, July 21, 2011  1:12 am CT
Posted by: Tony Hoover, Hollywood, CA

Macy's has a long history of defiling local history (if they think they can get away with it). Only when confronted (vigorously) do they respond. We did so successfully here in Los Angeles but, sadly, it took enormous pressure from the Mayor and others to make it happen. The fact that Mayor Daley supported Macy's is what caused so much harm to the effort. He should have insisted it remain Marshall Fields. Our mayor put his foot down and demanded Federated right their wrong here. Now Bullocks Wilshire lives on (fully intact) but in a new life as Southwestern Law School library.

Date: Wed, July 20, 2011  11:43 pm CT
Posted by: Tony Hoover, Hollywood, CA

I did send the following message to Federated/Macy's, Inc. today. You may already know that many years ago [the 1980s version of] Macy's bought Bullocks Wilshire Department Store and nearly destroyed it so they have a history of neglect to local history. People still talk about it here.
To Whom it May Concern,

I am a former Chicagoan who has lived in Los Angeles since 1989. I return to my beloved Chicago at least twice a year to visit friends and family but, sadly, I no longer shop in what was once Marshall Field's. In fact, since Macys took over Marshall Field's I no longer shop Macy's in Los Angeles either. I have given all my shopping dollars to Nordstrom and the local stores. My point in telling you this is that the mishandling of the Marshall Field's experience by Federated has a much farther reach than you probably know.  

I am not the only shopper in Los Angeles who has shunned Macy's and Bloomingdale's for this reason. Macys also bought out Bullocks Wilshire here in Los Angeles -- an iconic architectural masterpiece -- as dear to Angelenos as is Marshall Field's to Chicagoans. After purchasing Bullocks Wilshire, Federated closed the store, and then sold off valuable and historic fixtures and artwork without consulting with local preservationists. The current owner, Southwestern Law School, had an awful time finding these important items and returning them to their proper home. For Angelenos, the mistreatment of the iconic store on Wilshire Boulevard and also in Downtown Los Angeles on Broadway created distain for the Macy's name

If Federated returns Marshall Field's to Chicago (with an admission of its mistake) I may find it in my heart to become a Macy's shopper again. But only then.  

Tony Hoover

Date: Wed, July 20, 2011  6:27 pm CT
Posted by: denise rule

I assume you are all aware of the new book out by Leslie Goddard (Arcadia),: Remembering Marshall Field's. I heard her speak last year at our library while she was composing this book. I just got an email from her a few days ago that the book is now out.

Date: Wed, July 20, 2011  4:08 pm CT
Posted by:

       Newsletter Number 27

       Wednesday, July 20, 2011




       S A V E    T H E    D A T E !
       SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011

       N O O N

       Under the Marshall Field's Great Clock at


       We're asking for just an hour of your time
       to stand up for our beloved international city
       and also help bring back Marshall Field's
       --the institution that brought us 154 great years

       Be There for Marshall Field's!
       Be There for Chicago!


Please join us at NOON on SATURDAY, September 10, 2011 to remind Macy's, Chicago, Wall Street--indeed the whole world--that Chicago overwhelmingly STILL wants the return of its iconic MARSHALL FIELD & COMPANY to STATE STREET.

Overwhelming demand for Marshall Field's continues to hold steady among Chicago shoppers. Our 2011 survey of over 800 Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers found that 79%--four out of five Chicago shoppers--still prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's.  Similar results were yielded in 2009 and 2010.  Full results are at

These results were presented to Macy's top-level executives--including the CEO and Board of Directors--at the Macy's, Inc. shareholders meeting in Cincinnati on May 20, 2011.

Even after five years, Marshall Field's is STILL, by far, Chicago's best-known international brand, unmatched by no other Chicago name.  This September 10, we will celebrate Marshall Field's amazing 154 history.  Moreover, we will demonstrate  support for a re-born Marshall Field's on State Street as Chicago's priceless emporium and international brand with immense potential for the 21st Century.

We need YOU to come out to State and Washington Streets at NOON on Saturday, September 10, 2011 to make the message even more clear to Macy's: Chicago wants its Marshall Field's! 

Please, come rally for our international icon, Marshall Field's, and our great city, Chicago.  You will help to make history.

     Mark the date and time!


       ...and bring friends and family!

       *  Field's Fans should start gathering at 11:45 AM
            under the Great Marshall Field's Clock at
            State & Washington Streets
       *  Wear your "Marshall Field's Best" or something
            dark green (please, no profane t-shirts).
       *  Bring signs and placards with Marshall Field's slogans.
       *  A limited number of additional signs will be available at the protest.
       *  Carry a Marshall Field's Shopping Bag.
       *  Carry a City of Chicago Flag.
       *  Please be peaceable and dignified in the spirit  of Marshall Field's.
       *  Please be careful not to obstruct the doors to the store.
       *  Please do not stand in or block the street.
       *  Check,  our Facebook Group,
            our Twitter crawl and your Email box for last-minute news and bulletins.



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 (this web page)/div>


       We Need Your Financial Help to Continue

In these tough times, we acknowledge that there are many causes deserving of your support.  If you are so moved, we welcome your assistance in offsetting some of the expenses of our ongoing leaflet and button distributions, as well as other activities in support of Marshall Field's.

We are totally committed to continuing our efforts.  People have come forward in amazing ways to help, donating leaflets, pin-on buttons, bumper stickers, advertising and more.
Thank you for your help so we can continue to inspire others to support the return of Marshall Field's.

If you can donate, please email DONATE AT FieldsFansChicago DOT org as to how and where to send a check.  Alternatively, PayPal contributions are accepted at DONATE AT FieldsFansChicago DOT org.
100% of all contributions are channeled to offset the cost of our activities.

Thank you for your amazing support!



A very special "thank you" to all  who have supported us now or in the past--especially those who helped with recent efforts and activities. Special regards to Gail, David, Gayle, John, Mae, D., A. and all those named and unnamed.

Your ongoing support and dedication are what enable our progress to continue. It is our work as Field's Fans that reminds key business and civic leaders that that these stores can be an overwhelming success again as Marshall Fields.

Our efforts are so essential because they sustain immense consciousness of the once and future Chicago institution, Marshall Field's.

Please remember that your efforts to help bring back Field's are greatly appreciated, respected and admired.  Your work is already making a difference.  You are helping to make history.



Send email to REMOVE-ME AT fieldsfanschicago DOT org
Please include the email address you wish dropped if it is not the one from which you are sending the request.

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

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 DOT org


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




Date: Wed, July 20, 2011  9:33 am CT
Posted by: gle

I look forward to supporting the Field's Fans rally September 10, 2011 OUTSIDE the State Street store, yes OUTSIDE--that's where the customers still are.

Glad to see continued support of so many for Field's on this website. I get the usual comments to my "I Want My Marshall Field's" button--"Nobody does it like Field's did," "I hate Macy's," "I don't bother to shop there." I never hear anyone stick up for Messy's, except its CEO in press releases.

On another note, I visited the new Target store in Uptown, and it is much better maintained than the Messy's on State Street and seems to have more foot traffic. At least a Target on State would provide some competition and a better example of how to run a store.

Date: Tues, July 19, 2011  11:56 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

California-based Podcast interviewing author Gayle Soucek on Marshall Field's and her book, "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago."

Date: Tues, July 19, 2011  1:01 pm CT
Posted by: Chris A.

Bringing back Marshall Field's would surely be some upbeat news in these downbeat times.

Something should be done.

Date: Mon, July 18, 2011  12:09 am CT
Posted by: Mary A.

Keep up the good fight!

Date: Sun, July 17, 2011  12:34 pm CT
Posted by: Sheryl R., River Forest

Passed through the former Field's at Oak Brook last week. It was sad to see the Market Place reduced to a small shadow of its former self.

Date: Fri, July 15, 2011  7:41 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Chicago Tribune Letter to the Editor lamenting the loss of Marshall Field's:,0,1843447.story

Date: Thurs, July 14, 2011  4:40 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Here are a couple more interesting notes from the "Chicago Tribune" July 11, 2011 by Reuters

"Macy's to pay $750K fine for selling kids' drawstring clothes",0,6270648.story

"UPDATE-1 Macy's fined for not reporting drawstrings",0,2475240.story

Date: Thurs, July 14, 2011  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: gle

A letter to the editor from a disgruntled Messy's customer appeared in the "Chicago Tribune" July 14, 2011, with comment blog-- be sure to comment.

"Missing Marshall Field's",0,1843447.story

Date: Wed, July 13, 2011  8:41 pm CT
Posted by: Rich Wilson

An article from the NY Daily News about Macy's:

Macy's fined $750,000 for selling unsafe children's clothes with drawstrings, violating safety rules

Date: Wed, July 13, 2011  8:41 pm CT
Posted by: ...

You all are still protesting?? Good work! Keep it up.

Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011  CT
Posted by: Jim

Tribune's "Chicago Now" blog features discussion of Target moving into former Carson's space. I made some comments which follow:

Defacing Sullivan's Legacy? - Target Targets A Landmark Building


Given the circumstances of the space, Target deserves our support and commendation for their efforts.

I attended last Thursday's Landmarks Commission hearing on Target in the Sullivan Center and I also happen to be one of the co-organizers of the periodic rallies to bring back Marshall Field's. Macy's and Field's and Target moving into the former Carson's are circumstances. In the first an international destination-Marshall Field's-- was homogenized down from being one of Chicago's greatest assets to being another Macy's; in the case of the former Carson's. the worst had already happened before Target entered the picture and now Target is a bit of a white knight to make use of an empty historic structure.

Given the circumstances, Target is doing great with the former Carson's location. [During] the hearing, I had no complaints to offer. I think the design is pretty much the best possible outcome and Target is really preserving the building for the future. If there is any criticism, it should be reserved for Carson's parent, Bon-Ton, and Macy's.

When Field's was converted to Macy's, Field's on State Street wavered back and forth over the line of profitability but was clearly on the upswing with its "store within a store" concept. It was a viable store that was still an international destination that, even according to Macy's web site in 2006, was Chicago's number three destination.

The switch to Macy's was done not only to have the same brand coast to coast but also to reduce competition for Macy's Bloomingdale's stores.

The loss of Marshall Field's to Macy's took State Street down-market, in part, setting the stage for the loss of Carson's. On top of that, Carson's needed to be closed temporarily for the rehab of Sullivan's iron work; moreover, it seems that Carson's did not want to compete with Macy's. Finally, Carson's parent is a struggling company. The circumstances set the stage for Carson's new owner, Bon-Ton stores, to "slip out the back door."

All in all, it is very shameful that Carson's did not move back in after the remodel. If Target can move in, so could have Carson's.

At the same time, one has to ask why other department stores did not want to move into that amazing, internationally significant space after Carson's left. Like many, I believe if Marshall Field's was still around or had been brought back, competitors more on par with Field's rather than the down-market Macy's would have be eager to compete with Field's. The likes of Lord and Taylor and Von Maur would be eager to move into the former Carson's to compete with Field's; with Macy's, not so much.

Marshall Field's is STILL by far Chicago's best known and most respected brand on an international level. Marshall Field's on State Street constantly reinvented itself and it should be reinvented as a Harrods or Selfridges-style emporium for the 21st Century. There are very few grand European-style department stores left in the world--and in fact, Field's was the template for [all of] those European stores. Macy's parent the store as a single one-of-a-kind emporium. In late May, Macy's CEO said they now needed to experiment more and take risks. Marshall Field's back on State Street would be a no-brainer as our recent survey of 800 Chicago shoppers showed that 79% want Field's to return there.

As for Target, they have been very careful in their design to respect and even protect the architectural details of Sullivan's original design. The significant aspects are the exterior, the rotunda and the interior capitals. While the space would ideally be a department store, if it has to be a discount store, this is the best possible outcome.

Date: Sat, July 9, 2011  7:15 pm CT
Posted by: patrick jonas

Im very glad to see a group of people stand up for a dept store that has been swallowed by the MONSTER Macys. I live in Southern California and worked for May Co and Broadway and Macys and miss the way things were when they were still here. I like working for May and Broadway better, but became and employee of Macys when Federated took over them. I hope that enough people support u with this and that one day soon. Your Marshall Fields will come back to you.

Date: Fri, July 8, 2011  8:41 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

After this, look for Macy's to revive its plan to put signs on State Street. State Street was approved for three 30' long by 6' high signs--including a red star--each to be placed at the upper corners of the State Street, Randolph Street and Wabash Street facades. A green roof was conditional for the signs' approval at the time. Macy's did not install them.

Target gets approval to put logo on Sullivan Center,0,6587199.story

The comments section includes discussion about Marshall Field's and Macy's.

Date: Thurs, July 7, 2011  9:23 am CT
Posted by: John in Rhode Island

Marshall Fields meant so much to me, When I was in Chicago I used to have to visit. High Quality merchandise. Excellent customer service! Great selection of high quality merchandise.

We have Macy's here. Filene's nor Macy's match Marshall Field and Co.

Date: Wed, July 6, 2011  9:23 am CT
Posted by: Justin

Marshall Fields means the Chicago I could have seen in April during Baconfest.

Date: Tues, July 5, 2011  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: Rob A., River Grove

Am doing some research for my summer class on retail. Been reading up on Field's and Macy's in chicago. My favorite comment thus far was from the Huffington Post:

Macys was so stupid - they should have changed all the stores to Macys EXCEPT the State street store - it should have remained Marshall fields.

Marshall Fields was a tourist attraction - people went there just to buy something and get a green bag.

When they can go to a Macys at home - why bother going to the state street store?

Date: Sun, July 3, 2011  CT
Posted by: Jim

The consolidations like in Pittsburgh are similar to the ones in St Louis (former Famous Barr flagship and Mayco HQ), Minneapolis (former Dayton's flagship and HQ); and elsewhere.

Those who have been following us for the past five years know that, while on a flight, an exec also told one of our supporters that the same was intended for 111 N. State Street. The process has been slowed by our complaining.

Macy's also appealed their property tax assessments for State Street, saving themselves what appears to be about $1.92 million, mostly for space they have discontinued using and have walled off. Anyone can confirm this info at the Cook County Assessor's Website.

Date: Sat, July 2, 2011  7:08 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Some "exciting changes" are developing at the downtown Pittsburgh Red Star:
Also interesting to note that Red Star is appealing their tax assessment. Perhaps all their "profits" are based on reduced costs rather than increased sales. Reduced merchandise selection and inventory, fewer departments, reduced staffing, and lowered taxes are temporary measures to mask the truth. What happens when the Red Star can find no more operating expenses to cut?

Date: Fri, July 1, 2011  7:08 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Gee! Been seeing all the hoopla about Macy's fireworks in NYC. Remember in 2006 when they sponsored Chicago's 3rd of July fireworks to carry on the tradition?

So much for that.

If it weren't for Chicago's vocal complaining, I'm sure they would have stopped doing a lot of other things as well like the Walnut room.

Carry on!

Date: Wed, June 29, 2011  5:57 pm CT
Posted by: D.

I found the Sun-Times piece from a few days ago on "The Pump Room" remains "The Pump Room" because that's what Chicagoans wanted a great retort to the whole macy's debacle. Unfortunately, the Sun-Times neglected to mention the parallel- undoubtedly due to fear of losing ad dollars.

Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2011  1:01 pm CT
Posted by: Leslie F.

I am skeptical that Macy's will bring back Marshall FIeld's and Company. But I was glad to see the sign at the parade Sunday and I booed Macy's float!

Date: Monday, June 27, 2011  10:19 pm CT
Posted by: Frank


Date: Monday, June 27, 2011  9:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Some Field's supporters at yesterday's pride parade were willing to pose for photos for our web site .

You can a slide show of the photos at

The response to the flyers was almost entirely warm and overwhelmingly favorable towards bringing back Marshall Field's on State Street. Thanks to all who helped make it a success, especially Gayle, David and most of all, Gail.

Date: Monday, June 27, 2011  8:23 am CT
Posted by: Stephen H.

My partner and I met at Marshall Field's in the eight floor furniture area.

I wish it were back. Macy's does not compare with Marshall Field's.

Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: Bob

Keep fighting the fight to give us back Field's. It is missed. Liked the sign at Pride today.

Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011  3:33 pm CT
Posted by: Karen S.

Just read about the site and am thrilled the crusade continues!!

Grew up with Field's and Chicago is just not the same with it!!

Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011  9:00 am CT
Posted by: Cindy

As a child, I recall Christmas' that my folks would take us to Chicago and a trip to Marshall Fields was always on the list. And, on one of those trips, my younger sister got lost there! I will never forget that. Scared the daylights outta me, but she was happy as a clam.....thanks again.

Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011  9:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's is sharing a float with the Chicago Gay Choir in today's Chicago Pride Parade.

This year, friends of will pass out about 1,500 flyers about Marshall Field's and Chicago History along the parade route BEFORE the parade. You can view the flyer at the following URL:

Date: Saturday, June 25, 2011  5:28 am CT
Posted by: Judy

Keep up the GREAT work!!!

Date: Friday, June 24, 2011  4:56 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Is anyone actually interested in this?

From the "Chicago-Tribune" (with comment blog):

"Macy's to extend internet sales to foreign shoppers next week" June 24, 2011 by Reuters,0,791993.story

Date: Friday, June 24, 2011  12:46 pm CT
Posted by: Phillip Eichler

A few random thoughts:

First off in regard to the Water Tower remodel, Macy's did not have to place such a negative spin on it being outdated, dark etc. The more I have read both links here and elsewhere is that their new approach to the beauty area is really innovative in use of technology. Instead of the way they spun it, it could have been announced in a positive fashion by way of the tech angle. It is obvious that Macy's still habors absolute disdain for Fields and Chicagoans because of the way they handled the PR on this.

We recently donated a bunch of things to charity, and some items were in Fields bags. One of the ladies picking up the stuff exclaimed " We could sell those bags, followed by I HATE Macy's". she then told us that when she was a student at the Art Institute years ago, all the students went over to Fields at 4:30 because they would bring down all of the unsaleable candy made that day and give it away. Can you imagine Macy's ever giving anything away?

Lastly, the "national" chain just announced they are offering a collection of rugs that are certified to be made from child free labor with a big PR promo. The catch; they're only being offered in select New York and New Jersey stores! If they were truly thinking nationally, wouldn't you run a national campaign and place them in their growing list of "flagship" stores across the USA? Nope.

Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011  7:43 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Chicago GLBT publication "Windy City Times" has a review of Gayle Soucek's "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" in their latest edition. I liked the review except the part where the reviewer thinks Field's can't come back. The book review is tied in with the critic's comments on Marshall Field's and Chicago's gay history.

See the following URL for the full review including photos.

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2011  1:20 pm CT
Posted by: Jon

I did make it into Chicago Memorial Day week-end, and 111 N. State, The Marshall Field & Company emporium looked so sad and neglected. It was my first time back inside since 2006. (I did not step inside during the rallies.) The atmosphere has totally changed. Extremely garish. All the dignity is gone, sad to say. Did not find any sales associates over the age of 25. It was 2:00 on Sunday afternoon and I was the only one on the 7th floor food areas. Did not buy anything, out of principle...and, to boot, I honestly could not find anything of interest.

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2011  9:00 am CT
Posted by: Mike

Of course, Target is moving into the iconic Carson's flagship. Downtown needs this kind of store--but really, there? Too bad not a department store for that location. Von Maur did in fact shop the location but couldn't close the deal. I work in real estate and I'm still fascinated that Bon Ton still insists they want to re-open a new Loop location. Maybe if their cash flow improves, they will.

Like others, I don't believe Carson's would have left if Field's hadn't left. More than a few in the industry believe the same.

Date: Monday, June 20, 2011  10:40 am CT
Posted by: Marilyn S.'s mother

I still wish Marshall Field's was around.

Date: Sunday, June 19, 2011  1:57 pm CT
Posted by: Joe

The thing is that running Marshall Field's flagship on State Street as Macy's is not even consistent with Macy's experience. They should run this as a one-of-a-kind store like Harrod's!

That store is the original!

Date: Friday, June 17, 2011  12:50 am CT
Posted by: Rich

Had the pleasure of revisiting the former Dayton's Flagship/Field's in downtown Minneapolis last month. In recent years, I felt that the Nicollet Mall location was a clean and well-organized example of what the State Street store could be, at half the size.

Macy's has now taken away the furniture department leaving a dark and vacant 5th Floor, and also shut down the escalators which lead from the 5th Floor up to the restaurants on the 12th Floor.

The hostess in the Oak Grill restaurant said that the reason for the closure of the escalators to the top was that they shut down the Macy's north headquarters there. She then commented that people don't go to department stores for different things like they used to, hence the closure of the furniture department. What good is a flagship without a furniture department?

I suppose it could be worse, like the severely truncated former Boston Store flagship on Michigan Ave in downtown Milwaukee.

Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011  4:56 pm CT
Posted by: West Suburban Field's Fan

I miss Marshall Field's! Almost everyone with whom I've talked on this topic says they either don't shop Macy's at all or shop Macy's only very rarely. I agree!

Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011  1:24 pm CT
Posted by: G.

The quote from Terry Lundgren in the Sun-Times made my blood boil!

Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011  5:16 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

What does he mean by "ever"? Duct tape isn't spelled b-e-t-t-e-r.

Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2011  8:09 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The Sun-Times has an article by Sandra Guy on Macy's CEO, President, and Chairman Terry Lundgren's speech to the Chicago Chamber of Commerce which immediately followed an address by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In it, he says that former Field's locations at Oak Brook and Water Tower are doing better than ever as is State Street. He also "joked" that he felt like "a fire hydrant at a dog show" when he met with news editorial boards about the switch.

You can read the whole article at the following URL. You are encouraged to comment but you do need a "pluck" login.

Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2011  2:07 pm CT
Posted by: William Bone

I still miss seeing the old lady on State Street with the wonderful contents....I worked there for 25 years until the mgmt decided that I no longer fit into the sceam of things......lsft there in 1980 after being transferred to the Cherryvale store in Rockford....only 80 miles from home.......It still is in my memory.

Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2011  1:08 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Here's a story about a strike at four of the Macy's in NYC which are unionized. Curiously enough, Terry Lundgreen is here in Chicago right now. The most interesting part from our perspective is how someone in Atlanta posted about about Field's in a New York Paper. Unlike all these other department stores (Bamberger's, Bullock's, etc.), the switch from Field's to Macy's garnered a dramatic amount of national and international attention.
Here's the comment from the NY Times:
Atlanta, GA
June 15th, 2011
11:10 am I hope that these Macy's employees who value service, knowledge, and experience get everything they ask for.

I stopped shopping at Macy's when they started absorbing regional department stores whose names and traditions had been held sacred by previous owners. Davison's, Bamberger's, and Bullock's had effectively been Macy's for decades, but sweeping in and eliminating brands in the Federated and May Company mergers took away familiar stores, familiar products, and a sense of responsibility to the community to provide good service and good products.

Marshall Field's in Chicago is the model for department stores across the UK, through its former executive Harry Selfridge who moved to London rather than compete against his old friends on State Street. The main Field's store was one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The Macification of Field's resulted in closed restaurants, dropped high-end brands, reduced services, and an influx of part-time workers with little respect for anything but their employee discount.

Date: Monday, June 13, 2011  5:33 pm CT
Posted by: S.H.

It's still so sad since Field's went away. The elegant green gave-way to gaudy red; it was overwhelming. “Marshall Field’s” were my first words.

Date: Sunday, June 12, 2011  2:08 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Was traveling this weekend and stopped at a Macy's in southern Illinois that used to be a Famous Barr. It was in the same mall as a Bergner's (Carson's) and other stores.

It became apparent how Macy's is an average department store not nearly as special as the most of the Chicago-area Field's locations, let alone State Street. The store looked very similar to the Bergner's in many ways--but I have to say I preferred it as Macy's to when I used to go there when it was a cluttered Famous Barr.

Date: Saturday, June 11, 2011  2:08 pm CT
Posted by: Charles G.

We're still sad that Macy's did away with Marshall Field's. Anything with Marshall Field's on it still warms our heart.

Date: Friday, June 10, 2011  2:08 pm CT
Posted by: Jayne Kranc

Am looking for a list of what themes were used in the Christmas windows during various years particularly the 70's and 80's, but any others would help, too. Does anyone know if such a thing exists?

Date: Friday, June 10, 2011  7:02 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I told Eric when he submitted this, I hate bringing up outside issues. Even if you are like 4 of 5 Chicago shoppers and want Marshall Field's restored, it doesn't mean that (for example) you have to want Wrigley to stay the same (most Sox fans could care less); that you have to want the new United airlines to use the old United's logo rather than Continental's (as it is doing and does it matter?); or that you are for or against "saving Grant Park." To be sure though, we here have influenced such groups.

In the case of the Pump Room, my understanding is that the entire space has already been gutted--everything that was there was auctioned off to the bare walls including the booths where celebs sat, the photos, the bar where the stars sat, etc. A comparable situation might be if 111 N. State Street was leveled and a new building being built. Should it be called Marshall Field's? (Keep in mind that Field's has indeed been leveled three times and it's come back better each time. But what if--G-d forbid--the current building of the past 100 years was gone and Macy's decided to rebuild it? Should it be called Field's?)

I won't say how I would vote, but just because you are for Field's return doesn't make everyone knee-jerk for saving everything that's great and old. In the case of Marshall Field's, I really believe, like many others, that it's return is about much more than nostalgia. Field's "stores within a store" concept from circa 2003 was a great one and it was on the upswing, signalling Field's reinvention as a profitable emporium very relevant to 21st Century Chicago. And sure, there's all that history and brand rep. But, to me, all that's left at the Pump Room is the empty space it used to occupy and a name.

And in case a casual observer is thinking this, please, the Pump Room doesn't even come close to Marshall Field's in terms of significance to Chicago and the world. Let's stay on our primary focus--bringing back Marshall Field's, an emporium for the 21st Century.

Date: Friday, June 10, 2011  6:04 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Egads- don't they get it? The Pump Room! They have to ask? (At least they did. We shall see what they do about it-- another matter.)

Change is inevitable but gratuitous ego-bolstering dumping of heritage is just cheap vandalism. Is it that our culture cannot produce anything but Philistines any more? GIven the feelings expressed here, no.

So what is going on with cultural--or even human-- level of those with the dough to invest in such places as major hotels and stores? Every time I get to a dept store it is more and more clear that customers do not matter to the owners. I feel like they throw the slop into the trough and call us in. We are left to fend for ourselves in a jumble of unappealing merchandise crammed together, some of it even in pre-packaged displays. We are millimeters away from entirely DIY service like at the gas pump. Take it or leave it. We have to have gasoline (so far) which means they can get away with that. We don't have to have their shirts or saucepans. So if I enter such a place, it is pretty likely I will leave it. Sadly this state of affairs means that online shopping increasingly becomes the solution. At least you don't have to go to a dump to do businessóóalthough I would much rather see, touch, and if necessary, try on the merchandise before choosing. I live a long way from anything more exalted than Walmart- and I do not feel much incentive to make the effort to get to a mall with 'better' stuff; at least the smaller specialty stores make the effort to appeal and serve.

Consumer Reports this month noted, in brief, the tendency of businesses to cut back on human resources (hah) to curb spending and increase profits, without taking into account the fact that service (requiring human interaction) is the way to keep the business healthy. Yea, Apple! Lack of service alienates patrons. I'll be darned. What a discovery. Maybe next month they will report that crummy merch and poor maintenance also alienate patrons. Messy's has chosen its path quite emphatically- down the drain. And they will blame it on the economy and/or cultural shifts.

I guess when you are given the elbow, you will shift all right.

Date: Thursday, June 9, 2011  11:22 am CT
Posted by: Eric B.

According to a Chicago Tribune article by food critic Phil Vettel, the former Ambassador East Hotel is currently being renovated to reopen as a boutique hotel called "Public Chicago." Ian Schrager, the owner of the new hotel, has invited Chicagoans to vote on what to name the revamped restaurant: Should they rename it "Gold Coast Kitchen," or keep it "The Pump Room?"

Vettel states wryly, "Ask the folks at Macy's and Willis Tower how well we Chicagoans take to having our icons renamed."

Fields Fans, you know EXACTLY what to do! Go to and click on "Cast Your Vote." The winning name will be announced on June 22. Remember, friends, dis is Chicago: Vote early and vote often!

Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2011  11:33 am CT
Posted by: gle

nteresting from the "Chicago Tribune" about what is going in across from Messy's on State Street; Hartmarx, a local clothing maker, used to be carried in a big way at Field's before before being replaced when Messy's took over and brought in much more from China.

"Loehmann's State Street store to briefly become a Hartmarx" June 7, 2011 by Sandra M. Jones,0,6341057.story

Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2011  9:46 am CT
Posted by: Jim

Terry Lundgren is the keynote speaker for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce's annual breakfast meeting on Wednesday, June 15. The Fashion Incubator is also a prominent part of the CCC's web site now. Macy's joined the CCC this year and Terry Lundgren was recently interviewed for "CS" aka "Chicago Style" magazine. He talked about Macy's -- Not about Marshall Field's.

Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011  6:47 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I just learned that Oliver J. Dragon made his debut with the Kuklapolitans, at MARSHALL FIELD's where for some time they offered Saturday performances. One more reason the present atrocities are to be deplored. I can scarcely imagine what Ollie would think of this debasement of his early career venue.

Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011  4:58 pm CT
Posted by: Lynn Ashby

Does anyone have the recipe for Marshall Field's chocolate cake with the fudge icing, sold at the Marshall Field's bakeries (located in the Marshall Field's stores). hmsblonde(AT)

Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011  3:13 am CT
Posted by: Alan

The idea of a "concept" Field's store at 111 N. State St. is interesting. There is no way that the store as Macy's attracts many tourists in its current state (it's just another Macy's, just bigger). It's low-risk for Lundgren with potentially high rewards.

Date: Friday, June 3, 2011  9:12 pm CT
Posted by: Judy Marth

Wow...haven't been on the site for a while!! Seems like we've grown in numbers! Yeah!!! It's bad enough that Messy's bought the store, changed the name, and the brands, and the service. But they have no respect at all for anything that was Marshall Field's. I for one do not even want to enter a building that's dirty, messy (no pun inteneded), full of broken equipment, and totally classless. They take no pride in how their company is presented to the public. To look at the former Field's building is heart breaking! It's like someone buying up all your family's heirlooms, then turning around and throwing these precious items on the garbage heap. I'm sure they realize that peoples' lives are entwined with Marshall Field's. But the sad part is that they don't even care. As long as Messy's holds the reins, they can run rampant over everything and everybody. Power can be a terrible thing. But we have power, too. I will not shop at Macy's. They will not get one penny from me. EVER.

Date: Thursday, June 2, 2011  9:46 am CT
Posted by: State Street Spectator

I went through the State Street store Wednesday evening and noticed a fresh supply of the popular "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Building Chicago," by our own Gayle Soucek, in the lower level book department (it had been sold out for a couple of weeks). There are also some on the 7th floor outside the Walnut Room. Get 'em while they're hot. This is something that sells, even at Messy's.

Incidentally, as if a broken record matters, I also noticed 3 broken escalators, 3 tables occupied in the Walnut Room and about 5 people at what looked like a bar area. Things were pretty quiet otherwise since the weather was so nice outside (isn't that they usually attribute it to?).

I still miss Field's. That was one great place to shop.

Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2011  5:01 pm CT
Posted by: L.P.

as a detroiter i was crushed to see the hudsons bldg go. then became macy's , took away my gold card priveleges , no more free coffee or gift wrap. then marshall fields, no big change right, back to roots? nope gone, now i have to go out of my way- round trip is 1 1/2 hours. i no longer know the sales associates by name, and every time have had to ask for assistance. my experiences ranged from helpful to snotty to downright rude. 


Date: Sunday, May 29, 2011  12:40 am CT
Posted by: Mike L.

Oh how I miss Marshall Field's. Whenever we'd go to the city, that was a must-go

Date: Friday, May 28, 2011  1:21 pm CT
Posted by: Laura

I was a faithful shopper at Fields on State, & I miss it!

Date: Friday, May 27, 2011  6:06 pm CT
Posted by: PMBUZZEE

I am in agreement with the return of Marshall Fields. I do not live in the mid west, however the iconic department store like so many in the past were the pulse of a city. Here in Richmond, we had Thalhimers, which was in business for almost 150 years until the May Co. bought them and turned them into Hecht's. I happen to like Macy's, however if I had Thalhimer's or any other regional store to shop at, I would prefer the regional store.

I understand why they kept Bloomingdales, for they owned the store before the merger. I also appreciate they kept the iconic Lord and Taylor, what started out as one of the oldest businesses in America (even older than Macys and Marshall Field's, even though L & T was not a department store originally). However, you do not see such gusto to revert any other store previously owned by the May Co back to its original namesake. We don't have strikes or yearly demonstrations to bring back Hecht's around here. I applaud Chicago and the numerous Marshall Field's fans to bring back their store.

Date: Friday, May 27, 2011  6:24 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I don't know when (if ever) Field's abandoned its "There's nothing like it back home" slogan, but that sure was a tease, wasn't it? And if you gave in to it, you weren't disappointed. Try that on for Messy's!

Doesn't that make ANYONE at Messy's feel uneasy, especially in light of the pathetic jab at 'localizing'? They were so near when the papers were signed, and yet so very far away. Eliminating Field's legendary ID, its very essence, with the epithet "dinosaur" or some such, probably was very satisfying, especially since it looks like that was a primary goal. What vision!

Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2011  6:15 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

Watching ABC 7 Chicago.... there's a mention of United Airlines having it's biggest hub in Houston and not Chicago for the first time ever. Chuck Goudie said Chicago's lost a lot over the years including Marshall Field's, convention business, corporate HQ, etc. The mention of Marshall Field's is because of the work and efforts of the folks on this site.

Geez we need some positive news. I heard DSW is coming to State Street Carson's. Wow things have gone really downhill. Downtown is just like anywhere else now. Bring back Field's!

Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2011  1:06 pm CT
Posted by: Notcom

A small - very small - note of correction to Jim's 05/24 post: the Union Square store that was converted into the macy*s men's store was a former Liberty House (the Hawaii-based chain closed its Mainland stores in 1984). The I Magnin flagship, which was actually in the same block as the macy*s store, was converted to store space in the upper floors and leased to other upscale retailers on the street level. (And though I can't confirm this, I understand that - sadly - the magnificent marble-bedecked women's room did not survive the transition.)

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  9:24 pm CT
Posted by: gayle

@Pat E.: I'm with you 100%. Even putting aside the fact that I find Macy's quite a bit less *ahem* enticing than Field's, I might have shopped there occasionally for random items if they had come to Chicago and left Field's alone. Even if they kept the Field's name and brought in Macy's inferior service and merchandise, I would have been furious, but nowhere near as angry as I am today. It did indeed feel like a slap in the face. I spent more money at Field's than I care to remember--many thousands of dollars in rugs, furniture, and artwork when we remodeled our home--but untold other dollars in mindless "retail therapy." I used to stop at the Oak Brook store a few times a week to unwind on my way home from work. I'd grab a cup of coffee (complimentary with my Regards card)and wander through the store. I always managed to find a trinket or two to put a smile on my face. My husband bought almost all his clothes there, and I bought most of mine there as well. We once realized that we could not find a single area--let alone an entire room--in our house that didn't have something in it from Field's.

Since 2006, the amount of money I have spent in Macy's Not one penny. As a matter of fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I've even walked through the State Street and Oak Brook stores since 2006. It's just too painful. Both stores are now poorly maintained and poorly merchandised. Many of the departments and vendors I loved are gone. The last time I was at State, I was sickened to see the dirty brass plaques and faded black awnings, not to mention the sections that are just boarded up like a derelict business.

If they took to heart the idea to return Field's in name and quality to State Street, I would go downtown to shop, and I would probably patronize the suburban Macy's for some items. It would be a win-win for everyone. C'mon Terry, give us our grande dame back!



Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  7:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Many thanks to all who commented here on the "blog" and in private emails. I've been inundated so I'm slow to respond. Thank you for your support.

To be fair, the following needs to be addressed:

1) First of all, I think Mr. Lundgren has been polite & respectful in his disposition each year I've been in attendance.


2) Regarding Gurnee Mills, I too was kind of thinking, that's a bit of down-market location for a standard-line Macy's or even standard-line Carson's or JCPenney--let alone what one would expect of a Marshall Field's. The Sears Essentials store there is essentially a Kmart and the JCPenney that closed there was an outlet.

Upon further reading, Gurnee Mills is being partially redeveloped into a standard mall. The mall has an unusual site and floor plan--like the letter "Z" and the owner, Simon Properties, is converting one wing of the mall into a full-price, non-discount, standard shopping mall complete with a major renovation. So there's something to this working. What bodes well for our cause is Mr. Lundgren's rationale for this store. Mr. Lundgren has supported this with the idea that Macy's will try new concepts and it's OK if some don't work--at least it was tried. BINGO! That's what should happen with running 111 N State as a special Marshall Field's emporium using Macy's best resources and attracting vendors and tenants who would not otherwise consider locating in Macy's or Bloomingdale's. Still, I can't help but think of what eventually happened to Lakewood on Route 120.

Here's the link to the story in Women's Wear Daily about Macy's new commitment to innovation--although subscription is required. Seems to me that it supports the idea of a special Field's emporium at State Street.

3) Bon-Ton did keep Carson's as a brand and it was a smart move. They are expanding the Carson's brand and reducing the others. That's because Carson's really is the best known of all its eight or nine brands. I believe the Carson's stores are the ones that keep Bon-Ton afloat. Some of the other brands are doing poorly. Ever been in one of Bon-Ton's Elder-Beerman stores? I've only been in two Elder-Beerman's but they look like a store from the 1970s on W. 33rd St in NYC or some run down Main Street. All that said, Macy's is doing way better than Carson's parent company, although Carson's in the Chicago area seems to be quite pretty well.


4) I never heard that Harrod's considered locating in Block 37 after Macy's took over Field's. However, about 13-14 years ago, Harrod's did consider building a store there but they declined to compete with Field's without incentives and tax breaks. Macy's was also rumored to be considering being the anchor of Block 37 roughly about the same time. As I recall from Crains Chicago Business at that time, the rumor was they decided against it after the city declined Macy's a tax incentive package to build it which I believe was worth at least $50 million. That amount should be confirmed before taken as fact. You have to wonder what would have happened if Macy's had the Block 37 store and then acquired Field's. In Boston, they had the former Jordan Marsh store operating as a Macy's just steps from Filene's. They closed Filene's. On the other hand, Macy's kept I. Magnin open and converted it to a Macy's Men's Store across from their Union Square flagship in San Francisco.


5) Hard to say what would have happened at Lake Forest if it had stayed Field's. Look what happened at Oak Park and Evanston.

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  3:38 pm CT
Posted by: L. Grand

It sounds like Mr. Lundgren was much more respectful of your presentation at this year's shareholders meeting than in times past. I admire you for staying true to the cause of bringing back the WONDERFUL, INCOMPARABLE, MATCHLESS MARSHALL FIELD'S!

Dreams CAN come true and this is one whose realization most of America would applaud. I saw a lovely Marshall Field's Christmas bag just yesterday; I believe from the year 2006. How wonderful it would be to see Marshall Field's bags OFTEN because of the return of our beloved jewel, Marshall Field's.

To repeat a request I've made before, if anyone has any photos of any of the lovely GIFT WRAPS and ADORNMENTS of Marshall Field's, please send them to me at I've been wanting for so long to make a slideshow of these beautiful GIFT WRAPS for so long to put on my website Any and all contributions would be so appreciated. THANKS!

L. Grand
Grand Rapids, MI

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  10:20 am CT
Posted by: Judith

Should you conduct this survey again, I would ask another 2 questions to the people who still shop at Macy's:
1. Has the quality of merchandise changed since the name change? I would answer yes since the Charter House brand is inferior to Field Gear and other brands that are now sold.

2. Has the quality of service changed? I would answer yes!!!. Two days after Christmas, there were no more than 4 salespeople on the second floor at Macy's Old Orchard. It appeared that when the holiday ended, so did the extra help. And it appears that is that way for years.

Had I been present, I would have commented that Harrod's was once considered building a store on Block 37, right across from Marshall Field's. They backed out and probably would not because Mr. Lundgren has to agree that Macy's in New York and elsewhere is not a "First Tier, 5th Avenue store". Bergdorf's, Henri Bendel, Barney's are, Macy's is not. The traffic at the State Street store and elsewhere would have been far greater had the Marshall Field's name been retained. Also, as you know, I am sure that the tony Lake Forest store, small as it was, would have stayed just because of its historical significance as well. I agree that Federated and Lundgren bungled things and alienated many shoppers. I still speak to many people who refuse to shop there. And frankly, I don't even like the store now.

Lundgren should also be reminded that the Bon Ton Corporation has retained the name in different states of stores they own, including Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago, thus keeping goodwill and sales.

Maybe we should hammer him and the Board of Directors with this other information. I am sure that there sales have taken a definite hit since the recession. They need to restore goodwill and quality.

Judy, Die Hard Marshall Field Fan

P.S. You can also tell Lundgren about the former very lucrative bridal gift business. Bridal showers lately sport more boxes from Crate and Barrel, and Williams and Sonoma, and even Target than Macy's. Those boxes at showers are few and far between.

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  8:15 am CT
Posted by: Janet, TX

Being a former Chicagoan, I miss Marshal Field's in downtown Chicago. It has been an icon for years and years.

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  7:04 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

ooohhh- some sense from the UK! Wonderful to get a point of view from the land of Harrod's where people can shop in style!

I am so weary of Messyites sneering about dinosaurs, wingeing about These Economic Times, and pushing onto us the prospect of a future properly fitted out with nothing but box stores and self-serve medicocrity. I cannot imagine that Americans, having withstood over a hundred years of war and adversity along with prosperity, have suddenly found they cannot support a Marshall Field's. Poor us! We who must have granite and crown molding and three bathrooms in first homes, and 16 wheels in the garage-- can't handle a Field's. We who throng the malls cannot comprehend one-stop shopping!! We who revere Bellagio can't grasp a landmark Grand Dame shopping experience. Beauty, intelligence and excellence have succumbed to poverty and diffidence, according to them. I think not.

Maybe it will take a foreign entrepreneur to see the point, and make it work. Americans (in particular) with money to invest seem to define "investment" as squeezing the best goose loose of all its golden eggs in one day, cooking the bird for dinner, feathers and all-- and moving on to the next one, if there is another to be found. It's a sort of slo-mo pillage and rape of the nation. As payback from this attitude, we have already begun to experience on a grand scale, economic, cultural and ecological devastation. What's wrong with this picture?

It's only an old department store we're talking about here, but if that's really all the meaning it had, there would not be this persisting level of concern.

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  7:01 am CT
Posted by: jill


Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  6:54 am CT
Posted by: Mark in Kentucky

I agree. I was at Oakbrook and visited Macy's. It was really unpleasant. Count me in as one who wants Marshall Field's back.

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  5:08 am CT
Posted by: Pat

How do I become a fields Fan ?

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011  4:04 am CT
Posted by: t.c.

I agree.

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  pm CT
Posted by: Barby

Thank you, a thousand times over, for all you all have done, and continue to do, to restore the storied and iconic name of Marshall Field's to Chicago. Although my home has been Miami for a number of years, Chicago is my home-town, so to speak, and Marshall Field's was home to some of my fondest memories. Although I must confess I must look up my children's phone numbers, I still recall from memory... ST1-1000... and you were talking with Field's!

Even now, these many years later, some of my most treasured vintage belongings bear the Marshall Field's label. We live adjacent to the Bal Harbour Shops, filled to the brim in all their glory, but... nothing replaces Marshall Fields! Their selection was purely Chicagoan - through and through - and their service was impeccable. We knew their fine staff, on a first name basis, and they knew ours, too.

Losing Field's was like a death in the family... obliterating the final traces of some of the best experiences shared... with no hope of recapturing these! Although I cannot be there, physically, to participate in your efforts, please know that these efforts matter greatly... even to those of us who cannot be there on a regular basis. I definitely am with you all in thought! Please accept my heartfelt thanks.

Best wishes and Bravo for all your time, devotion, and splendid efforts.

Warmest personal regards,


Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  6:39 pm CT
Posted by: Pat E.

I'm always pleased to hear that the Field's effort is still going strong. I wish there were one more question in the survey.........
How many times have you shopped at Macy's since the takeover of Marshall Field's in 2006?

__Never __1 - 5 times __6 - 10 times __10 - 50 times __about monthly __more frequently
I would be in the "Never" category. I think if Lundgren knew how many people still refuse to shop at Macy's, it might feed into his greed for more customers. I had a Macy's charge card when I lived in California. I shopped there when they took over Bullock's. I moved back to the Midwest in 1999 and when Macy's took over Field's in such a thoughtless, rude way----against all opposition and with no interest in even listening to the shoppers in this area, I wrote a letter, canceled the card and wouldn't set foot in a Macy's if it were the last store on earth. I would sew my own clothes first.

There wasn't a problem with Bloomingdale's or Lord & Taylor. Macy's didn't feel compelled to change their names, and there was no good reason for changing Marshall Field's. There are many other anchor stores, once associated with major cities that Macy's took over, but the none where the name was so linked to the city's history for more than a hundred years. The way to win customers is certainly not to insult them, trivialize their history and take away the heritage left by a great Chicagoan. Lundgren slapped us in the face, and the only weapon I have against that kind of treatment is to refuse to be a customer. I suspect there are others like me--and he really ought to know how many of us there are and how angry we still are.

Keep up the good work

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  6:39 pm CT
Posted by: C.H.

Also recall that when a certain Mr. Fayed bought Harrods, he had good sense not to change its name.

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  6:32 pm CT
Posted by: E.L.

Macy's bringing back the Marshall Field's to State Street?? They would need to change more than the name on the building. I am one shopper who has not set foot in Macy's after the change. Before that I was in the State Street store at least once a week as I worked nearby. Prior to the name change, there was a noticeable, steady decline in the store brands as Field's brands were phased out for the Macy's labels. For the non-store brands, I found that Nordstrom, Von Maur, etc., offer much the same with a high degree of customer service. Macy's scorned Chicago shoppers when they put the Macy's name on our beloved shopping institution so any changes will be met with deep skepticism.

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  4:14 pm CT
Posted by: C.F.

I will not give them my money until they fix this !

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  4:10 pm CT
Posted by: D.O.

I love me my Marshall Fields and when I have my button as I travel for work out east every other week people know and know what is being missed.

Keep up the good work

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  4:08 pm CT
Posted by: Larysa, Florida

You could take the girl out of MARSHALL FIELD'S, but you can NEVER take MARSHALL FIELD'S out of the girl! I moved from Chicago almost 20 years ago, but it's still MY HOME TOWN and Marshall Field's holds memories for my entire family like NO OTHER department store!

Good luck in your persistence!!!!

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  3:52 pm CT
Posted by: R. M.

The approach by using the Drake, Palmer House, etc., is hard to refute. If only Oprah could get behind it!

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  3:29 pm CT
Posted by: Ronald Kung

After reading people comments in Chicago Tribune about "Macy's open in Gurnee Mills" and these people who comments about Marshall Fields got me mad because Marshall Field is Chicago and Marshall Field is a good store to shop in and have great customer service and those people who comment about Marshall Fields being a dinosaur and I tell those people Macy's does not care about Chicago and tell these people to suck a lemon!

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  1:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The following press release is the summary of the shareholder meeting that I promised in my post on Saturday. Thank you to all who supported us-- Many thanks to G., Gail, A., gle and others, and especially Steve and his help.

(CHICAGO--May 23, 2011) Annual Survey Results
Five Years Later, Survey Shows Overwhelming Demand for Marshall Field’s Holding Steady: Four Out of Five Chicago Shoppers Still Prefer Marshall Field’s Over Macy’s

Contact:  Jim McKay, Co-Organizer,

The latest survey of North Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers completed in the past six weeks indicates that 79% still want Marshall Field’s instead of Macy’s.  Comparable surveys administered in 2009 and 2010 showed that 78% and 81% (respectively) preferred Marshall Field’s to Macy’s.  As such, there has been no statistically significant change in the overwhelming preference of four out of five shoppers for Marshall Field’s.

The results were presented to Macy’s, Inc. CEO, President and Chairman, Terry Lundgren, and Macy’s Board of Directors by a representative of the grassroots group immediately after the Macy’s, Inc. shareholders meeting held in Cincinnati, OH Friday, May 20, 2011.

The survey of 830 shoppers was conducted anonymously by the grassroots organization  Participants responded to three questions regarding their shopping habits at the Chicago store that was Marshall Field’s until 2006 when it was converted to Macy’s.  Participants’ brief comments while answering the survey questions were also noted.

The results from three survey questions are given below.  Survey results from 2009 and 2010 shoppers are shown in parenthesis.  This year’s survey had a margin of error of 3.33% ( < 5.0%), with a confidence level of 95% and a response distribution of 50%.

*  Do you prefer Marshall Field's, Macy's or both about the same? (830 responses)

79.0% preferred Marshall Field's (2009: 78.0% / 2010: 80.8%)
12.5% preferred Macy's (2009: 12.6% / 2010: 12.7%)
8.4% preferred both equally (2009: 9.4% / 2010: 6.5%)

*  Do you shop at the store more, less or about the same since the store became Macy's? (829 responses)

7.8% said that they shop more (2009: 8.6% / 2010: 6.7%)
72.5% said that they shop less (2009: 72.2% / 2010: 71.5%)
19.7% said that they shop with the same frequency as before (2009: 19.2% / 2010: 21.7%)

*  Would you shop at the store more, less or about the same if the store was converted back to Marshall Field's from Macy's? (827 responses)

78.2% said that they would shop more (2009: 78.3% / 2010: 77.1%)
3.1% said that they would shop less (2009: 2.9% / 2010: 4.7%)
18.6%  would shop with the same frequency as they do now (2009: 18.8% / 2010: 18.1%)

The survey results were presented to Mr. Lundgren by representative and Macy’s shareholder Jim McKay.  Based on these results, McKay called on Macy’s, Inc. to use the immense talents and resources of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s to restore Marshall Field’s internationally recognized name and way of doing business to the legendary State Street flagship.  McKay pointed to several other overwhelmingly successful precedents, most notably those of Neiman Marcus’s single Bergdorf Goodman flagship and especially The Drake and Palmer House hotels in Chicago.  The Drake and Palmer House have returned maximum profits and results by retaining their internationally recognized names, identities and style of doing business all while still being main-line Hilton-branded hotels.  McKay’s closing point was that restoring Marshall Field’s to the State Street flagship would be the logical and ultimate realization of the “My Macy’s” “localization” strategy that would please four out of five Chicago shoppers.  Mr. Lundgren responded that Chicago is a very important and valued market for his company citing recent remodeling work at the Water Tower location as an example.

Started in 2005, is a grassroots organization that has staged rallies, letter-writing campaigns and other activities with the goal of restoring Chicago’s iconic and internationally renowned destination--Marshall Field's--in quality and service, as well as name, to State Street.  Its activities have included distributing more than 150,000 leaflets and pin-on buttons and media coverage at the local, national and international levels.


Date: Monday, May 23, 2011  9:15 am CT
Posted by: Jim, G., others

Macy's to open store at Gurnee Mills. Other stores in the mall include Sears Grand, Value City Furniture, T.J. Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, and Bass Pro shops. Macy's will build a new store on the site of a former Circuit City in the same wing as Marshall's and Kohl's. A map of the mall is at

The Tribune has an article where registered users (including Twitter and Facebook users) can leave comments:,0,5686330.story

Date: Sunday, May 22, 2011  7:39 am CT
Posted by: Stephen

I wish you every success in this campaign. But looking at the history of Macys / Messys and its retail conquests I don't hold out much hope unless the while company is sold and gets a new management team brought in. The trend now seems to be to have large powerful global brands {Starbucks, Apple, Nike etc} raher than the quirky, niche or one~off.

Here in the UK House of Fraser is changing all of its stores to "house of fraser" rather than the original individual names some of which are much loved by Local shoppers. As an example Kendals in Manchester, which is technically the oldest "department store" in the world, was re/named in 2005. This was not popular but big business always has its way. Ironically they brought back the Kendals name this year on carrier bags and even had a 175 years of Kendals exhibition but this was purely a marketing exercise.

i read also about how Macys bought and then closed the legendary I.Magnin store in San Francisco in the 1990s. This was truly a beautiful "art gallery" of a store that is now just another Messys branch.

I do feel that the mood is changing. Small quirky shops and locally produced goods are thriving as people search out the unique and earth friendly along with things of a lasting beauty. In a sea of Starbucks and "Made In China" goods there has been a dumbing down of our expectations of what a store can and should provide. The mighty emporia of the past may not have all been able to survive in eh current climate but look how busy Harrods and Selfridges are every day. With no closed off sections, Selfridges is even looking at ways to expand its sales areas. And Selfridge trained at? Marshall Field's.

Harrods {with its new owners} may now expand into a replica store in China such is its pulling power with wealthy Chinese shoppers. Macys has missed a trick in not retaining, nurturing and re positioning the Marshall Field's brand as a premium shopping destination with associated web site. With 9 or 10 floors they have a building that cold act as a major tourist attraction in Chicago. Get in the niche brands, top chefs and earth friendly spin and once again you have a store with a world wide draw. I don't think Macy's have the brains to see this after what they did to I Magnin.

I look forward to being proved wrong!

Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011  6:23 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I did attend the Macy's shareholders meeting in Cincinnati yesterday and again presented our case for returning Marshall Field's to State Street, along with our latest Chicago shopper survey results. I will post more on this over the weekend after I attend to some other responsibilities. Many thanks to G., Gail, A., gle and others, and especially Steve and his help.

The Chicago Sun-Times, among many, many others, is running a short story on it from the AP. Registered users may comment.

Date: Friday, May 20, 2011  12:37 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I was very proud to vote my proxy share for the Messy's shareholder meeting held May 20, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. By purchasing at least 1 share of Messy's stock, many pro-Field's supporters have given themselves a voice in being allowed to vote on directors and other issues on the ballot for Messy's annual shareholder meetings. This also provides an option to actually attend the meetings, which some of our people have done in the past and are doing again this year (BRAVO TO OUR REPRESENTATION!).

While this may seem like a drop in the bucket, it makes a statement that we care enough about the return of Marshall Field's to Chicago to become involved and have a say beyond simply carrying a protest sign.

Mr. Lundgren has made some crowing remarks about Messy's ability to survive the economy. While Messy's is good at number crunching, this does not change the fact of who Chicago shoppers are--we prefer Marshall Field's in name, quality and service. We are NOT interested in Messy's, even after a 4 1/2-year trial period. NUMBERS CAN BE CRUNCHED, BUT CHICAGO CAN'T!

Date: Thursday, May 19 2011  10:03 pm CT
Posted by: Laura

I love fields and worked there for years.

Date: Wednesday, May 18 2011  1:31 pm CT
Posted by: FRN

my blood runs a dark green. not been in state street since macy's.

Date: Tuesday, May 17 2011  9:43 am CT
Posted by: E.K.

Some of my coworkers and I were just speaking about how much we missed Marshall Field's and came across your website. Those of us in my office love to see the quality, service, and style return as Field's on State.

Date: Monday, May 16 2011  10:46 am CT
Posted by: (g)

Mayor Daley's office included a wooden bench painted in what looked like famous Chicago clocks. The Marshall Field's clock was among them .

Date: Sunday, May 15 2011  10:52 am CT
Posted by: Marilyn R.

I was overjoyed to run into Penny Currier yesterday. She is the lovely and gracious harpist who used to play at Field's at the ground floor atrim during the holidays for many, many years. I know many people who looked forward to this beautiful tradition. Penny was playing at the Palm Court at the Drake Hotel and told me that she plays at many different lobby locations downtown, such as the Hancock Building. She also told me that Macy's handled her quite badly and that she had quite a lot of difficulty in finding good bookings after Field's. It would be very nice if Field's Fans could remember Penny and recommend her to others, perhaps for weddings etc. Her card says her phone number is (312) 280-7558 and website is

Date: Friday, May 13 2011  11:59 am CT
Posted by: Anne, Homewood

I know Macy's said they are all about the Magic of Macy's, but State Street truly was a magical place as Field's. It's not magical as Macy's.

Date: Thursday, May 12 2011  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Richard M Krueger

I'm back. It's been a while since I've been on site but I was just surfing the internet for "stuff" and eventually got around, once again, to recipes from Field's and Gimbels (I grew up in Milwaukee). The parade of pictures and other ephemera that i found made me so nostalgic for Field's that i ended up back here again.

Thank goodnes for the books and mementos that are floating around out there. They help with the many memories of how special it was, not just at christmas, but for almost any shopping occasion. It was why I went into retail and visual merchandising. I miss the deli merchandise and bakery the most! So wonderful and tasty!

I'm still looking for the Field's fruitcake recipe, so if anyone has any ideas, drop me a line! This past Christams, I broke down and ordered one from Neiman Marcus. It's good. Really good. But it's NOT Field's. Have the cookbooks, but they don't include that recipe.

Macy's I fear, will not relent. It's all about stockholders and profits, and little care for grandeur, grace, taste and servie. They talk a good game, but are shamefully out of practice. I haven't shopped at a Macy's for years. Never will. I'm that stubbron.

Here in Wisconsin/Minnesota there is a lot of remembering Dayton's and Marshall Field as well. Field's made an impression on everyone here and the legacy remains, if only in our memories.

Wish you all well. And I wish all of us Marshall Field & Company!

Date: Thursday, May 12 2011  9:42 am CT
Posted by: Thomas Kretschmar

i have long missed the service that Marshall Field's provided andMarshall Field's use to sell "Seta" candy. They were chocolate with pecans on top. Does anyone know were you can purchase something similar ?

Date: Tuesday, May 10 2011  9:46 am CT
Posted by: (g)

I do plan to wear a Field's button to the welcome open house new Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposes, and think any of our people who have buttons and are available should also try.

Date: Monday, May 9 2011  5:08 pm CT
Posted by: Heather

I was just wondering if you were having any luck to bring Marshall Field's back? Can't Oprah help get it done? It could be one of her last good deeds as she winds down her show in Chicago. I was born in Chicago and have wonderful memories of shopping with my mom, seeing the huge tree at Christmas, eating special treats in the Walnut Room with my parents - all of this before I was 5. As a grew up, we often came back to shop at the flagship store and I loved strolling and eating in the market. It just isn't the same now and that is a huge shame. Macy's may be special in NYC, but Marshall Field's belongs to Chicago.

Date: Sunday, May 8 2011  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago

Happy Mothers' Day!

Date: Saturday, May 7 2011  9:53 pm CT
Posted by: ed

we miss field's. good to see that this site is still going.

Date: Friday, May 6 2011  9:53 pm CT
Posted by: Mary M.

Missed Marshall Field's on my recent trip to Chicago. Walked through one door and walked back out on to Randolph immediately. It was so sad.

Date: Wednesday, May 4 2011  9:53 pm CT
Posted by: michael murray

I really believe around the board room table at macys with their new reinventions i.e. blommingdales outlet feilds must be back on the table

Date: Tuesday, May 3 2011  9:53 pm CT
Posted by: Tim in Fort Wayne

My partner and I went to the "M" store in Fort Wayne, (formerly an L.S. Ayres) to buy a Mother's Day gift for his mom. (I won't buy from "M" myself). This store is clean and well-kept and the sales clerk, a more mature, classy looking lady was extremely helpful. She physically took us to the department we were looking for and came back a few minutes later to see how we were doing. Basically, helpful without being pushy. When we took our merchandise to her to check out and told her we would to take it to be gift wrapped after the purchase, she sadly reported the gift wrapped dept. had been phased out. She was very apologetic but also didn't mince words that she felt it was not a good decision on "M's" part. She also stated that because of the gift wrap phase out, they also lost some very good, long standing employees that had been with Ayres for years. A sad commentary.

Date: Monday, May 2 2011  9:12 pm CT
Posted by: Gail

I do a lot of flying, but it's rare for me to fly into O'Hare. Saturday was different, so I pulled my "Forever Marshall Field's" button for the trip. It never fails to get comments from diehard Field's fans.

Date: Monday, May 2 2011  12:42 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

THANKS to Richard in Houston for posting the links to the classic Foley's commercials. The advertisements were clever and entertaining; although I never shopped at Foley's these commercials make the store seem like it's part of the community. Seems as though Foley's was trying to sell a lifestyle as well as merchandise. I think Target's advertisements are similar, because they are unique, creative and enjoyable to watch.

The Red Star TV commercials, on the other hand, are tacky and offensive. Garish bright red background, loud music with sale prices shouted out for various wares. Nothing distinctive, imaginative or innovative--just like their stores.

Date: Monday, May 2 2011  12:19 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

State Street comes to Fifth and Smithfield! Yes, the Red Star is working its "magic" on the former Kaufmann's in Downtown Pittsburgh as many of the same "improvements" are taking place as in the former Marshall Field's in Chicago.

The windows along Forbes Avenue feature housewares displayed on wheeled shelving carts and background lettering "Now on 6" to remind shoppers the kitchen and dining departments have been moved downstairs and the seventh floor has been closed. The windows along Smithfield Street feature various spring clothing, nice enough but nothing special. The two corner windows at Forbes and Smithfield and under the famous clock at Fifth and Smithfield were a bit more creative with a "shoe-aholic" on one corner and big flowers at the other. Clothing displays filled the windows along Fifth Avenue, okay but uninspired. There were three windows lettered STEELERS Thanks for a Great Season filled various football clothing. (Too bad the "season" was over several months ago.)No merchandise displays of Pittsburgh Penguin items who had been doing quite well.

Inside, the store was neat and clean. The merchandise fixtures were well-organized and displays were nice. Evidently the Red Star management still hasn't heard about floor wax as the marble tile are dull and scuffed. Despite Mr Lunkhead's proclamations, the cosmetics department on the main level has been downsized and the floor has much empty space. The large two bay selection of men's fragrances has been moved to a smaller space near the women's cosmetics. Also the men's furnishings department in the back on one has been greatly reduced and a large space near The Tic Toc restaurant has been closed off with a black gauze-like material.

The Arcade Level looked decent, although the gourmet food department has been reduced. As I walked around on 2, I noticed the escalator bank leading to upper levels on the east side (Grant Street) of the building has been closed off. The elevator banks are located in the center of the store, and I believe many of the elevators were out of service. When I ventured to explore the upper floors, I found that large sections of the back section (east) of 3, 4 and 5 had been screened off with the black material and the escalator banks closed. Approximately 25 % of each sales floor was closed.

The kitchen and dining departments are now on 6, with the first thing customers see stepping off the escalator is the "exclusive" Martha Stewart collection with big pictures of Martha Herself! How "exciting"! The linen section had been downsized and features lots of Martha 200 count sheet sets. How classy! Floor 7 has been closed off, but the escalator landing does have a dining table display. Floor 8 is rugs and clearance furniture--mostly empty. Floor 9 is an off-price book store and snack bar. Floor 10 furniture department has much vacant floor space.

The merchandise selection has dwindled and large sections of the sales floors are empty or closed off. Sadly, this downtown location was Kaufmann's top performer and was truly a desination. Various signs throughout the store mention the "exciting changes" taking place. Overall, the downtown Red Star is okay--probably equivalent to Sears, but certainly NOT worth a special trip or the expense of parking.

Date: Sunday, May 1 2011  CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

A.F. Regarding your points:

* I also heard that the flower show was good, although I did not get a chance to see it. There were in fact two posts criticizing it for reasons that can possibly be factual so they do not appear here.

* I have seen the remodeling at Water Tower and I do think it looks good, albeit a little generic. Critics of the remodel should consider that the basic structure and character of the first floor is in tact and that while it may be argued that paint and finishes may be trendy and also outdated, the fact is that the best features are in tact for whatever trendy remodels take place in say 2022 or whatever in the future. But I must disagree--Kmart has a lot of white and chrome these days and it's not of great quality. The quality of fixtures at Water Tower is indeed much better. I might point out that right now, the store is a bit of a patchwork quilt in old and new appearances.

* I certainly don't trash Macy's or anyone for earth endeavors. At the same time, most of these are simply good business practices that everyone should and now more than a few practice as a matter of being more efficient.

* On your fourth point I have to disagree strongly. If Macy's isn't deferring maintenance then they are ignoring more than a few things at State Street. Let's start with the bathrooms and then compare to Bloomingdale's on Michigan Avenue and many others, and the move to do th same to floor finishes, cleanliness, etc. -- even the Roman numerals on the clocks and more that I won't laundry list at this point. The spirit of your post below and ones before is that no one other than Macy's would run that store. I strongly disagree. I believe improvement in figures at State Street is due to cut corners in maintenance. You may not agree but many others do.

Fifth: I agree, we are coming through the great recession and every store is down; Macy's as a chain is doing better than others. But I believe then there is a double standard. Field's and State Street was also down some post-9/11 and the same leeway to request for Macy's as we come out of "The Great Recession" was not given to Field's post-9/11.

Regarding the general spirit of your most recent and past posts, the issue is this, Macy's did not do well bridging between Field's and Macy's. A comparable success story I really admire is that of The Drake Hotel in Chicago. The same could also apply to the Palmer House and The Wit and others. While these are hotels, they also have much in common in terms of service and spirit with the likes of Field's. The success is that The Drake is in fact part of the mainline of Hilton Hotels. It's not a Waldorf Astoria, not a Conrad, not a Doubletree or any other boutique line of Hilton. The Drake has retained its character and sense of identity in service and quality--and of course it's name; yet, it is also a Hilton. A similar approach could have been applied to State Street--and Macy's could have "had it's cake and eat it too." Could still happen. It would bring back a lot of customers who won't consider shopping Macy's at all. Even if that is a 10% in the Chicago area, that's a big deal.

Date: Saturday, April 30, 2011  5:34 pm CT
Posted by: AF

Some comments on what I have read (or didn't read) here.....

First, it is obvious Macy's did an absolutely outstanding job with the flower show this year as there were no comments trashing it, and I know some posters to this blog went to see it.

Second, the decor of the Watertower store was totally outdated. What was cool in 1996 isn't so today. The lighting that is being replaced is the same that was used when it was Field's. So if the store is dark was then too! White w/chrome is considered upscale....NOT discount!

Third, I can't believe anyone would trash Macy's for Earth friendly endeavors. That just floors me and in fact speaks volumes about those who trash Macy's.

Fourth, Macy's doesn't defer maintenance. State Street is just old, not dirty. And due to changing demographics, will never produce the volumes necessary to justify a full scale renovation. The upscaling of Field's merchandise in about 20 locations by Target was a disaster and caused sales to drop dramatically leading to the quick sale in 2004. For most of it's history, Fields was considered dowdy!

Fifth, we are still coming through the worst economic time since the Great depression......quit trashing Macy's for increasing coupons and sales! It was totally necessary.....and is working based on increasing sales!

Finally, The Oakbrook ladies shoe department that was trashed here was named the Retail Store Of The Year - In Store Shop for 2011 by Chain Store Age, the preeminent retail industry publication. Here is the link w/photo.....opens as a PDF doc....go to page 16.

Also, here is an article from Barron's magazine today about Macy's. The title is below with the link after. They are actually doing quite well and have gotten well beyond the May acquisition. The regionals are mentioned.......

Feature | SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2011

Macy's Biggest Bargain: Its Shares


After enduring an arduous restructuring and a vicious recession, the storied retailer is standing tall under CEO Terry Lundgren.

Date: Saturday, April 30, 2011  5:30 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

My. My.

Those wacky folks at Macy's are giving their stores another "trendy" look. Empty shelves. Have you noticed the merchandise cutbacks in branch stores? Lots of empty shelves and racks. I don't know how they did it but there are actually less sales associates on the floor. Poor lady had to cover kids, housewares and luggage. Oh well, no customers on a Thursday night. The place looks like it is going out of business.

Quite buys at Lord and Taylor...which I now call Field's and Taylor.

Macy's has no attention to detail...or anything. Burnt out light bulbs. Torn carpeting. Chipped counter tops. It looks more like an outlet store than outlet stores do!

Date: Friday, April 29, 2011  12:30 am CT
Posted by: Rich -- Italbearr

It Shocks me that Miss Fabing-- Senior VP of Retail Design and strategy could give an interview and state that the Water Tower store "really didn't have a strong identity of its' own" --Perhaps this was in fact due to alterations made by Macy's after the changeover-- I believe that this is the case with the percieved darkness of the store and "lack" of lighting -- Field's was NEVER that way -- it ALWAYS was well lit and bright --- Perhaps she was never in the store when it was Fields -- I find that impossible to believe since she is a "VP in strategy and design"-- but maybe-- more likely she is simply towing the red star "line" since they are employing her and her firm-- the Water Tower store -- as the other Field's locations, as you all are aware, were very genteel and elegant --

I hope whatever they do, they do it well -- the store deserves that -- But I remain terribly underwhelmed and uninspired.

Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011  10:02 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

In the latest "Time Out Chicago," Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel talks fondly of going to Marshall Field's on his Birthday and eating at the Walnut Room when he was a child.

Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011  6:01 am CT
Posted by: Jim

Earlier this week, Macy's announced that it is opening a Bloomingdale's Outlet in Schaumburg, across the street from Woodfield. The outlets are similar to Nordstrom Rack. With Macy's open to new formats, you would think they would also be open to using the best resources of Macy's and Bloomingdale's to give the customers what they want at State Street--Marshall Field's!

Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2011  3:39 am CT
Posted by: S.D.

Macy's latest focus on beauty counters is actually staffed with subsidies from the beauty industry. However, Macy's understaffs many of the other departments that operates itself.
Harnessing the Might of Macy's

Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2011  3:39 am CT
Posted by: M.Z.

It is a travesty that they took away Marshall Fields. My family shopped there for generations!

Date: Monday, April 25, 2011  10:47 am CT
Posted by: M.J.D.

I have followed the movement of preserving the Marshall Field's name & integrity of the stores since Target Corporation jettisoned the division in 2004. To this day, I am still disappointing they did so, mostly because of what the new owners did to the brand each time it was bought and sold.

Bottom line-I strongly dislike Macy's!

Date: Sunday, April 24, 2011  CT
Posted by:

Happy Easter!

Date: Saturday, April 23, 2011  1:22 am CT
Posted by: Pam A.

I was born in Chicago, and my first visit to Marshall Fields when I was 13 was unforgettable!! I took my daughter to Chicago last summer, but without Marshall Fields, it's just not the same city! Thank you for trying to bring back a true Chicago icon.

Date: Friday, April 22, 2011  4:51 pm CT
Posted by: gle

From Messy's official website

"Macy's, Inc. announces new sustainability actions"

WOW! All these fantastic eco-friendly innovations. I don't even understand everything they are talking about. Now if they could only mop the floor on State Street once in a while or fix an escalator.

Date: Friday, April 22, 2011  10:01 am CT
Posted by: Emily C.

Hi, my name is Emily. My Grandmother was a lift long Marshall Field's fanatic and shopped at the Oak Brook location every week.

Even in her late 80's she would drive from Brookfield to Oakbrook in her Buick.

The thing she misses the most is her indpendence to drive to Field's. She was so mad when it became Macy's!!!!!

Thank you so much! Hope your organization is still going strong!

Date: Friday, April 22, 2011  12:31 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Someone finally posted some excellent Foley's commercials. I know Marshall Field's is THE grand dame of the regional department stores.. we had an outpost here in Houston in Town & Country and The Galleria and sorely miss it. However, I wanted you, and some of our fellow Field's Fans, to see some of what was special to us in Houston and the Southwest as well. I thought I would never see some of these commercials ever again:

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011  3:57 pm CT
Posted by: Randy Allen

Well, I'm happy to see your site is still showing support for Marshall Field's even after a number of years. I'm sure Macys never thought Field's Fans would keep the home fires burning this length of time.

I understand Macys is in the business to make money. It has shareholders to answer to and dividends to pay. What I find hard to believe is Macys building a wall of resentment with shoppers and even cities that had iconic flagship department stores such as Chicago. If Macys would have looked at the "jewels" they purchased over time, and realized what a "crown" it had, maybe they would've kept the larger iconic stores.

Just think, if they had just kept the larger flagship stores in cities such as: Chicago-Marshall Fields, Pittsburgh-Kaufmanns, St. Louis-Famous Barr, Miami-Burdines, Atlanta-Richs, Philly-Strawbridge & Clothier and John Wanamakerís, not to mention the countless others. If only 1 flagship store had retained the original name in it's founding city, along with the regional merchandise offerings, the pill they forced at us would have been easier to swallow. Macy's would have shown how gracious they wanted to be to the people and cities by leaving these flagship stores untouched. Even their own flagship store in NY is nothing like it once was...

I so miss shopping at flagship stores in larger cities. Each had incredible architecture, merchandise and most even had in-store dining. You could get a sense of the city from looking over the stores. Most had original merchandise so you could purchase a unique item otherwise not offered in your own town.

Maybe someday when a new CEO is appointed to Macy's Inc. a vision to bring back the iconic stores will bloom. Until then, we still have our dreams of the Marshall Fields once known by us and the extraordinary times spent in the store I refer to as the Ol' Dame with the tiffany hat!

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011  1:34 pm CT
Posted by: Melissa V.


Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2011  7:16 pm CT
Posted by:

Blessed Passover.

Date: Monday, April 18, 2011  4:56 pm CT
Posted by: Mike S.

Is there really any reason they have to run the great Marshall Field's store like it was a big box stiore? Macy's runs it like an old run down place.

Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011  11:26 am CT
Posted by: E.P. in Palatine


Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: Freedie M.

Here in Champaign, the Macy's used to be a Famous Barr store.

Since Macy's took over, they've added some Frangos. Recently, I passed through on the way to the Parking Lot and found that smack in the middle of the cosmetics counters, one of the counters was converted into a Frango and Godiva display. I decided to look around a bit more. I found certain areas of the store were either empty and "roped off" with yellow tape or filled with overstock of luggage. It looks like they are downsizing the store.

That's the magic of Macy's! A shrinking store.

Date: Friday, April 15, 2011  8:12 pm CT
Posted by: R.M.

Haven't stepped foot in the store since it became Macy's.

Date: Thursday, April 14, 2011  1:00 pm CT
Posted by: A.B.

Passed though the Market Place area at the store formerly known as Marshall Field's at Oak Brook. It looks as if they have shrunk the former culinary heaven. And in a gap between the food counter and the chocolates counter, theres a bunch of ladieswear--swimsuits? or something. Did Didn't this used to be all gourmet foods too?


Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2011  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: Mary W.

Macy's just isn't the same.

Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2011  12:16 am CT
Posted by: Alex Sokolan, Tiraspol, Moldova.

Even here in Moldova , we miss the Marshall Field's store. It was very special indeed to all. I hope it comes back.

Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2011  1:34 am CT
Posted by: Pete

There was a guy wearing a shirt at the Shamrock Shuffle. It said to bring Marshall Field's. In it for the long run!

Date: Monday, April 11, 2011  10:57 pm CT
Posted by: MikeA

Was at the flower show last week. They did a great job this year. One sad note . George P. Kelly died last week. He ran Field's for about 10 years. He is creditied for bringing back the State Street store from dull and dowdy to chic and trendy. He was also responsible for starting the Field Gear line and Field's finally getting into large storewide sales and the phrase as Chicagoa s it can get. He was a great leader that should have never left the store. The staff enjoyed his tenure at teh store.

Date: Monday, April 11, 2011  8:24 pm CT
Posted by: Brigitte R.

Changing the Field's to Macy's as if they were to change Harrods in London to Macy's. Even more since Field's was such a part of Chicago history.

Date: Sunday, April 10, 2011  12:45 pm CT
Posted by: Marijane Miller, Michigan City, Indiana

We always used to take the South Shore to Chicago and then go shopping at Field's. There's no special reason to do anymore. Aside from that, it's so sad to see the state of the State Street Store.

Date: Saturday, April 9, 2011  5:45 pm CT
Posted by: J.K.

Count me among the confounded who don't understand why Macy's would standardize its coffee shops on Starbucks.

Don't get me wrong--I like Starbucks. But it's something you can get anywhere. You'd think they'd tout Frango coffee. Even the local Dominck's and Target has Starbucks.

True, Field's had a Starbucks in the State Street Store before Macy's took over. They should have taken a que from Nordstrom which has their own Nordstrom cafe, serving up their own Nordstrom coffee.

Date: Friday, April 8, 2011  11:23 am CT
Posted by: Sharon

I walked through Oak Brook the other day and am surprised -- not that I should be -- at the piecemeal appearance that the store is taking on. I wonder if the same will happen at Water Tower Place.

The cosmetics, jewelry and ladies shoes are all updated to the screaming white, antiseptic look. The rest of the store is not. I wonder if Macy's is having the cosmetic vendors -- Estee Lauder, etc., foot the bill for the remodel. They do pretty much subsidize the cost of ads for Macy's cosmetics sales.

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011  5:34 pm CT
Posted by: J.K.

I don't understand why Macy's makes up fake brands when they had really good brands at Marshall Field's.

Nothing beat a Marshall Field's brand men's shirt. Ditto for Marshall Field's bedding.

Even at Macy's Bloomingdale's stores, they have made-up brands like Hudson Park. Why not a real brand? Heck, even use I. Magnin as they apparently did for a brief period on nightwear.

I see that they've brought back R.H. Macy's as a jewelery brand, but I doubt Rowland would be proud of his store, especially after what they did to Marshall Field's.

Date: Monday, April 4, 2011  12:34 pm CT
Posted by: Mary

Passed through Water Tower over the weekend.

Way, way too much white. It will probably be all white, uber-glossy tile and screaming bright accents.

And I liked the Frango cafe that was at the east end of the first floor. Looks like it will be gone.

Water Tower is becoming just another Big Box. Sad.

Date: Sunday, April 3, 2011  2:39 pm CT
Posted by: gle

A "Chicago Tribune" article about the sale of Goose Island Beer Co. to Anheuser-Busch contains an interesting quote by Goose Island CEO, John Hall:

"If my local brewery in Chicago one day told me, 'We're selling out,' I'd feel worse than I felt when Macy's bought Marshall Field's."

"Goose Island CEO: We're going to become stronger" April 2, 2011, as told to Phil Rosenthal,0,7771081.story

Date: Sunday, April 3, 2011  6:50 am CT
Posted by: SusanNY

Cheap, tacky is better than Macy's..... on with the white and chrome medicorama look! I can see it now with chips and dings and blobs.

Well, the whole world is nuts- I was just in a Target and saw to my dismay that whatever class T has achieved was going the way of Macy's. The jewelry counter display units were all covered with film from inside to block the no-longer-needed glass, and a board covered over the top surface. It has a grid of holes (like pegboard) to receive the 2 legs of tall, narrow, vertical display panels which may (or may not) be artfully positioned in groups. All the rings, necklaces etc. hang from these panels. Help yoreself. Ahh Target, the last bastion of taste. And this is going to be the new life breathed into Carson's...

Anyone maintaining that this is the way of the future, like pumping your own gas has become, may be right. It is not any faster, but with an almost self-running operation, the proprietor can be in a comfy spot thinking about more interesting things than how to lure me back to shop there again. Junque is junque is junque, might as well give up the pretense. Ours has forever become a kwiki-junque culture, for sureóif you heed those who dump on Field's.

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2011  7:41 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Goose Island Brewery CEO does damage control by saying the sale isn't as bad as Marshall Field's becoming Macy's.,0,7771081.story
Macy's certainly has set an international benchmark--for getting rid of what's best about a town.

Date: Friday, April 1, 2011  9:32 pm CT
Posted by: gayle

I had to laugh when I heard about Interbrand's rankings. 48 out of 50, huh?

On a related note, I heard that Dollar General, Big Lots, and Family Dollar are combining their marketing budgets next year. The theme will be "We're cheap and sometimes tacky, but not as bad as Macy's."


Date: Friday, April 1, 2011  8:53 pm CT
Posted by: Dre

How "exciting" the the former Water Tower location of Marshall Field's will be remodeled in nondescript white and discount store chrome. Shoppers certainly wouldn't want to be "confused" by having a shopping environment that was unique or distinctive. This new decor will truly make customers feel like they are visiting any "mart" store.

Shopping carts, bland environment, floods of coupons and promotions, overpriced trendy merchandise, central checkouts, no unique services, departments or merchandise--sounds like a typical discount store to me!

Wonder when they will start selling cleaning supplies and pet food?

Sadly, JC Penney and Kohl's are more like real department stores than Lundgrinch's "reinvention."

Date: Friday, April 1, 2011  3:25 pm CT
Posted by: Simpsonite

Wow, I can't believe some of Macy's comments regarding Watertower! I had the privilege to visit the store on my last visit to Chicago and found it quite remarkable as a store despite the Macy's merchandise, which although impressive is not quite up to Field's standards. It is unfortunate that the execs at Macy's take a design that is timeless and call it "dated" (although this may apply to their disdain against Fields generally rather than Watertower in particular). Watertower is an elegant store that once set the standard of shopping on Michigan avenue. I suppose that the former Field's demographic was the type that not only wanted quality goods and services but wanted it in a relaxing and sophisticated setting that made shopping a sheer joy, an event of sorts. It is apparent that the new Macy's customer couldn't care less for any of that and just wants to get what they need and go. Too bad since this is closer to the Walmart end of shopping rather than the carriage trade department store that Field's set the standard for. Just goes to show that not everything "new" is improved. Keep up the fight!!!

Date: Friday, April 1, 2011  1:25 pm CT
Posted by: gle

The "Chicago Sun-Times" also has some hype about Messy's Water Tower, with comment blog:

"Macy's Water Tower gets revamped cosmetics, expanded sections" March 31, 2011 by Sandra Guy

(The way they take care of (or rather don't takae care of) the State Street store, I almost thought these renovation announcements were an April Fool's joke.)

Date: Friday, April 1, 2011  11:23 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Isn't white and chrome a bit 80s? Or medical? Maybe they will be offering complimentary flu shots there.

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011  9:17 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

Chicago Tribune's Sandra Jones reports in tomorrow's edition that Macy's is remodeling the first three floors of Water Tower, getting rid of the Marshall Field's blonde look and replacing it with white and chrome accents.

Be sure to leave comments.

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011  9:16 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Interbrand has released its annual report of "Best Retail Brands." Macy's entered the Top 50 last year at number 50; this year it moves up to number 48.

Topping the list was Walmart followed by Target. Other Macy's competitors included Nordstrom at #11; Kohl's at #18; Bed, Bath & Beyond at #25; Marshall's at #34 and sister T.J. Maxx at #35. Interestingly, Family Dollar, Big Lots! and Dollar GEnerall all ranked above Macy's. Other specialty stores like Victoria's Secret, J. Crew, Tiffany, and Coach also ranked above Macy's, although JCPenney and Sears did not make the list.
I thought the most unusual aspect was that a series of web articles from in various market had the headline "Macy's ranks as 'most-valuable" brand." Why not have a headline that says Walmart, Target lead? Why mention just #48 out of 50? Strange...or does someone have some clout?

Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011  9:39 pm CT
Posted by: Jeff Irvin

Holt Renfrew in Toronto has decided, like Macy's, tradition is unimportant. They have let go their doorman of 21 years the unofficial Mayor of Bloor Street just 5 years before retirement.

Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011  5:55 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Oh me, oh my. Crains has published their latest list of Chicago's largest tourist attractions. Long time Fields fans know that Marshall Fields was once in the top three. People from around the country and around the world would come to Chicago for the Field's experience of style, quality and service.

Hmm, let's see if those wacky folks at Macy's have made the list. Nope, not anywhere in the top 25. Tsk Tsk. Think of all the lost sales tax the city is losing.

Have you noticed? Macy's has lots and lots of Christmas/winter merchandise still on clearance.

I miss my Field's.

Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011  4:39 pm CT
Posted by: R.R.


Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011  7:42 am CT
Posted by: Don B.

I am a long-time Dayton’s and Marshall Field’s employee who has just recently retired. I know how great both stores were.

Date: Monday, March 28, 2011  10:37 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

A local satire website comments about the overrun of Tommy Hilfiger clothing at the Salvation Army thrift store:
Even funnier is the Red Star's promotion of TH as one of their "exclusive" celebrity brands. Martha Stewart or Donald Trump, anyone?

Date: Sunday, March 27, 2011  7:47 pm CT
Posted by: Kristy

We miss Marshall Field's!

We used to travel all the way from Atlanta for Field's!.

Bring it back!

Date: Sunday, March 27, 2011  9:18 am CT
Posted by: M. Velazquez

Marshall fields come back!!

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011  10:52 pm CT
Posted by: Jerry

I am looking to showing support for Marshall Fields... all the way in California. I had the pleasure of visiting the Marshall Fields store in Minneapolis. It was a blast!

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011  10:41 pm CT
Posted by: Rachel

I'm a fan!

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011  3:40 pm CT
Posted by: Andrew L.

Here in Indiana.

I show my support for Marshall Field's!

Date: Friday, March 25, 2011  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Steve

Miss Field's here in Wisconsin.

Date: Friday, March 25, 2011  5:22 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Messy's official website announces a live Webcast for Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 8:10 a.m. Eastern Time. Registration is required on the link below:

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011  5:59 pm CT
Posted by: Kathy in PA

I used to travel to Chicago just to go to Marshall Field's.

I won't do that for Macy's.

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011  7:45 pm CT
Posted by: S.P.

Part of it is the recession and lack of money, but also know that part of this is because of what you all have inspired here at FieldsFans. Ditto for Wrigley still being called Wrigley. Your efforts matter even in less direct causes.,0,6028118.story

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011  5:54 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Morningstar analysts point out the value of unique stores like Field's flagship on State Street that can't be matched by other new stores.

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011  10:02 am CT
Posted by: Jody T.

in milwaukee and mf's was my FAVORITE of all stores....

we MUST get mf's back!!!!!!!

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011  8:47 am CT
Posted by: gle

Fox 32 9:00 p.m. News anchor Bob Sirott interviewed Ward Miller last night about his find of plans for a potential Carson's clock. Miller said the clock probably will not be built at this time, to which Sirott replied, "Then is it still meet me under the clock at Field's/Macy's?" Ward Miller responded, "I prefer Field's!"

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011  12:50 am CT
Posted by: Logan, Chicago, Illinois

Hey you Field Fans!

Fox News-Chicago had a piece on a proposed clock for State and Madison Streets last night on their 9 o'clock broadcast with Bob Sirrot. There were many pictures of the Marshall Field clocks, photos of the building and how there may have been a link to the proposed Carson's clock.

The piece, which had a real Marshall Field flavor to it, suggesting the name and culture change with the Macy's takeover, ended with the guest mentioning that he'd much rather have Field's!

Mr. Sirrot, the co-anchor of the broadcast seemed to agree. Bring back the green bags and the name too! State Street just hasn't been the same since.

Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011  4:20 pm CT
Posted by: Dawn R, MO

Hey, 'I Want My Marshal Fields!

Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011  3:37 pm CT
Posted by: Asha C., FL



Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011  2:07 pm CT
Posted by: Bob T., TX

What a great idea! Ilived in Chicago most of my life and have now relocated to Texas. My children are still in the area, and I get up there several times a year to see them (and the White Sox).

The store just isn't the same. The Walnut room this Christmas looked like someones bad dream. The only good thing is the clock, and that can never be replaced as the Field's trademark.

Please do send me a button, and I will proudly wear a button every time I visit the Macy store at the Galleria in San Antonio.

Date: Monday, March 21, 2011  11:17 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

A delightful story on the front of tomorrow's (Tuesday's) Chicago Tribune "Live!" section about the unearthing of a Carson's clock that was possibly proposed to compete with Marshall Field's Great Clock.

Great story, great find, great talking points.

Be certain to leave comments afterwords.

Date: Monday, March 21, 2011  5:33 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Doesn't seem as if all the discount activity (Sears is discount, Best Buy is not??) has to put a dent in greatness. Marshall Field had the vision for greatness in a sea of mediocrity back in the day--- look what happened. All it takes is someone with the right lobes (a nod to Star Trek Ferenghis here....).

Even if a few million people signed a petition for Field's, it still takes the right person at the other end to "get it." Obviously the current owners are not the right persons. Maybe we have entered a new Dark Ages. Yes, Marshall Field was a rare visionary for sure. There are other ways to get rich besides aiming low and thinking small.

Date: Sunday, March 20, 2011  10:52 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Due to a surprise set of circumstances, we were featured in a campaign about our "I Want My Marshall Field's" pin-on buttons program. As such, we received over 700 requests since last Monday for "I Want My Marshall Field's" buttons. (To some of you, I privately quoted more, but then I weeded out duplicates, etc.) This is pretty much the reason for the increase in short, mostly one-liner posts in the past six days or so (and counting). We can fill a fraction of these requests, but until we secure more funding, the rest are on our wait-list. We hope to fill all request as resources permit.

I was caught a touch off guard by all of this, but this has re-affirmed my faith that the world wants Marshall Field's to return. Over half of the requests were from outside the former Dayton's/Hudson's/Field's market and over 35 of the requests were from outside of the USA.

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


Date: Sunday, March 20, 2011 , 8:24 PM, CT,
Posted by: Evan , MI

"Looking to get 20 buttons for my entire class. Marshall Field's needs to come back! "

Date: Sunday, March 20, 2011 , 10:42 AM, CT
Posted by: Steven , MS

Fan forever!

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011 , 6:58 PM, CT,
Posted by: Lexi , NE

I grew up in Chicago (my grandma worked for Marshall Field's for many years) and I was heartbroken when they changed over to Macy's.  I LOVE Marshall Fields

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011 , 6:54 PM, CT,
Posted by: Robert , WA

PLEASE!!!!!!!! I Want My Marshall Field’s

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011 , 6:13 PM, CT,
Posted by: Jaime , IN

I want my Marshall Fields

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011 , 2:24 PM, CT
Posted by: b p , Bolingbrook

Forever Marshall Fields & Chicago

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011 , 11:57 AM, CT,
Posted by: Kurt , MO

We used to come to Field's every time we went to Chicago. We already have Macy's in Missouri

Date: Friday, March 18, 2011 , 3:37 PM, CT,
Posted by: Melinda , OR

Miss Marshall Field's!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 10:52 PM, CT,
Posted by: Chip , CA


Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 10:32 PM, CT,
Posted by: Cindy P , MS

my son visited chicago once on a field trip-fell in love with Fields

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 10:07 PM, CT,
Posted by: l mack , Brookfield

My entire family used to make it a Christmas tradition to all meet at the Walnut room for our pre Christmas celebration. Every year we'd look at the windows and go see Santa. Fields always had the best Santas. Now the family is located all over. We all went the first year it became Macys, but it wasnt the same. I wish I would live long enough to see our Marshall Fields back in Chicago

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 9:33 PM, CT,
Posted by: deb s , NC

Marshall Fields IS CHICAGO. come back

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 7:47 PM, CT,
Posted by: Mary-Elizabeth , IA

YES!!!! I WANT MY MARSHALL FIELDS BACK!!!! SEND MACY'S BACK TO NEW YORK!!!!  I proudly wear my button every day and every time I go to the mall. In fact, I'll parade up and down the aisles of Macy's with one button pinned on the front of my shirt and one pinned on the back of my shirt!!! A proud Chicagoan and proud Marshall Fields customer.

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 7:35 PM, CT,
Posted by: LCLee , AL

I love Marshall Fields

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 6:06 PM, CT,
Posted by: Ed , TX

I'm with you! I loved Field's!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 3:04 PM, CT,
Posted by: Karen S , CA

I was a loyal Marshall Fields shopper. I hate Macys!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 1:49 PM, CT,
Posted by: Heather , CA

We are originally from Chicago and miss Marshall Field's!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 1:34 PM, CT,
Posted by: Harriett ,

Family always shopped at Field's but not Macy's.

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 7:57 AM, CT,
Posted by: Concetta , Roselle

 I haven't stepped foot in a Macy's!!!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 7:47 AM, CT,
Posted by: Lori , MA

I would LOVE a Marshall Field’s pin! I was born in Evanston and when I was a kid, my Grandma always took me to Marshall Field’s and if I was especially good, we went to the little cafeteria

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 7:35 AM, CT,
Posted by: Amy , Niles, MI

PLEASE! I want Marshall Field's!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 3:57 AM, CT,
Posted by: thomas1 , KY

(though I will have to fight to keep it) BOO to MACYS fot overtaking our icon,

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 3:35 AM, CT,
Posted by: Carol , FL

I grew up meeting family under the clock at Fields. I loved the green bags and used to save them after visits home where I shopped at MF until I dropped!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 2:54 AM, CT,
Posted by: Linda , Cicero

Have lived in Chicago 50 years, miss Field's

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 2:13 AM, CT,
Posted by: Nishant , NYC

Marshall Field's Forever!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 2:54 AM, CT,
Posted by: Sarah , CA

Miss Fields in Chicago

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 2:17 AM, CT,
Posted by: Donna , MI

work for a "Marshall Fields in Michigan

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 1:57 AM, CT,
Posted by: Patti , IA

i was born and raised in lansing il . my mother shopped there alot and took me with everytime

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 12:57 AM, CT,
Posted by: julie , MI

I love Marshall Fields and Chicago!

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 12:56 AM, CT,
Posted by: Kathleen , Berwyn

omeone who misses Marshall Field's dearly

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011 , 12:42 AM, CT,
Posted by: Erin , FL

I'm originally a St. Louis girl. Famous Bar was lost to Macy's…But Marshall Field's????? I still cannot believe it!

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 5:41 PM, CT,
Posted by: Gil N , OH

Please send me a button for the greatest store in the country!

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 5:26 PM, CT,
Posted by: Ed , WA

My wife and I both want Marshall Field's

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 4:31 PM, CT,
Posted by: Tonia D , FL

I use to work at Marshall Fields in Taylor Mich

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 4:16 PM, CT,
Posted by: Linda H , MO

I truly miss MF. Macy's just doesn't cut it.

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 4:14 PM, CT,
Posted by: Kate A , Chicago

My Mother worked at Fields in Chicago & Orland Park for many years

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 4:13 PM, CT,
Posted by: Lexie L , CA

I truly miss MF. I was born and raised in Chicago. Macy's just doesn't cut it.

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 3:36 PM, CT,
Posted by: Rick Z , WI

Miss the old store there and here

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 2:58 PM, CT,
Posted by: Marty L , Libertyville

I Want My Marshall Field's.

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 2:48 PM, CT,
Posted by: Wanda M , NE

Of course we support the return of Field's!

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 , 3:42 PM, CT,
Posted by: Jasmine D , Chicago

I truly believe that Marshall Fields should come back...the stuff at Macy's is awful. :(

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011  11:54 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

It is not very logical to blame Macy's for Target to replace Carson's at 1 S. State. Looking back at the retail history of State Street, since 1990 it has been going discount. Filene's, TjMax, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Forever 21, Sears, Old Navy, Borders to name a few. All the higher better end retailers even Best Buy are now on Michigan Avenue. True it is sad that Targert and not a retailer ie Kohl's, JCPenney or even Carson's could have occupied that building. However for many years when Field;'s was around no better retailers came to State Street. The city tried hard to get one to come into block 37 to no avail. Macy's cannot be blamed for this. The shopping demographics have changed and State Street caters to office workers and the young college and professionals that live in the area. The south end of State Street is University row now, and compared to what it was in the 70's much better than the seddy low end stores and porn shops that lined parts of south State Street.

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011  7:51 pm CT
Posted by: Craig

Keep up the good work! Those photos of the Field's supporter's at the St. Patrick's Day Parade said it all. Chicago wants Marshall Field's back. Nobody has forgotten what a great loss this has been to our city. Macy's is a lackluster lowest common denominator kind of store. If it were gone tomorrow, nobody would miss it. But Marshall Field's - that's another story.

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 , 4:54 PM, CT,
Posted by: Paul C , IA

Awesome! Thank you!

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 , 4:22 PM, CT,
Posted by: Lynn K , Wheaton

I still refuse to shop at Macy's!

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011  2:08 Pm CT
Posted by: gle

Re: Apparent objections by Joe to a letter from "Crain's Chicago Business" being posted on the Field's Fans website because of who wrote the letter.

Why shouldn't any letter to a news editor mentioning Marshall Field's be posted on the Field's Fans website, whether it was written by Mr. McKay or anyone else? I thought the letter made several good points about State Street and website readers would want to see it. By the way, Mr. McKay never told me to post the letter either. If anyone wants to see more rebuttal, perhaps the original publication the letter was in is who should be contacted.

It also seemes obvious that Macy's press releases do not have a reputation for balanced reporting. Whenever they have the slightest increase financially they are crowing all over the place as if it was millions of dollars. If they do poorly, they just blame the weather or the economy. They are not only unbalanced, but consistently unrealistic.

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 , 2:43 PM, CT,
Posted by: Ryan J , Elgin

we had done some extensive furniture shopping over the weekend and were just disgusted by the Macy's furniture galleries in the 'burbs (Schaumburg and Oak Brook, specifically). I was thinking about that Monday morning and that's what led to my random Googling of the issue - just to see what people have been saying about "the fall of Macy's". It's like Macy's took over Marshall Field's and at first ran the store pretty similarly. But, as you know, over time, they've dropped this and dropped that and have made the store just like any other department store across the country. The quality of their goods has taken a blatant hit.

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 , 1:57 PM, CT,
Posted by: Olivia , San Francisco

"I'm all the way in San Francisco and always carry my MF tote (and sometimes wear my F* Macy's Tshirt) I odn't shop at Macy's in the store nor online. I remember having Christmas Brunches... sigh! Federated must go, Marshall Fields Forever!!!"

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 , 11:23 AM, CT,
Posted by: Mark F , NJ

I want Marshall Fields back and atop the big shoulders of Chicago.

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 , 10:06 AM, CT,
Posted by: Alison , Arlington Hts

I truly believe that Marshall Fields should come back...the stuff at Macy's is awful. :(

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 , 8:54 AM, CT,
Posted by: Erika , Glenview

I miss Marshall Fields. That is where I bought all of my dresses for all of my dances in high school.

Date: Sunday, March 13, 2011  3:41 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I attended a ladies vintage hat event over the weekend. Of course Marshall Field's provided the ultimate place to purchase one's best hat. A hat from Field's was part of the American Dream for many immigrant ladies. I brought a supply of "I want my Marshall Field's" buttons, and heard the usual comments about how there was no place like Field's, and the hat wearers present were disappointed with what they see at Messy's (if they even bother to go at all anymore).

Date: Sunday, March 13, 2011  1:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to all who helped make distribution of leaflets and buttons a huge success at the 2011 Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade a huge success! Special thanks goes out to Steve & Mary, John and, of course, "gle" for making it all possible.

Response to any and all mention of Marshall Field's was with overwhelming enthusiasm! "I want it back!" "Macy's isn't the same!" "I won't go in there!" were heard again and again and again. Given that more than a few had some to drink, there were also more than a few profanities directed at Macy's for getting rid of Field's, most frequently of which was a profane phrase that once appeared on a 2005 t-shirt issued by

Here are a couple of photos from today's parade which capture the Chicago's undying enthusiasm for Marshall Field's to return to State Street. I know that it will inspire you. Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's!


Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011  8:01 pm CT
Posted by: FIELD'S! YEAH!



Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011  6:02 pm CT
Posted by: Mary, Lincolnwood

We're pleased to see that the quest to bring back Field's continues. We used to go to Old Orchard all the time. It is missed.

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011  5:23 pm CT
Posted by: Supporter

Interesting site. The flyer I was handed today was good but the type is too small.

Worked at Water Tower. Quit soon after the Macy's invasion.

Good luck of the Irish!

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011  3:10 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

There was only one Marshall Field's, and I miss it every day I go downtown. I walk through Macy's on the way to work, to get out of the cold and take stock of what's happened to the ultimate department store. The building is still the building, and the Tiffany stained glass is still there, but there's very little of the old grand ambience to take in. So sad. The cracked floors, the closed elevators and malfunctioning escalators, and all those sad sales clerks in black standing around and gossiping. And as that great letter to Crain's Chicago Business pointed out, State Street has never been the same.

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011  2:44 pm CT
Posted by: Joe Bonura

Interesting that, "A letter to the editor in this week's "Crain's Chicago Business" mentions the impact of Field's loss to Messy's on the rest of State Street." was written by you Mr. McKay. This site is not balanced and is full of emotion and stats that are done by you.

It is said to say that Marshall Field's is gone.

And of course your next question to me is, "Do you work for Macy's" and the answer is no.


Response from Jim McKay:


We're a small grassroots group that in four or five years has spent maybe half of what Macy's spends on newspaper advertising on a single Sunday. Here in this blog and on our website, more than a few posts critical of our efforts have been printed. And we've responded. But since you are so concerned about fairness and balance and facts, have you also asked Macy's to be balanced at their site? They have a web staff that is hundreds of times larger than the one that supports this one and I know they have received emails and messages far beyond a 100,000 -- perhaps many times that. and has yet to print a single message that is critical of their switch from Field's.

Also, it appears some main reasons the store on State has any profits increase is because they have severely cut the quantity and quality of staff; they have severely cut maintenance; and since 2009 tax year, they've been getting a $1.9 million real estate tax appeal reduction. The store really isn't doing as well as they say it is. Isn't taking a very revered valuable brand and killing its very existence--thus squandering its immense value so one can advance one's image and ego--hugely emotional?? And isn't shopping emotional? I mean really, rationally, we could all get by wearing army uniforms rather than anything Macy's sells.

Since you are all about facts and balance of presentation, I'm positive that you will be contacting Macy's about these facts and, of course, since they are all about presenting balance and the facts and have a huge staff, they will print your message. Right?

Date: Friday, March 11, 2011  2:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Just a reminder that will be out along the St Patrick's Day Parade Route on Columbus Drive tomorrow, just before noon, passing out leaflets and buttons.

A special day of pride in Chicago and our favorite store, Marshall Field's.

If you would like to help pass out leaflets and buttons, please call (312) 662-8980. We can arrange to connect.

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's on State Street!

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011  9:04 am CT
Posted by: gle

A letter to the editor in this week's "Crain's Chicago Business" mentions the impact of Field's loss to Messy's on the rest of State Street.

"Macy's Begets Target"

Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2011  4:25 pm CT
Posted by: DJE

Give the lady what she wants

And this lady wants MF&Co back!!

Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2011  7:27 pm CT
Posted by: P./F./


Date: Monday, March 7, 2011  12:25 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

Spent the weekend in St.Louis for the Mardi Gras. Did stop in the Macy's the old famous Barr. Being bruataly honest downtown St.Louis is a dump. There are hardly any retail stores left, if there is no sporting event or mardi gras the town is dead on the weekends. Macy's is downsizing the store, and I am surprised they do not close it. When May was around the only reason they did not close the store was it was their headquarters. I don't see how any store can be profitable in downtown St.louis. Yes Washington street was busy , but it was Mardi Gras. The old Dillards is being renovated into apartments and a hotel, the St.Louis Centre mall is closed and now a PARKING GARAGE WOW, how sad. I totally agree with the poster from NJ. Macy's needs to pay better attention to State Street, it is the jewel of stores just like the old Wannamakers in Philly is. Yes they expanded the Philly store somewhat and would like to take over more floors. May ruined that beautiful store when they put Lord & taylor in there and shrunk it to a mere 3 levels. May kept open the old Strawbidge's, which could not hold a candle to the old wannamakers store. Write Ms.Piepho letters and tell her to keep up the State Street store more. I am there almost every week and usually on fridays it is busy. They need to make the store a destinantion spot.

Date: Sunday, March 6, 2011  10:43 am CT
Posted by: Kathy Hawkins

Marshall Fields was known around the world. My entire family dating back to my grandmother, born in 1899, shopped at Marshall Fields, my mother and I shopped there frequently when I was growing up and it was extremely sad when Macy's took over.

There are many people that meet under the clock and have lunch in the Walnut Room.

I would like to see Marshall Field's return.

Date: Saturday, March 5, 2011  9:32 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

It seems clear to me that the reason Field's is treated as it is, is that Macy's has long wanted the Grande Dame dead. I do not think it is any more complicated than that. What they are doing to Field's is what you do to dishonor a vanquished rival. Otherwise they would be making it sparkle and dominate the mercantile planet as it ought, and so well could do. That they can make the less-threatening Wanamaker's sparkle only serves to make the point.

Jealousy is the only reason to trample a treasure.

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2011  8:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Once again, will be out along the St Patrick's Day Parade Route on Columbus Drive tomorrow, just before noon, passing out leaflets and buttons on Saturday, March 12.

A special day of pride in Chicago and our favorite store, Marshall Field's.

If you would like to help pass out leaflets and buttons, please email me at jjmckayATFieldsFansChicagoDOTorg call (312) 662-8980.

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's on State Street!

Date: Friday, March 4, 2011  11:11 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Earlier this week I attended a business dinner with executives from Kentucky and Chicago. Of course, Marshall Field's came up. One of the executives lives on Wabash and has not stepped foot in Fields since the changeover. There is a disdain for Macy's that they refuse to admit to, not only to Chicagoans, but for former Field's and other regional store custmers across the U.S. (and abroad). It would be amazing if the younger generation could see the re-emergence of regional quality retailers with rich history and style. Marshall Fields, of course, being the grand dame of them call.

Date: Friday, March 4, 2011  11:03 am CT
Posted by: Bob P.

True, Macy's profits were up about 4% but so were other peers in the same range. Everyone's recovering and I think it's to be expected. I think that's why Macy's is down as I write this.

Contrast that with Marshall Field's more upmarket peers, Saks, Neimans and Nordstrom. Those chains were up 12%-14%!!!! Just think how much better the former Marshall Field's stores would be doing if they were still around!

Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011  10:01 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

So I traveled to Chicago on President's Day weekend and one of my major stops was to the old Marshall Field's on State Street. Here are my observations. Let me preface this in saying that I love Marshall Field's and do want it come back. So if any of this comes back as being slanted towards Macy's, it really isn't meant to be so:

So I was lucky enough to have experienced Marshall Field's about 5 years before the switch to Macy's. I will never, ever forget the thrill of walking into Marshall Field's for the first time. The merchandise was so unique. The presentation was unlike anything that I had ever seen in a full line dept store in my whole life. I think what impressed me the most about Marshall Field's was the attention to detail that they placed on everything about the place. I honestly thought that I had been walking through John Wanamaker when I was there. It was like-- gee someone gets it. Someone still knows how to run a dept store.

So on President's Day I got off the train @ State and Lake and immediatly saw one major detail of the building gone-- the beautiful way that it was lighted. Macy's, I assume, has decided to keep it dark. One of the most depressing parts of Macy's on State is definitely the basement. I remember all of the little shops down there that seemed to have all but disappeared. I was happy to see the Frango dept and candy and wine still there, as well as Infields. The floor seemed rather dirty too and I did notice some of the choices taken away in the marketplace. I was also taken aback at the amount of elevators that had been shut off in the store. I think the one opposite the Walnut Room has one working car. Why? I just don't get it. There were about 3 escalators broken for the entire weekend in the store and no one seemed to care. Also-- the floors really need a good waxing on some of the upper floors. Sad to see the 9th floor dark and closed off too. I am so confused by this. If Macy's has filled Herald Sq to the the brim and uses 9 floors and a basement, why do they have trouble filling State Street?

The Walnut Room seems pretty much the same. It was full on Saturday when I was there and almost full on Sunday. The food was good, but it appeared that they had been cutting back on things-- like the quality of the Field's salad. The frango pie was still the same, as well as the iced tea.

Gone are Merz Apothecary and some of the other major vendors on the main floor. That was really ashame. That really, really helped make that store unique.

Ironically the store staff was overwhelmingly friendly and I was impressed by that.

So what do I think of all of this? I just don't understand Macy's sometimes. Whether or not anyone agrees with the name change, they inherited a jewel when they got Marshall Field's. I don't understand why they don't maintain it the way it was before. As I have written on this blog many times before, you have to spend money to make money. If Macy's was trying to impress Chicago, you certainly can't do it with dirty floors, empty departments and broken escalators. I would have much, much more respect for Macy's if they paid more attention to detail in that place-- all of the way from keeping to clean to haveing unique and compelling merchandise. One of the things that MF did well was appeal to everyone-- to getting Field Gear all the way to Jimmy choo shoes. How could you stop doing that in such a beautiful store? Why do you walk into Bloomingdale's several miles away and see a store that is kept clean? I just don't get it all.

If I were in Macy's shoes right now, I would search the seas to distinguish that store from all of the other stores in the whole company and give someone like me-- a former field's shopper from NJ a reason to shop there. If mymacys is truly going to ever work-- they need to dust off the cobwebs on state and rethink what they're putting in that store.

A few final thoughts-- Macy's has done an excellent job with the old John Wanamaker store in Philly-- between the organs, light show and dicken's village, etc and I know that they're even trying to get some floors back. That is why Macy's on State just baffles me. They pay attention to detail in Philly-- why does that stop at Chicago?...I grew up with Macy's. Let's not forget that Macy's was ruined by federated. Macy's used to be much, much nicer. Finally- sad to see them downsizing the old Kaufmann's and Famous Barr. So sad that don't see the potential of these once grand stores....


Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011  11:59 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Today, Macy's announced a February sales increase of over 5% for February; last week they announced an increase in annual profits of over 4%, far exceeding projections. In the conference call last week, Macy's, Inc.CFO Karen Hoguet said that the most notably performing stores during the Christmas quarter were those in Florida; during the November conference call, Ms. Hoguet called out, among others, what were former Field's, Hudson's and Dayton's locations as performing best.

But really, Macy's doesn't have to lose for Field's to come back. In fact, it will likely come back as part of a win for them too.

The thing to keep in mind about all this -- in the context of our quest to have Marshall Field's restored to State Street -- is that these figures are for all of Macy's, Inc's businesses--Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and That's 840 stores plus two internet businesses. From our perspective, we're talking about ONE store (first and foremost) and some satellite stores. I do not know the results at State Street, but assuming sales and profits have gone up, are they being achieved in a way that is conducive to long term sales and the benefit of the community and shareholders alike? I think not. Macy's can only reduced help, close down banks of elevators and escalator-- reduced help--for so long. All that is good about State Street is coasting on what Marshall Field's had done, as well as a lot of deep discounts.

The fact of the matter is that the highest and best use of the State Street store is as Marshall Field's. Plain and simple.

It's also interesting to consider that almost retail is recovering with the economy and there's going to be more interest in change and acquisitions. Let's not give up. This is the institution that has burned to the ground twice and moved from it's location multiple times only to eventually come back.

Keep the faith,


Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011  8:11 am CT
Posted by: Pete

I was driving past a closed bank on the south side of the 4900 block of West Irving Park Road and it made me think of Marshall Field's.

The bank was originally the flagship location of Talman Home Savings and Loan and was an architectural masterpiece of red and beige, brick and marble, with some amazing stainless steel trim and a huge 1950s stainless steel mast as its sign post. They had this amazing library of rare films that one could check out. This was a bank but it also was part of the community.

Talman became LaSalle Talman which became LaSalle which most recently became Bank of America. The movie library disappeared from the location. The fascinating stainless steel sign mast was replaced with an oversize version of Bank of America's standard-issue shocking-red colored sign. The bank lobby was shrunk with space leased out to others.

Now it is closed.

This all reminded me of what will happen to Marshall Field's on State Street if we don't bring it back. Right now it's operating as a store, but it's on its way to be closed in the long run. As it is right now, its just like that once-amazing Talman Bank location that was milked for any profit and then discarded.

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011  7:36 pm CT
Posted by: Craig

People up in arms over the potential renaming of the Queensboro Bridge in NYC. At least it would be the same bridge experience. That can't be said of Marshall Field's since it became Macy's.


Queensboro Bridge should not be renamed after former Mayor Ed Koch, 70% of Queens biz leaders say - Yahoo! News

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011  7:32 pm CT
Posted by: Helen A.

I miss Marshall Fields. It used to always be a family event to visit the State street store. I always looked forward to coming especially during the holidays. The quality of the merchandise is lacking with Macys. I wish we could bring the store back.

Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2011  2:02 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

To Gle on 2/22: YES, please, let's have another Carson's store on State St.! How could I explain it more clearly to a clerk at Carson's at Harlem & Irving who was trying to tell me to come back in a few weeks, (the Goodwill Sale starts on Mar. 9th,) that: it takes me 1-2 hours EACH WAY to get to that store on public transportation and who knows when I'll have the time to come back again. I'm still hoping for Marshall Field's return to State St. Meanwhile, shopping has become such a challenge I don't want to venture outside.

Date: Sunday, February 27, 2011  2:00 pm CT
Posted by: gle

From Messy's official website

"Macy's, Inc. Board Declares Quarterly Dividend"


"Macy's, Inc. Reports Double-Digit Earnings Growth for Fourth Quarter and FY2010"

Date: Saturday, February 26, 2011  6:41 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

Another old flagship-- practically gone. Please remind me again how this is good? :

Will be writing about the experiences at State Street at some point on the weekend... stay tuned...


Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011  7:44 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

For those Houstonians, and others in the Southwest, that miss Foley's, a book is being published by its former chairman, Lasker Meyer. It will debut at the dedication of the Foley's archives at the University of Houston on May 19th. A book signing will be hosted by the author as well. The book is simply titled "Foley's". Oh how I wish a white knight would purchase Marshall Field's, Foley's, Burdine's, Bullock's/Bullocks Wilshire, I Magnin and other iconic retail names and allow a renaissance of quality merchandising and style.

Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011  7:19 pm CT
Posted by: G.D.

We moved, but still hate Macy's.

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011  2:40 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

Politicians, cannot tell private companies what to do. In the US we are a capitalisitic society and unless companies violate the laws of the land, the governement cannot tell companies what to do. I think no candidate would push or tell Macy's to close or convert the 111 N State street building to Field's without risk of a backlash. Mayor Daley unseccessful tried to block Target's expansion in Chicago in response to their moving the candy production outside of Chicago. Later as seen this past week, he helped Target move into the Carson's building.

Macy's today reported profites for the quarter and the year. Profits rose almost 50% from last yeaer due to sales and of course cost cutting which they love to do lol. I hope since they have done so well, and say they are bringing back some discontinued departments and new merchandise that State Street and the Chicago stores get perforential treatement since according to Karen Hoguet they continue to outperfom the rest of the stores in sales increases. Also I hope they do not cost cut any more they have done enough last year with the closure of the Wabash escalators and the 9th floor and Field's furniture, but expand and maintain/renovate the Chicago stores. I had heard from Macy's that they would eventually like to have men's take over the entire second floor.

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011  9:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Today is Election Day in Chicago! Please vote!

Now I've received more than a few emails about which mayoral or aldermanic candidates would be supportive and be effective in helping to restoring Marshall Field's to State Street. No candidate has come out officially in support of Field's return to State Street.

Our grass roots group is very diverse, with members from across the political spectrum, from Republican to Democrat to Green and everything in between and outside. So we don't collectively do endorsements.

However, based on my own experiences-- based on my standing out on State Street the past four years passing out leaflets and buttons and talking to people and even encountering the politicians who are running today; receiving emails from third parties; the mutual involvement of certain candidates and other people in certain groups, etc; and just by plain watching people in the news, I personally believe that there are certain candidates who do not support our efforts while others clearly do. Based on my experiences, I hold a very strong view that Rahm Emanuel is by far the mostly likely of the candidates who will support our cause under reasonable circumstances. There's also one candidate who definitely does not support us. I emphasize, that observation is based on the issue of Field's and you also will clearly want to consider other issues.

Best wishes and please do vote--it matters.

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011  8:12 am CT
Posted by: gle

Today was election day. I wish there had been a referendum on the ballot for what we would like on State Street. I bet Marshall Field's (perhaps even followed by Carson's or another high-end shopping option) would have won overwhwelmingly.

Date: Monday, February 21, 2011  5:12 pm CT
Posted by: Wan Wan Liu


My name is Wan Wan Liu, and I am currently a junior attending Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. My friends and I are working on a school project (and State Competition) called the Chicago Metro History Fair, in which my group has decided to do a research on Marshall Field's and its influence on the chicagoan culture. We are hoping to simply get an e-mail answering a couple of our questions to enrich our understanding of Marshall Field's. We have always been interested in the chicagoan culture and were intrigued watching the transition from Marshall Field's to Macy's. These questions will only take a second to answer and we truly appreciate your time.

  1. What is your favorite part about Marshall Field's?
  2. What makes Marshall Field's so special?
  3. What were your reactions when you heard the name changed to Macy's?
  4. Do you think that Macy's will change its name back to Marshall Field's? Why
Thank you again for all of your help.

Best Wishes,

Wan Wan Liu
wanwanliu36029 AT yahoo DOT com

Date: Monday, February 21, 2011  1:12 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

I couldn't agree more... Target doesn't belong in a national historic landmark building which really is the most amazing department store space in the US. I was quite sad to hear the news. The beautiful columns and cornices are going to be in a store with red shopping carts? I love Target and think it is a wonderful retail establishment and community company but some thing are just sacred and the Carson's building is one of those. Von Maur should have moved in. It would have been perfect for them.

Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011  2:46 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

How sad that a better department store didn't locate in the classic Carson Pirie Scott building. I doubted that The Bon Ton would re-open a State Street location. They are based in PA and have closed every downtown location they acquired. (In fact, there was a great controversy over the former Watt & Shand location in downtown Lancaster, which was a high performing store. The Bon Ton only wanted the mall location and downgraded the downtown store until it was no longer profitable.)

Yes, Target is a very nice, well-run store BUT it shouldn't be in that historic building. Target is a suburban, big box store and might have been a good fit for State Street in another venue, but it is NOT going to draw shoppers into the area.

I hesitate to say the Red Star is on the same level as Kohl's and JC Penney. Both stores carry wider assortments and more national brands. I would say Red Star is more like Sears, but without tools, appliances and other hardlines that people actually NEED. The Red Star is NOT a draw and its stores are nothing special.

How many people would make a point to visit State Street to shop at Target--or macy*s?

Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011  2:56 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

The Red Star in Downtown Pittsburgh features a Downy fabric softener display in one of the windows along Forbes Avenue. How ironic the adjacent window displays Martha Stewart kitchen wares. All along Forbes, the display windows feature kitchen and dining wares with the phrase "Now on 6" painted on the backdrop. Yes, the 7th floor has been closed off and small electrics, kitchen and dining, and china has been moved down to the 6th floor. The window displays showed some degree of cleverness, since they included boxes, trucks and wagons used to transport merchandise.

The Red Star didn't bother to clean the carpeting or otherwise freshen up the section of 6 now housing kitchen and housewares. The just moved the bedding and bath departments closer to the east (Grant Street) section of the floor. What looked especially cheap was the "fine china" (Lenox, Mikasa, Noritake) displayed on five tier glass and chrome display racks, four patterns on each shelf. If this is their "better" lines, the china deserved a better presentation.

Most of 8 had been closed off by Kaufmann's and features only clearance furniture and rugs. Bradley's Books (an off price bookseller), travel agency, framing department and snack bar remain on 9 for the time being. A salesperson in Bradley's Books said that section is supposed to move to the first floor. The furniture department remains on 10.

As I walked through the building, I noticed large sections of empty floor space; evidently the store will be further consolidated and floors 8, 9 and 10 will soon be shuttered.

I would guess similar plans are in the works for the former Marshall Field's and other remaining downtown Red Star stores.

Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011  2:04 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

State Street retail has been going downhill towards discounting since the early 90's long before Macy's came to Chicago. Filene's basement and TJ Max, opened in 1990 in the old Wieboldt's store. Later came Nordstrom rack, New York and Company, Old Navy, there was even a Toys R Us, then Sears. Michigan Avenue took away the higher end stores. Even if Field's remained open Tartget still would have moved into the old Carson's building. Target wanted to move into block 37 when they still owned Field's. Actually Target should have opened up a store in the lower level of Field's maybe they would not have sold to May if they had a Target store in the building. Bon-Ton was going to close Carson's on State no matter who occupied the 111 N State Street building. Bon-Ton does not operate large downtown stores. They closed the old Hess flagship that was a iconic store in Allentown PA, and every other downtown location with the exception of the Boston Store in Milwaukee which serves as the buying and merchandise function for Bon-Ton. State Street retail is becoming almst entirely discount. Shopping patterns have changed throughout the years and with the high cost of parking and ransit a trip downtown does not fare well with sububanites on a regular basis.

Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011  1:45 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Russell

Target will be the final nail in the coffin for Macy's. Their merchandise is about the same quality at a lower price. The Target store will be clean and be in good repair. Finally, Target will put a huge dent in Macy's Downey sales.

Date: Saturday, February 19, 2011  5:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

We need a store like Target on State Street, but I think it could also do very well in other locations such as Leohmann's or even on Block 37. The former Carson's space--also Selfridge's first store--deserves something more upscale. If Fields's was still around at 111 N State, you can bet more upscale retailers would want to compete with and complement our beloved store. Getting rid of Field's clearly has impacted the rest of State Street.

Date: Friday, February 18, 2011  1:49 pm CT
Posted by: Hung W.

Marshall Field's was a huge influence on Chicago Culture and History, not just a place to shop.

It was great even six years ago.

We miss Marshall Field's.

Date: Friday, February 18, 2011  9:09 am CT
Posted by: Robert

We miss Field's down here in Indy. It's why we traveled to Chicago. Macy's is everywhere and is not all that special, let along it's not special enough to drive all the way to Chicago.

Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011  3:15 pm CT
Posted by: K.M.

Huge Field's fan here. Down to the last Frango, which haven't been purchased since Macy's destroyed our favorite Store.

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011  10:21 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

I am headed to Chicago this weekend and am going to Macy's on State. It's been a few years since I have been. I am afraid to see what they've done to the place.

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011  1:16 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

As reported earlier target is coming to to the old Carson's building. After just coming from shopping at Target I hope they tame down the red all over the building. Also please do not pit up a false ceiling to cover the beautiful columns. It was also reported that target was thinking of putting up red awnings on State Street which would be tacky looking against the beautiful grillwork that was opainstakingly restored throughout the years. I rmemeber Carson's changed their awnings after one of the restorations of the grillwork. It also suprises me that they only want to use 1/2 of the space they are renting for sa;les floor when in all other targets the nonretail space is about 25%. Does Target think the store will do a small amount of business to utilize only 50% of the spcae for merchandise? It is good to finally see something coming into the building after being vacant for 4 years. It would have been much better for Carson's to have returned with a small scale store, but Bon-Ton has no intenetion of returning to downtown Chicago.

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011  12:15 pm CT
Posted by: Mike

We miss Field's!

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011  6:14 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Well I am glad there is hope for what used to be Carson's. After a recent trip to a big mall that is nearly 2 hours away (we do live on the edge of the planet), I came away ever more convinced I would rather shop in a multilevel department store serviced by escalators and elevators, with the merchandise in departments, than trek miles (literally) to find a pair of shoes or a coat. That's an attraction in my book.

If Target pulls this off maybe someone will eyeball our dear MF building with the glimmer of a brilliant vision....

Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011  12:23 pm CT
Posted by: Lainey

Target will be taking over Carson's former flagship on State Street in a new concept version of their stores, calling it "City Target."
As noted here a couple of weeks ago, Target is headed by several people who started out in the 1980s at Field's flagship on State Street.

Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011  11:41 am CT
Posted by: Michael R.

I just read the new ACSI index. That is a customer satisfaction poll. Here is the partial list highest to lowest.

  • Nordstrom
  • Kohl's
  • JC Penney
  • Dollar General
  • Dillards
  • Target
  • Macy's

Guess its pretty sad that a dollar store rates higher in customer service than Macy's. I guess Macy's needs to wake up and smell the Downey.

Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011  11:41 am CT
Posted by: John
Looks as though we are FINALLY getting Target! And knowing them, they will be careful about how the store will look in relation to the Carson Pirie Scott Building!! SUCH GREAT NEWS!!!

Date: Monday, February 14, 2011  6:17 pm CT
Posted by: Pride For Chicago

I'm 21 and having parents who were born and raised in Chicago and nearby suburbs I have a definite pride for Chicago.

My mom still tells me how much she loved working in the Christmas trimmings shop at the State Street store many years ago. It's to come hear and read the many stories and how much they remember of the Marshall Fields legacy even through the change in times.

Thank you for keeping the memory of a true Chicago icon alive.

Date: Sunday, February 13, 2011  9:40 pm CT
Posted by: jeff s.

Regarding the earlier post of February 4th. I remember when the 10th floor was open on the north State Street side. At the top of the escalator was where you paid your credit card bill. There were also other cashier services available such as money orders, etc.

Date: Friday, February 11, 2011  12:23 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Terry Lundgren, Karen Hoguet and others get additional compensation as a result of surviving a certain number of years since the May Department Stores conversion--including the Macy's occupation of Marshall Field's.

See Macy's, Inc.'s SEC Filings for Feb. 1, 2011 and take a look at the PDF of the Form 8K filing for "Report of unscheduled material events or corporate event" at

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2011  7:22 pm CT
Posted by: Thomas

Keep up the efforts! It's bound to come back!

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2011  12:05 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Here is the same "Chicago Tribune" article about State Street but with a different comment blog. This blog appears to require a different type of registration, but has more responses.

"Making State Street 'timeless'--and meaningless" February 9, 2011 by Blair Kamin

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2011  10:34 am CT
Posted by: gle

Here's a "Chicago Tribune" article about the future of State Street that might make for good discussion on the comment blog pro the return of Marshall Field's.

"Making State Street 'timeless'--and meaningless" February 9, 2011 by Blair Kamin,0,2440839.story

Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011  7:43 pm CT
Posted by: Samantha

Leslie Goddard is writing a book on Marshall Field's. She gave a presentation at the Mt. Prospect Public Library about this time last year that was received very favorably by fans of Marshall Field's.

Ms. Goddard talks about Frangos and other Chicago's once burgeoning candy industry in the local edition of The Onion's A.V. Club:,50610/

Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011  5:17 pm CT
Posted by: Rich

With all the talk about changeovers post-2006, it's also worth mentioning one more facet that I miss from the old days, even pre-dating the Target years - food.

The original Fields made it a point to put a nice sit down restaurant in each store. I fondly remember sit down restaurants that used to be on the second floor of Woodfield, Hawthorn, and Stratford Square. These were positioned prominently above the first floor entryway, complete with panoramic window view.

A long time ago department stores often had restaurants. You'd find a lunch counter or sandwich shop at the Sears, Penney's, or Ward's. Or the soda fountain at Woolworth's. Field's represented the last of an extinct breed in this regard. Their eateries were a cut above.

Target actually expanded the food offerings from the Chicago area to encompass the entire north central division, but they did so via the deli counter and quick service hot food cafeteria style. The sit down restaurants were replaced by a cafeteria, often situated in the basement. These were initially pleasant places to eat, but quality seems to have slipped as of late, and the menu items have been standardized for the worse across the board even in the Walnut Room.

Macy's has also gotten rid of the cafeteria arrangements in many of the stores. One bright spot from the Target years was the Oakbrook bistro, but Macy's got rid of this too - within several months of the 2006 name change.

Date: Monday, February 7, 2011  4:09 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

To a State St. Spectator: I agree completely. I didn't even mention all the broken things I saw and the fact that only two elevators were working on the State and Washington side. It is still a huge building full of merchandise. If only they had the right merchandise, it would save me a trip to a mall.

Date: Sunday, February 6, 2011  6:44 am CT
Posted by: Francis, Canden, NJ

I recently visited Chicago and was sad to see Marshall Field's replaced with Macy's.

In Philadelphia, we had John Wanamaker and Strawbridge and Clothier. Both are now Macy's. The John Wanamaker flagship is a kin to the Marshall Field flagship. If you had ever visited both, you would know what a debt John Wanamaker owed to Marshall Field.

Keep up the good work!

Date: Saturday, February 5, 2011  10:09 pm CT
Posted by: Rich

It is Sad and a little painful to read of what has happened to Oakbrook -- In my mind one of the most beautiful and wonderful branch stores of any American department store--anywhere -- Field's even paid attention to the very type of lightbulb that was used in the store to provide the right "light" and ambiance -- not only in relation to the merchandise but also the tile, stone, and other internal architectural details of the building----

all of that is LONG gone

and now it sounds as though that store is lost in the red filter, horror movie, that is macys

but it is not a horror movie -- unfortunately, it is real and has also engulfed State street --the LAST Grand Dame of retail


elegance, style, and grace replaced with crass tackyness

I AM Thankful that I am NOT alone in the realization and understanding of this wrong.

Date: Saturday, February 5, 2011  10:05 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Regarding Lisa's comments from San Antonio: We had Marshall Fields in Houston as well until the early 1990's - The Galleria and Town & Country. It was awesome. We would love to see Field's restored and here in Houston again. Also, it was the old RH Macy that tried to one up Foley's. Back then, Foley's and Macy's went head to head. RH Macy was, at that time, a very nice, upscale store as was Foley's. Both offered quality designer labels, fur salons, restaurants, etc. How we miss Foley's, our last hometown store based in Houston! At one time we had Joske's (based in San Antonio that had expanded to Houston and Dallas), Sakowitz (our hometown Neiman's that had expanded to 3 states with 18 stores), Frost Brothers (another Neiman-style store out of San Antonio that had expanded throughout the state) and even Lord & Taylor (we miss them too!). Now all we have is Macy's of today - yuck! Gone are the glamour, quality and service of the regional stores, as well as the grand dame - Marshall Field's. Keep up the fight! You have no idea how many folks are rooting for you nationwide! You would think a quality investor group would approach Lundgrinch to purchase Marshall Fields and other brands owned by Macy's like I Magnin, Burdines, Foley's, Rich's, Lazarus, Bullocks Wilshire and the like and bring them back. Can you imagine the response from shoppers in every region?

Date: Saturday, February 5, 2011  8:57 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Why is the experience now called 'Macy's' as just described, considered by ANYONE the way of the future? It may seem silly to extrapolate from that, the end of civilization but after all--- a downtown store that can't be bothered to entice you with cleanliness, order, service, merchandise, quality and civility? Not to mention an aesthetic experience! How long can Lundgrinch keep up this charade before the bottom line crumbles beyond tweaking? When the M empire implodes, there will only be a trail of rubble across the land. How can any entrepreneur come along and rescue such a mess?

If M is the anchor store in so many malls, what then? The anchor stores typically seem to hang by a thread, at least around here. The malls are languishing and Walmart, around here anyway has revamped its look to resemble a pathetic cross between Target and Sam's Club. With the death of our local shoe guy we have had to purchase my husband's shoes and even overshoes online, given that we did not want to travel 60 miles to look for them, probably without success. Bah.

What really seems to be happening is stores of all stripes are increasingly concerning themselves with only the cheapest and most generic stuff. We find less available in the flesh, so we HAVE to go online and that is no picnic. I suppose part of the equation is that the small stores have huge rental fees and they all figure that by being the cheapest of the cheap, people will come. There is a large mall north of us that is thriving nicely with fine quality everything. Crawling with shoppers. But quite far away. It is exhausting, huge. If it was stacked up into 10 floors you could have escalators and elevators move you to particular regions of merch in which you were interested... you would not have to wander 10 square miles of everything to find a pair of shoes....waitaminit, I forgot again! The department store concept is dead, useless!!

And yes I was there in Chicago for that Blizzard! Kudos to that grandma for getting herself to Field's because she had to walk in the street, stepping high, and climb snow dunes to do it (Assuming she was walking to the El).Yea Field's! Now I wonder who, anywhere, would stock RIBBON so desirable that a woman would do that to get it!! I dare say she couldn't even have found it online if there had been an 'online'. Bet she came home with more than ribbon.

Date: Saturday, February 5, 2011  8:38 pm CT
Posted by: Frank C.

Born in Chicago. Lived in N.Y. and S.F. where there were Macy's and shopped there because they were almost all there was. Back in Chicago since 2001 and loved going to Fields again. OK when Target took over because they changed nothing. Devastated when Macy's took over & dumped all the tradition. At least they could have used the Fields name in their logo, like "Macys at Marshall Fields. And kept some of the iconic fields stuff like Uncle Mistletoe & Aunt Holly, the green bags, the quality interior architecture and the unique Christmas windows (not the cookie-cutter stuff they give us now. Haven't been in a Macys since the change. Won't EVER go there again!

Date: Friday, February 4, 2011  10:10 pm CT
Posted by: Rich [Not "Italbearr Rich"]

I liked the State Street store far more before they opened up the center court. When I was growing up, each floor used to be like a little maze, an adventure. Even today, remnants of its nooks and crannies still intrigue me.

Interestingly enough, the 9th floor IS still accessible by the original middle State Street escalator as well as the two remaining original elevators and the staircase they put on the 8th floor. They seem to have kept it open to access HR, but it is otherwise darkened and vacant, and would seem to present some safety concerns.

However... they've walled off the Walnut Room escalator past the 8th floor, and they've also walled off the State Street middle escalator past the 9th floor. Very cheaply done, and appalling in a sentimental sense - right up there with the closure of the Wabash escalators which caught me off guard as well.

As a "layout" guy, I've often wondered about the intended depth of that building. There is no other store like it. From what I've seen, they must've had retail at one time at least up to the 10th floor in middle State since the main escalator was built to there. Never went up that high because the signage said no; but I wonder if they stopped at 10 or if they went higher... I've also been in an elevator which went down to a legitimate B3 on the north Wabash side. How about all those elevators...6+ sets of original shafts? How about the public stairs in south State which are walled up past the 2nd floor?

Lots of wonderful mysteries still abound in the building that Macy's continues to board up. 13 stories. 3 basements. I do miss the old Field's.

Date: Friday, February 4, 2011  2:43 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

C.C.Chicago: That's what you get for trying to shop at Macy's!

Date: Friday, February 4, 2011  2:09 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

I visited the store formerly known as Marshall Fields on State St. on 2/3/11 at 11:30 pm out of desperation. I was looking for 1.) a newspaper. Walgreens didn't have any. (Neither did Barbara's Bookstore in the basement!) I had just lost money in a paper box outside. 2.) Cuddl Duds on sale. Wow. The Lingerie department isn't even listed in the directory. When I asked at the information desk, I got an answer, and when I asked her anotehr qbut the person talked back to me! (What happened to manners?) When I got to the 5th floor, it looked like a ghost town. Lots of merchandise on display, but again, no sign of a sales clerk anywhere. When I finally found one, her answer was no, we don't have anymore (of the type I wanted). Her suggestion? Try Walmart!! I asked her where there was a Walmart around State St. and Washington. She agreed, there wasn't one!

Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2011  3:38 pm CT
Posted by: gle

As the snow begins to fall with what the media is labeling the Chicago Blizzard of 2011, I think of my grandmother who insisted on going to Marshall Field's during a blizzard once, because Field's was the only store that carried the right kind of ribbon for something she was making. This was sometime during the 60's, and I remember my mother on the phone trying to talk her out of it. Grandma did get to Field's and back. The blizzard didn't stop her.

Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2011  9:16 am CT
Posted by: A Chicago Native in SD


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