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Thoughtful comments and respectful opinions on the switch from Marshall Field's to Macy's are welcome below. Off-topic, slanderous, disrespectful or abusive posts will not be included at the host's discretion, although an attempt will be made to contact the author, assuming a valid email address is provided with the post. Please remember that this is a blog for opinions of Field's Fans. Due to problems with spam, posts are moderated and may take several hours to appear. Thank you for your patience.




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2010: FOUR YEARS LATER, FOUR OUT OF FIVE CHICAGO SHOPPERS WANT MARSHALL FIELD'S INSTEAD of MACY's
Our latest survey shows 81% want Marshall Field's--13% prefer Macy's.

See our 2010 Survey Page for complete details including survey results.


Below are blog posts from January 31, 2011 backwards to May 1, 2010.

Please click to return to our most recent posts.

or

\ Click to access posts even further back, prior to May 1, 2010.




Date: Monday, January 31, 2011  10:24 pm CT
Posted by: Lisa

Hi y'all, I'm writing from San Antonio, Texas. I loved Marshall Fields back in the early 90's when they were here. They were replaced by Macy's around 1999. At first Macy's had to compete with Foley's, a Texas company, Macy's one-upped Foley's at every turn until they finally killed off Foley's. (I really miss Foley's now) Once Foley's was dead, Macy's quit all the great customer service. These days Macy's is king of the malls -- they're gradually killing off our last regional department store, Dillard's. There are several Dillard's in Texas that are in closeout mode. Clearly Macy's is a monopoly and should be stopped. I'm not able to support your cause financially, but I will be glad to sign your petitions. I hate Macy's. If you all can bring back Marshall Fields,  that will really be something to celebrate! I'm wishing you much success with your fight. Sincerely -- Lisa

Date: Monday, January 31, 2011  10:04 pm CT
Posted by: E TULLOCH

Thanks for your input Terry Uh I mean Steve!

Date: Monday, January 31, 2011  8:20 am CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I find it difficult to see much similarity between the store described in Messy's response to Gabriel (posted earlier) and what I witness on a regular basis when I walk through the State Street store. I can't even imagine or believe, or anything else Messy's wants us to see. And I don't see a rose-colored glasses department either.

Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011  5:03 pm CT
Posted by: Philip Eichler

The Downy promotion isn't strange if you look at it from a Macy's prespective. First of all, I would be pretty certain that there are co-op ad dollars involved, i.e. Downy is footing the promo bills or a big part of it. They arer handing out samples but also when you purchase sheets at macy's you receive a coupon or something to redeem for Downy to presumably use to launder those sheets from Macy's. Secondly, anyone that knows anything about linens will advise you to never use fabric softener of any kind. You see, fabric softener "softens" fabrics by breaking down the cotton fibers, thus making the product wear out faster. So as cheesy as this campaigns is, it is a win win for Macy's. They get someone else to help foot the ad bills and all the suckers that are using the Downy on their sheets will just be back sooner to Macy's to buy replacement sheets after the softened ones fall apart. Charter Club anyone?


Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011  1:41 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Russell

You would think that Mr. Lundgren would make the Chicago store and the New York store "Crown Jewels" in the Macy's empire. Service, style, decor, and cleanliness would polish Macy's tarnished image as a cut rate discount store. Its sad to see filthy, disheveled stores. Doesn't Lundgren walk through these stores with a paper and pencil and write down dirty floors, poor displays, bad customer service. It would be interesting to look in his closet and see if there is any Alfani in it. If he won't wear it, it shouldn't be in the stores!!!

This all reflects on him as CEO. Attitudes filter down from the top. Mr. Lundren should feed his ego with at least 2 top notch stores instead of feasting on imaginary "Alfani" designer crap!!!


Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011  1:03 pm CT
Posted by: I.G.K.

A great way in getting this accomplished would be to go to http://www.macysinc.com/contact/general.aspx to compose a message and/or call 212-494-3000 (New York) or 513-579-7000 (Cincinnati). Though a key to success is to be polite and respectful, whether e-mailing or calling, but be critical only in a constructive matter. Tell them every little reason why you think they should be reverted to Marshall Field's and everything else that you wish they'd do differently. One problem in our society is that most people just simply don't bother to take the time to express their thoughts and ideas to the decision makers. They instead will complain to people who can't change a thing and may totally agree. I've written Macy's, Inc. many times regarding this, but I'm only person. It's every little voice that counts and if everybody just spoke up and got all of their words out, the world would be an entirely different place. As a customer, I don't ever hesitate to say what I think, because one important factor is that if weren't for people like me, businesses would simply have less $$$. Many shoppers who are not happy with the service will simply no longer shop at the particular business. Whichever business may never have any idea that they let their customers down, assuming that "no news is good news", then wonder why they are struggling so much. The problem is so many customers, these days, have such low expectations when they could be much stronger. If people keep having the attitude that they are only one individual and their words won't make any difference, nothing is ever going to change.

And believe in Instant Karma! :)


Date: Saturday, January 29, 2011  5:00 pm CT
Posted by: Gayle S.

Here's a quote that reminded me so much of Terry Lundgren's dismissive attitude towards Chicago and the world's "emotional" response to the loss of Field's:
"Whenever people say we mustn't be sentimental, you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, we must be realistic, it means they are going to make money out of it."
--Brigid Brophy, British writer

Date: Friday, January 28, 2011  3:27 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

"We people" are "forgetting" that it is all about Walmart's now???????

If that is so, it is the end of civilization for sure. "We people" have "forgotten" that the Field's store building is too decrepit to be useful and too old and boring to be of interest to anyone under the age of 99. Well, apparently that means it is time for places like the Louvre or the White House to be retrofitted as offices or condos for fashion-forward types who are more with it than "we people."


Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011  11:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I also saw the segment on Marshall Field's commercial and other Chicago commercials. It really got me excited for Field's.

I think Macy's must be in denial about how many customers they have alienated.


Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2011  10:03 pm CT
Posted by: Ellen

I was in Macy's in NYC last week to see what it was like. It is really overrated! It's not nearly as nice as Marsahall Field's.

I can't help but worry that Macy's will let our beloved store on State Street deteriorate to the same state as 34th Street.


Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011  10:54 am CT
Posted by: Gabriel Madrid

Just for the hell of it, I visited the Macy's website and wrote about my disdain for Macy's and that the Macy's name in the Marshall Field State Street Store was "a giant middle finger to the lifelong residents of Chicago". I will now post their sorry excuse for a response, which has left me convinced is nothing more than a rubber stamp for countless other complaints they have received. Any of you guys get the same exact response? Just curious.
Hi Gabriel,

Thank you for taking the time to write a note about your time visiting Macy's on State Street. Your feedback is a valuable resource for ensuring better future shopping experiences.

Macy's Inc. has great respect for the legacy and traditions of Marshall Field's. We carefully researched consumer preferences and studied alternatives before making the decision to incorporate Marshall Field's into the nationwide Macy's brand. To better service our guests in a competitive retail environment, we must concentrate on becoming a national brand so we can deliver outstanding value to our visitors.

While the store name has changed, many of what our guests love has stayed the same, including Marshall Field's in-store traditions and an outstanding record of giving back to the community and several charities. As part of the building's name change, everything possible has been done to honor the Marshall Field's heritage, particularly in its' Chicago birthplace.

We realize you have many shopping options and remain committed to providing the best for our customers.

Thank you for your thoughts and have a wonderful day!

Candace Bartlett
Administrative Support


Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011  9:57 am CT
Posted by: drew

he OASIS program which offered a wide range of programs serving older adults was hosted in the Kaufmann's flagship in downtown Pittsburgh:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11025/1120449-53.stm

Guess who dropped support of this service once they took over?


Date: Monday, January 24, 2011  8:23 am CT
Posted by: Marlin Family, Lansing, MI

We miss Marshall Field's.

We hope it comes back.


Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011  8:04 am CT
Posted by: Kris Y,

Hey, even in GReen Bay they liked Field's better.


Date: Friday, January 21, 2011  3:23 pm CT
Posted by: Steve

What you people forget is that department stores are a dying breed. Macy's needs to compete with Target and Wal-Mart. The smarter thing would have been for Macy's to get a big box on block 37 and convert Field's to an office building. As it is, Field's store building is a stuffy piece of over-rated architecture that is cost inefficient.


Date: Thursday, January 20, 2011  11:53 am CT
Posted by: Meghan

I was a regular customer of Marshall Field's since I moved here from NYC in 1991.

You can get Macy's anywhere. I walk by the store on State Street and I refuse to shop there since it became Macy's. I also no longer shop at Macy's in NYC.

Macy's: Shame!


Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2011  10:51 pm CT
Posted by: drew

This retail analyst questions the Red Star's "questionable cash flow" in this article:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/01/19/show-me-the-money-macys.aspx
Perhaps all the "magic" practiced at the Red Star is no longer sustainable as the Lundgrinch has run out of tricks to fool the shareholders.

Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2011  6:04 am CT
Posted by: Mike M.

This may be of interest to the "Fans of Fields". My son and I have just designed this replica metal casting of the Fields building.
http://www.replicabuildings.com/proddetail.php?prod=620

Mike


Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011  6:23 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

hahahahahahah

ohh hhaahahahaha

The wipes campaign was so successful, now it's fabric softener.

Oh golly, too bad I live so far away, I shall miss this one too, but if you in Chicago hurry you can have free softener AND the remains of Christmas windows in one visit!

Maybe next time it could be bowl cleaner. I am encouraged to see the great Macy's is coming along so well with its localization plans.

Alas poor Field's, I knew you well.....


Date: Monday, January 17, 2011  2:09 pm CT
Posted by: Anne K.

The tie in with Downy Fabric Softener is strange. I could see throwing in a trial pack when buying towels or sheets or something but to have an ad and major promotion. Really takes any department store down market, let alone one of the caliber of Field's.

It's just a name change. Uh....yeah, right.


Date: Monday, January 17, 2011  9:12 am CT
Posted by: Kevin Clarke

(Please note that the following was originally posted on Monday, January 3, 2011, but did not appear in the blog because of an error.)

Dear Field's Fans,

Please look at KaDeWe, which is the largest department store in Europe. It is located in Berlin, Germany.

go to www.kadewe.de

Maybe KaDeWe instead of Harrods could bring out Marshall Field's back.


Date: Sunday, January 16, 2011  6:05 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Well, last year those wacky folks at Macy's did an in-store promotion with Clorox Wipes. Remember the window displays. Now Macy's is doing a promotion with Downy Fabric Softener. Tacky. Nothing says fasion leader like giving out free fabric softener samples.

Date: Sunday, January 16, 2011  2:09 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

Christmas is obviously over for the year at Messy's. All the decorations are down in the State Street store, the holiday rush of people is gone, and there is a general atmosphere of back to blandness. State Street windows have "pardon our appearance" signs, with the Virginia story still printed on the glass surrounded by tacky holly leaf borders. The tree is gone from the Walnut Room, replaced by a flower planter display and only a few tables occupied. The 7th floor archives room has ladders and carpentry stuff laying around, while the 6th floor area where holiday decorations were sold is blocked off with a BIG black partition. Copies of "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago," by our own Gayle Soucek, can still be found in the lower level book department, the 5th floor children's wear department by the center escalator, a table by the Walnut Room entrance, and the 7th floor information desk. I still miss my Marshall Field's, with its exciting after Christmas sales where one could hardly get near the merchandise. Let's continue to hope for the best in 2011.

Date: Sunday, January 16, 2011  6:17 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Big Biz has a hard time understanding Field's? It seems so obvious. Excellence (at varied price points) is a rare and delightful experience, it is attractive. Maybe even lucrative if you play it right. But Marshall Field's was unique for a reason, I suppose- or there would have been more Fieldses out there. I have often thought that for all the ruthlessness in business attributed to the Victorians, we far outshine them in that line. Not a mg of sentiment remains. At least even the robber barons exhibited some grace once in a while.

I do not credit Lundgrinch et al with even an "interest" in celebrity marketing ploys. It is just a no-brainer way of channeling goods to the sales floor. You do not need a staff of skilled buyers with an instinct and concern for quality and value, as well as fashion and trend. You rely instead upon the genius of entrepreneurial (or merely self-advancing) entertainers, preferably "hot," who produce lines with their names on the labels, intended to attract ignorant or thoughtless shoppers like iron filings to a magnet. Which is not to say a celeb brand is necessarily inferior- but neither is it a guarantee of worth. Anyone can sell "hot"- how many can sell "great"? Or can it be that we have all settled finally for hot?

Ohhh, how long, how long?


Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011  9:26 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

KDKA Pittsburgh (America's first commercial radio station) operates a very popular talk show format. This evening host Jim Lokay had a retail expert from syracuse.com as his guest; the discussion dealt with various retail issues. A question was posed on the long term outlook for macy*s.

The expert noted that macy*s made a serious mistake when they bought May Company and converted all the department stores to one format. Among his comments: macy*s still hasn't connected with many of the communities, macy*s has diluted the value of its brand by having stores everywhere, the macy*s name doesn't really mean anything to many people whereas the regional nameplates were parts of an area's identity, the idea to have the exact same stores selling the same thing everywhere was supposed to be more efficient but hasn't attracted shoppers. The retail expert said, "If I've seen macy*s in Syracuse, why would I visit macy*s in San Francisco."

He also said that macy*s is "backtracking" on its original plan by attempting to "localize" its stores, but the plan is "too little, too late."

The expert said that macy*s never expected the backlash from shoppers, and the mistake was especially evident in Chicago where shoppers continue to protest the loss of Marshall Field's. He noted the elimination of Marshall Field's was the worst part of the tremendous mistake. The expert felt that macy*s will never be able to capture the many lost customers.

GO STEELERS!


Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011  7:44 pm CT
Posted by: Carol H.

I have to agree with Susan H. We have to have a 100% boycott of the M store. I have never apent one penny there and never will. I walked through the State Street store a while ago and it just made me very sad.The bottom line is always green so let's all stick together and boycott Macys. I wish someone would tell me if there is any other way to bring back Fields. I have been at every rally and passed out leaflets during the holidays but it doesn't seem to be enough. I really miss Marshall Fields.

Date: Friday, January 14, 2011  10:10 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

FOX32 news just a story on the most memorable television commercials in Chicago history.

They showed the "Marshall Field's: As Chicago As It Gets" commercial in its entirety.


Date: Thursday, January 13, 2011  10:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

CNBC showed Target: Behind The Bullseye twice this evening, at 8:00 and 9:00 pm, Chicago Time.

The special, a compete history of Target from about a hundred years ago when it was Dayton's to today was presented. The story was thorough and well-done, although very seemingly from the vantage of Trget's PR.

Two things stuck out for me. One, more than a few of Target's current top execs started out at Marshall Field's on State Street and then worked their way over to Target when it was Field's parent. The other was how Target was a different kind of owner of Field's than Macy's. Of course, target had some serious mis-steps, helping to set the stage for Macy's deep-sixing Field's. However, i was struck how even Target was concerned with design innovation and creative products and merchandising first; Macy's is more concerned with celebrity and celebrity endorsements first.

Despite Target's faults in handling Field's, it's clear that especially near the end of their ownership the execs understood what Field's stood for. It's a shame that Wall Street forced Target to sell.

Also, Target announced today that they were entering the Canadian market by acquiring the rights to about 200 of Hudson Bay Company's discount stores and converting many to Target. The head of Target Canada is Michael Francis. His retail career started in the mid-1980s, helping to design the window displays at Marshall Field's on State.


Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2011  10:18 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi, Field's Fans:

Wherever I go, I carry my Marshall Field's tote, and it still gets tons of comments. People always say they miss Field's and "it's just not the same." Everybody I talk to in downtown Chicago talks about the elevator shut-downs, the unkempt appearance and the general ho-hum displays of the once-great Field's flagship store.

Well, Virginia, if there is a Santa Claus, will he please give us back our favorite store next Christmas?

With the hopeful heart of a child,

I remain,

Your friend in Field's,

Zelda


Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2011  8:27 am CT
Posted by: SuSan H

The only way that Macy's would consider switching over to Marshall fields, is if there sales were lower then when it was Marshall fields. SO these 80% percent of people who prefer MArshal fields need to STOP SHOPPING AT MACY'S !!!!!!!!!!!! That is the one and only solution. PEople are hypocrites. I do not shop at Macy's I wont even go in the store period, went in once to use the bathroom and with the scenting and music and new format I had to run to get out of there! MARSHALL FIELDS FOREVER!!

Date: Monday, January 10, 2011  10:32 pm CT
Posted by: From Bloomberg

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Terry Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy's Inc., discusses the company’s performance, including its stock drop of the past ten days.
Lundgren talks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/65773632

Date: Sunday, January 9, 2011  3:23 pm CT
Posted by: Stephen

I am glad to find this site. We really miss Marshall Field's. They should at least bring it back to some of the classic locations. Everyone wants it.


Date: Friday, January 7, 2011  4:32 pm CT
Posted by: Marion P.

The windows for Christmas were horrible.

Macy's wants to run State Street like a big box store like Home Depot or Wal-Mart. State Street is a treasure that they are wasting.


Date: Thursday, January 6, 2011  8:49 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

Holiday rush on State Street appears to have died down, with less people ambling through the store. I walked through the 6th floor fine china section to see if anything was left of the holiday decoration department, that was already being taken down last week. The entrance to that room was a BIG black abyss, like all the lights were turned off there. I got closer and saw that a BIG black door/partition had the room closed off. It looked gross. You would think they could put even a tacky display in front of the partition, rather than just a BIG black space. A smattering of people were still eating in the Walnut Room (the tree is still there), with no line and several empty tables. I counted 9 copies of "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago" by Gayle Soucek on the book table near the Walnut Room, and 1 copy by the information desk in the 7th floor archives room. I didn't see any copies in the lower level book department. All holiday merchandise was removed from the 7th floor archives room, and much of the area was curtained off the way the windows are curtained off when they are being redone. Holiday decorations within the store and the littered red carpet were still there, but the general atmosphere made me think of the end of a garage sale. That's the view from State Street Wednesday evening, January 5 2011 circa 5:30 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011  10:03 am CT
Posted by: Sheila Thoman

From the Boston area: www.thebostonchannel.com/money/26366459/detail.html

Date: Tuesday, January 4, 2011  7:11 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Macy's is to hugely increase the size of their macys.com operations by hiring hundreds in NYC and renting a lot of office space there.

Good on them--but if they are so committed to Chicago as they say, how come they don't make those jobs here?


Date: Tuesday, January 4, 2011  8:33 am CT
Posted by: gle

Today's "Tribune" has an article alleging success of Messy's online services. There is a free comment blog.

"Macy's adding 725 to expand web sites" posted today at 8:06 a.m. by Dow Jones Newswires

http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2011/01/macys-to-add-725-jobs-to-boost-online-sales.html#more-25992

Date: Monday, January 3, 2011  4:40 pm CT
Posted by: Pete


Date: Sunday, January 2, 2011  3:01 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

You would think that Macy's would want to differentiate itself by having a great brand like Field's.


Date: Sunday, January 2, 2011  2:34 am CT
Posted by: Pauly

My mom worked for MF for 23 years in Rockford.


Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011  11:17 pm CT
Posted by: Aurelia K.

We traveled from South Bend to see the windows and the grand store that was once Marshall Field's flagship on State Street in Chicago.

It was such a tragedy to see FIeld's gone.


Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011  10:20 pm CT
Posted by: Jennifer H.

Below please find an email from my sister recounting how she felt as she saw the old Field's building in Park Forest, IL being torn down. The building has been vacant for over 20 years, but we remember the store so fondly. My sister shot pictures too but I don't know how to attach them here . . .

======

I was on my way to pick up (daughter) from (hair salon). Just as I turned off orchard onto main, I looked to my right and my mouth opened in disbelief. I pulled over into a no parking spot, not even caring if I got a ticket. I got out, walked up to the fence, and just stood there. Shocked. Heartbroken. I couldn't believe it. I pulled out my phone and took pics of what is now just a shell. It looks horrible. Tears welled in my eyes as I snapped the photos. It was a bone-chilling experience.


Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011  CT
Posted by: FieldFansChicago.org

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Date: Friday, December 31, 2010  3:17 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

I finally decided to enter a Macy's conversion in Chicago. I felt like I wasn't able to really know what was going on without going inside. I went to State Street and it was quite aweful. I remembered the amazing attention to detail that once was Marshall Field's and was quite upset to see how much had gone down the drain. One cannot even say that the store resembles Field's in any way or form. I went to 7 and went to the history section... I went to the basement... I went to the men's section. All I saw was red! Guady, in-your-face red. It was quite gross to say the least.

Date: Friday, December 31, 2010  9:53 pm CT
Posted by: jeff s.

The latest Frango Fiasco? Sweetie Pies!! Check them out at the Frango outposts. (Think: the candy that kids sell door-to-door.)


Date: Friday, December 31, 2010  1:32 am CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/article_430dacc4-3907-544b-b4c7-48f2468bcf63.html

Looks like they're going forward with downsizing another old flagship. This time the old Famous-Barr. Does anyone know if this will affect the stores restaurant? so sad. Watch out...Kauffmann's is probably next.


Date: Thursday, December 30, 2010  11:01 pm CT
Posted by: Sharyl S.

River Oaks was my Field's store. I miss it. I don't shop in the un-*entionable store.


Date: Thursday, December 30, 2010  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Mary P.

I was forwarded the BBC story on You Tube. Field's was a really great store. I hope that it comes back somehow, someway.

Please pass this along to Macy's.


Date: Thursday, December 30, 2010  9:08 am CT
Posted by: Josephine W.

Does anyone know if it is possible to order from Selfridges and have delivery in the United States?

That would be great.

Speaking of London, Harrod's is very classy, but sometimes it's too-too. Field's was so much better because they had something for everyone.


Date: Thursday, December 30, 2010  9:08 am CT
Posted by: State Street Spectator

I checked out bestseller, "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago" by our own Gayle Soucek, at the State Street store Wednesday evening. I found: 7 at Barbara's bookstore (lower level), 3 on the table near the entrance to the Walnut Room, 16 in the 7th floor archives room (these were in 2 stacks and some other books were on top of one of them so I moved them over), and 1 by the 7th floor information desk.

The 6th floor holiday decoration department was being dismantled, right in front of the customers. Ornaments were strewn all over, giving customers a chance to dig through the rubble for a last-minute purchase before they were totally gone. It looked like a tornado hit the place. I've never seen any store be that untidy with their holiday image.

Customers were ambling through the store and eating in the Walnut Room, however, State Street in general was crowded anyway. The cluttered, casual atmosphere inside the store (with bits of debris on red carpet over cracked flooring) made me think of a second-hand shop. It was like, "Hey, come and get your after-Christmas leftovers!" The only difference is I have nice second-hand shops in my neighborhood, with owners that have a much better attitude.


Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010  7:53 pm CT
Posted by: Jim Brinkman

I was at the Macy's store at Oakbrook a few days ago to exchange a gift. What a horrible experience - The store was filthy with items thrown around people waiting in long lines and NOTHING in my size since I am 6'5". Being in this store is like being in a store in the Soviet Union with no merchandise, indifferent salespeople, and red stars everywhere. This was my first and last time in a Macy's - Messy's is a better name for this place.

Bring back my Marshall Fields - I miss their service and breadth of high quality merchandise, especially Field Gear which was Fields line of high quality sportswear.


Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010  2:29 pm CT
Posted by: Tim in Fort Wayne

I had fun before Christmas, wrapping a few things in old Marshall Field's boxes and carrying those boxes in Marshall Field's shopping bags to my Christmas gatherings. At least it was fun to remember Field's in this way even though the gifts didn't actually come from Marshall Field's. And, just for the record, None of my gifts were purchased at Macy's.

Date: Tuesday, December 28, 2010  3:14 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Dear Fellow Field's Fans:

Came across this story from the Chicago Sun-Times, Fri., Nov. 9, 2007:

"A year after changing the name from Marshall Field's to Macy's, executives have mounted a full-fledged campaign to bring in new shoppers, instead of trying to woo back those who have a deep-rooted connection to the iconic Field's."

And then.........

"Chicagoans upset about Marshall Field's transformation to Macy's won't see any backtracking this holiday. Macy's North CEO Frank Guzzetta said that he is sorry that former Marshall Field's customers are disappointed, but it is time to move on and attract new customers."

Humph!


Date: Tuesday, December 28, 2010  11:01 am CT
Posted by: Tim R.

The Windows on State Street were awful this year.

Would it have cost all that much to hang real evergreen boughs around the windows? The greenery stickers were like what you get at Big Lots.

Why travel far to see that?


Date: Monday, December 27, 2010  10:12 pm CT
Posted by: Mary U., Northbrook

Macy's is not the same as Marshall Field's. Macy's is down some notches, along with JCPenney and Carson's. Time was when I would buy something just because it was from Field's.


Date: Monday, December 27, 2010  7:10 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

How does boarding up all those escalators amounting to 'caring' about Field's (gosh, I keep calling it Field's!) and its customers?

It doesn't. It's looking out for #1. And #1 is grinning into the crystal ball at a fallen Field's.

Until that is accomplished.... escalators need to be functioning. How can a store of that size do without those banks of escalators as exit routes in an emergency, even if turned off? Most of the stairways as I recall were not obvious to the shopper and probably insufficient on the last day or two before Christmas! How can they pass fire inspections? (let me guess...)

Even on normal days shoppers need access to all those elevators and escalators to expedite shopping. A perhaps underappreciated virtue of the escalators was cruising. In the good old days wandering around Field's was a delight. See something you like from the moving steps? Get off and explore!

Who has the will, time and even the strength or energy to traverse the building leventy-nine times just to move between floors via the central escalators? Assuming you buy anything at the Kingdom of Grinch, you have to lug all that stuff EVERYWHERE to get where you want to go by returning to the center of the store each time you change floors. (In this climate, this includes winter outerwear as an additional drag half the year.) Or plop it all down and stand by the elevator a while and wait. And wait. - maybe just as well. I gather that the elevators also are getting a bit rough, and soon they will be the only way to get around conveniently. Will those also turn into blank walls?

Shutting off the circulation suggests that very soon there will be no need to circulate. When you think about it, maybe one floor is enough Grinchland.

(Re the long wait at the Walnut Room: how many of those were unsuspecting tourists, and will they be moved to return next year, tomorrow, or ever? What will they tell the family and friends? And does Lundgrinch REALLY care, actually, since the place is being systematically dismantled?)


Date: Sunday, December 26, 2010  10:40 pm CT
Posted by: Pericles Georgopoulos

Well I have to admit that I went to breakfast at the Walnut Room this past Thursday, Dec. 23rd. Breakfast was fine. The tree was not remotely what it used to be. I did not spent much time at the store but I did manage to pass through a few departments. We went through China on the way to see the tree ornaments. I was absolutely shocked. They don't carry one third of the product line that Field's carried. Mostly it was the macy's brand of dishes and a little bit of Spode. What used to me an a very extensive collection of some of the world's finest china was all gone. Now I realize that people don't buy china the way they used to, but this was just a shock to me to see.

It was just such a change, I did not even recognize where I was. In addition to that most of the departments were messy. Oh well, at least I have my memories.

What worries me the most is that, being fed up with macy's people will stop going to the State Street store all together and macy's will just close it and it will be renovated into loft condos.

Although I know that nothing last forever, I never thought I would witness the end of Marshall Field & Company in my lifetime. I thought it was one of the few things that would always be there. I did most of my shopping at there, I would say 85%. I did my part. I am not just complaining about something I did not support with my retail dollars. Field's was my store and everyone who knew me knew that.

Thanks for the blog,

Pericles


Date: Sunday, December 26, 2010  12:48 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and are looking forward to the new year.

Simply want to say "Thank you" and also that coming in 2011 there are some things planned that hopefully will please not only most every "Field's Fan," but even Terry Lundgren.

Stay in touch and keep the faith.


Date: Saturday, December 25, 2010 
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

MERRY CHRISTMAS
&
PEACE ON EARTH


Date: Friday, December 24, 2010  9:26 pm CT
Posted by: Cecilia Cygnar

Marshall Field's was always my favorite store. I loved it and used to spend a lot of money there (well, a lot to me) both online and in person and even used to get my hair done at State Street. I also was a periodical Macy's shopper, since for a time I lived in New Orleans where they had Macy's. When Macy's took over Fields and would not keep the name, canceled my Macy's charge card and will never, ever shop there again...at any location, even to buy a gift card. NOTHING! Macy's, I'm not sure if this means much to you, but you have lost the business of an ardent Fields shopper. After Target Co. bought out Fields, they at least had the decency to keep the famous name. Shame on you, Macy's. You might be a bigwig in NYC, but in Chicago, you are nothing!

Date: Friday, December 24, 2010  12:48 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Here's another Red Star public relations release disguised as a "news article" proclaiming the success of the "my macy*s" localization effort:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_715152.html
This article points out so many issues this blog has discussed since the Red Star invasion. A successful store has to know its market and offer merchandise customers want to buy; this is called basic marketing, I believe. I especially like the comment that the Red Star in its quest to become a nationwide retailer has decided to change back to a "neighborhood department store." How innovative to stock sports apparel featuring the hometown teams!

Is this an admission that Lundgrinch's ASSumptions shoppers would be "excited" to have their own local branch of the wonderful New York store were incorrect? Could he have somehow misguaged that the New York buyers could select merchandise that would appeal to shoppers across the nation? If he wanted to directly compete with Sears and Penney's, Lundgrinch could have at least visited their stores to see what they are doing right. I don't think the Penney's stores in Miami carry the same stock as their stores in Minneapolis, but this is somehow a revelation to those skilled marketing experts at the Red Star.

Now make the transition complete--and give shoppers what they really want!

Note the article also mentions the plans to downsize the Pittsburgh flagship store. No doubts similar plans are in the works for State Street and other flagship stores. More great thinking! The fewer services and diminished selections will make the downtown stores even LESS attractive to shoppers. They just don't get it!


Date: Friday, December 24, 2010  12:14 pm CT
Posted by: mikea, semi-resident pro-Macy's curmudgeon who occasionally does work for Macy's

I spent the last two days in the city Michigan Avenue and State Street. I was surprised by how jammed Macy's was on State Street on Wednesday. At 8;30Pm the Walnut room still had a 1 1/2 wait and at one time it was a 3 hour wait and Santa had a 1 hour wait. Even though most people I spoke to thought and myself included thought the windows this year were horrible. I hope this idiot Paul from NYC does not put these stupid windows up again.

The Macy stores that have windows should be able to do their own individual theme not this penny pinching one theme for all the stores. Once again they closed off more escalators. Now they boarded up the south state ones going to 9 and the North State going to 10. Even though the North State escaltors to 10 have been broke for years, and 10 has been a vacant floor for over 15 years, still boarding them up looks HORRIBLE. I know it is a legal thing that if someone falls on a broken escalator a lawsuit can arise.

I would hope with the good sales Macy's is doing they reinvest some money back into State Street. They need to realize what a treasure that building is and they are so fortunate to own that treasure. It would have been great to have the store as Field's with the Macy policies and prcing or even with a hypened or partial name to it. Uncle Mistloe was prsent under a case on 7 by the Walnut Room,. which was nice to see. He still should be sold oin Hiliday Labne as he was in 06 and 07. MErry Christmas to ALL

Comment from the webmaster:
Mikea/Daveb:
In 2005, we waited four-and-a-half hours for the Walnut room. That was two Sundays before Christmas. I saw the store Wednesday night and it was as highly trafficked as some Black Fridays and some other days before Christmas since Macy's took over, but it's still not a match for Field's. Mike Dervos pointed out that the Walnut Room had 4,000 meals served on Black Friday; Terry Lundgren had similarly positive information for me at the last shareholders meeting, saying it was the best "since they started keeping statistics." They don't say, however, when exactly it was that they started keeping stats--was it before or after it became Macy's? Nor do they compare with when their stats with when it was Field's.


Date: Friday, December 24, 2010  9:47 am CT
Posted by: David, NYC area

Merry Christmas Everyone.

I have to admit I went to the Macy's Cellar in Herald square two days ago and bought a pound of Frango Holiday Coffee.

This morning I brewed it and drank it out of my Marshall Fields Mug.

I just needed some Fields For Christmas...

Thanks for all you do on this site.

Fields Forever


Date: Friday, December 24, 2010  12:25 am CT
Posted by: L.T.

Has everyone noticed the clever TV commercials produced by TARGET? The ads are fun to watch and celebrate the joy of the season. The commercials depict people preparing and enjoying various activities of the Christmas season--the only mention of TARGET is at the conclusion of the ad.

Conversely, the Red Star's TV commercials are just announcements of items and sale prices--displayed on a blindingly red background.

Ironic that a "big box store" offers classy, tasteful holiday messages while a purveyor of "affordable luxury" screams out its highly discounted bargain price merchandise. Target presents an image of class and style, but the Red Star with its tacky commercials, shabby decor and cheap window displays continuously earns its well-deserved reputation as an overpriced discount mart.


Date: Thursday, December 23, 2010  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: L.T.

The Walnut Room tree was OK this year but the rest of the store was like any other mall store. Very little special at State St.


Date: Thursday, December 23, 2010  11:49 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Between the sale and the "Wow" pass, it was possible to buy a 1 lb. box of Frangos for about $8.00 the past day.

Field's never had to resort to that. Macy's said they were going to reduced the number of coupons that May Department stores employed. That's been far from the case.


Date: Thursday, December 23, 2010  8L28 am CT
Posted by: Deb

When I was six or seven, my dad took me to the Walnut room in the weeks before Christmas. I didn't even celebrate Christmas and I still enjoyed the experience.

A few years after, my aunt brought me a box of Frango Mints for my birthday.

Years after, when I'd had my Bat Mitzvah and Macy's had taken over, I received a gift card. Being somewhat naive, I bought a box of Frango Mints, as I was far too cheap to by clothing at Macy's. After stocking up on new ice-cream bowls for my bowl-deprived house, I checked out, and, when I was in the car, I ate one of those "Frango Mints." Impostors. They tasted nothing like the Frangos I'd been given on my birthday. They were wax. I would have prefered Nestles--a brand of chocolate I despise. I asked my mom to turn around so I could get a refund, but we were almost home anyways.

So when we got home, I gave her one. She took one bite and through the rest away.

Furious, I sent the same message to Macy's complaining about "cleanliness" in the State Street store sixteen times in one night. The next few days, I sent at least two of the messages.

I haven't bothered to find out if Macy's is actually preserving Frango Mints the way I remember them. I don't trust Macy's and I'm not willing to give them my money to find out.

I, like many people I know, don't honestly believe that Macy's will ever bring back Marshall Field's. It doesn't mean I want to accept it.


Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2010  10:26 pm CT
Posted by: Martha

Was passing through the first floor of State Street today as a walk-through.

Saw some $200 purses laying on the floor. Stuff all over the place. Lack of help. Poorly kept store.

What a sad fate for what was once one of the Grande Dames of Retail.


Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2010  2:34 pm CT
Posted by: I WANT FIELD'S

Got your handout on State Street. Thank you all for doing this.

Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2010  5:56 pm CT
Posted by: C.J.

I loathe Macy's, and won't even enter the premises to use the bathrooms until the store's rightful identity is restored!

Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2010  12:23 pm CT
Posted by: Mark

I still miss Marshall Field's. I refuse to shop Macy's.

Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2010  12:01 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Best regards and many thanks to all who helped make our button and leaflet distribution under The Great Clock a huge success today, especially Stephen and Mary.

Hundreds of leaflets and buttons were distributed during lunch hour and rush hour. Overwhelmingly, Chicago still wants Marshall Field's.

If you want to stop by to get a button or a leaflet, we'll be out under the State and Washington clock from at least 4:15 to 5:45 pm, tomorrow, Wednesday, December 22.


Date: Monday, December 20, 2010  3:07 pm CT
Posted by: Darlene Quinn

Marshall Field's Christmas nostalgia. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NORB7KOiqU


Date: Monday, December 20, 2010  1:54 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

I read this article and thought it would be good for folks to comment. http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/tribu/ct-sun-1219-sidewalks-christmastime-20101219,0,3755084.story

Date: Monday, December 20, 2010  12:59 pm CT
Posted by: K.

I don't think Field's ever had to discount Frangos by 50% at this time of the year.


Date: Monday, December 20, 2010  10:55 am CT
Posted by: Steve Tanner

Since 2003, I've been hosting a "State Street Showdown" on our blog, taking a look at the Christmas windows on State Street. The 2010 edition is now live, complete with a breakdown and analysis of the Macy's entry this year.

http://www.steveandamysly.com/state-street-christmas-windows/

Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010  9:43 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

A friend and I were shopping at Beaver Valley Mall in suburban Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon. Boscov's and JC Penney were crowded with shoppers loaded with bags. Boscov's bills itself as "America's largest family owned department store" and it IS truly a department store--candy, toys, appliances, gifts, window treatments, electronics and lots of promotions. Lots of brand name merchandise along with house brands are available.

The Red Star looked just like Kaufmann's with lots of red. Same Christmas decorations, floor coverings and fixtures. While the store was clean, some updating and renovation is needed. The first floor was somewhat busy, but I didn't see too many Red Star bags. There were some shoppers at various service desks and we overhead bargain hunters being told "The coupon won't work on that." The second floor was pretty much deserted.

JC Penney was busy and there were lines at some of the service desks. Shoppers were loaded down with merchandise here also. We didn't have time to check out Sears but I did notice a good many people in the mall carrying Sears shopping bags.


Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010  9:27 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

A relative who lives in suburban Detroit would always send "exclusive" candy sold at Hudson's for holidays. It was excellent candy--and extra special because the candy couldn't be obtained in PA. Later when Marshall Field's took over Hudson's, we were treated to delicious Frango delicacies.

Fast forward to the Red Star invasion of Pittsburgh. There were Frango items, but nobody here knew what they were and the confections were not really marketed. Of course, they didn't sell well--only people who had known Frango products from Marshall Field's were familiar with them--and Frango was soon dropped in favor of Pittsburgh's own Betsy Ann chocolates.

A cousin thought she would "surprise" us with a "gift" of Red Star Frango chocolates. These were NOTHING like those sold by Field's; the best I could say is these chocolates were "nondescript." Even though Mr Lundgrinch claims his localization efforts are a major success and merchandise assortments are tailored to various markets, it's only a half-hearted attempt to "differentiate." From the imitation candy, to the cheaply done holiday windows, the recycled holiday decorations, the third rate "celebrity" merchandise, the endless barrage of coupons and discounts, the ill-maintained stores, the Red Star is nothing more than an overpriced Kmart trying to pass itself off as a "department store." Kind of pitiful, actually.


Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010  9:09 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

A family member in another state recently had a new baby and several relatives wanted to purchase something for the baby's first Christmas. Of course, nobody even considered the Red Star since it is EVERYWHERE and offers nothing unique or special.

Wonder how many people who formerly shopped Fields, Kaufmann's, Lazarus, Filene's, Foley's, Burdine's and the other regional icons for a "special" gift bypass the Red Star because it's same old, same old that anybody can find anyplace.


Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010  1:11 pm CT
Posted by: S.F.

Thanks for continuing the fight. I am still amazed that this piece of Chicago history was allowed to disappear after so many beautiful years. I still believe the grandeur of Marshall fields will once again exist on state street.

Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010  12:39 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

If merchandising was only about getting the cheapest shoes or pans, Marshall Field had it all wrong all these years. He prospered by breaking a mold back then, which Macy's has thoughtfully duct taped back together.

Reading this blog you can see that the Store was way more than shoes and pans to its customers. Customer loyalty, if cheapness is the criterion, is loyal only to price wherever it is found, preferably close to home. Fierce loyalty like that of FIeld's customers goes to the store with the greatest bang for the buck, which is not the same as saying CHEAP is what counts.

MF said "Give the lady what she wants" but today we ought to acknowledge that it is not just ladies who wanted what he offered. He spoke to a human need in a way few have had the courage to do, particularly in a mercantile establishment. Bravo!

I doubt that mikea and his Macy's kindred will ever comprehend that unless one of them is struck down and blinded by an enlightening vision on the way to the office one day. Given the granite heads and cork hearts there, not likely.

And yes I watched part of Miracle on 34th St. yesterday. Nowadays it is dripping with ironies, isn't it?


Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010  12:14 pm CT
Posted by: P.N.K.

Hi!
I watched the BBC video...very cool!


Your dedication is getting noticed :)

Happy Holidays!

Date: Saturday, December 18, 2010  11:51 pm CT
Posted by: Eric B (a.k.a. "Electropickle")

Holiday Greetings from the producer of Marshall Field's Christmas Memories! I created and posted this nostalgic video of our favorite place on YouTube one year ago, and I'm pleased to report that it has been viewed 3,416 times! If you haven't seen it before or misplaced your bookmark, here is the link (and please be sure to share with your friends):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juJTB7fxT6s Running time: 5:11

Ironically, this video features a ride on the Wabash escalators which, of course, were unceremoniously shut down and entombed behind solid walls in recent months.

There was nothing NOTHING like Christmas at Marshall Field's. Chicago wants its hallowed institution back.


Date: Saturday, December 18, 2010  9:14 pm CT
Posted by: Rex B. Wickland

My wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in November 2009. Her gift to me was a large framed assemblage of Marshall Field's items. Bags, old bills, lots of Field's items. I couldn't cry, I couldn't laugh. I was so touched. This Chicago boy still holds a very special place in his heart for Marshall Field's.

Date: Saturday, December 18, 2010  4:56 pm CT
Posted by: Steve F

FYI: Merrill Lynch is back after Bank of America dropped the brand.

Mikea: Sure, I totally believe that Lundgren can run State Street as a profitable big box store, but he could also run the Art Institute of Chicago, the Shedd Acquarium and other landmarks as big box Macy's and also be successful.

Mikea and Macy's misses the point.

Pathetic.


Date: Saturday, December 18, 2010  3:49 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I too saw the rebroadcast of Marshall Field's Christmas windows on WTTW TV Channel 11 Friday night. It brought back wonderful memories. I recognized Santa's cottage from when I went there at age 5. What a fantastic time.

Date: Saturday, December 18, 2010  1:12 pm CT
Posted by: Lorrie

Field's is sorely missed. It was special.

You can get Macy's anywhere.


Date: Saturday, December 18, 2010  5:01 am CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

T O N I G H T


* Book Signing: Borders, Evanston, 6:00 p.m., Sat., Dec. 18, 2010.

Gayle Soucek, Author,
Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago

* Future signings to be announced


Date: Friday, December 17, 2010  8:57 pm CT
Posted by: Daniel W. Harcourt II

I just finished watching a very very special segment on WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago on the Marshall Field's Christmas windows. It was so nice to again see the the true 'Magic' which in Chicago was Marshall Fields. Uncle Mistletoe, Aunt Holly, the Great Tree in the Walnut Room and so many more-the beauty and magic that could only be Marshall Fields. I plan to contact WTTW to find out if they offer the segment-as they do so many others-with a donation. It has really made my Christmas-as I am sure it has at bare minimum enhanced that other viewers as well-to see the Magic of Marshall Fields on TV this holiday season.

Daniel W. Harcourt II
Schaumburg, IL


Date: Friday, December 17, 2010  7:38 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

This is the time of year I miss Field's so much. I walked past the windows today on my commute home and was just so sad to be a Chicagoan during the holiday shopping season. There is nothing interesting. I've been looking for shoes recently and haven't had any luck. Nordstrom is great... but nothing's on sale so we're talking some good money for shoes. I wish there was a L+T, Von Maur, or Carson's in downtown Chicago... but very most of all I wish there was a Marshall Field's. I still remember the unveiling of the holiday theme the year that Macy's announced the "name change." The theme was "There's no place like Marshall Field's for the holidays" (Macy's was dumb enough to announce the Christmas theme the VERY SAME day we announced the name change!!!)

Date: Friday, December 17, 2010  12:17 pm CT
Posted by: MikeA

This past week I had the pleasure to travel to NYC. NYC is fun, but cannot compare in Christmas spirit and decorations to Chicago with the exception of Rockerfeller Plaza.

I went to Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor. Macy's Herald Square is a bigger store, but it also a dumpy store. The windows were much better than State street 10 in all devoted to the Yes Virginia and Miracle on 34th street theme. Decorations inside the store were ok, not the best. The store is very cluttered and dumpy with the exception of the street floor. Washrooms are old and the store shows its age and desparately needs renovation. The merchandise departments are larger than State Street, but Herald Square sells lower priced merchandise compared to the better lines sold at State Street and some of the other old Field's stores. It is very apparent of how the My Macy's program is working with regionalization. State Street is much cleaner and better organized, Herald Sqaure had stock racks on the selling floors and the 9th floor had pallets stacked by the mens room. If Herald Square is supposed to be their flagship showcase store it did not look like that to me. State Street is so MUCH Better and they are caring for it more than even their flagship Hearald Square.

Bloomingdale's is nice, clean, but smaller and so pricey, that it is hard not to empty your wallet for a couple of items. They had no animated windows what a disappointment. Lord & Taylor had the best windows and nice new departments on 9 and 10. A nice new home store and good mens store with great selections and values. I just wish the Lord & Taylor stores in Chicago carried the selections NYC does, but 5th Avenue shows it is truly their flagship.


Date: Friday, December 17, 2010  6:05 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Tis the season of Grinch and Scrooge, after all. We have heard the word spoken and it has been made flesh at Macy's. The amazing thing is--- we are expected to stop carping and come to adore. With or without our old Field's shopping bags.....

Date: Friday, December 17, 2010  12:52 am CT
Posted by: Angela D.

I am a Chicagoan who loved Marshal Fields and always considered it a real part of Christmas from the time my mother first took me to Cozy Cloud Cottage at age 3. Marshall Fields IS Chicago. Macy's is NOT.

I read here about shoppers having problems with Macy's coupons. That is their policy. I have shopped just a couple times at one of their stores in Florida and everytime I had a coupon there was some excuse why it didn't apply. I will never shop at a Macy's in any state again.


Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010  10:08 pm CT
Posted by: B.J.

I miss Field's gorgeous windows.

Sad. Very Sad.


Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010  8:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jan E.

I was glad to get the newsletter today. I miss Field's especially at Christmas.


Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

I am behind this.

Macy's doesn't match.


Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010  3:36 pm CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

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

       FieldsFansChicago.org
       Newsletter Number 26

       THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2010


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


       In This Newsletter...


     * OUR 2010 CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAYS SEASON LEAFLET


     * 150,000 Leaflets Distributed (& Counting)

       HELP PASS OUT LEAFLETS & BUTTONS
       UNDER THE CLOCK
       DECEMBER 20-23, 2010


     * PRINT & DISTRIBUTE YOUR OWN LEAFLETS


     * The FieldsFansChicago.org
       2010 HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE


     * BBC WORLD SERVICE STORY
       ON THE GRASSROOTS CUSTOMER MOVEMENT
       TO RESTORE MARSHALL FIELD'S


     * FieldsFansChicago.org on FACEBOOK & TWITTER


     * YOU CAN HELP:  READ & WRITE FOR OUR BLOG


     * DO YOU WISH TO SPONSOR OUR ACTIVITIES?
       We Need Your Financial Help to Continue


     * REGARDS AS WE ENTER 2011


     * HOW TO ADD or REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FROM OUR LISTS


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

      
       PLEASE HELP BY FORWARDING THIS NEWSLETTER ON
       TO ALL POTENTIALLY INTERESTED FRIENDS & FAMILY.


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


       OUR 2010 CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAYS SEASON LEAFLET


Please see http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/ffc12022010leaflet.pdf for the complete Adobe Acrobat PDF of our 2010 Christmas and Holiday Season leaflet.

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


       150,000 Leaflets Distributed (& Counting)

       HELP PASS OUT LEAFLETS & BUTTONS
       UNDER THE CLOCK
       DECEMBER 20-23, 2010
      

Earlier this month we reached a very special milestone in our efforts to restore Marshall Field's to State Street:  we distributed our 150,000th bookmark-style leaflets.  Many thanks to all who have made it possible, especially Mike, John, Doris, A., Z., and, as always, "gle". 

Please join us next week on State Street December 20-23 as we distribute leaflets and buttons under The Great Clock at State & Washington.  We have various time slots, most during certain lunch hours or the early evening rush.

For exact times and days, please contact us at INFO@FieldsFansChicago.org or (312) 662-8980.  That way we can be prepared with sufficient leaflets to distribute and coverage.
-------------------------------------------------------


       Get Out The Word!
       PRINT & DISTRIBUTE YOUR OWN LEAFLETS

Spreading the word how Marshall Field's can come back is easy!  Download Adobe Acrobat PDF files to print your own bookmark-style leaflets.  

Pass out leaflets--the very same kind that are passed out under the Field's clock at State and Washington--at any place it is permissible in the public way. (Please note that this excludes the premises of most private shopping malls.)

Print and carry some with you or in your car. You can hang them anywhere you find community bulletin boards-your apartment building, coffee houses, student unions at universities, laundries, community centers, your country club, church,...the possibilities are endless.

Please see http://fieldsfanschicago.org/leaflets.html for instructions and links to download and print the latest edition of our leaflet..  Please tell everybody how and why Marshall Field's should be brought back.

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


       The FieldsFansChicago.org
       2010 HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE

As we enter the last week of the holiday shopping season, consult our "2010 Holiday Shopping Guide" at http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/wheretoshop.html

There's no place like Marshall Field's, but thanks to S.B. and friends at FieldsFansChicago.org, we have an incomplete list of shopping alternatives that in one way or another capture some aspect of Marshall Field's. 

While we wait for the inevitable return of Marshall Field's, there are a number of other fine Chicago retailers who are deserving of the dollars you used to spend at Marshall Field's.

Near the end of the shopping guide,  you will also find some suggested books that make for the perfect last-minute gift for any Chicagoan.  Of special note, consider  Gayle Soucek's Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago.  Priced about the same as a box of Frangos, everyone will enjoy the book for years to come.  Look for other Field's-related books listed on our shopping guide.

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


       BBC WORLD SERVICE STORY
       ON THE GRASSROOTS CUSTOMER MOVEMENT
       TO RESTORE MARSHALL FIELD'S


On Sunday, September 12, 2010, the BBC World Service's "The World Today" aired a very thorough news story on Chicago's loss of Marshall Field's and the ongoing grassroots efforts to restore the iconic store.

The segment lasted almost eight minutes and was broadcast world-wide on all continents and over the internet.  It includes interviews by the BBC's Jonathan Fenton-Fisher with a representative of FieldsFansChicago.org, as well as several customers in front of the State Street store.  The segment concludes with  an analysts' discussion panel on Marshall Field's and retail homogenization in the U.S. and Europe.

It is our understanding that the segment can be heard currently on YouTube at the following link--please give it a listen:

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gq3Ru9DJk0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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


       FieldsFansChicago.org on FACEBOOK & TWITTER


 Facebook  | "FieldsFansChicago.org"  |  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=58794069346

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

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


       YOU CAN HELP:  READ & WRITE FOR OUR BLOG

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

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

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

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


       DO YOU WISH TO SPONSOR OUR ACTIVITIES?
       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@FieldsFansChicago.org as to how and where to send a check.  Alternatively, PayPal contributions are accepted at DONATE@FieldsFansChicago.org.
100% of all contributions are channeled to offset the cost of our activities.

Thank you for your amazing support!

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


       REGARDS AS WE ENTER 2011


Hearty regards and huge applause for all of your efforts to restore Chicago's Marshall Field's to State Street!

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 Steve and Mary, John, A., Gloria,  Gayle, Gail, Mae, Mike, D., and of course Zelda, and all those named and unnamed.

As we enter 2011, please stay in touch.  This year, we are expecting some recent  behind-the-scenes initiatives and plans to come into greater prominence, hopefully bearing fruit.

In the mean time OUR efforts are so essential because they sustain immense consciousness of the once and future Chicago institution, Marshall Field's.  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 to restore Marshall Field's continues the retail grande dame's history into today.  As history is being written, remember that you are helping to make this history.

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

* SWITCHING ADDRESSES?
1. Send a "REMOVE-ME"  request from either you old address or your new one; then...
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*  Please send all bug reports to info@fieldsfanschicago.org

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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.


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       END OF NEWSLETTER #26

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Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010  12:34 pm CT
Posted by: Mary S.

To "Mikea":

Your comments captured the spirit of exactly why I hate Macy's.

You want us to accept the amazing, international atore on State Street as being just another big box retailer. You and Macy's represent so much of what is wrong with our world today. Anything to make a fast buck--and sell your soul.


Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010  7:57 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Clearly the Great MInds of Business have decided for us that we do not want/need/deserve Field's. I think what they are not admitting is that they do not want/need/deserve to put more than minimal effort into making maximum dollars ASAP. This calls for absolutely no other personal attributes than a head for numbers, a heart for greed, and a stomach for power. There's no place for a Field's in that mix.

We've got LOTS of Walmart and Target and Kohl's already, even where I live. Enough already.


Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010  2:05 pm CT
Posted by: Robert

In response to Mikeas post about macys fantastic sales. I don't travel 3 hours to 111 N. State to look for great deals. I go for GREAT shopping,GREAT Christmas windows,GREAT Christmas tree, quality goods, and a beautiful CLEAN store, When you go to a beautiful store like 111 N. State was when it was Fields people are willing to pay more for items, its called DESTINATION SHOPPING! If its a Fantastic deal I want I'll go to Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Good for the lady with the FIELDS bag, BUT when she opens that bag... what a DISAPPOINTMENT!

Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010  12:16 pm CT
Posted by: Eric B

I had a really interesting conversation with the manager of a large fashion boutique located in a Chicago suburb. She has shopped at Macy's only twice, and she told me why she will never shop there again.

On her first visit, she purchased an item from a display clearly marked, "40% off + take an extra 15% off when you use your Macy's card." The associate who rang up the sale refused to give her the 15% off, insisting that this promotion applied only to customers who were using their card for the first time. She ended up taking her intended purchase to a better-informed cashier.

Her second visit was on (gasp!) Black Friday. She got into a long and excruciatingly slow checkout line before 11:30 am with a coupon that expired at noon. It wasn't until shortly after noon when she finally reached a cashier. You guessed it! Macy's refused to honor her coupon because it had expired at noon!


Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2010  11:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

In followup to last Friday's post, I did some more number crunching and it appears that Macy's was able to save about 36% on property taxes for the 2009 tax year versus 2008.

This translates into about $1.9 million savings in taxes, reduced from about $5.26 million to $3.36 million.

The reason given was "Assessed Value Adjusted This is the result of the partial occupancy of (the) property along with an income, market or cost analysis."

This appears to be related to the disuse of floors above 9. Remember, that 9 wasn't dropped from use until this year.

I'm not a tax expert so results should be considered in that context. If you are a tax expert, then your opinion is welcomed. And it's important to note that this is perfectly legal and in fact many others are doing this. Isolated simply as taxes, it shows that Macy's is exercising good business judgment by requesting these reductions. But this also should be considered as a factor as to how the State Street store could be considered to be more profitable--as Macy's or Field's.

Of course, in the bigger picture of this property, it seems to me that this is a stop gap measure to suggest profitability. But the highest and best use for the State Street store--best for Macy's, Inc., tax payers and the general public--is when it is run as Marshall Field's.


Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2010  7:56 am CT
Posted by: R.D.

Christmas just isn't the same without Field's.

The stores are just a ghost of what they were five years ago.


Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2010  9:35 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I also attended Gayle's book signing which was sponsored by Barbara's Books, a leased department in the Macy's on State Street. It should be noted that it was Barbara's that asked Gayle to participate. The book is doing very well with low stacks near the Walnut Room and visitors center on 7. I was especially touched by the Field's alums who came by specifically to see the book. Many thanks to Gayle, the History Press and Barbara's.

Due to some research I have been doing, it's been interesting as to how Macy's differentiates its namesake stores from Bloomingdale's. I won't go into all the detail, but it's very fascinating to see how Macy's (then Federated) was a participant in the saving of the Shrine Temple on Wabash. It says that sort of thing is a possibility under the right circumstances. It was especially fascinating in the context of being in the State Street store for an extended time for the first time since 2006.


Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2010  4:35 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I attended Gayle Soucek's book signing for "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago" at the State Street store this Noon. It was such a joy to be in that building again among members of Field's Fans, some former Field's employees and a product that is well worth buying. GO GAYLE--I am so happy to hear how well the book is doing.

Date: Monday, December 13, 2010  5:55 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Jim made a most interesting observation about the Red Star receiving tax reductions because they closed off usable sales space in the State Street store. Since taxes in many localities are based on square footage that is actually being used, one has to wonder if their alleged "profit" is at least partially based on tax savings.

I don't know how the assessment process works in IL, but in PA businesses are able apply for property tax reductions on a number of factors. In fact, retailers have applied for and received tax reductions based on declining sales and decreased values caused by the depressed real estate market.

There is no doubt that Lundgrinch would use "magic" to create the illusion that his stores are doing well. Perhaps he would tabulate vacancies in adjacent retail spaces and offices, empty nearby storefronts, and unused selling space to request a reduction in tax liability thereby further reducing expenditures.

Much retail space in the downtown Pittsburgh Red Star has been closed off, and participants in this group also report vast spaces have been shut in Chicago's State Street location. It would be safe to bet that Red Star stores across the nation have been "downsized" to save money. (I believe the former downtown Famous-Barr and Dayton stores have had that "magic" performed.) It would be no surprise if the Red Store has requested similar reductions in rent at its mall locations.

Instead of giving the customer what she or he wants, Lundgrinch continues to cut expenses to compensate for lost sales.


Date: Monday, December 13, 2010  5:12 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

Did anyone else see that shameless ad for Macy's "Believe" Christmas campaign worked right INTO the T.V. program "Brothers and Sisters" on Sunday night, Dec. 13th? They even had an actor hold a Macy's bag and show the full-page newspaper ad to the camera. It was not a regular commercial. I was appalled. I wonder how much they had to pay to get that kind of T.V. spot. Macy's is not synonymous with Christmas in my mind.

Date: Monday, December 13, 2010  8:43 am CT
Posted by: R.C.

I am a big supported to bring Marshall Field’s back to State St. and even the entire Chicago land market. I have not step into a Chicago Macy’s store since the rebranding.

Date: Sunday, December 12, 2010  5:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Best regards and many thanks to all of those who helped make leafleting on State Street a huge success yesterday afternoon, despite the raw, cold rain. Distribution of leaflets slowed just a bit--to about 340-350 an hour--but there were so many who were glad to hear about Field's! Special thanks to "gle" and "g."

Between now and Christmas, we'll be passing out leaflets on different days other than Saturday. Look for us under The Clock at State and Washington.

Again, best regards and many thanks!

Jim


Date: Sunday, December 12, 2010  3:04 pm am CT
Posted by: Jon

i'm so glad to find this site. we got a flyer on state street yesterday. fields was great. macys is so lame.


Date: Sunday, December 12, 2010  9:51 am CT
Posted by: Mikea

In response to Daniel's post about the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. The reason Macy's was not in the movie was the grand dame department store Cole's -- no relation to Kohl's -- was in bankruptcy and was about to go out of business. Macy's in 1994 due to poor management by Ed Finklestein was in bankruptcy and they Macy's did not want their store shown that way in the movie. The 1994 remake was a poorly revised version of the original and did not offer the true heartwarming the original did.

One note for those who do not want to shop at Macy's , the sales are fantastic and the money saved by shopping there as opposed to when Field;s had their high prices could easily pay for a vacation a years worth of car insurance and more. I was in State Street on Friday and did notice a lady when a 1995 Field's bag, she was buying merchandise at Macy's and putting it in a Field's bag.


Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010  2:12 am CT
Posted by: S.B.

Now's the time to talk to friends about the importance of Marshall Field's. A co-worker of mine went to Macy's to buy a gift card for someone. She came out surprised that Macy's would charge her $2 for a gift box! I told her "That would never happen at Marshall Field's." She started to see my point about Macy's being second-tier. What a horrible store.

Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010  2:11 am CT
Posted by: Mary

It looks like they are trying to kill off the store windows on State Street, slowly but surely. In fact, it looks like they are trying to kill off State Street, slowly but surely.

I miss Field's windows. I miss Field's.


Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010  7:29 am CT
Posted by: Judy M.

Christmas used to be that most wonderful time of the year. I would walk from my office the few blocks to State Street and make a beeline for the Mashall Field's christmas shop to buy cards, ornaments, gifts, etc. Who cared if it was cold? It was the excitement of seeing the Field's windows, the beautifully decorated store, the great tree and anticipation for the wonderful and unique gifts I would find inside that got you out the door and into the weather! I still frequented State Street while Carson's was there. But I haven't even been on State Street since Carson's left (other than to stand outside messy's and protest). I just can't bring myself to go there-it's too depressing. So I haven't personally seen the nasty windows, or the broken escalators, or the dirty floors, or the invisible sales people. I read this blog to find out what new horrors lunkhead has thrown at us. And I wanted to say "thank you" to all those brave souls who have gone above and beyond by stepping into a messy's to keep the rest of us updated.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah to all the Field's Fans and a Happy (hopefully messy-less) New Year! Marshall Field's forever!!!

Judy


Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010  6:59 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

So with Field's downtown.... a floor closed is a dollar earned. Way to go! What a splash it will make at annual meetings when the store is just one half-floor selling piles of clothes, and wipes (on special occasions). What a model for marketing classes. Waitaminit. You don't need marketing classes any more. It is a simple formula-- learn it and you're in BIg Business. Start with a landmark operation and strip its bones- simple, direct, elegant.

Which is more important in this example? The ego/revenge trip, the desperation to manipulate a overwhelming property to make it look profitable, or the goal of carving up the remains to rent to private detectives and shoe outlets? Such a hard choice but if done right, in due course all can be accomplished. What a delicious prospect for TL, to look back on his tracks and (wink) know the Big Apple Trickster got the best of Chicago.


Date: Friday, December 10, 2010  2:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Please join us as we pass out flyers on State Street tomorrow, Decemeber 11, from 1:15 pm to 5:15 pm, at least. Please email me privately before 9:00 am or call us during the day at (312) 662-8980.



========

Regarding the most recent post from Mikea, our semi-resident pro-Macy's curmudgeon who occasionally does work for Macy's, I have some points to quibble with but here's one point of interest.

Based on my searches in the past few days with the Cook County Assessor, it appears that Macy's owns the State Street store outright. Target did apparently have an REIT set up for the store and then leased it back from the REIT.

But I also found something very fascinating: it appears that in the past tax year or two, Macy's has been getting a new huge property tax reduction in proportion to the amount of the space that is unused at the State Street store. That would be a 30%-35% reduction in property taxes, if I am reading it all correctly. That was not the case the first three years or so Macy's owned the store and, of course when MayCo and Target had Field's.

If that is correct, then next year, Macy's will also be able to additionally reduce the assessment as a result of the space they vacated when they closed off much of the ninth floor at the end of last winter.

So, it is very possible that the increase in profits that Macy's boasts about has come from a significantly reduced property tax assessment.

Carson's flagship, now known as Sullivan Center, also received a similar reduction for unused space in the basement, first floor and second floor. That credit will go away when Target moves in.


Date: Friday, December 10, 2010  1:12 pm CT
Posted by: Bette in St. Paul

Barbara's Books apparently is no longer located in the former Dayton's flagship. When did they leave?

Date: Friday, December 10, 2010  10:40 am CT
Posted by: S.B.

I can't believe Target is going to take the Carson's store. What a sad state of retail in America.

I appreciate Target and like them very much but they don't belong in an architecturally significant retail treasure known as 1 S. State Street.

State Street has gone downhill so much it is more like a strip mall in a second-tier city. Target, Sears, Macy's... seriously what is going on! State Street used to have some great stores... Marshall Field's, Carson's, CD Peacock, wow... things have changed.


Date: Friday, December 10, 2010  8:30 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

S.B. and friends' Holiday Shopping Guide has been updated for 2010. Here's where you should shop this holiday season and beyond.
http://www.FieldsFansChicago.org/wheretoshop.html

Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010  6:31 pm CT
Posted by: Luigi M.

I recently moved to New Orleans, but I so loved
Marshall Fields. Growing up on the near south side all we would do is take a quick bus
ride and spend the day with my grandmother there. SO many many memories. Its
just not the same trying to shop there. Something is really missing when you go
into Macy's. They needed to stay in NYC.

Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010  1:05 pm CT
Posted by: Lori, from Downstate

Hi,

I seriously miss my trips to Chicago and MF and haven't bothered to visit it since the other store took over.

Thanks!


Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010  12:55 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

It was interesting to read the July 19, 2006 post from JP about the conversation with the FDS executive. Some of the things mentioned were not a surprise to me at all. First it should have been apparent that FDS wanted the Nay Company stores just to expand their Macy stores, since since 2002 FDs has been slowly converting their stores to May's. In fact a couple of years after acquiring Macy's FDS stores resembled Macy stores with a different name to some extent.

Making Field's a copy somewhat of Macy's San Francisco should have been a given. However the Macy's North conversion did not look like the San Francisco stores. Even seasoned Sales associate told me they thought the store would resemble the San Franciso stores more than they did at the beginning of the conversion. I do not think anyone would have thought that Macy's would have kept the Field's stores the exact same and just change the name.

FDSie Macy's inc only rents the store at 111 N. State. Target sold the building years ago so Macy's cannot sell it and make money off of the building. In this economy since block 37 is partially vacnat and so is 1 S. State street for Macy's to consolidate the store into 5 levels and rent out the rest would not be a option or profitable right now. Target in fact years ago tried to rent out floors 10 and above to a computer company, however after extensive study it was found that the building was unable to support the large computer hardware that this company wanted to install in the building.

I have heard the Wabash escaltors were constantly breaking down in fact I Have seen them closed in parts of the store many times over the years and their location to the atrium escalators makes them a less viable option for customers to ride them. I could see Macy's moving the 11th floor offices down to 9 and renting out floors 10 and above if they could ie like target tried years ago.


Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010  10:24 pm CT
Posted by: Daniel W. Harcourt II

With the holiday season here, I miss Marshall Field's even more than usual. Besides all of the beautiful holiday decorations and windows Marshall Field's always had, it is also frustrating as I try to finish my holiday shopping. Marshall Field's did a wonderful job of having an assortment of merchandise for various socio-economic levels and varying tastes-which certainly made holiday shopping much easier. I can remember many holidays past where I waited to purchase Frango's because customers in front of me literally were purchasing carts full of Frango's as gifts. Keep in mind that when I reference customers purchasing carts full of Frango's, the carts were not shopping carts but carts Marshall Field's typically used to move merchandise. Marshall Field's was not a Kmart or a Walmart-no offense to Kmart or Walmart intended. Shopping at Marshall Field's was an experience-something Macy's cannot duplicate. From what I understand from friends in New York, Macy's itself isn't the grand store it once was. Tonight, for the first time, I watched the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. The reason I had never seen the remake prior is because I have found that it is almost impossible to replace the original. I find it interesting that unlike in the original movie, the remake did not have or promote Macy's. I just happened to be channel surfing when I noticed that Macy's was not the department store in the remake, which is why I watched the rest of the movie. I have to wonder if the reason that Macy's was not used in the remake was perhaps because even back in 1994 Macy's had fallen from it's former glory. I still miss Marshall Field's terribly and absolutely REFUSE to spend ANY money at either Macy's or Bloomingdale's. Hopefully Mr. Lundgrens successor will be a real manager and restore both Marshall Field's in Chicago and Macy's in New York to their former glory.

Daniel W. Harcourt II
Schaumburg, IL


Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010  1:52 pm CT
Posted by: Marti F.

Life long resident of Chicago
and Marshall Fields Fan
I do not shop at you know where

Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010  12:32 pm CT
Posted by: Jane Nicoll

Marshall Field's Park Forest Store Bricks for Sale

We realize your focus is the State Street store, but also know you must have Marshall Field's collectors in your membership and readers.

I am including the notice of our very nostalgic exhibit, "Step Back into a 1950s Christmas." Hope some of you can come, even if you don't want to purchase a brick.

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum, at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, Illinois,

invites you to "Step Back Into a 1950s Christmas !" "We've 'Decked our Halls"

Saturdays December 4, 11 and 18, 2010

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Donation $3.00 for adults; 12 and under free.

Advance Tickets, good for any of the three days, are on sale from Park Forest Historical Society board. Tickets will be sold at the door. Admission is free for those purchasing a Marshall Field's Brick! If you are coming from out of town or have a small group that would like to come at another time, contact Museum Director, Jane Nicoll at parkforesthistory1 at yahoo.com.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st Century holiday preparations to spend some quality time getting a good dose of Holiday Nostalgia. Decorations from the 1950s are in every room. Remember Gurley Candles and Rosbro plastic figurines? Dolls, toys, and games will bring back memories to share. Operated by the Park Forest Historical Society; sponsored by Central Park Apartments.

The society will be selling bricks from the Marshall Field's Park Forest store, now being demolished in Downtown Park Forest. Bricks are $15 for one; $25 for two; shipping and handling $12; limit 10 bricks to one buyer. A number of bricks will be available at the museum each Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Please email Mike Gans at parkforesthistory3 at yahoo.com to reserve your bricks. See the society website, www.parkforesthistory.org, for more information on the exhibit, brick sale and our mission and activities. Check the website for updates on other places and/or times when bricks will be sold. Help the society "make lemonade" out of a sad situation. Your purchase of a brick will help us preserve Park Forest history.

The Marshall Field's Park Forest Store was the first to be in a shopping center, beginning the long association between Philip M. Klutznick and the Field's company which led up to Water Tower Place.

"Like" the 1950s Park Forest House Museum and the Park Forest Historical Society at their pages on Facebook!

Museum closed in January.


Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010  6:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Remember those wonderful gift baskets from Marshall Fields?

Treats from around the world.

Wine baskets. Even Frango baskets.

Macy's?

ZIP.

A gift basket from macy's is no special gift. They tried gift baskets right after they raped Fields. Not many sold. Then those wacky folks at Macy's dumbed them down. Even fewer sold. So Macy's dropped them.

I miss my Frango basket.


Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010  10:30 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

With Love to Field's:

It is Macy's prerogative to do as it pleases with this property and I am convinced their program is to grind this particular institution into dust, if not literally then figuratively. As has been observed, from their perspective it is all about the real estate and not about selling to interested shoppers. Terry Lundgren watching the helpless peasants writhing and pouting, is amused and sssatisssfied. He enjoys teasing with snippets suggesting his interest in (and success in) attracting clientele, just not those tiresome old Field's customers. We are not anywhere near being on the same page or even the same planet as he is.

It would not matter one iota if Santa Claus were to come along and offer a trillion dollars for our pet on State Street. All it takes is money (and passion) to set things right but first the owner has to be willing to sell. Assuming this is the ego trip of a lifetime for a certain person, it will not be sold even to Santa because money can't substitute for the glory of being the Biggest Grinch Ever.

Once you have the goose of the golden eggs for lunch, the party is over. If Field's long has been the main reason to be on State Street (that Great Street) as a merchant or as a customer, then the investment value of the whole area is obviously doomed to return to what it was 150 years ago since so many other components have already fallen. Apparently even that does not matter to Lundgrinch as long as he has some rental dollars out of it that do not require much effort on the part of his company.

One wonders who would invest in a piece of the Field's building to do what? Are there that many STABLE businesses that would seek a pigeonhole in the once-great building? Who would trek there for mediocre or low end shops or restaurants? To buy wipes on the first floor? Or to see expensively ensconced lawyers, shrinks or wedding planners, or to dine at the disinherited Walnut Room amidst the ruins and grime? Those splendid expanses of walnut might suggest a large rental fee once the restaurant failed, but who would pay a high rent for walnut walls in a labyrinthine, scruffy, multi-use building in a moribund district which people avoid? I assume that sooner or later the atria, walnut and other distinguishing but not "useful" features would be boarded over, filled in, carved up or rooted out. How could you charge high rent for pieces of an abused, degraded historic landmark held by a disinterested landlord in an area that USED TO thrive but, with the loss of Field's, collapsed?

Perhaps that would yield a bottom line which looks pleasing enough at board meetings but it indicates very narrow vision. Certainly it does Chicago no good. Maybe someone can make a case for destroying FIeld's root and stock, but to me it looks like doing a Caesarian on the Goose to get the Egg fasteróthen eating the bird and spitting out the bones. This is not only a very cynical act, but a short-sighted one as well. His fellow Ferengis are surely lost in admiration: "Causing your enemy to lose profit, or fail to profit, is considered the best revenge." See Wikipedia. However the sharper ones are shaking their heads because there is no profit in revenge. They never forget Rule of Acquisition #57: Good customers are as rare as latinum--treasure them. And #60: Keep your lies consistent.

I am thinking of making a shrine for the two new green Field's shopping bags sent to me by relatives just before the Changeover. And I am still hoping for a Miracle.


Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010  12:01 am CT
Posted by: B.B.

Worked at Field's until 1980.

Still miss the coffee times under the tree in the Walnut room.

Bill,
Now in Montana


Date: Monday, December 6, 2010  9:13 pm CT
Posted by: R.

For me, it's like the loss of a parent or grandparent. You just CAN'T believe that they are gone. Life without them -- especially Christmastime -- just isn't the same. I can't even bring myself to go into the branded Macy's stores. It would be like visiting the home of a deceased relative after new people have moved-in and changed everything.

Date: Monday, December 6, 2010  8:57 pm CT
Posted by: Richard M Krueger

It's Christmas time and I so miss the wonders that Marshall Field's used to create, from the merchandise, to the designs of the holiday wrap and bags, to thier famous trim. I remember the food floor and miles of treats, all made in the State Street kitchens, and the overwhelming atmosphere created by a company that truly cared for its customers! Macy's is an homoginized and dreary replacement.

In this vein, the state of retail and shopping in general has become a bore. Because of the Macy's model, we find the same tired and mass produced merchandise from one end of the country to the other. There is little to excite, no differences by region or city, and nothing "special," which was always available at Marshall Field's! I was always so impressed with the buyers at Field's and their level of taste, and appreciation for the outstanding and the unusual.

Macy's, is the sad end of a once great shopping experience in this country. I can't afford Neiman Marcus (well, I could if I wanted to), I don't care for Nordstrom's, and Bloomingdale's is just Macy's with a higher price tag.

Macy's is notorious for not hiring enough help to keep their stores neat and presentable. I know, I once worked for the Stern's division of Federated department stores, and even then, Macy's was famous for junky looking stores.

I have fond memories and mementos from the once great Marshall Field's. They will be forever cherrished.

Rick Krueger

P.S.

I would love to be able to get a copy of Field's fruitcake recipe! Can anyone help find it?


Date: Monday, December 6, 2010  1:00 pm CT
Posted by: FieldsFan

Today is St Nicholas Day, Patron Saint of Merchants.

Please say some prayers to St. Nicholas and ask him to bring back Marshall Field's!


Date: Monday, December 6, 2010  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: Michael A

Hi everyone!!!

The posts of the past few days have been especially interesting.

A few questions:

1. I know Mayor Daley was really angry when Target moved the Frango production from State Street. I recall he was angry because he said he didn't know about it before the move was announced. Does every company that lays off 100 people let Mayor Daley know first? Or was it supposed to be a special case because it was Marshall Field's? Fannie May was different when it moved. It went bankrupt so Daley didn't have a choice when they moved out of Chicago.

2. When it was announced that Frango production was moving to Pennsylvania, Daley put the brakes on Target's expansion at Western and the Kennedy and Elston. Eventually, the expansion passed. What could Mayor Daley really have done to prevent Marshall Field's from becoming converted to Macy's? My opinion is that I don't think he could have done much which is why he went along with the switch to Macy's. Terry Lundgren could choose to even shut State Street if he wanted and Mayor Daley would be impotent to do anything about it. Many more jobs were lost when Field's became Macy's than were lost when Frango's moved. Even with some Minneapolis offices moved back to Chicago with My Macy's, it hasn't matched the losses of permanent full-time jobs at State Street and the Northwest side warehouse. I don't think Daley could have done anything which is why he pretended it was all OK to switch to Macy's.

3. I agree with Carol. More should be done. Protests and signs and buttons are nice, but if Daley could have done something then what could others do? Who is doing it? Any millionaires out there propose to buy Macy's? Did any business leaders band together to buy Field's or massive share of Macy's stock?

I say it strokes Terry Lundgren's ego to have customers plead with him to bring back Field's, even though he refuses. I bet Oprah did try to get Lundgren to keep the store Marshall Field's, but Lundgren refused her. I think she's too embarrassed to admit that he blew her off.

I still can't bear to shop in Macy's. I wish there were some answers other than this is another rotten symbol of rotten times.

Regards,

Michael


Date: Monday, December 6, 2010  10:23 am CT
Posted by: Shopper

We miss Marshall Field's. The bad store windows, the cheapness of it all, even the outdoor flood lights are turned off the magnificent State Street facade. It's just not the same as Macy's.


Date: Monday, December 6, 2010  10:00 am CT
Posted by: Phil Eichler

In regard to anything Macy's does, you always need to look at it from their perspective, not that of Field's customers and supporters.

Just like when they got rid of Macy's North, they kept this woman Amy Hanson who was I think the CFO. She became director of real estate and restaurants. I thought this is really stupid, putting a money person in charge of food service and lumping it in with real estate. But not from Macy's perspective; they don't plan on being in the food service business, just leasing space to food service providers. Thus, lumping real estate and restaurants together makes perfect sense.


Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010  5:43 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to all who helped make our leaflet distribution on State Street a huge success yesterday. Like last weekend, about 360-375 an hour were passed out for about 1,500 distributed.

A special milestone: yesterday, we passed 150,000 in the number of "leaflets" (bookmark flyers) distributed. BTW: If you have printed your own flyers and distributed them, please email me the counts so that we can add them to our totals.

Also like last weekend, I encountered many who came back to get the leaflets and even ask for extras to give friends.

I heard from Gayle Soucek that copies of her book, Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago, sold out even before her book signing in Evanston was over.

Thank you for your support. Best regards and many thanks!

Jim


Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010  4:12 pm CT
Posted by: Brad T.

Phil and J. P.'s post;;;

Yes, that's pretty much how Macy's works. But they do turn a profit and they have been making their stock holders happy. So it seems.

Phil is probably on target. Macy's will keep the first and second floors on Wabash as retail, plus the seventh floor, maybe. On the other floors, they will lease out along Wabash on those floors above two. They will build out rentable space for say maybe 80 to 100 feet into the store from the facade. Macy's does this sort of thing at all of their flagship department stores. Look at Dayton's. Upper floors leased out, except the auditorium on eight.

They are doing the same in St Louis at May's former H.Q.

I will say, I think Lundgren expected to keep all the Marshall Field's customers. He didn't expect that he'd have to go out and get new ones.

But stock holders don't care as long as Lundgren keeps Macy's afloat. Or maybe as long as he makes it appear that he's keeping Macy's afloat. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes, but he puts on a good front.

IMHO, those Wiki Leaks people are really bad for international diplomacy. Still, you gotta wonder if anything like that exists on Macy's.


Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010  3:52 pm CT
Posted by: E Tulloch

JP comments below is not far from the truth. Macys must be the only corporation in America that ignore what the customer wants! Marshall Fields State Street store is a Masolem and the ridiculous green?!? That store was a major tourist destination for Chicago and why dont he say HARRODS green is ridiculous too because they use it throughout their store in shopping bags,awnings and even their delivery trucks display the green! Terry Lundgren is surrounded by corporate "yes" men that is afraid to speak up and present ideas fearing that they will lose their jobs and money!

As a shareholder, I have made it be known that I am not pleased with the way this company is operated as well as many shareholders! Terry is doing damage control by appearing on shows such as "The View" and continue to shill his crap merchandise and horrible philosophy on operating a company! Lets see if he will appear on "Oprah" with that nonesense! Read all the business journals referernce to Macys and they all say the say " It's a poorly run company!" and its all about Terrys ego! He knew he screwed up a long time ago but he has put a front that business is ok! We shareholders have clamored for him to step down.

Heck, if GM can admit that they made mistakes and they are now producing vehicles that the customers want then all is not lost on Macys, Marshall Fields, Burdines ETC! That so-called Federated Ex need to take a trip to New York and see that disaster they called a Department Store! Its was once a great destination but it now looks like a ghetto swap meet with tacky clothes nobody wants, cluttered displays of mannequins(even they look angry being there)and finally rude customer service wearing their propganda black! Wheres Gimbels to light a fire under their butts! I was shopping in London and went into Debenhams(Londons version of Dillards) and even the sales people there ridiculed Macys! I told her were begging for a BRITISH INVASION to take over Macys and properly restore the department store scene in America!


Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010  12:08 am CT
Posted by: drew

In response to Phil, the Red Star has definitely walled up entire sections of the former Kaufmann's flagship. Large sections of the holiday/seasonal area of the housewares department are walled off and display alcoves in the fine china department were closed as soon as the Red Menace took over. The china/ silver department is probably 1/3 the size of the previously reduced floor space. The merchandise selection has been pared down also. They could easily close two floors--and no doubt that will happen soon because it is obvious floor space is being contracted.

Multiple promotions are running at once. Large signs offer an additional 20 % off with the Red Star card, while the Friends and Family coupon offers 25 % off. Then there are all the $10 coupons. It truly is a discount store, a bargain hunter's paradise of nondescript, basic merchandise.

The construction paper windows are uninspired and cheaply done. The only "animation" is two construction paper characters going back and forth on a slot of no more than two feet in length. I overhead many shoppers ridiculing the cheezy windows. So many people just glanced and kept on walking. The disappointment was obvious in the reactions of parents trying to make the grade school quality displays seem special to their kids. The merchandise display windows along Forbes looked nice, but nothing exciting or special. The inside of the store was okay, but more like Sears than a so-called "better" department store. Nothing worth more than a passing glance. Bland, boring, basic.


Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010  9:23 CT
Posted by: Gretchen G.

Thank you for the site.

We were Marshall Field's today on State Street. We call it Marshall Field's, but it's far from it. The store windows were awful. It was all very sad. I was happy to run into one of your people today out front.

Some of us are having a Marshall Field's themed party for Christmas next weekend at our house. We're going to have Marshall Field's bags, Frangos and all. I wish we could invite all of you!


Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010  5:07 pm CT
Posted by: Carol H.

I have been reading the posts about the elevators being "boarded up" and the comments about what Macys is trying to do to our beloved Marshall Fields building. I have faithfully boycotted Macys since the takeover and have been at every protest and march on the anniversary of the changeover.I have helped Jim and others pass out leaflets on State during Black Friday and other weekends and I applaud the dedication of Jim and so many others. I miss Fields very much and it breaks my heart to see what the M store is doing to this Chicago icon. I'm wondering if our efforts are enough. Are they helping our cause or do we need to make our protest even stronger somehow? I will never shop at the M store and I will attend every protest but what else can be done to stop this travesty? Bring back Marshall Fields!

Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010  2:01 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

OK- no surprise it was all lies- it did smell bad. What disturbs me is that a high exec could be so disdainful of the whole thing and be in the business. If you don't love Field's or its ilk I would guess you ought not be in merchandising. Oh- waitaminit-- it's all about getting rich quick, moving the dollars around the fanciest way so as to wring the most profit the fastest. Never mind who wants a shirt that keeps its buttons on, or a Steuben vase, or a clean toilet. Let 'em eat Walmart! Thanks y'all. My Macy's--- NOT. You can have it. And bah Humbug back to you.

It was not my ears that heard that infuriating airline conversation but that was not necessary. The content has been coming through loud and clear all these years since at 111 N. State. The man did not think he was insulting *me* whom he has never met, but - oh yes he was, and is. An insulted customer is a non-customer. Let me see, I seem to remember someone getting rich on the premise, "Give the lady what she wants."


Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010  11:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to "Phil" for the very interesting post about why they might be shutting down the Wabash escalators.

It took me back to July 19, 2006, eight weeks before Marshall Field's was converted to Macy's. The following post was made to our blog. While I was not present to witness the conversation described below, I did ascertain that the author was quite credible. The post did have the impact of putting us into higher gear.

So below is a post that seems rather accurate in terms of what Macy's hoped to attempt; I do wish to point out that I believe thanks to efforts of many Chicagoans, including those of us here, the brakes have been applied to what they thought would be a "slam-dunk": my only caveat is that when "J.P." writes, "It gets better" and the like, I'd personally written, "It gets sadder."

==== Begin post from July 19, 2006 ====


Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2006  10:14 pm CT
Posted by: J.P. Calif.

You folks will love this!

On a recent cross-country flight, I had the (pleasure?) luck of sitting next to a older Federated executive who was heading back to the Midwest. I brought the subject of the merger and particularly Marshall Field's to him. With me being in retail development, at least we had something in common to chat about.

During the course of the flight and a few cocktails, what a treasure trove of info he spilled.

Since this gentleman has access on a regular basis to Mr. Lundgren, he said that in Mr. Lundgren's opinion, even thinking of keeping Field's was a waste of time, and that no matter what the numbers were or the shopper pols said, he had 'never even given serious thought' to doing it. He's playing a 'political game' to save face. (By now, I'm getting irritated)

This guy said that he thought that the (recently) revived Field's was a big waste of Target's money and time and should've been sold years ago to them. He also noted that he never liked the 'silly green logo' or all the green bag 'nonsense' that seemed to be such an 'stupid obsession' with the Chicagoans.

He also noted that Wall Street drove this deal, and Wall Street was 'on plan' to get the cost-savings benefits of the merger within two years, no matter what. He also mentioned, and we both agreed, that Mr. Lundgren will take home a pretty penny in compensation from having pushed this merger through. We both speculated that Mayor Daley probably got some kind of 'deal' or promise for campaign contributions to let this slide. (My quietly rising frustration builds....)

He noted that to Federated, the Marshall Field's "decision" was never really a "decision". It was always store location driven and that Field's stores are only going to sell merchandise consistant with Macy's brands. Forget Field Gear, the towels and sheets and the other brands. All that talk of special brands, events and promos would be only if they could make the proper (read: uber-profitable) partner deals, paid for by someone else. If not, then Chicago will 'at first get a bigger version of what they do in San Francisco'.

(Note: If any of you have been to the Union Square Macy's or the Men's store across Stckton Street, experienced the underwhelming sales help, the seriously vanilla merchandise selection and the complete lack of pizzaz, you should fear for the future, since SanFran is supposedly the 'showcase flagship' store that they are modeling State Street on!)

He actually laughed at all of the protest web sites and articles I noted. He said that the executives at Federated were laughing about how much free publicity this was giving them, and that after about one year or less, they believe they will have "a 95% or better" retention of thier original customer base. He said people will 'get used to it", and that "outside of the big cities, where the hell else are people going to shop...Elder Beerman or Dillard's?" (I'm not kidding you...I was totally shocked!, and even more p****d.)

The infuriating part was what he mentioned right after that, and he was on a third cocktail to boot.

I paraphrase here, but in our talks the intent was....Fine. Boycott the store. So we'll close down State Street in a few years and sell off the building. We'll make a mint on the landmark status for a residential or hotel conversion, and walk away from that location. 'Big deal' he said! He noted that the MBA geeks have already crunched the numbers for that scenario, and that it is an option for what can happen there. He also said that no matter how it plays out, it is likely that Federated is going to 'edit' the store down to about four or five floors anyway. "The goddam place is a figgin' mausoleum". He also noted that Federated already has a few offers from a few major restaurant chains to operate the Walnut Room and they will build a special elevator for just that floor in the meantime. He said Federated is studying ways to convert the property on the upper floors to something else. Most likely a hotel. He said, either way, they 'win'. Whatever that means.

It gets better.

I mentioned that this sounded very different than what has been publicly touted in the media, and that I and many others weren't

all that happy about the change. He slurringly mentioned that although he appreciated the feeling, this is reality. We 'own the damn store' and we're going to do what we want with them and how they are run. He said that they've been telling the sales floor employees to smile and push Macy's brands and the credit card or they will be letting even more people go. Especially if they don't sign up enough credit card customers! It appears that if a sales associate doesn't meet that quota, they get taken to a little 'school' to learn to push the cards and then they also get reprimanded. After some time, if things don't improve, they let that person go. This guy noted that the credit card makes more money than retailing! The irony of it all.

By this time, I'm actually fidgeting and angry, because I've kept my tongue. Towards the end of the flight to (ironically, Chicago) his tone softened a bit and said that he hopes to hell that this merger does work, because he has a lot of stock with them, and that he wants to retire soon. He said he has had it with all the 'Marshall Field's talk' and that he just wants to get this over with. He said that the rest of this merger was hard enough without having to worry about 'making the Field's customers happy too'.

By this time, I really had had it and I got the chance to say what I wanted to all along (In all honesty, this should be directed at Mr. Lundgren, but this guy will do in the meantime :{

Through almost clenched teeth I told him that he might've stood a far better chance of retiring at all if Federated had kept the damn name on the store, and that if they knew anything about Chicago, the loyalty of the Field's shopper or that Macy's is not what they think it is, then maybe he wouldn't be so worried. I noted that nontheless, I hope for his sake things work out, but I wouldn't be optimisitic, and that he should cash out now before s*** really hits the fan. (I was trying to be kind to the guy...he looked flustered)

He wasn't real happy by this time. I have tried to remember his name and I did ask for his business card, but alas he was 'out of them'.

Well, there you have it folks. Straight from an inside guy who I think personifies just what we all suspected. They not only don't care that they destroyed Marshall Field's, they really don't care if we show up at their 'grand opening' either. Like all good corporations, they have an exit strategy and will just move on to their next conquest should they fail.

So to everyone I say, vote with your dollars, and maybe we can all grieve together when they finally close the store down. At least then we can give Marshall Field's a proper funeral. Not the slow death by Federated that they are pushing on us.

Regards,

J.

==== End post from July 19, 2006 ====

Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010  3:59 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

As a shopper who wearies I would not appreciate having gotten to some remote corner and discovering I must hike all the way back to the center of the floor to go to the next one- especially if I had already walked a distance to get to what proved to be a wall. In the future I might just shop near the available escalators..........more reason to shut down more store. I only used elevators for long distance! (Past tense because I have not been in a store of more than 2 floors in years....) In fact, making my shopping experience difficult is a good reason for my not returning.

More importantly, are the stairs accessible and their locations evident? If case of fire, I shudder to think. Most of the stairways a long time ago were well-buried. Perhaps now their locations are more obvious. I hope so.


Date: Friday, December 3, 2010  4:50 pm CT
Posted by: Phil Eichler

Every now and then someone either from Macy's or associated with them talks about "right sizing" ( macysspeak: shrink ) 111 N. State Street. The most efficient and expensive would be to consolidate all the remaining departments to the lowest levels of the store, freeing up the upper floors to be put to other uses. In the current real estate market this makes no sense, there wouldn't be any tenants to rent the upper floors to offset the millions of dollars it would take to consolidate. The reason I bring this up is that I think the real reason the North Wabash escalators have been sealed off is this portion of the store is set to close. Look at the 8th floor: North Wabash had the Trend House (gone), Mike Bell Antiques (gone), French Heritage (gone), Ralph Lauren had been shuffled back there and Bloomies sells Ralph Lauren, so if it's not gone, it will be.

On 7, the entire Wabash side is private functions. On 6, North Wabash was high end crystal and gift; in fact, I could see almost all of 6 gone. Middle Wabash was fine china, sterling and table linens. What Macy's sells in these departments is more suited to the casual tabletop that was in the basement. The 6th floor bed and bath departments could easily be shrunk. I'm not familiar with 5, 4, 3. Does anyone know what was in the North Wabash rooms on these floors? On 2, North Wabash was suits, shoes, outerwear and Armani. All categories that aren't really Macy's forte. Hasn't Macy's already done this boarding up of departments to the former Kaufman's store? It would sure be cheaper not to light, staff and stock these areas and we know Macy's is all about cheap. Just a thought...


Date: Friday, December 3, 2010  3:32 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I just read Eric B's post about the Wabash escalators being "truncated." It reminded me that when I was looking through the store a couple of days ago, I heard a group of women practically cussing about "They shut down a whole walls of escalators! Where are people supposed to go down!" Apparently the group had gone up via one way and expected their familiar Wabash escalators to still be there. Yes, change is good, isn't it--it forces customers to think and figure out where to go next.

Date: Friday, December 3, 2010  3:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

All the posts and comments have been really amazing--and, of course, really sad as well. Thank you for your inspiration.

Will be passing out our bookmark flyers again this Saturday afternoon. Most definitely from 12:30 to 3:00 pm and very likely for an hour or two before and after.

Please note: Our leaflet (actually a bookmark-style flyer) has been tweaked a touch. The latest update of the leaflet is at:

http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/ffc12022010leaflet.pdf
Be sure to take a look at it. Your comments are welcomed.

If you can help distribute these flyers tomorrow (Saturday) under the clock, please email me at jjmckay((AT))FieldsFansChicago((DOT))org by 9;00 am in the morning. Alternatively, you can call (312) 662-8980 at any time including when we are out under the clock at State and Washington. ========= Last Saturday we kept pace with Friday's distribution, passing out about 360-375 flyers per hour under the great clock from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Only a two or three people were not receptive. I noticed fewer Macy's bags than the day before, Black Friday.

I decided I would take a look at what was going inside The Store. This means I put away any buttons and other references to Marshall Field's and observe incognito. I don't go up to people and ask if they like Marshall Field's better or anything like that when I am in the store.

I found a lot of people in the store. Not nearly as many people holding bags as I would have anticipated. I noticed the R.H. Macy and Co. script logos on the signage in the jewelry department and in the candy department as well. They seem to be really pushing this branding, especially right along side the Frangos. The R.H. Macy and Co. script logo was often on green backgrounds in the candy department. There were tables of Frangos placed near many of the points where one passes into the new atrium. The Frango demo booth was not working. The Walnut Room had a line of no more than three dozen. The tree looked a lot better and less ostentatious than what I had expected, based on reports here and in the newspapers. I thought the tree was pretty good. Not my favorite (2005 was my favorite), but much better than the multi-colored tree and then the red (Martha Stewart designed?) tree of recent years.

I didn't make it over to check out the obscured Wabash escalators, but I did check out the book table displays. Gayle Soucek's book seems to be selling pretty well. There were 14 and another 17 on two tables near the Walnut Room on 7 and four on the table in Barbara's Books on the lower level.

As I rode the atrium escalators up and the elevators down, I encountered three different conversations about people missing Marshall Field's. As I mentioned, I didn't identify myself as supporting the return of Field's in any way, but in all three cases, the parties were discussing how much they missed Field's. When I took the express elevator down from 7 with one group of shoppers, they all remarked amongst themselves that they thought there were fewer shoppers than when it was Field's. I was in the store less than 20 minutes and I thought it was fascinating that I would encounter three separate groups lamenting the loss of Field's.

I thought the store looked much more cluttered and less classy than when it was Field's, especially as I went up to higher floors. Strangely, it seemed more cluttered this time, along the lines of a MayCo department store, than previous times I had been in the store since the switch. The East and West walls of the new atrium have these new giant floor directories as you go up and down the escalators. It really reduced the elegance of the space and seemed more down market: sorta: "East in and out" rather than an experience you'd take in when it was Field's.

In closing, it seemed to be this average store that was no longer special. It could have been Carson's or JCPenney or something else; but it not a place so much like Field's.

I hope you will help pass out flyers or at least stop by and say "hi" on State Street tomorrow.


Date: Friday, December 3, 2010  12:00 pm CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Gayle Soucek has several more book signings coming up. Be sure to stop by and purchase some copies for holiday gift giving.

Appearances & Book Signings by Gayle Soucek for
Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago

  • Saturday, December 4
    11:00 am & 1:00 pm,
    Elgin Holiday Harvest Market,
    The Haight Building,
    166 Symphony Way,
    Elgin

  • Saturday, December 4
    4:00 pm,
    Borders Books,
    Evanston

  • Tuesday, December 14
    Noon
    Barbara's Books,
    Lower Level, Macy's On State Street,
    Marshall Field's Department Store Building
  • (Yes, you read that right, should be interesting.)
Gayle Soucek is also getting a lot of play for her book on radio and TV. Be sure to keep your eyes open for her interviews and appearances.

Date: Friday, December 3, 2010  10:00 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Responses to a few posts in the past few days:

* I think the R.H. Macy and Co. script logo is an attempt to appeal to nostalgia and emotionalism, I really do. Only thing is that Mr. Lundgren has told us that emotionalism is ridiculous and change is good.

* At Macy's flagship on 34th Street, they do keep wooden escalators, the first department store escalators, running to this day. They have their unique problems (any wood escalator can catch fire, for example), but they have kept them since people are nostalgic for them.

* At the former Abraham and Straus flagship in Brooklyn--converted to Macy's in the mid-1990s--the most notable feature is an elevator lobby that is consists of two curved banks placed face-to-face in plan. Like the Wabash escalators, Macy's has decommissioned one bank and placed retail booths in the former entrances of each elevator. Basically, you have half of this architectural masterpiece covered up. The rest of the store is a bit of hodge podge, although I believe it was where my grandmother used to shop.


Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010  8:31 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy

In several print ads and commercials, those wacky folks have started to refer to themselves as R. H. Macy and Company (done in a fancy script but not as nice as Fields script). Signs of a name change?

Trying to go for some class Macy's? You are going to have to work a lot harder.


Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010  2:05 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Leslie Goddard has a new book on Marshall Field's coming next spring or summer.

Can't wait!


Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010  1:05 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

If anyone is interested in statistics, I tried to note a few on State Street during Wednesday evening rush hour circa 5:30 p.m.

There did seem to be more people ambling through the first floor, and maybe even buying. The escalators were even fixed, though some were dirty.

I checked out Ms. Soucek's book,"Marshall Field's, the Store that Helped Build Chicago," which seemed to have just added a new shipment on Black Friday. No books were left at Barbara's bookstore on the lower level (there were 2 on Black Friday), 8 were left in the holiday ornament department on the 6th floor, 15 near the entrance to the Walnut Room, 10 in the Frango department coming out of the Walnut Room, 7 in the archives department on the 7th floor, and none left by the information desk on the 7th floor (next to a few white and green Marshall Field's T-shirts). On Black Friday there were about 20 copies per table on the 6th and 7th floors.

The Walnut Room looked about 2/3 full, but there were 5 empty tables by the tree and 3 of them were for large parties. There was no line. Several black-clad hostesses said hello to me as I walked by.

Two of the saddest-looking sales associates I ever saw were leaning on a counter in the Frango department outside the Walnut Room, waiting for someone to show. They were definitely not poster children for recent media coverage that Macy's is one of the best places to work.

Nobody was paying much attention to the letters to Santa tables or to the windows outside. There seemed to be fewer people on the first floor by the time I made my way back down the escalator, possibly with the rush-hour crowd gone. The color RED RED RED was what was most obvious.

That's the view from State Street on Wednesday evening, December 1.


Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010  9:14 am CT
Posted by: MikeA

November same store sales came out and Macy's did quite well, not as well as JCPenney, but a good consistent rise in sales.

Caron's parent Bon_Ton continues to struggle almost every month falling in the back of the pack in same store sales.

A comment on Jim's blog about the State Street Store being profitable in 2009. That is good, considering that according to inside sources when the store was Field's it barely made a profit or just barely broke even before the year 2005 which saw sales rise when May and FDS ran the store.

What I do not understand about Macy's, that in the year 2006,2007 when sales take a dive at State Street they institutred new shops, and put money into the store. Now that the store is priofitable once again why do they cut back and cost cut even more sucha s downsizing furniture and closing the Wabash escalators. Usually when a company or a part of a compamy is doing good, they could capitalize on that and try to expand or upgrade the business or that part of the business to increase sales.

Macy's needs to reinvest in State Street and not cut back especially if the store is making money.

Comment from Jim:
Macy's didn't say how profitable the store was--barely or otherwise. All these cuts: how will this sustain profits in the long term? If Field's did things like board escalators and reduced maintenance and staffing, would it have been as profitable--or even more so? I think a lot of the renovations and changes circa 2007 were simply implemented to obscure the Field's brand and other specialty shops that moved out when Macy's came in.


Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010  7:35 pm CT
Posted by: Billy H.

Dear Santa,

It's been quite a few years since I last wrote to you giving you my list of what I wanted for Christmas. I'm writing to you because I think you are the only one who can give so many people what they really miss and want. My family is depressed this Christmas because they cannot shop at Marshall Field's, and it makes me feel sad seeing them feel sad. I keep hearing that they want Marshall Field's store in Chicago back to the way it was. I won't ask for anything to you if you can bring back what my family neighbors and friends in Chicago want. I'm counting on you. Please help! OK??

Merry Christmas!
Billy


Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010  4:45 pm CT
Posted by: FieldFansChicago.org

Happy Chanukah!


Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010  2:39 pm CT
Posted by: Mike Dalke

Fellow Marshall Field's Enthusiasts:

I, too, lament the takeover of Marshall Field's by Macy's; I have yet to set foot into the State Street store. I know it's silly, but, I cannot bring myself to do so as there are too many great memories I have shared over the course of my life on State Street and feel those will be lost... at Macy's.

I grew up in Lakeview and Old Irving Park and fondly remember spending at least one day every Christmas shopping downtown at Field's. As a family, we would split up and do our respective Christmas shopping and eventually meet at the Walnut Room for dinner under "the tree". Afterward, as we left to board the "L", we would casually stroll and view the ornately decorated windows.

My mother had a showroom at the Merchandise Mart and I would visit it frequently. She would take me to lunch on the seventh floor of Field's at the Bowl and Basket. I can still taste the hand-carved roast beef and tureen of cheesy chowder soup!

Alas, the only constant in life is change. I suppose fate would have Field's change, as well. However, Macy's does a grave dis-service to us Chicagoans. Regardless of the name change, at the very least they could have kept some traditions in tact. Little do they understand that some things are bigger than business. You can "tweak" procedure to gain profitability, but wholesale change without regard for years of success is blatantly ignorant. It took Safeway years to understand the Midwest and Chicago market after they destroyed the business at Dominick's. Will aquiring companies ever learn?

After reading through your posts, I am not sure I want to visit the store ever again. I will always have my memories...

If anyone has the recipe for the Cheesy Chowder soup, can you please share it?

Waiting for Herrod's,

Mike


Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010  8:44 am CT
Posted by: Eric B.

Okay, so I joined the throngs making an annual pilgrimage downtown this past Black Friday, highlighted (lowlighted?) by my ritual stroll through The Store Formerly Known as Marshall Field's. It's not without apprehension that I revisit what used to be my favorite store on this planet. Since Macyfication began, whenever I enter this building I cringe at the prospect of finding changes that are invariably unexciting, uninspiring, or simply underwhelming if not loathsome.

Sure, this year's Holiday window displays were jarringly tight-budget disappointing. Sure, there was the ever-present array of tawdry merchandise. Sure, the aisles were crowded with customers who resembled refugees from a Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree. But what really took the cake was discovering that the only bank of escalators on the entire Wabash side of the store had been abruptly truncated above the 2nd floor. Yeah, I read about it in this blog first, but you have to actually go there in person to see just how they did it.

By "truncated"I don't mean boarded up; I mean totally, permanently, and irrevocably sealed off. New walls extending from floor to ceiling have been built. Oh, and these are by no means temporary wooden barricades. This is drywall-and-stud construction, completely encasing the escalators from the 2nd floor on up. Akin to watertight bulkheads, the new walls are painted blah white and seal off the area with nary a window, doorway, or vent. In fact, the edifice is so solid, there's no way to tell whether the old escalators still exist behind those walls or if they've already been dismantled. A memorial marker at the base of this crypt on the 2nd floor would seem fitting (how about an "Ode to the Heavenly Ascent of a Descended Marshall Field's Escalator?").

True, the newer atrium escalators rendered this tier of aging escalators more or less superfluous several years ago. An adjacent bank of elevators continues to provide access to the upper floors, including the old Narcissus Room (extensively remodeled and now reserved for private events) on the 7th floor. Unfortunately, the intrusive new walls have compromised the chandeliered foyer just outside the entrance of that venue. This foyer, which until recently was one of the more elegant spaces in the store (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/palmea/140817480/lightbox/), now exudes all the charm of a deep walk-in closet.

The old Westinghouse escalators were innovative in both technology and design. Field's installed several banks of these, together with modernized elevators, beginning in the early 1930s. Just look at this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sethgaines/3272946406/. The fluted aluminum paneling, brass accents, flowing curves, and indirect cove lighting typify the Streamline Moderne style inspired by "A Century of Progress." The "eyeball" light fixtures above the 7th and 8th floor escalator landings are the last remaining examples of these fixtures once common throughout the store.

Sadly, this sleek decorative style is now all but extinct in Chicago. The only other obvious example that comes to mind is the Museum of Science & Industry's interior, but this, too, has been extensively modified. By eliminating yet another stack of escalators emblazoned with bold brass Field family crests, Macy's has further defiled the architectural and historic character of the landmark at 111 N. State.

If Macy's intent was to mothball these escalators, they could have saved a ton of money by just stringing ropes and stanchions. But being familiar with their modus operandi, my educated guess is that this decommissioning is part of a plan to eventually convert the 9th (and possibly higher?) floors along with other retail space on the Wabash side to rental. To provide private access for rental tenants, Macy's could conceivably build a separate Wabash Ave. entrance leading to the currently mothballed bank of elevators in the southeast quadrant of the store.

It's heartbreaking to see Macy's continue to ruthlessly whittle away pieces of this grand old store. Shoppers who board the UP escalator on the Wabash side nowadays are greeted by a freestanding sign on the second floor landing. It points towards "additional escalators" in the atrium and boldly proclaims, "CHANGE IS GOOD." If that phrase sounds familiar, it's because Mayor Daley uttered those exact same words when asked to comment on the impending change from Marshall Field's to Macy's five years ago. Today, of course, we Field's Fans know precisely what sort of change would be best for Macy's.


Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010  8:26 am CT
Posted by: Longtime MF Shopper

Going along with Stephanie M's comment regarding Chicago mayoral candidates being asked their stands on the loss of Marshall Field's and what they would do to bring back Marshall Field's, here is an idea.

Let's send invitations to each candidate---Ms. Moseley-Braun, Mr. Emanuel, and the others inviting them to please join us in front of the Marshall Field & Company Building at 111 N. State as their schedules permit during this holiday period and weekly whenever possible...and certainly on next year's annual observance in September of the hostile takeover of Marshall Field's by macy*s.


Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2010  8:50 pm CT
Posted by: Chris M.

Would be great to have our Marshall Fields back. Won't set foot into Macy's.

Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2010  2:12 pm CT
Posted by: Gail S.

Plain and simple:

Marshall Field's was way better than Macy's.

If Macy's took a third of the money that they spent killing off Field's and used it to promote Field's instead, they'd have a brand doing much, much better than Macy's is doing at Field's.


Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2010  11:11 am CT
Posted by: Chyna F.

Please keep doing what you are doing.

The BBC slides show was excellent.


Date: Monday, November 29, 2010  9:43 pm CT
Posted by: Gayle

Macy's is definitely their own worst enemy.

I work for a large global corporation, and many of my coworkers think I'm a little crazy for caring so much about Field's. Today, one of the guys who has teased me mercilessly about Macy's vs. Field's walked up to my desk and said "You were right!"

Apparently, he and his wife decided to bring their kids downtown for a lovely afternoon of viewing the classic animated Christmas windows that they both remembered fondly from their childhood. Instead, they found seven sad little vignettes, complete with cling-film framing and lots of Macy's red. He ranted and raved for a full fifteen minutes about the "cheap, garish, tasteless, disappointing, insulting," etc, windows. His kids were totally disinterested after a quick glance, and he and his wife felt cheated.

He was so upset when he got home that he called his parents to reminisce about Field's at Christmas, and his parents agreed that Macy's isn't worth a second glance. He said to me "I understand now what you mean when you say it just isn't the same. It really isn't!"

regards,
gayle


Date: Monday, November 29, 2010  7:42 pm CT
Posted by: nick b.

Can we talk about Frango Mints?

After a long absence from Illinois, I was able to revive an old tradition- Going to Fields during Christmas time- ok, so it was Macy's this time. Of course, this (formerly)included Frango Mints. I went to the store on Saturday, and picked a pound for my family, and one for my office staff back in St Joseph, Mo. I had often told them how good the mints were. After my purchase, I couldn't wait so I opened the box, anticipating that soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, rich flavor, salty finish.... No such luck! It was like eating a brown Crayola! Sure, they were cheap, $10 per pound on sale, but come on! Charge me what you need to, just don't mess with my Frangos!

I'm not even going to take them to work. I'd be too embarrassed.

Is anyone else as disappointed with them as I?


Date: Monday, November 29, 2010  2:31 pm CT
Posted by: Donna A.

We pass through the store that was formerly the Great Marshall Field's on State Street every Black Friday weekend.

It looked horrible. we refused to buy a thing. Cluttered. Tacky. Too much red. And whats' with the R.H. Macy's candies replacing Frango?

Disgusting.


Date: Monday, November 29, 2010  1:02 pm CT
Posted by: Laura S.

Macy's has the Smurfs as their theme this year. Wasn't that like 20 years ago?


Date: Sunday, November 28, 2010  6:28 pm CT
Posted by: Michael D.

Terry Lundgren sounds like he is interviewing himself in Business Week; says former Marshall Field's stores are the best performing.
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_49/b4206104269455.htm?chan=magazine+channel_etc
No registration is required to leave a comment.

Date: Sunday, November 28, 2010  5:01 pm CT
Posted by: Anne P.

We miss Marshall Field and Company and how special it was.

Macy's is very common place.

It's unbelievable that they could get rid of something that everyone liked. On top of that, they are spending money to try to get people used to something they don't like. America has gone wrong. Macy's is an example of that.


Date: Sunday, November 28, 2010  4:33 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I checked out State Street after work on Black Friday about 5:00 p.m. Everyone seemed to be out for a night on the town. People were EVERYWHERE--Daley Plaza, in-and-out of Messy's and other stores, running up-and-down the streets. There were mobs of people. They did not seem to be stopping much to show any interest in the bland windows at Messy's. While there were more people going through the store, I also noticed a fresh shipment of our own Gayle Soucek's book, "Marshall Field's, the Store that Helped Build Chicago," as if it was waiting for them. I saw the books at Barbara's Bookstore on the lower level, in the holiday ornament department on the sixth floor, on a table by the entrance to the Walnut Room, in the Frango department outside the Walnut Room, in the archives room on the seventh floor, and by the information desk on the seventh floor. (Is that Santa or what?)

And thanks for the efforts of Field's Fans who were able to leaflet on State Street! The post was really encouraging to hear.


Date: Sunday, November 28, 2010  11:30 am CT
Posted by: Stephanie M.

I see that several candidates have already announced their intentions to run for mayor of Chicago. I think that each candidate should be asked in a pre-election questioning forum how they feel about the loss of Marshall Field's and what type of influence they would exert upon macy's Terry Lundgren for the return of Marshall Field's. After all, Marshall Field's is a historic, cultural icon of Chicago and was the #3 visitor destination of all of Chicago's tourism landmarks. May the candidate who promises most strongly to fight for Marshall Field's win!!

Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  10:33 pm CT
Posted by: Robert G.

We visited State Street today. It just wasn't the same as when it was Field's.


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  8:36 pm CT
Posted by: Cheryl F.

I miss Field's.


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  7:51 pm CT
Posted by: drew

The 30th annual "my macy*s" holiday parade???
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10331/1106642-100.stm
How generous of macy*s to have sponsored this parade for so many, many years. Most people probably didn't realize macy*s has been in Pittsburgh doing holiday parades and display windows for so long. I am so surprised that their downtown store still retains several brass plaques with the name of some other retailer--wonder if those will "magically" disappear sometime in the near future.

"Meet me under the macy*s clock" was somehow misstated by thousands of Pittsburghers over the years as another name was somehow associated with that landmark timepiece at the corner of Fifth and Smithfield.


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Mary

We miss Marshall Field's on State Street. Thank you for the bright green flyer today.

Macy's has never measured up to Marshall Field's. It's down market and a tragedy. This is all about corporate greed.


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  6:21 pm CT
Posted by: JOHN E. ILER JR

I USED TO REALLY ENJOY MARSHALL FIELDS.IT WAS ALWAYS A HIGHLIGHT OR ONE OF THEM ON MY TRIPS TO CHICAGO. I HOPE TO SEE POSITIVE CHANGE AND THIS ICON BACK. I HOPE TO PURCHASE BOOK BY GAYLE SOUCEK ON THE GREAT STORE IN TWO WEEKS WHEN IN CHI..I HOPE SOME OF THE MONEY GOES TO FUND YOUR RALLYS LITERATURE HANDOUTS ETC. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK !

Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: Nick bingham

Frango mints? Can we talk?

I had been bragging for years to my kids about how good frango mints were. So this year i finally get up here and bought some. It was like eating a brown crayola!

Gone is the smooth texture, gone is the subtly salty taste.

pitiful.


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  12:22 pm CT
Posted by: mike a

I was at Macy's yesterday three different stores, Oakbrook, Woodfield and State Street. Both oakbrook and Woodfield were crowded in the early Am hours,4-6 AM. State Street too was crowded after 5;00PM. One thing I noticed was alot more people with macy bags than in previous years on Black friday at State Street.

Also I went to two Carson's and a Sears. Carson's seems to have downgraded so much. Their Holiday Lane departemnt is almost like JCPenney, and their clothing in men's is below Macy's and simiiar to JCPenney and Kohl's. I did not go to the high ensd stores Neiman's and Bloomingdale's, Saks.

Macy's seems to have a new customer. They have customers that were once Cartson's, JCPenney, Kohl's etc whereas Field's tended to have the Carson's, higher end nordstrom customer. True there are much more JCPenney, Kohl's customers out there than Nordstrom.

The Walnust room was busy so busy the wine bar at 5;30Pm had no place to sit. It still makes no sense why Macy's shut down the Wabash escalators before Christmas. True most people did ride the atrium escalators or the North State. It still looks tacky and in bad taste that they could not have preserved them. If sales at State Street are doing so good, then why not reinvest some money into the store. I know that is the Macy way look at how tired Herald Square is. However State Stret is not Herald Square and should be the crown jewel of deaprtment stores. Yes the inside decorations are great, better than Field's old tired gold archways they had for 20 years. The windows are poor and that is a reflection of the Creative director from NY. The paper mache windows look horrible, and I hope they are not returned mext year. It would be nice if each downtown Macy's that has Christmas windows be allowed to create their own, at least State Street and San Francisco instead of using the same windows pretty much in each downtown store. There shouold be allowed some localization and that is what I thought the My Macy's program was supposed to do. State Street has buyers merchandisers it is a regional store and should be allowed it own craetivity to the national Christmas Theme.

Mike A has worked for a company that has remodeled Macy's stores in the Chicago area.


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

In response to Vera's post;

When I attended the Macy's shareholders meeting in Cincinnati last May, Macy's CEO/Chairman/President Terry Lundgren presented a slide saying, among other accomplishments, the Walnut Room had served more than it ever had since such number had started being kept. That could be very impressive, but he didn't say when the numbers started being kept. Was that going back decades, since Macy's/Federated took over, or 2007 or...?

I understand the State Street store is profitable--but at what expense to quality, service and maintenance? Is that really sustainable in the long term?


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  11:53 am CT
Posted by: Vera B.

On a television newscast a reporter stated that 4,000 meals had been served in the Walnut Room. I was waiting for the reporter to tell "since when"?---2006 when macy*s took over, during the past month or what? If macy*s had furnished the "facts", it led me to believe macy*s purposely tried to mislead by allowing us to think it was since Thanksgiving week had begun. (I replayed my VCR tape, and sure enough, the reporter merely said that "4,000 meals had been served"...period!)

Regardless, the point is that for every 4,000 meals being served in macy*s Walnut Room, the number would have been most likely at least 10,000 in MARSHALL FIELD'S Walnut Room. macy*s has further demonstrated its blunder, by being satisfied with numbers much less than the full potential during the Marshall Field's years. I always thought CEOs should be saisfied with only the very top possible numbers...and nothing less! Not so, with the President, Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren.


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  9:32 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Huge regards to all who helped make leafleting on State Street for Black Friday a huge success yesterday. Out for a few hours in the afternoon, we averaged about 370 leaflets distributed per hour.

A few things stood out as interesting.

First, there seemed to be more shoppers out on State Street compared to last year; but not nearly as many shoppers as on Black Friday 2006 and 2007. In 2006 and 2007, State Street was so busy that I remember being almost crushed by the crowds against the "Marshall Field and Company" plaques. This seemed more like a typical busy Friday lunch hour out on The Street.

Second, I was struck by how many people sought me out to obtain a leaflet. They turned around and came walking back 50 or 100 feet or more. Other times, I stopped briefly to tie my shoe and when I stood up, people were waiting for leaflets. Still others snuck up behind me and asked for leaflets.

Thirdly, I heard many--countless--negative comments about the windows. In the past, such comments were uttered by those receiving a bookmark leaflet. This year most such comments were overheard by folks talking amongst themselves.

A slightly different pitch is being tried this year--check out our new flyer design at:

http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/ffc112410leaflet.pdf
Leaflets will be distributed in front of the store again today from mid-morning to mid-afternoon under the Great Clock at State and Washington.

Best regards and many thanks for your support.

Jim


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  8:53 am CT
Posted by: C.H.

Thank you for the button. I wear it everywhere!!


Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  8:41 am CT
Posted by: drew

For many years Kaufmann's sponsored the holiday parade festivities in downtown Pittsburgh. The parade was called CELEBRATE THE SEASON in recognition of all the holidays celebrated by various people in the region.

This year the celebration has been renamed "my macy*s Holiday Parade."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10331/1106514-53.stm
What a tasteless, no-class organization. What was traditionally a "gift to the community" has become another Red Star self-promotion. Rather than a goodwill gesture, the Red Star has turned a holiday tradition into another advertising venue. With all the "infomercial" news stories and the Lundgrinch media appearances, the Red Star seems to be diligently working to make itself relevant to shoppers.

Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010  12:02 am CT
Posted by: drew

The Market Watch picture of the State Street windows screams "CHEAP!!! TACKY!!! Discount store!!!" If there had not been a caption and the picture had been cropped, nobody would have guessed these were what the Red Star is trying to pass off as "holiday windows." The windows are hardly worth a passing glance, and certainly NOT worth the trouble to come downtown to view.

As with the Sun-Times article, the question I have posed previously: how does the Red Star get newspapers to hype their wonderful store, exciting merchandise, fabulous values and devoted shoppers? This ISN'T news; it's free publicity for the Red Star, trying to convince us that all is just grand and shoppers are so grateful for the chance to shop at real "Noo Yawk" store with all its exclusive, high falutin', big city goods! Yee haw! Don't you all love the big plexiglass signs with a picture of "the world's largest store" displayed in all the Red Star outlets?

No doubt Terry is such a media star that "The View" just had to get him to appear. He has shown us the way and "re-educated" us to follow the Red Star. So many generations of merchants and shoppers had it all wrong; we needed Terry to show us the error of regionalism and the omnipotence of all things New York City.


Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  9:13 pm CT
Posted by: From Indiana

It's just not the same since it became Macy's. Bring back Marshall field and Company!


Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  8:12 pm CT
Posted by: Michelle T.

Macy's windows tell the story of the incredible shrinking Christmas windows.

Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  8:06 pm CT
Posted by: Kurt Gerhardt

Keep the Walnut Room Christmas Tree in mind this Holiday Season!

Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  5:44 pm CT
Posted by: Ellie J.

For those of you who missed Terry Lundgren's performance on THE VIEW today, here is the link by which to view it:

http://theview.abc.go.com/recap/friday-november-26-2010

Please note that there is a COMMENT block as well but you have to be a registered user.

P.S. I've been noticing more and more people carrying Marshall Field's green shopping bags around town for the "Day After Thanksgiving" sales. They certainly send a poignant remembrance, yet proactive uplifting message for the return of Marshall Field's to its rightful place.


Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  5:03 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Marketwatch story includes shot of the windows on State Street. Contrast these windows with when they had real evergreen boughs around the windows instead of wraps.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retailers-hope-black-friday-brings-holiday-cheer-2010-11-26
Sandra Guy and the Sun-Times writes a story about Black Friday but it's mostly hype about Macy's. 4,000 meals at the Walnut Room--how does that compare with when it was Field's??? There is a place to leave comments.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2924504,black-friday-chicago-shopping-112610.article

Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  11:32 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

We have a new bookmark flyer for the 2010 Holiday Season. Instructions for printing can be found at:
http://www.FieldsFansChicago.org/leaflets.html
A PDF of the book mark flyer can be viewed at:
http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/ffc112410leaflet.pdf
Thank you for your support!

Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  10:32 am CT
Posted by: JasonMChicago

The View just had a long plug for Macy's. Terry was on there with a bunch of PR nonsense!

Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  10:31 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Just saw Terry Lundgren, Macy's head, on The View. This guy is working all the media outlets like he thinks he's a rock star. Either he's narcissistic or he's in trouble, trying to put up a nice front. I don't know any other Retail chain head who has to be on TV and talking about his/herself so much.

Date: Friday, November 26, 2010  6:10 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I can't help but go back once in a while to that image of the hah-Great Tree just because it is so hard to believe. Talk about "Believe"!! That one, I can't. Maybe it is just the tip of the proper tree. And then there are the kling-on greens in the windows.... Good enough for who it's for.

M is for Mediocre. Macyocre? Outside of picking off pieces of the Tiffany ceiling to give away I can't think of any way they can sink the Field's heritage any lower than what they have done to the Christmas spirit at Field's, the crown jewel of the Field's year. I think the word for that is "contempt." They have given us stones for loaves- that's one more way they have adapted the store to its regional preferences, right? Thanks a lot, Macy's. M---y -----mas to you too.


Date: Thursday, November 25, 2010  9:30 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

We'll be out under the clock at State and Washington tomorrow and Saturday afternoons distributing leaflets, newly revamped for the 2010 holiday season.

If you can join us, please drop me a line at jjmckay((AT))FieldsFansChicago((DOT))org by 9:00 am in the morning of the day that you would like to assist.

As always, donations to help pay for leaflets and buttons are very much needed. If you can donate, please send via PayPal to Donate AT FieldsFansChicago DOT org or contact me at jjmckay AT FieldsFansChicago DOT org. Thank you for helping us to continue our quest to bring back Marshall Field's.


Date: Thursday, November 25, 2010  1:45 pm CT
Posted by: Susan F.

Much of what people liked about Marshall Field's "will remain the same" according to this article back in 2005. How did Terry Lundgren define "much"? As it has turned out, he has told the biggest "untruth" in retail history because NOTHING has remained the same at 111 N. State Street. Terry Lundgren, CEO/President/Chairman of macy's has defiantly and purposefully destroyed anything and everything that was "Marshall Field's."

http://chicagoist.com/2005/09/20/fields_to_become_macys_in_fall_2006.php

Date: Thursday, November 25, 2010  9:45 am CT
Posted by: Mike R.

What is Macy's thinking? The Thanksgiving parade is totally void of Christmas music. We might as well be watching a variety show. I "BELIEVE" that the "MAGIC OF MACY"S" is fading quickly.

Date: Thursday, November 25, 2010  8:20 am CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Consumer Reports just releases their list of "Naughty or Nice" retailers.

Guess who is on the NAUGHTY list.

You are right. MACY'S!

Take it away Consumer Reports:

"Macy's. Proving that high shipping fees are not necessarily a thing of the past, the department store chain calculates its freight charges on the dollar amount of the order, not the size and weight of the package. The base fee is $5.95 for orders under $25, to as much as $23.95 for those $300 or more. And that's standard delivery."
Yet another reason - if you acutally need one - to shop anywhere but Macy's.


Date: Thursday, November 25, 2010  1 CT
Posted by: Field'sFans

Blessed Thanksgiving to all!


Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2010  12:28 am CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi Field's Fans!

Here's a lovely story! Park Forest is handing out bricks from the former Marshall Field's store. Though it's terribly sad that a Field's store is gone, at least we find recognition of what Field's meant to people.

http://www.southtownstar.com/news/2915938,112310field_sbricks.article

Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2010  10:17 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Consumer Reports cites Macy's as being "naughty" for charging for shipping by the amount purchased rather than by weight.

On the bright side, Consumer Reports notes that Costco has an open-ended, no time limit return policy on most items. Who says Field's policies can't be successful in today's world?


Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2010  9:58 am CT
Posted by: drew

The Red Star makes CONSUMER REPORTS list of "Naughty" businesses:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_710531.html

Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2010  9:47 am CT
Posted by: drew

How does the Red Star get the papers to run these obvious PR pieces as "news"?

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10327/1105344-51.stm

Personally I think the windows are cheaply done and resemble and elementary school art project. Certainly NOT worth the trip downtown. Anyway we can all be so grateful that the Red Star has saved the traditional American department store from extinction!


Date: Monday, November 22, 2010  3:12 pm CT
Posted by: John A.

I saw the poll about Macy's employees being second happiest in the Chicago metro area.

I don't believe it.

I worked for Field's for 13 years. It was the proudest job I ever had. I left and many others did too after Macy's took over. A whole different attitude with Macy's. Field's certainly wasn't a saintly company, especially in the past decade or so. But Macy's was a whole new low.

I remain skeptical that we will see Marshall Field's return to the stores, but it speaks volumes when customers continue to be so passionate.


Date: Sunday, November 21, 2010  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: Steve & Mary B.

I wear a Marshall Field's pin and people approach me and ask about them and wonder where they can get them.

People as SO interested in getting the Fields name back and I want to support you as much as I can.


Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: Rory K.

Haven't visited this site for while.

Walked by the Christmas store windows on State Street today. They were awful.

Macy's doesn't seem to care much. Penny wise, pound foolish.


Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010  3:00 am CT
Posted by: Bill D.

I support the cause to bring back Marshall Field's and Company. Macy's is so wrong.


Date: Friday, November 19, 2010  1:39 pm CT
Posted by: Maura

Oh my Virginia will Marshall Fields ever return?

Just walked by Marshall Field's State at lunch. Here to report the same tired once golden trumpets are adoring the store YET AGAIN this year. The windows are in one word pathetic. All five or so of them tell the story of Virginia's letter to Santa Claus. They are no longer full windows but little boxes within the window. Forget about any grand finale corner window displays. There is little animation and practically all of the magic of the story and the historical windows was absent.

I did walk in the store. The Great tree is still there and the Walnut Room seemed to being doing a pretty good business. The Great Tree viewing on the 8th floor is very sad. Fields used to have one of the best in the nation furniture floors. It has been dissemated. Further the store is in general disrepair. For example, the wood floors are scuffed to the point of being barren of any gloss near the escalators.

Macy's must go. I would never want the name of Marshall Field's on that store in the state that it is in. It is an abomination!!!! Now I absolutely want Macy's to go under and a group of investors to buy back the State Stree Store and revitalize it. There is no hope of that under the black flag of Macy's.


Date: Friday, November 19, 2010  12:19 pm CT
Posted by: Mikea

I think it is hard to compare two buildings Macy's on State Street with Bloomingdale's on Michigan Avenue. They are both about 65 years in age apart. The Bloomingdale's store does not have the maintenance and infrastructure problems that State Street does. A better comparison would be to compare the MAcy's at Water Tower with Bloomingdale's on North Michigan . Both stores are only about 12 years apart in age and both are about similiar size. Macy's on State can be compared to Herald Square. Herald Square is in bad shape both in infrastructure and in some departments. In fact they have had small fires in the store due to the age of its infrastructure. Macy's has said they are planning a total remomdeling of Herald Square starting with the infrastructure.

State Street has had some problems mainly the boarding up of the Wabash escalators which was inexcusable. They Macy's penny pitch the stores especially the large ones. Herald Square has had boarding up elevators on the Broadway side for many years. A store that size has only 10 passenger elevators which is unbelievable and 7 are in the 7th Avenue building leave 3 for the large Broadway building and they serve only 4 floors. Herald Square is a prime example of penny pinching in infrastructure.

Macy's needs to turn State Street into a destination store more than they have and use the Field's name somewhere in the store.

The windows this yer are bad, the paper mache looks like kids in grammer school designed them and the lack of animation is terrible. However that is due to the Macy's NY creative director that used the same theme for all the stores windows throughout the country. Hopefully next year he will learn what a mistake he made this year from previous years of great windows.

[ Comment from the webmaster:,
I agree with most all of your observations. It did seem like five windows to me as well; but, in fact, there are seven.]


Date: Friday, November 19, 2010  9:38 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Regarding "...Macy's announced in a Sun-Times interview with Frank Guzetta that they were no longer courting Marshall Field's customers" -- I had not seen that before. Why all the silliness about "my Macy's" and regionalism and prattling about the name change not being a character change, when they have deliberately dismissed an established loyal GLOBAL clientele? How dumb is that? Did they REALLY think they would increase revenues by enticing ex-Wieboldt's and Walmart customers to flock downtown to experience the mundane? (budget classy mundane is it?)

I think the only thing that will help "Field's" is a shift of tectonic plates at Macy's. Their goal is what you see. It is working and they are happy. Some entity swanning in to save the day for them is not what they have in mind. They need to have a major mission change, probably prompted by an unwhitewashable financial failure, to let go of this plan to debase 111 N. State.

Several years ago there was a TV program presenting behind-the-scenes at Macy's in which they gave their horrified Christmas decorating staff the last-minute assignment of doing the newly-acquired Field's windows. What arrived in Chicago was an offhand, quickly assembled pastiche. The next year made no difference apparently- the full year's lead time did not help; it has slid downhill further each season. Clearly little interest exists and it makes me wonder about what kind of 'staff' exists on site. If any. Maybe that was an ambitious waitress on the stepladder.

The Maine Antique Digest just published an article reporting ways in which major museums have coped with the recession, with the comment that the Field Museum has experienced a 10% decline in ticket sales, as tourism is down in Chicago. Maybe the lack of Field's has something to do with that!

It still blows my mind that anyone gaining possession of a golden goose will pluck its feathers and starve it. It's not like they have a spare. I guess that goose bugged them all these years and they finally got their revenge. Either that, or they can't tell one bird from another and should get out of the poultry business. (I guess that is why they all got named "Macy.")


Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010  8:51 pm CT
Posted by: Rich

Hi All

Hope all is well

I MISS Field's more than ever again -- Christmas shopping used to be such a treat and so much fun -- Field's had everything and always made me feel like a king (ANYTIME I shopped there, and Christmas too) and everything was shipped-- if necessary -- with boxes --and the gifts were so unique and of such fine quality ----

It is more true than ever --

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

I Think I posted this -- a few months ago -- in August I was returning on a trip and had to use an old Field's shopping bag for a small amount of overflow from my suitcase -- I really hated using the bag but it fared well in the trip ---- and I had a dozen people remark on the bag -- several begging me to tell them that Field's was back ---I met a lady in the gate area who also used to live in Chicago and we talked of Field's while waiting and agreed that the Oakbrook store was the most beautiful branch store of any store

Thank You so much for posting the 2010 Christmas tree that macys has placed into their "walnut room" -- this would have never been acceptable in the past but this is what I expect from macys -- I am just glad that they are putting up a tree at all --I am CERTAIN that they could care less. Disgraceful.

Harrods is now owned by a wealthy (semi-royal?) family from Qatar and they bought Harrods because it was a good investment and they understood the destination and tradition that Harrods IS. If they allowed the same people to run Field's then it would be as great as ever. We can only hope!

Happy Thanksgiving

To The Once and Future Marshall Field's!


Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010  8:26 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Here;s a link to a news article about the Red Star's downtown Pittsburgh holiday windows:
http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_709898.html
Doesn't seem like the windows will be anything especially "exciting," much like the uninspired merchandise offerings at the Red Star.

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010  1:28 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fans

If you weren't able to meet Gayle Soucek and purchase her excellent new book, Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago, you can do so this Saturday, November 20 at 3:00 pm at the bookstore of the Chicago History Museum. PLEASE NOTE: According to the front desk at the CHM, you do not need to pay admission to the museum to enter the bookstore and attend the book signing.


Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010  1:20 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I took a look at the Christmas windows on State Street about a week ago. I also found them very lacking. I understand they are trying to keep expenses down so they can say that the store is profitable, but the quality of the store windows is down a notch from last year and down several compared to years before, let alone when it was Marshall Field's. I agree with whomever said that it looks like they are trying to phase out the windows. It used to be the windows were worth a special trip. I don't think so. Contrary to Macy's slogan and the spirit of their excellent family TV special, the windows totally lack "magic." It appears to me that Herald Square has much better windows.

In the past few days, The Wall Street Journal's website presented a video on this years' windows at Macy's 34th Street flagship. The theme and storyline was similar, but based on the video, it appears there is a lot more animation and attention to the windows at 34th/Herald Square.

But back to State Street, I think the windows would have been better if they simply left off the evergreen bough "decals" that frame each of the windows. Now they used to have real boughs and even in to the first year as Macy's, they even had real drapes before the unveiling. As it is today, the windows would have looked better without.

You may need to be a paid subscriber to the WSJ to view the following video, but you can also get a WSJ.com pass when you view on your laptop at a Starbucks location with Wi-Fi.

http://online.wsj.com/video/macys-brings-theater-and-tech-to-holiday-windows/95B63AD1-A326-41B2-9CFD-FDF5AB9E1857.html

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010  1:06 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Steve G's post from 4:30 pm yesterday does a good job of summing up what's going on at the former Marshall Field's stores, especially in the Chicago area. Special thanks to Steve G for his professional perspective. To a different "Steve," whom I sense posted from the vicinity of Macy's H.Q., our survey is a prelimary survey but it was conducted honestly and under respectable standards. As always, anyone from Macy's or the media have been invited and are still welcome to observe our process. I'd be willing to hold a survey demonstration. No one has taken us up on the offer.

Time and time again, I've made the case (as have others) that the highest and best use of the State Street store could be a very special store from the parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Aside from the points Steve G. makes, the other issue from the perspective Macy's, Inc. (formerly Federated) seems to be that Marshall Field's was one of Bloomingdale's biggest competitors. Running State Street as Marshall Field's may not help their Bloomingdale's brand. Back circa December 2006/January 2007, we even received a post from a confirmed party in the "Macy's North" offices in Minneapolis saying indeed, that was part of a tug of war. This was before November 2007 when Macy's announced in a Sun-Times interview with Frank Guzetta that they were no longer courting Marshall Field's customers. Yes, despite all their claims that switching from Marshall Field's to Macy's was just a name change, the fact is they officially stopped courting Marshall Field's customers three years ago.

But really, State Street should again be that destination store like Harrod's, KaDaWee, Selfridge's main store, etc. Macy's could even put in the fine print of their Macy's ads that items are also available at their Marshall Field's store. That would be it's highest and best use. Aside from customers, it would actually benefit Macy's, Inc.! Macy's talks about customizing their stores to local tastes--Field's at State Street would be the logical and ultimate realization of that strategy. They could even expand this concept to other historic locations such as the Wannamaker's flagship in Philly. While I'm not personally keen on it, it might work if they label it as "Marshall Field's" with "A Macy's Store" in small print. Hilton deftly pulls this off in Chicago at the Palmer House and the Drake. These are Hilton Hotels but but they are successfully operated and managed in their own special manner, while utilizing the best common resources of the Hilton Hotel chain. Nieman-Marcus successfully pulls this off with its single Bergdorf Goodman flagship in NYC.

Someone recently wrote to me contrasting their experiences at Macy's NYC flagship on 34th Street and Bloomingdale's NYC flagship near 59th and Lex. Macy's 34th is a worn, middle-market tourist trap that is not well maintained and is very worn. In contrast, Bloomoingdale's flagship is a gorgeous and well-maintained architectural peer of 111 North State Street when it was Marshall FIeld's flagship.

As long-time readers have likely noticed, there are many complaints about the bathroom, escalator and elevator maintenance in the former Marshall Field's location, most notably State Street. I see similar things when I travel and visit Macy's stores elsewhere such as the former A & S flagship in Brooklyn, the former Jordan Marsh flagship in Boston and even Macy's Herald Square flagship. I contrast this with Bloomingdale's Michigan Avenue and Wabash home store. These stores are immaculate including the bathrooms. And escalators and elevators are in great shape. It is very possible to run State Street with the same cleanliness and maintenance standards as Bloomingdale's.

As I expressed to Mr. Lundgren at the share holders meeting in Cincinnati last May, Macy's, Inc. has the resources of both Macy's and Bloomingdale's. If he and his team are as talented as they say they are, they can pull off Marshall Field's at State Street. The fact that they don't suggests that they are deficient. Macy's 34th Street flagship is run relatively independently of the rest of the Macy's in the NYC area. I am not certain if that is the case with Bloomingdale's flagship, but the idea that 111 North Street could be run as special store that utilizes the best of both chains is entirely possible.

While some--including someone who posted a few days ago below as Mike--say running 111 North State as Field's would hurt the pair of Bloomingdale's a mile north, let's not forget that Field's and now Macy's on State and at Water Tower coexisted quite well.

As you have read below, according to last Sunday's Tribune, there is a high vacancy rate on State Street at the former Carson's and in Block 37. No doubt that climate is what in part has been holding up Macy's further reducing the number of floors and renting out the upper floors. They have already done this at the likes of the former Famous-Barr and Dayton's flagships in St. Louis and Minneapolis, respectively. However, 111 North State as Marshall Field's would restore lost boutiques and brands--and even bring in new ones--that could again fill up empty floor space. When 111 N. State is run as Field's, it is at it's most attractive and valuable as a local, national and international destination.

Through all of this, Lundgren has the opportunity to make Chicago shoppers and tourists truly happy. By doing so, he could restore much good will among the hearts of Chicago and the world, as well as good will in terms of Macy's, Inc.'s value.


Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010  9:00 am CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I went through the store that is supposed to be Marshall Field's at evening rush hour yesterday, to check on "Marshall Field's, the Store that Helped Build Chicago," by our own Gayle Soucek. There were 8 copies left on a book table in the Frango department just where you come out from the Walnut Room, and 2 in the archives room near the cash register. I didn't count them last week, but know there were more. Get them while they're hot. I bought another one to give someone for Christmas.

Attendance in the Walnut Room looked like every other table (or less) under the melting-ice-hunk theme of a tree with its pointy statue-of-liberty-hat star. There were 2 people in line.

The only people at the Virginia letters to Santa tables were either resting or texting on their little gadgets.

Nobody was gathered around the windows on State Street. The extensive reading material on the displays was difficult to see now that it gets dark early. The displays themselves aren't flashy enough to attract much attention. The anchor windows on State and Washington and State and Randolph simply have merchandise backed by lots of RED.

That's the view from State Street Wednesday, November 17, 2010 circa 5:30 p.m.


Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: Steve G.

As an employee of a large corporation for many years, I am not a stranger to employee satisfaction surveys. Depending on where you were located and who your manager was, survey results could either be farily accurate or totally skewed to the positive. In most instances associate employees were strongly of the opinion that positive results had to be given in order to get a decent raise or possibly a bonus. Managers often enforced this opinion either directly or indirectly. I am not saying Macy's did anything of the such (pressing employees to give positive results) but my own experience as well as those of several friends who have participated in satisfaction surveys, all agree that "giving positive reponses" in as many catagories as possible was the only way to go.

Regarding Macy's.....It has been a few years now since the takeover of Marshall Fields, and as each year passed it became clearer and clearer that Macy's did not want, or care to keep former Fields customers. It made a lot of lip service saying all the right things about keeping Fields traditions, quality etc., but they slowly went down the road they wanted to go from the start. "Affordable Luxury" i.e., private labels, celebrity labels etc., all manufactured utilizing the least expensive strategic sourcing they could find could not measure up to the quality of the former Fields merchandise; and that quality was at basically any price point Fields had. One former poster on this site said it very succinctly..."that Fields was good, but was happy Macy's was cheaper". I received a gift of 2 Alfani shirts from family in Detroit purchased at Macy's. The collars of both shirts frayed at the seams after a couple of washings. Compare that to Field Gear that is still being worn by both myself and my wife that looks like new; several items going on 15+ years old! Yes, Fields was good, and Macy's is cheaper! In the end however, you get what you pay for. It's obvious Macy's is out for a different shopping demographic; and thats not a bad thing. It's just that Marshall Fields was just SO much better on SO many levels, and at the same time attracted a very wide variety of shoppers.

On a totally separate note again....God I miss Christmas shopping at Marshall Fields on State Street! I use to quickly scout out the store for a day or two, then go back and purchase every gift I needed for family and friends in ONE very pleasant shopping experience! For me, it was enormous fun!


Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010  3:35 pm CT
Posted by: JAMES G. S.

MARSHALL fIELD'S (MARSHALL FIELD & CO AT THE TIME) WAS A PART OF MY EARY CHILDHOOD AND INTO MY ADULTHOOD. MY GRANDFATHER STARTED WORKING AT MARSHALL FIELD & CO. IN 1899 AND KNEW MR. FIELD IN HIS LIFETIME. IT WAS AT FIELD'S THAT I LEARNED ABOUT IT'S EMPLOYEES AND HOW WELL TRAINED IN THEIR SPECIFIC DISCIPLINES THEY WERE IN ADDITION TO THIER TRAINING IN PEOPLE SKILLS. I ALSO LEARNED MANY OF MY SOCIAL GRACES IN BOTH THE WALNUT ROOM AND THE NOW CLOSED NARCISSUS ROOM WHERE IT WAS MY LAST EXPOSURE TO FINGER BOWLS AFTER LUNCH. MY FAMILY HAD THE SAME SERVER FOR OVER 30 YEARS IN THAT ROOM. THESE ARE ONLY A FEW EXAMPLES OF WHAT MADE THIS ESTABLISHMENT STAND OUT ABOVE ALL OTHERS.

MANY THINGS HAVE CHANGED DURING MY OWN LIFETIME, SOME FOR THE GOOD AND SOME FOR THE NOT SO GOOD. THE CHANGES IN FIELD'S, NOW MACY'S, IS NOT ONLY A LOSS TO CHICAGO AND IT'S HISTORY, BUT A LOSS TO MACY'S AS WELL. SOMETIMES WELL EDUCATED BUSINESS INDIVIDUALS LOSE SIGHT OF EMPLOYING COMMON SENSE INTO THEIR MARKETING STATAGIES. IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN ONE GENERATION FOR NOT ONLY CHICAGO, BUT FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD, TO ADJUST TO THE LOSS OF MARSHALL FIELD'S AND WHAT IT REPRESENTED FOR OVER 100 YEARS.


Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010  1:41 pm CT
Posted by: Joe S, Denmark

Well it's shocking. I can't believe it's gone and should be brought back forthwith!

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010  8:11 am CT
Posted by: Erin C.

I want Marshall Field's, not Macy's!!!!!!

Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010  11:50 pm CT
Posted by: Steve

[Steve:

Please respond privately or here with a legitimate email address.

Thank you. ]


Date: Monday, November 15, 2010  6:45 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Regarding the Tribune special work place supplement, the company that did this on behalf of the Trib is very reputable.

However, as "gle" notes in the link, the nominating process bascially means the company can nominate themselves. And they are up front about this.. Fact is, aside from a few like the 17-year vet from Old Orchard, many of the former Field's employees are gone. If I was still working there, I would say rosy things if I wanted to keep my job. Who wouldn't?


Date: Monday, November 15, 2010  5:12 pm CT
Posted by: Steve A

The Christmas windows on State Street are an embarrassment.

The figures look like they used Stewie Griffin Halloween masks with a wig for Virginia.

The evergreen boughs around the windows have been replaced with printed window clingys.

I think they hired the same people who did the Clorox wipes windows a couple of years ago.

Don't even bother bringing your kids down. I think Macy's is purposely trying to kill off the windows like Carson's did a few years ago.


Date: Monday, November 15, 2010  6:03 pm CT
Posted by: name and phone number withheld--webmaster will pass along all queries

regarding the tribune story on macy's employees. most all field's employees are gone. yes, there are a few left, but they are holding on for dear life.

i last sold furniture at oak brook in my last position. may co. was miserable. i survived the macy's conquest. like so many field's employees, I couldn't take the macy's mentality so i retired. terry lundgren killed any vestiges of field's. it can never come back. it is very sad.


Date: Monday, November 15, 2010  2:27 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Here is followup to my previous post about Messy's receving a gold star for employee morale. The "Tribune" did a survey asking employees to nominate their companies as top places to work in Chicago. Messy's came in second. The survey methodology is explained below, but one wonders who actually did the nominating. The results just don't ring true considering how often people see employees just standing around hoping for a customer, and employee comments I have actually heard that do not reflect employee morale.

"How the survey was conducted" November 15, 2010
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/topworkplaces/ct-biz-1115-top-methodology-20101115,0,1178218.story

The entire story is at the following link:

"Chicago's top workplaces 2010"
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/topworkplaces/


Date: Monday, November 15, 2010  1:10 pm CT
Posted by: MikeA

A interesting article in today's Tribune. Macy's was ranked by their employees as the second best company to work for in Chicago. It seems according to this outside company that conducted the survey of the employees that the My Macy's program has enabled the associates to be heard and management now treats them as equals and not peons or dirt. This is also what I have heard from associates at State Street. The old Macy's North management style was very ineffective with the associates. This probably explains the huge sales gain for the stores that were Macy's North. The Field's fans were mentioned but the article points out that longtime associates one from 19 yers at Old Orchard says things have never been better for the associates since the My Macy's program has been instituted.

Macy's was ranked highly in all categories except for pay which is a given in retail.


Date: Monday, November 15, 2010  12:10 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Passed through Woodfield this past weekend. It reminded me of one of those stores that used to be a Jewel or a Walgreens and had become a Dollar Store.


Date: Monday, November 15, 2010  8:44 am CT
Posted by: gle

This just appeared in the "Tribune." It sounds like someone might be getting desperate. And note how suddenly Messy's wants to mention the Marshall Field's name all over the place.

"Macy's gets gold star for employee morale," November 15, 2010 by Robert Channick, Special to the Tribune

ctc-TribLetter@tribune.com


Date: Sunday, November 14, 2010  3:37 pm CT
Posted by: Jeff S

Was at the State Street Store yesterday. When looking at the famed animated Christmas windows, I was perplexed. The windows are not animated. What is that all about? Can someone shed some light on the windows this year? Some of them are, like, really little too.

Date: Sunday, November 14, 2010  9:44 am CT
Posted by: gle

I find it interesting to compare all the recent media hype on Messy's alleged success with a an article from The Motley Fool posted on this website by Zelda way back on October 27, 2010. That article points out how Macy's has survived mostly by number crunching, and seems to be much more on target about what's really happening.

Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010  9:02 pm CT
Posted by: JOANA

OUR BELOVED MARSHALL FIELD'S ; I FEEL LIKE WE ARE LOSING OUR HISTORY THE IDENTITY AS FOR I, FIRST THE RETAILER'S SHOULD STOP COMPETING FOR LOWER PRICES BUT, FOR QUALITY AND GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE ; SLOGANS THAT PROMISE SAVE ACTUALLY MAKE US SPEND MORE. I STILL DON'T SHOP IN MACY'S I MISS GREAT STORES THAT ARE MENTION THAT IS PART OF OUR HISTORY AND THE PIONEERS OF THE RETAIL INDUSTRIES. STILL MISSING MARSHALL FIELD'S A UNIQUE STORE.

Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010  3:16 pm CT
Posted by: Cora Carr

Tribune ran a story online today (Saturday) and in Sunday's print edition about vacancies on State Street and how it is down market, but they don't even mention how Macy's ruined and downgraded Marshall Fields, thus bringing down State St. Their only mention of Macy's is how one former L.A. location will become a Target.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-1114-state-street-20101114,0,2197160.story

Be sure to leave comments afterwards.


Date: Friday, November 12, 2010  9:32 pm CT
Posted by: Missing Field's

Sun-Times story on L Station and L Line naming rights. Some comments about Macy's afterwards.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/commentary/2886508,CST-EDT-edit12b.article

Date: Friday, November 12, 2010  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: M.A.

Sacrificing quality for profits was what killed GM. Lundgren and Macy's are doing the same. The certain road to death for companies like these.

I will not shop Macy's. Not even in New York.


Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

For years, Terry Lundgren has been saying that Marshall Field's is in the past and that Macy's doesn't comment on it. Then in the past two years, right before the holidays, there are interviews where he brings up Marshall Field's. I thought it wasn't a big deal for him? Then it is. Last year, it was the Wharton School interview. This year, it's the puffery from the A.P. If you notice, most news sites buried the story on their web site only.

The stories come across like Lundgren is trying to rally support. I get the impression that behind the scenes things for Macy's, or at least him, are not as rosy as portrayed. Maybe there's something to those take over rumors.

I say he's running scared. His house of cards is on shakey ground. He's on the defensive.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall on the 13th floor of Herald Square to know the REAL STORY!


Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Mark and Linda C., Burr Ridge, IL

We still don't shop Macy's. We want Marshall Field's!!!!!

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010  12:38 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Here's the "Wall Street Journal" version of Messy's latest success claim. This is very detailed, and also mentions proving the customers wrong.

There is a comment blog that requires registration.

Letters to the editor can be sent to wsj.ltrs@wsj.com

"Macy's CEO goes back to roots with local push" November 9, 2010 by Associated Press
http://online.wsj.com/article/APc4575a825b374f87a38f2be9cb1e8e1a.html

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010  11:23 am CT
Posted by: Laura S.

Based on that interview, customers protesting in front of your store on a regular basis is apparently the new way to show that your store is a success.

It would make for a funny Mel Brooks satire. As a reality it is a sad commentary on our world.


Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010  10:11 am CT
Posted by: gle

Another article in the series of Macy's-doing-well appears in "Crain's Chicago Business." This one comes across very slanted, but has a good reader comment. If anyone is able to post a comment, please do so. One can also click to recommend comments posted without registering. Letters to "Crain's" can be sent to letters@chicagobusiness.com.

"Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren says his work ethic was forged in college" November 10, 2010 posted by Shia K
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=shia-kapos&plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&uid=32246edb-06fb-4784-9008-b3233e7480b9&plckPostId=Blog:32246edb-06fb-4784-9008-b3233e7480b9Post:251c0a74-471a-4b4c-9bbc-830c5e99dd44&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest


Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010  9:56 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

Wednesday after work I went to the State Street store, just to see if there was any more life during evening rush hour than there was on a nice Sunday afternoon. There were a few more persons ambling around the main floor, but I saw no more than one customer per cash register if at all, and the Virginia letters to Santa tables were empty most of the time. The Walnut Room appeared no different than on Sunday, with about every other table vacant under the icy-silver-decked tree, and the BIG BIG star and the neon blue lights that simulated water melting down the whole thing.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a stack of Gayle Soucek's lovely new book, "MARSHALL FIELD'S, THE STORE THAT HELPED BUILD CHICAGO!" Yes, there it was, on a holiday book table in the Frango department outside the Walnut Room. A guy was just loading them off a cart (maybe Santa's helper).

Now there is something to do with those unwanted Messy's gift cards that need to be used. In fact, go buy the book anyway, with or without the card--and find people to give them to for gifts. LET'S MAKE A LOUD/CASH STATEMENT ABOUT THE TYPE OF BEST-SELLER CHICAGO READERS PREFER!


Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  1:29 pm CT
Posted by: gle

This one's in the "Sun-Times" with a comment blog:

"Local push puts Macy's back in black in 3Q" November 10, 2010 by Associated Press
http://www.suntimes.com/business/2882512,macys-third-quarter-profit-111010.article

Here is the "Tribune" version. All the articles contain similar material to the one posted by Alan.

"Macy's turns a profit in 3Q, helped by localized merchandise, higher luxury spending" November 10, 2010 by Anne D'Innocezio, Retail Writer
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-ap-us-earns-macys,0,7306875.story

Letters to the "Sun-Times" can be sent to letters@suntimes.com. Letters to the "Tribune" can be sent to ctc-TribLetter@tribune.com.


Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  1:01 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I found the AP article reprinted in the "Chicago Tribune" with a comment blog which might be more user-friendly to post on.

"Macy's CEO sees benefits by tapping into local markets even as economy's recovery is slow" November 9, 2010 by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-ap-us-ceo-interview-macys,0,2569000.story


Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  12:53 am CT
Posted by: MikeB

Once again the Macy's conference call reported the great sales in the midwest. They showed a prifit once again even after paying down some debt. However if the Chicago stores are doing dso well ie Oakbrook must be since it is being renovated, however why did they board up and close a bank of escalators at State Street and reduce the furniture department to lower end merchandise like Carson's? I questioned them and they said the high end was not selling. They could have at least kept a little of the better lines. They do not want to differentiate State Street as a destination store. They are not living up to what they told Chicagoans when they took over the stores. Also having Bloomingdale's run State Street would not work. They Macy's Inc. are not going to run two stores selling similiar mercahndise within 1 mile of each other. Bloomingdale's is way to overpriced for State Street and the current customers that shop at that store. They need to return the State Street store as a a destination store using the Field's name as part of the store ie Macy's at Marshall Field's. It could still be a Macy's store but with a different approach.

Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  11:01 am CT
Posted by: Supporter

The article says, "Lundgren proved Marshall Field's customers wrong?

When it was Field's, the customer was always right.

Now, that the store is "Lundgren's," the head is out to prove the customers "wrong.

Correct, I call the store "Lundgren's" because the old R.H. Macy's wouldn't be that way. R.H. Macy's would also give the customers what they want.


Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  10:48 am CT
Posted by: Steve w

All I can say is that Lundgren must be schmoozing with the author of that article. No one I know likes Macy's.

Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  11:34 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I listened to Macy's Q3 Conference Call this morning. Ms. Hoguet, the CFO, said that stores across the South--from Florida to Southern California did best, with one northern stores doing not as well--because of weather-related issues. There was an exception: Stores in the upper Great Lakes--Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit--also were among the best. These stores of course, were formerly Dayton's, Hudson's and Marshall Field's.

She also said that Macy's was strongest in watches, Macy's INC private label fashions, colognes and fragrances and luggage. Weak spots were women's sportswear and table top.

What she did say and Macy's didn't do was raise guidance for the upcoming quarter. In other words, they still expect sales and profits to be as expected over Christmas rather than better than expected. That is likely why, as of this writing, their stock isn't zooming up.

The fact is obvious that they are achieving profits by reducing care and maintenance of the store; replacing Fields's customers with new ones that have lower shopping standards, and reducing the quality of the sales staff. I expect that Macy's will have the same amount of staff on the floor for holidays as they have for some time, perhaps matching the quantity there was with Field's. However, there will be a dramatic drop in experience. Macy's has been praised for hiring over 65,000 for the holidays--but they don't say it's because they let so many experienced full-timers leave.

Macy's can slash and slash but it is not sustainable. And it was in fact much more than a name change.


Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  8:52 am CT
Posted by: gle

I cannot believe the gall of the AP article posted by Alan, considering what I saw (or rather didn't see) at the State Street store last weekend, constant "I want my Marshall Field's too, Messy's just doesn't cut it" replies to my button and the results of two years of surveys on shopping preferences by Field's Fans (which I participated in, and which are now backed up by a BBC reporter).

One ADDITION to State Street I did note this year was a couple of Messy's employees holding Walnut Room menus outside the door on State by Washington, apparently trying to drum up business that isn't there. Marshall Field's NEVER had to do that--they almost needed "Sorry, full house, come back tomorrow" signs. There were NO crowds globbing around the icy-looking tree in the Walnut Room, NO crowds globbing around the windows and NO lines by the letters to Santa tables. The music in the store was mostly non-holiday jazz, and there was just no aura of excitement--a few people ambling around as usual. That's what was there.


Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010  1:14 am CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/09/AR2010110904379.html?referrer=emailarticle

Interesting link that mentions Marshall Field's.


Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to Alan and to many others for the heads up on the AP Q & A with Terry Lundgren. More a PR piece than true journalism, the one part that is woefully inaccurate is:
"Lundgren had to contend with protesters outside Marshall Field's store in Chicago, as well as anxious investors. But Lundgren held steadfast, proving them wrong."
We all -- millions of us-- could go on and on about how this isn't true. The BBC World Service story was a dead ringer for what's going on with the customers.

At the same time, the half-truth and fiction of this interview is in about 100 news outlets. Hard to respond to since many do not offer comments sections. Nevertheless, please do respond where you can. What's right often comes out on top although it takes a long while.


Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010  3:18 pm CT
Posted by: Alan

"Lundgren had to contend with protesters outside Marshall Field's store in Chicago, as well as anxious investors. But Lundgren held steadfast, proving them wrong."
It might be advisable to comment here. This reads more like a PR piece than a news article.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Macys-CEO-goes-back-to-roots-apf-2733018004.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=5&asset=&ccode=


Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010  2:09 pm CT
Posted by: mhalle

Are you interested in the architectural drawings for the 1954 windows at Fields by Addis Osborne?

Date: Monday, November 8, 2010  4:18 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street Spectator

I checked out the State Street store Sunday afternoon.

There was an underwhelming number of people in the store, considering the Christmas tree was lit the day before and a couple of TV news stations closed their broadcasts by making a big deal of it.

The few persons in the store seemed like marbles rolling around. The familiar apathy, floor cracks and predominantly RED color greeted me everywhere.

Almost every other table in the Walnut Room appeared to be empty. There was NO line.

This year's tree is light green (eco-friendly?), with plain silver balls, silver tinsel, and silver glitter believe signs. Then there are these blue neon bar lights, that flicker in a way that resembles big blue drops of water running down the sides of the tree. After viewing a while, it started to resemble an attempt at a Christmas tree trapped in a big block of ice that was starting to melt. The gargantuan star looked rather makeshift, jagged and shabby, with little yellow beads of lights. (At least it wasn't as bad as the molten-lava-RED from a couple of years ago.)

The few people ambling by the Virginia letter to Santa tables (at the first floor atrium and the 7th floor archives areas) seemed more interested in taking pictures than writing. There were also no dark green crayons. The light green crayons do not print well--however, I did my duty, pressed hard, and asked Santa for Marshall Field's back. (I suggest other letter writers bring their own crayons.)

The Virginia letter to Santa windows on State Street are very simple, with a LOT of reading. The main point is positive that giving to others is what makes Santa real, but there are no uniquely creative displays to come in from the suburbs and take pictures of. The two anchor windows (State and Washington and State and Randolph)have no themed displays, only the usual merchandise backed in RED.

The decor inside the store is also rather simple, lots of plain RED and silver balls on artificial greenery, and bright RED carpeting (that has not been dirtied up yet).

That's the eyewitness report from State Street, circa 2:30 p.m. Sunday November 7, 2010.


Date: Sunday, November 7, 2010  4:30 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

If a private equity firm buys Macy's Inc. that increases the potential to sell State Street and the Marshall Field's assets to someone... perhaps the owners of Harrod's London? That seems like a feasible options especially since the book value of the real estate is in the billions. They would also still have the N. Michigan Ave store... so it wouldn't be like they'd lose presence in downtown Chicago. It'll cost some money to clean up the red "graffiti" but it will be worth it at the end.

Bring Back Field's!!


Date: Saturday, November 6, 2010  5:18 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I have a hard time understanding how Messy's and some media sources continue to remain so out-of-touch with Chicago's feelings. I constantly get remarks on my "I want my Marshall Field's" button--people see it and just start raving about what a great store Marshall Field's was and how Messy's just doesn't know how to do it right. The general discontent is a reality.

Anyways, I do plan to go to State Street and write my letter to Santa asking for Marshall Field's back. I assume there won't be a very long line.


Date: Saturday, November 6, 2010  5:44 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

OHMYGOSHHHH!!! HAHH! was my reaction to the 'Great Tree' as seen online.

I was not prepared to see that it was far from 90 or 45 feet high since it was barely twice the height of the work fiddling with it from a common stepladder. (Scaffolding not needed!) And I checked several times- the ungainly star constitutes fully one third of the total height of the tree. The tree looks like the kind that stays collapsed in the attic, fully trimmed, until next year when it gets yanked up to its full 15 feet (to be generous) of glory for another season of wonder. The star might not look silly if it topped not a shrub, but a really Great Tree. It looks like someone ordered the star before someone else decided to get by with a budget tree.

Jaws will drop this year in the Walnut Room but not for the same reason they used to. Not the Field's Way, guys!

So you see, it is not merely a question of loyalty to a now-irrelevant name, or fondness for an old fancy building, or disgruntlement with an alien owner of whatever description. It is about what goes in in the building in the name of a historic Chicago institution that has been debased.


Date: Friday, November 5, 2010  4:17 pm CT
Posted by: A.D.

I was glad to receive the Field's supporters' newsletter several days ago because it means people are still wanting Marshall Field's to come back.

I just thought that you all want to hear about an encounter with a client of mine who was a former interior designer at Marshall Field's and left after the Macy's conquest.

She keeps in touch with her former colleagues there and was so sad to hear how Macy's simply is not keeping up the State Street store.

They have closed an entire floor of furniture and what remains is relatively plain, a far cry from the epoch of Trend House. Now that entire floor-nine-has been closed off to the public and is no longer a sales floor.

Apparently, they have no intentions of repairing the machines demonstrating the making of Frangos.

When an escalator stack on one side of store stopped working, they opted to simply build a wall around the escalators rather than fix them so as to hide them. If you want to go to higher floors, you have to walk out of your way to go to other escalators or elevators.

Just thought you all would want to know how they are treating our beautiful store. Despite their claims, it was more than just a name change.


Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010  6:18 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Regarding:

It's Snowing In The Walnut Room",
Chicago Sun-Times
http://www.suntimes.com/business/2864370,CST-NWS-macys04.article#

I received some emails about the tree's height. The writers say the tree, which has been artificial for decades, is shorter than usual. Based on the photos in the Sun-Times, it seems this might be to accommodate the larger than usual "Make-A-Wish" star and "falling snow" lights effect. Based on the photos, I'm not crazy about it, but I have not seen it in person.

Also based on the Sun-Times story, there are seven windows as part of this year's windows on State Street; some of the other windows promote some new products. The windows tie-in to the Macy's-sponsored TV special on the theme of "Believe" which is based on the "Yes, Virginia" editorial from the NY Sun over 110 years ago . (For some reason, I had thought this was from the NY Times in the 1940s, but apparently I am wrong.) I'm not sure to what degree, if any, the windows, re-use anything from previous years' windows. Once again, Macy's has a mailbox for depositing your letters to Santa with each letter meaning a dollar donation to "Make A Wish". So you can deposit your letters asking Santa to give us Marshall Field's back on State Street. Seems like a "win-win" for all involved--both in terms of short-term charity and in the long-term if Macy's actually believed in its customers' wishes.


Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010  5:19 pm CT
Posted by: Mike C.

Time Out Chicago, Nov. 4-10, has a bit about good bars. It notes In Fields, the bar on the lower level at 111 N State St. Page 18. A framed Marshall Field's basketball team uniform from the 1930s is displayed in the sports bar.

Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010  4:22 pm CT
Posted by: gle

It's Q3 earnings time again. Messy' official website www.macysinc.com announces a webcast for Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

"Q3 2010 Macy's, Inc. Earnings Conference Call"
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=84477&eventID=3487984


Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010  3:42 pm CT
Posted by: Google News

It's Snowing In The Walnut Room",
Chicago Sun-Times
http://www.suntimes.com/business/2864370,CST-NWS-macys04.article#

Leave comments in the section after the article. You need a login but it is easy to get if you don't have it.


Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010  12:16 pm CT
Posted by: Shamus

Macy's has posted a 2.5% gain in October. I guess it's easy to succeed if you set your expectations low enough. Meanwhile, Nordstrom (where I shop now that Marshall Field's is gone) is up 3.4%, and Saks is up a whopping 8.1%.

Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2010  10:38 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Here we go AGAIN! The Red Star wants to "localize" its stores into "urban," "suburban" and "value conscious" categories:

http://detnews.com/article/20101103/BIZ/11030323/1001/Customizing-merchandise-helps-Macy%E2%80%99s-stores-gain-more-shoppers

Another of Lunkhead's brilliant attempts to "educate" shoppers will go down in flames as customers become "confused" about what the Red Star really represents. You can't put the same name on three totally different stores and expect customers to understand--this would be like attaching the McDonald's name to fast food eateries, neighborhood family restaurants and upscale, full-service venues. Does this McDonald's offer Big Macs or prime rib? One nameplate can't be everything to everybody in every community.

Here's a suggestion: bring back the regional nameplates and run them as "premium" stores with the brand name, better quality merchandise and services--Marshall Field's, Kaufmann's, Filene's, Burdines, Strawbridge's, The Broadway, Lazarus; keep the Bloomingdale's moniker for trendy, upscale, cutting edge selections; retain the macy*s name for everyday value wares. Despite some "tweaking" of merchandise assortments (which other nationwide stores such as JC Penney, Kohl's and Sears have been doing all along), the Red Star has failed to generate much interest among shoppers.


Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2010  8:53 pm CT
Posted by: t a arthur

Today Macy's showed pictures of the Walnut Rooms great tree, and it is only 45 feet tall insead of the regular 90 or so feet of years past. The tree is half the size with a huge star atop that is way too big, as the star looks like one third the size of the tree. It looks so small in the huge space that is the Walnut Room.

Date: Monday, November 1, 2010  6:27 pm CT
Posted by: K. B.

I worked for Marshall Fields from 1980 till the end, I was in Visual Merchandising a job I loved dearly! The one thing everyone loved about Marshall Fields was the elaborate displays, the windows. It is not the same now, so sad... so many good memories

Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010  7:46 pm CT
Posted by: Fred

I enjoyed the BBC presentation; and Jim's comments were good.

A few responses to the commentators as it really irked me by comparing Macy's=New York with Field's=Chicago.

First, I question whether New Yorkers view Macy's Herald Square in the same manner that Chicagoans viewed Marshall Field State Street. I really, truly doubt it: (1) Macy's is much more a commodity than Field's ever was. New Yorkers have traditionally shopped Macy's for price, certainly not for service and style. If they want service and style, New Yorkers have always gone elsewhere. (2) Macy's is not so integral to New York history as Marshall Field's is to Chicago's. For starters, New York had been around for a very long time when Macy's arrived on the scene whereas Marshall Field's and Chicago practically grew up together. (3) Apart from sheer size, there is no comparing the two physical plants. I was first at Macy's Herald Square in the late sixties and, somehow, and probably quite like the BBC commentators, had expected New York equivalent to Marshall Field & Company, with which I was very familiar. What a disappointment! I was shocked to discover Macy's was...well, much the equivalent to the then-Wieboldt's or Goldblatt's or maybe The Fair stores on State Street. Even Carson Pirie Scott seemed a notch or two above Macy's. I discovered in the 70s that the San Francisco Macy's had much more local cachet and flair than the Herald Square location, and I understand that the R.H. Macy Company in the 80s made a determined effort to introduce innovative merchandising to some of its non-New York locations, but with Federated ownership all that is of another era. Face it, Federated, you've got some largish Kohl's sitting on valuable real estate.

I applaud Lord & Taylor for its recent Fifth Avenue facelift. Apparently, L&T has, in novel fashion, opened up long-covered windows. I remember when the national press (Time etc.) reported on the last facelift in the 70s, the consensus being that L&T needed to do it...with many, many mirrors and much glitz...to better compete with the then tres chic Bloomingdale's. Here's more:

http://www.giftsanddec.com/article/532855-A_New_Home_at_Lord_Taylor.php

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304173704575578571210625314.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

And, I'm intrigued with the rumors of UK buyers for Macy's. I would hope any buyer realizes the Marshall Field name has great potential value.


Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010  10:12 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Macy's has these ads celebrating their 152nd birthday.

Based on what Macy's did to Marshall Field's after 154 years and how Terry Lundgren acted like THAT didn't matter, how in the world would he expect us to care that Macy's is 152 years old????????


Date: Friday, October 29, 2010  1:13 pm CT
Posted by: Dig Those Frangos

The vid is rad! Leave it to the Brits to understand Marshall Field's. Afterall, with the monarchy, they understand tradition. Not once did they entertain the idea that Field's didn't matter.

Date: Friday, October 29, 2010  10:01 am CT
Posted by: Steve

News. Macys may be being sold to a UK based investment group. Either the group who own Boots Pharmacy or the group who owns Pets R Us in the UK are potential buyers.

[ The following is from a post from yesterday:]

Rumor that KKR and Carlyle Group are each possibly making a private equity play for Macy's.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23892385-city-looks-stateside-on-talk-private-equity-is-stalking-macys.do
There are other stories on this, although most are "pay for view"--see this link:
http://www.theflyonthewall.com/permalinks/entry.php/M;KKRid1320429/M;KKR-Private-equity-players-reportedly-looking-at-Macys-Evening-Standard-reports

Date: Friday, October 29, 2010  9:03 am CT
Posted by: K.L.

Thank you all for your extraordinary dedication. I'm sure we will get Marshall Field's back.


Date: Friday, October 29, 2010  6:59 am CT
Posted by: Another Field's Fan

Three points are very striking on this BBC story:

1) The BBC is one of the largest and perhaps most respected reputable news source in the world. That they are covering this with such a long radio segment after 4-5 years says it's still an issue of international interest.

2) The part where reporter comments on the informal Field's Fans poll about 80% still wanting Field's instead of Macy's, I think it goes, "And based on my informal survey, the results tended to be pretty accurate". That the BBC said this supports the poll.

3) The pundits at the BBC don't get every detail right--but actually it's OK because it makes them sound more detached and objective. I listen to this show regularly--normally they all hugely disagree with each other. But if you listen, I hear them all pretty much agreeing amongst themselves that Field's is preferential to Macy's! Some may be more resigned to homogenization of retail, but overall, they get it.

All in all, it came across as a sort of positive, outside review in support of bringing back Field's.


Date: Friday, October 29, 2010  12:49 am CT
Posted by: Pete

It says a lot for Field's that the BBC did this story.


Date: Friday, October 29, 2010  12:15 am CT
Posted by: Kathy P.

-----REMINDER--TODAY!-----

Note from the FFC Webmaster:
Darlene Quinn is the author of two fictional books based on the story of department store executives and the stores' consolidations since the 1980s. Ms. Quinn knows the department store first hand. Her long career included having worked with a young Terry Lundgren at Bullocks Wilshire in the 1980s. Her first book is entitled Webs of Power and came out a couple of years ago. The second, Twisted Webs, and was released just last month. In part, they are based on the real life people at Bullocks, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and more. Twisted Webs even makes a nod to Marshall Field's and the request to bring it back. Ms. Quinn is the "Award Winner" of the 2009 Indie National Excellence Award for Fiction and an "Award-Winning Finalist" in the "National Best Books 2009 Awards (Fiction & Literature: General Fiction category."

Darlene Quinn will be interviewed on October 26th on “WGN Midday News” with Dina Bair, Allison Payne & Steve Sanders between 11:00AM and 12:00PM. They will be discussing “Is It Ever Too Late to Reinvent Yourself?” Darlene can be an inspiration to us all having become an award winning author after the age of 70.

Darlene will also be signing copies of her books and answering any questions that you may have at two book signings that will be held TODAY and TOMORROW in Chicago.

Friday, October 29th
3:00 - 6:00 PM
Borders Bookstore

4718 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, Il 60640
CTA: Wilson or Lawrence Red Line stops; #36, #78 & #81 Buses

Saturday, October 30th
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Borders Bookstore
755 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60610
CTA: North/Clybourn Red Line stop; #8 & #72 Buses

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2010  7:09 pm CT
Posted by: John D.

As a former Field's employee, I'm not so sure Field's will ever come back like it used to be. But I have to say that this BBC interview is a home run out of the ball park! You're back in the game.

Congratulations!


Date: Thursday, October 28, 2010  5:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Rumor that KKR and Carlyle Group are each possibly making a private equity play for Macy's.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23892385-city-looks-stateside-on-talk-private-equity-is-stalking-macys.do
There are other stories on this, although most are "pay for view"--see this link:
http://www.theflyonthewall.com/permalinks/entry.php/M;KKRid1320429/M;KKR-Private-equity-players-reportedly-looking-at-Macys-Evening-Standard-reports

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2010  5:01 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Link to BBC World Service's "The World Today" story and discussion on Marshall Field's and Macy's:

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2010  3:54 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

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

       FieldsFansChicago.org
       Newsletter Number 25

       THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010


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


       In This Newsletter...


       * BBC WORLD SERVICE STORY:
         The Grassroots Customer Movement
         To Restore Marshall Field's


       * SPECIAL REGARDS: Our September 12, 2010 Rally


       * MORE "MARSHALL FIELD'S" BOOK SIGNINGS
         with GAYLE SOUCEK, AUTHOR
        "MARSHALL FIELD'S:
         The Store That Helped Build Chicago"


       * New Book Signings
         DARLENE QUINN, AUTHOR
        "Twisted Webs"


       -----------------------


       Other topics in this Newsletter


       * Connect & Promote
         FIELDSDFANSCHICAGO.ORG on FACEBOOK & TWITTER

       * DO YOU WISH TO SPONSOR OUR ACTIVITIES?
         We Need Your Financial Help to Continue

       * MORE REGARDS

       * HOW TO ADD or REMOVE YOUR EMAIL
         ADDRESS FROM OUR LISTS


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

      
       PLEASE HELP BY FORWARDING THIS NEWSLETTER ON
       TO ALL POTENTIALLY INTERESTED FRIENDS & FAMILY.


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


       BBC WORLD SERVICE STORY
       ON THE GRASSROOTS CUSTOMER MOVEMENT
       TO RESTORE MARSHALL FIELD'S


On Sunday, September 12, 2010, the BBC World Service's "The World Today" aired a very thorough news story on Chicago's loss of Marshall Field's and the ongoing grassroots efforts to restore the iconic store.

The segment lasted almost eight minutes and was broadcast world-wide on all continents and over the internet.  The BBC's Jonathan Fenton-Fisher interviewed a representative of FieldsFansChicago.org, as well as several customers in front of the State Street store.  The segment concludes with an analysts' discussion panel on Marshall Field's and retail homogenization in the U.S. and Europe.

It is our understanding that the segment can be heard currently on YouTube at the following links--you will want to give it a listen:

  High Quality:
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gq3Ru9DJk0&feature=youtube_gdata_player



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


       SPECIAL REGARDS: Our September 12, 2010 Rally


A very special "thank you" to all who helped make the Sunday, September 12, 2010 rally under the Great Clock at State and Washington a huge success including  Gloria, Gayle, J. and many, many others and, of course, Zelda and A.  All named and unnamed are our heroes!

About 70 Field's Fans cycled through our afternoon rally with a peak of 40 during the middle of the 50-minute-long event.
The rally was followed by an event at Borders Books on State Street where author Gayle Soucek unveiled her comprehensive new book, Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago.  The book covers the entire history of Marshall Field and Company, from its founding in the mid-1800s to current-day efforts on behalf of its return.

Images of the events can be viewed via the slide show on our home page at http://www.FieldsFansChicago.org as well as part of the YouTube segment previously described above.

Your ongoing support and dedication is what enables our progress to continue.  It is the work of we Field's Fans that reminds key business and civic leaders that Marshall Field's can be resurrected as an overwhelming success.

Our efforts are so essential because it gives immense consciousness to 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, putting the breaks on Macy's disregard for Marshall Field's and what it means to Chicago.  Spread the word!  You are helping to make history.

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


       MORE "MARSHALL FIELD'S" BOOK SIGNINGS
       with GAYLE SOUCEK, AUTHOR
      "MARSHALL FIELD'S:
       The Store That Helped Build Chicago"


       Saturday, November 20
       3:00 PM
       Chicago History Museum
       Clark Street at North Avenue
       Chicago

       Saturday, December 4
       4:00 PM
       Borders Bookstore-Evanston
       1700 Maple Avenue
       Evanston

       (Date & Time Pending)
       Borders Bookstore-Michigan Avenue
       Chicago


        -----------------------


Attention all who attended Gayle Soucek's book signing on September 12.  If you were unable to attend, there are now additional opportunities to meet Gayle, ask her questions and have her sign your newly purchased book, Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago.

Here's some background on the book and why we at FieldsFansChicago.org think it is important. 

Since 2006, we have been saying how all of us--you, I and everyone else--have been making history by working to restore Marshall Field's to State Street.

Gayle Soucek's new book, Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago, covers the history of Marshall Field's from the 19th century to TODAY.  It even includes special pages covering our rallies, as well as others' efforts to restore Marshall Field's.

This book is the first of several of which  cover or allude to YOUR rallies, YOUR letter writing and YOUR efforts to bring back Marshall Field's.  Others books featuring coverage of our efforts to restore Marshall Field's are also due in the coming months and next year.

Now that history is being written, you are indeed part of history.

The following is from the back cover of the book:

Chicago's loyalty to Marshall Field's is fierce. Dayton-Hudson even had to take out advertising around town to apologize for changing Marshall Field's hallowed green bags.  And with good reason -- the store and those who ran it shaped the city's streets, subsidized its culture and heralded its progress. 

The resulting commercial empire dictated wholesale trade terms in Calcutta and sponsored towns in North Carolina, but its essence was always Chicago.  So when "Marshall Field's" was retired in 2006 after the stores were purchased by Macy's, protest slogans like"Field's is Chicago," and "Field's: as Chicago as it gets," weren't just emotional hype. 

Many still hope that Marshall Field's will be resurrected like the city it helped support during the Great Fire and the Great Depression.  Until then, fans of Marshall Field's can celebrate its history with this book's warm look back at the beloved institution.

Available in local bookstores or order online at
http://www.historypress.net

PLEASE NOTE
: This book, the talks and book signings, The History Press and book sellers are in no way connected to FieldsFansChicago.org and are not  sponsors of our activities in support of the return of Marshall Field's.   FieldsFansChicago.org is simply passing this information along as a third party.  The book and related events are not connected to nor endorsed by Macy's, Inc.

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


       New Book Signings
       DARLENE QUINN, AUTHOR
      "Twisted Webs"


Darlene Quinn is the author of two fictional books based on the story of department store consolidations since the 1980s.  A long-time veteran of some of the America's best-known department stores, Ms. Quinn's long career has included working with a young Terry Lundgren at Bullocks Wilshire in the 1980s.

Her first book is entitled Webs of Power and came out a couple of years ago. The second, Twisted Webs,  was released just last month.

Of note to Field''s loyalists is that Twisted Webs  references Marshall Field's and the customers overwhelming demand that it be restored back.  Ms. Quinn is the "Award Winner" of the 2009 "Indie National Excellence Award for Fiction" and an "Award-Winning Finalist" in the "National Best Books 2009 Awards (Fiction & Literature: General Fiction category."

Ms. Quinn will be signing copies of her books and answering any questions that you may have at the following two book signings that will be held later this week in Chicago.

       Friday, October 29th
       3:00 - 6:00 PM
       Borders Bookstore
       4718 N. Broadway Ave., between Wilson & Lawrence Avenues
       Chicago

       Saturday, October 30th
       2:00 - 4:00 PM
       Borders Bookstore
      
755 W. North Ave. at Clybourn
       Chicago


PLEASE NOTE: This book, Ms. Quinn, the talks and book signings, its publisher and sellers are in no way connected to FieldsFansChicago.org and are not  sponsors of our activities in support of the return of Marshall Field's.  FieldsFansChicago.org is simply passing this information along as a third party.  The book and related events are not connected to nor endorsed by Macy's, Inc.

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


       CONNECT & PROMOTE
       FIELDSDFANSCHICAGO.ORG on FACEBOOK & TWITTER


Word-of-mouth and social networking are tremendous ways to stay in touch and also get the word out about our continuing activities.

Please help by "talking up" our rally on your Facebook page.  Our  Facebook "umbrella" group is "FieldsFansChicago.org."  Remember to "Invite people to join."

On Twitter, we are @FieldsFansChgo.  Follow the latest FieldsFansChicago.org  news updates and rally information  @FieldsFansChgo.

 (Please note that "Chicago" is abbreviated in our Twitter name.)

"Find out what we are doing right now!"

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       DO YOU WISH TO SPONSOR OUR ACTIVITIES?
       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@fieldsfanschicago.org as to how and where to send a check.  Alternatively, PayPal contributions are accepted at donate@fieldsfanschicago.org.
100% of all contributions are channeled to offset the cost of our activities.

Thank you for your amazing support!

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       MORE REGARDS


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 A., Gloria,  Gayle, Zelda, John, Gail, Mae, D., 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.  While we may not yet have Marshall Field's back on State Street, your efforts are ALREADY making differences elsewhere:

*  We believe we have influenced Macy's to slow their changes at the iconic State Street store.

*  Other grassroots groups dedicated to preserving Chicago culture and history have studied and used us as their inspiration.  Some of these groups include  KeepItWrigley.org, SaveGrantPark.org, ItsTheSearsTower.com,  and, most recently, 'Save The United Airlines Tulip" on Facebook. 

*  Other corporations look to our example before making changes.  For example, we were informally told that when Walgreen's recently took over New York City's Duane Reade Pharmacies, the activities of FieldsFansChicago.org influenced a much more sensitive approach to that corporate acquisition.

Our efforts to restore Marshall Field's continues the retail grande dame's history into today.  As history is being written, remember that you are helping to make this history.

Hearty regards and huge applause for all of your efforts to restore Chicago's Marshall Field's to State Street!

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       HOW TO ADD or REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FROM OUR LISTS


* TO REMOVE YOUR ADDRESS FROM OUR SUBSCRIBER LIST:
Send email to REMOVE-ME@fieldsfanschicago.org
Please include the email address you wish dropped if it is not the one from which you are sending the request.

* TO ADD YOUR ADDRESS TO OUR SUBSCRIBER LIST:
Send email to ADD-ME@fieldsfanschicago.org
Subscription requests must be sent from the email address that is to be added to the subscriber list.

* SWITCHING ADDRESSES?
1. Send a "REMOVE-ME"  request from either you old address or your new one; then...
2. Send an "ADD-ME"  request from your new address.

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

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

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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.


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       END OF NEWSLETTER #25

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Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010  12:39 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi Field's Fans:

This fascinating article resonates with my overall impression of the past 5 years: that Macy's works very hard to manipulate the public into thinking they're getting more than they actually deliver. Their so-called profits are as phony as "the magic" of Macy's.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2010/10/26/are-the-earnings-at-macys-hiding-something.aspx
Bring back Marshall Field's, the store that stood for quality and integrity.

Zelda


Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010  11:55 pm CT
Posted by: Michael S.

Thought this may be of interest to the blog, seeing as a lot of people now choose Lord and Taylor because of Macy's take over of MF:
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7747661

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010  8:40 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I still get comments and discussion on my "I want my Marshall Field's" button, which I wear on my coat like an ID and refer people to our website. The discussion is always similar--there was no place like Field's, Messy's doesn't know how to do it right, they don't care, they're too young and trendy with nothing for anybody else, I don't bother to go there, I wish Field's would come back. For anyone who has a button, wear it--people notice.

Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2010  11:12 pm CT
Posted by: drew

This analysis by "The Motley Fool" raises some interesting point about the Red Star's cash flow:
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2010/10/26/are-the-earnings-at-macys-hiding-something.aspx
As so many have posted here and elsewhere, a retailer cannot stay afloat by cutting staff, dropping merchandise categories, eliminating services and alienating customers. Perhaps the house of cards is about to fall!

Date: Monday, October 25, 2010  4:15 pm CT
Posted by: Kathy P.

Note from the FFC Webmaster:
Darlene Quinn is the author of two fictional books based on the story of department store executives and the stores' consolidations since the 1980s. Ms. Quinn knows the department store first hand. Her long career included having worked with a young Terry Lundgren at Bullocks Wilshire in the 1980s. Her first book is entitled Webs of Power and came out a couple of years ago. The second, Twisted Webs, and was released just last month. In part, they are based on the real life people at Bullocks, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and more. Twisted Webs even makes a nod to Marshall Field's and the request to bring it back. Ms. Quinn is the "Award Winner" of the 2009 Indie National Excellence Award for Fiction and an "Award-Winning Finalist" in the "National Best Books 2009 Awards (Fiction & Literature: General Fiction category."

Darlene Quinn will be interviewed on October 26th on “WGN Midday News” with Dina Bair, Allison Payne & Steve Sanders between 11:00AM and 12:00PM. They will be discussing “Is It Ever Too Late to Reinvent Yourself?” Darlene can be an inspiration to us all having become an award winning author after the age of 70.

Darlene will also be signing copies of her books and answering any questions that you may have at two book signings that will be held later this week in Chicago.

Friday, October 29th
3:00 - 6:00 PM
Borders Bookstore

4718 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, Il 60640
CTA: Wilson or Lawrence Red Line stops; #36, #78 & #81 Buses

Saturday, October 30th
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Borders Bookstore
755 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60610
CTA: North/Clybourn Red Line stop; #8 & #72 Buses

Date: Monday, October 25, 2010  5:14 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Having just finished reading Gayle's book, I come away wondering:

What entrepreneur today would invest all that money and effort in making a Marshall Field's now? Every molecule of the building would have to have a worksheet showing the profit it would yield in the first year, and it had better be MAX. Forget columns, atria, Tiffany, writing desks, walnut, solicitous clerks. If it can't be quantified, monitored and wrung dry of cash daily, it won't be included.

Macy's had it put into their hands and what? It might as well have been a barn. I remain convinced there is a certain satisfaction taken (by them) in seeing a rival flagship crumble slowly into oblivion under their heels.

Our national culture may have come a long way in many respects but I think where we have improved on one side, we have turned ugly on others and it is mostly due to being devoted to making the most money possible, hang the consequences. The so-called robber barons of the VIctorian era look noble by comparison. At least they were saavy and knew a good thing when they saw it-- or had it pointed out to them!


Date: Sunday, October 24, 2010  3:40 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

What Macy's has done to Marshall Field's is akin to the U.S. auto industry in recent years. The quality is lower in every way--merchandise, service, craft--so as to maximize immediate profit without concern for the long term.

Some people learned to settle for less, while others went elsewhere. But in the end it was a decline for U.S.

I don't see the logic in what someone like Dave suggests below. Telling us to patronize a store that reduces quality against our wishes and tells us to get used to the average or sub-par is un-American.

Even in the end, Marshall Field's was a quality store that was killed off in the name of ambition, greed and the illusion of quick profits.


Date: Sunday, October 24, 2010  8:00 am CT
Posted by: Mike C.

Check out this great website for all or most of the great American Department Stores. Stores http://www.dshistory.com/stores/marshall_field_chicago/.

Enjoy, Mike


Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010  10:07 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

A couple of items:

In response to a couple of inquiries: yes, Mark Dayton, candidate for Minnesota's governorship, is the great grandson of the founder of Dayton's. Mr. Dayton also supported and signed the "KeepItFields" petition. (Please note that this is simply as fact and not any form of endorsement one way or another on his candidacy.)

If you are a supporter of our cause and have recently been in the NYC flagship of Bloomingdale's on 57th lately, please contact me at jjmckay@((at))fieldsfanschicago.org

Many thanks and best wishes.


Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010  6:31 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I am glad we have someone to step into Macy's to monitor the degradation so we don't have to bear the sight of it. I can't bear the thought, even. There is that image online of what looks like the 7th or 8th floor, an escalator with chandeliers nearby and evidence of abandonment. Or so it appears.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/palmea/140817480/lightbox/

I don't understand it either. If Marshall Field could build an emporium in the swamp and be swamped (haha) with customers and his establishment could keep going through lean times worse than the present.... what is the problem? We have had poverty forever (not an excuse). This is not the first time we have endured economic woes (not an excuse). MF does not need input from every mortal to thrive (not an excuse).

It would appear that as the MF mindset and heritage are allowed to dissipate, to tarnish or turn grubby, to dwindle.... the prospect of success in that building dwindles in ever-greater proportion. It sounds trivial but "seeing" the great Emporium slowly and deliberately brought to its knees by aliens feels like the end of civilization is upon us. At least in this case, it seems a travesty that National Landmark status only covers the stone and bone part, and not the flesh and spirit.

Maybe the City of Chicago ought to own it and run it the right way, for everyone's best interests. (Don't carp, think big!)


Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010  5:12 am CT
Posted by: (Withheld by request)

i have spent my entire life in chicago. my grandmother took me to mf&co when i was little. in college, i sold neckties and sweaters there to pay my tuition. much later, i went to work there to sell furniture [at one of the major suburban Marshall Field's locations]. i endured the misery of the sale to may co. i survived the macy conquest. i could not take the macy mentality, so i retired. terry lundgren killed any vestige of mf&co. it can never be reborn.

Date: Friday, October 22, 2010  9:40 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

I agree with Jimmy Gimbels: the Macy's house brand mens wear doesn't measure up to a nice Marshall Field's brand dress shirt or slacks. It's not the same.

I have also heard that it's not possible in this economy to effectively run department store like a big Macy's on State Street and keep it up. Yet, when I go to the Macy's-owned Bloomingdale's, like the one on Michigan Avenue, it's immaculate and well-kept. Why can't Macy's do the same for our former Field's location?


Date: Friday, October 22, 2010  9:20 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

WGN9 story has a story on the 140th Anniversary of the Palmer House. Our favorite emporium was co-founded by Potter Palmer and his partner Marshall Field introduced him to his wife, Bertha.

The video talks about the Palmer House way of doing things--as they do, I'm sure you will agree that it is very "Marshall Field's-like".

And note that the Palmer House is a Hilton Hotel that still manages to retain its identity in most every way as the Palmer House. Macy's could take a lesson from this. One of Macy's directors is even a former chief exec with Hilton.

http://www.wgntv.com/news/coverstory/wgntv-palmersecrets-102010,0,2893019.story

Date: Friday, October 22, 2010  5:29 am CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

The beauty of Marshall Fields was the attention to detail in everything done in the store. Macy's? Not so much. For example: Those wacky folks at Macy's are, once again, painting columns and archways "Macy's red." Of course, it is a sloppy job. Uneven edges. Red splashes on walls. Paint drips on the floor. Gee, have these people never heard of masking tape and tarps. What a mess!

But again, the whole store was a mess on October 21:

-No customers.

-A warehouse look throughout the store.

-Frango Mints hidden in the luggage department.

-And, no employees on the floor.

-They are still trying to pass off stacks of red boxes as holiday decorations.

-Still racks and racks of summer clothes that never sold even at cut rate prices.

There was a comment that Macy's sells trendier men's clothes than Fields. I just don't see it. You can't be serious about the INC line with its paper thin fabrics. What I see are all types of spring weight jackets just in time for winter.

Jimmy Gimbels goes to Macy's so you don't have to.


Date: Thursday, October 21, 2010  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

The Chicago Tribune has a series of blogs known as "Chicago Now". One blog is on "Unknown Chicago". Yesterday, it featured a story on Water Tower Place which opened 35 years ago on October 20, 1975. The article was a little weak in pointing out Marshall Field's huge role in Water Tower Place.
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/unknown-chicago/2010/10/water-tower-place-10-20-1975.html
The idea for Water Tower Place came from the same people who brought us Oak Brook Centre, Woodfield and Old Orchard--Marshall Field's. Marshall Field's had a real estate arm and a knack for developing classy centers. Water Tower Place pioneered the vertical mall, not just in Chicago but everywhere. Vertical malls are a mixed bag--today Water Tower Place has a lot of dead floors above American Girl and it is no longer the classy place it was when Marshall Field's and Lord and Taylor were the anchors.

Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2010  8:50 am CT
Posted by: gle

The "Tribune" has an article about Chicago and New York tourism offices collaborating to attract more winter tourists. There is a free comment blog. A comment has been started that bringing back Field's would obviously be a good attraction for Chicago.

"Chicago, New York team up to draw winter tourists" By Kathy Bergen
http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2010/10/chicago-and-new-york-team-up-to-draw-winter-tourists.html/comment-page-1#comment-21509
Please be certain to support the return of Field's by leaving your supportive comments.


Date: Monday, October 18, 2010  8:38 am CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago

Gayle Soucek will sign copies of "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" at Barnes and Noble at DePaul on State Street at 6:00 pm, tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

Please note: the information in this last Saturday's Chicago Tribune book section was incorrect.

Gayle will have other books signings in the coming weeks.


Date: Sunday, October 17, 2010  8:32 pm CT
Posted by: daveb

Yes I am upset at things Macy's has done, especially the escaltors on the Wabaash side being closed and the area lookin g like K-Mart, but Macy's offers better values than Field's ever did. They macy's needs to know how we feel about what they are doing to the stores as concened customers not PROTESTORS that wannt Fiel'ds back. They need to know our concerns as we shop there not BOYCOTT the store.!!!!!

Response:
Daveb:

You seem to forget that as concerned customers, we expressed all that in 2005 and 2006. Macy's didn't listen. So now we should give our business to a company that disregards what we want? Their response back then was basically, "We don't care because people will get used to it." While we emphasize that we feel sorry for the many employees who have lost work because of Macy's mistake, why in the world would any sane person give their business to someone who disregards their wishes? Like millions, I shopped at the store because it was Field's and not Macy's.


Date: Sunday, October 17, 2010  7:13 pm CT
Posted by: R Miller

I don't know if anyone have commented on this, but I saw a new commercial for Southwest Airlines and the setting is on the streets of Chicago with the employees singing and dancing. There is a scene where you can see the Marshall Fields iconic green clock in the background. I miss that store, Marshall Fields was our Harrods! Bring it back Macys!

Date: Sunday, October 17, 2010  4:54 CT
Posted by: drew

Interesting that Marshall Field's and other popular regional department stores didn't have problems attracting young shoppers:

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_704743.html

Many department stores were often community trend-setters by hosting teen advisory boards, celebrity appearances, lectures and programs, product demonstrations and exciting promotions to attract young people. I think department stores began to suffer when the accountants overruled the merchants and the things that eliminated many unique aspects in the name of cost-cutting. As various activities and services were dropped, there were fewer reasons to visit department stores.

Wasn't the Red Star's grand plan to attract the younger demographic group based on having the same "stuff" in the same cookie cutter stores across the nation? Even though people seek unique merchandise, the Red Star management sought to "re-educate" consumers to be excited by the bland and generic.

Not to worry, "those folks at macy*s" have it covered with their "exclusive" new fashions from Madonna. No doubt teen girls will be so caught up in the "magic" of buying clothing from a true icon of their parents' generation. Teen guys will be able to look through their fathers' high school yearbook, see his classmates wearing Tommy Hilfiger clothing and find those same clothes at macy*s! American Rags, anyone?


Date: Friday, October 15, 2010  8:38 am CT
Posted by: Denise/Randy Scott

If anyone has any recipes from the restaurants within State ST. store, please e-mail me. I'm looking for the round chocolate individual size layer cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate shavings. Sold in a few restaurants, we usually got them in the English Room. (we miss the English room!) Also for the flying saucer shaped brownies in the bakery. The salmon salad in the budget floor cafeteria and any other recipes (not in the MF cookbook) would be appreciated. In exchange I have the Cheesy Chowder recipe from the

Bowl and Basket! THANKS!


Date: Thursday, October 14, 2010  5:19 pm CT
Posted by: Bob Warsham

When visiting Chicago 2 weeks ago, I didn't see any activity in the State Street windows---is Macy's planning the animated windows or is this tradition a thing of the past?

Response: Macy's is again planning and preparing their Christmas windows. The Great Tree will be lit in the Walnut Room on Saturday, November 6.


Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010  2:46 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

A colleague of mine was discussing the demise of Foley's, Joske's, Sakowitz and the other regional stores today. She is dismayed at how generic every region has become and feels (as do I) that America lost something special with all the consolidations of the regional stores. She brought up how Macy's has all their "celebrity junk" and how the former Foley's stores have no more designer names to speak of. We discussed the fact that Dillards and Nordstrom still have designer "shops" within the departments that are marketed towards specific clientele wherein Macy's is obviously targeting the younger teenage set and throws everything in one big area to dig through. There is no organization to speak of and the clothes that are available are cheaply made knock offs. We joked about the Alfani versus Armani. The service at Marshall Fields and other long gone stores was brought up and the fact there is nothing comparable in what is left in the marketplace after the dust has settled.

Our children will not remember the country we once knew. Remember all the unique stores, banks, restaurants and airlines there used to be?


Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2010  2:46 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

The Gap changed their logo starting with their web site. After a day of complaints, Gap went back to their old logo.

While some criticized or made fun of Gap for their mis-step, I found it heartening that a corporation listened to what their customers overwhelmingly want. Too bad the same can't be said to Macy's with regards to Marshall Field's. 81% of Chicago shoppers prefer Marshall Field's to Macy's.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/gap-inc-puts-gap-back-in-logo/?emc=eta1

Date: Monday, October 11, 2010  8:39 am CT
Posted by: gle

As I enjoy Ms. Soucek's new book, "Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago," I am reminded how Field's was a big part of the American dream in Chicago. If the American dream is gone, what is there to aspire to? Many immigrant ancestors worked hard so they could buy their first hat at Marshall Field's. What are people supposed to work hard for now--to shop at Messy's? Ugh!

I'm glad to see the Field's Fans website up and running again with our new server. I missed it, and still miss Marshall Field's.


Date: Sunday, October 10, 2010  8:08 pm CT
Posted by: Mike b

I am at the State Street Store evey week. Yes they do change things around alot departemnts etc. However in the men's departments the merchandise is more trnedy and priced much better than Field's ever did .

Macy's has though really messed things up in furniture. the department is lower priced ugly stuff, compared to the designer trendy cut of the edge merchandise Field's sold, and yet Macy's continued to sell that merchandise until this spring. Another bad thing they did was to close off the Wabash escaltor bank above the seciond floor. It looks like K-mart fort how tacky they boared up the escalators since they are so cheap to maintain them. Those of us who love the 111 n State ST. Store need to write letters complain on the website about how cheap and penny pinchy Macy's has become and yet they claim sales are going up. Does that make sense to cut back on the store while sales are going up? Who is in charge of State Street??? A idiot??? Also the outside lights have been off for months another penny pinching thing Macy's has done and yet they do not realize customers know what they are doing


Date: Thursday, October 7, 2010  7:33 pm CT
Posted by: Barb L.

Bring back Marshall Field's to Chicago!

Thank you for your patience during our webserver relocation.

We are a grassroots organization and are appreciative to have a new party hosting our server. The only down-side (pun-intended) is that our site and this blog were down much of the time from September 21 through October 6, 2010.

Below, you will see posts dated September/October 2010. These posts were made during some instances when the blog was up and able to receive posts. Regular posting is now available again--thank you for your written contributions to our blog.

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


Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: J.F.

Macy's talks about giving what customers want through "localization". How about giving Chicago customers what they really want--Marshall Field's!
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/business/02local.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: Jody

The former Field's flagship on State Street has suffered from terrible neglect and poor maintenance. There's this one brass door handle on Randolph near Wabash that has been replaced about 4 times since Macy's took over, and today I noticed it has come loose. These clowns can't even fix things right even when they try. What a disgrace that this paragon of classy retailing has fallen to this.

Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: Olivia N

I wanted to say, I absolutely LOVED Marshall Fields and desperately want it to come back. I very reluctantly walked into Macy's, to see the old building, and it was heartbreaking. I didn't buy anything but I did notice that the prices were slashed. I've talked to some of my friends about this and we all feel that they would not need to slash prices like this if they would brand the store as Marshall Fields. It makes the store seem cheap and desperate for business. Maybe they are suffering, I know a lot of folks, just like us, will no longer shop there. We want our Marshall Fields back. Macy's, if "it's only a name" then why not give it back to us?

I've personally written 2 letters to Macy's and I've never received a response.


Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: Kathy Porter

Darlene Quinn will be promoting the sequel to her book, "Webs of Power", entitled "Twisted Webs". Like "Webs of Power", "Twisted Webs" is a "factualization" based on the store of Federated, Macy's and other department stores from the 1980s to recent times.

"Twisted Web" includes a nod to all of you who have been working hard to bring back Marshall Field's.

Among her several appearances in the Chicago area at the end of the month, will be a book signing for "Twisted Webs" at Borders, 4718 N. Broadway in Chicago, just south of Lawrence in the newly revitalized Uptown neighborhood.

Please join us and watch for Ms. Quinn's other Chicagoland appearances.


Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: drew

I would agree with Jim that the Red Star stores are "okay" as department stores, but the nation already had many "okay" department stores, thank you.

But I would say that Kohl's and The Bon Ton/Carson's/Elder-Beerman are actually a step ABOVE the Red Star. Both stores carry more name brand merchandise and seasonal items. Kohl's offers a large selection of decorative home accessories and gift items not sold at the Red Star. The Bon Ton always has a large selection of apparel and other items featuring professional and collegiate athletic teams; for example, I can find Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Penn State, University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia Mountaineer supplies at my local store. (Evidently stocking regional athletic team items is a new innovation at the Red Star.)


Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: drew

Unbelievable! Mr Lunkhead has the brilliant marketing plan to adjust merchandise assortments to local interests:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-27/macy-s-markets-elvis-blackhawks-in-hometown-shops-to-revive-holiday-sales.html?cmpid=yhoo
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-27/macy-s-markets-elvis-blackhawks-in-hometown-shops-to-revive-holiday-sales.html?cmpid=yhoo

Wasn't this the same "genius" who said shoppers wanted the same cookie cutter department store in every city? Weren't all the "efficiencies" of the same shopping bags and advertising across the country supposed to result in massive profits? Weren't shoppers going to be "excited" at the prospect of having a New York nameplate at their local mall?

Perhaps The Lunkster is FINALLY starting to get it! A bland, generic coast-to-coast department store chain has elicited a big YAWN from shoppers. Second rate "celebrities" and nondescript, overpriced house brands haven't had much appeal for customers who long for quality and value. The so-called profit based on cost-cutting measures has probably bottomed out, the shoppers who purchase only merchandise which has been drastically discounted have not replaced the loyal long-term customers, as the ill-planned macy*fication has been a major disconnect and disappointment.


Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Here we are at the end of September and those wacky folks at Macy's still have racks and racks and racks of summer "fashion." Still no takers at clearance prices. Time to farm out to Goodwill.

One has to wonder if "My Macy's" and region-focused buying is working for Macy's. Why are they showing a several new lines of spring jackets for men? Seriously? Macy's buyers take note: It gets cold and snows in the midwest.

How thin can you make a men's sweater before it just turns into a shirt? Ask Macy's, where the paper thin sweater lives again.

Holiday Lane has opened. Uninspired collection. Remember how fabulous the selection was at Fields? How I miss that store.

Sadly, Macy's is again taking on the looks of a warehouse store. Piles of boxes in housewares and gifts. Very tacky...but then again, it's Macy's.


Date: September/October 2010 
Posted by: Susan NY

Ok- it is about Field's--absolutely, there is None Other. The fact that lesser stores have held meaning for their patrons that they wish to share here, however, just underscores the exceptional significance of Field's on State.

Names that not only have been around over a century, but have stood for an unusually high quality of experience for millions of people, are treasures. The names are intangible but nevertheless carry power, and deserve honor. Renaming the Sears Tower was annoying but not a cultural raid.

A jewel is a jewel. Losing it hurts no matter how you contrive to rationalize or dismiss the loss.

So yes, we want our Field's treasure back whether we are living in Chicago or not, whether or not we have had a recession, whether it is Sears or Willis nearby.


Date: Monday, September 20, 2010  8:09 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I was Spring Hill Mall (West Dundee and Carpentersville) and Woodfield Mall on Saturday afternoon. Both malls were moderately busy, including the anchor department stores.

Of course, I did check out the former Field's stores now operated as Macy's at both malls.

I found both stores to be well staffed in terms of quantity, although since I didn't need assistance, I can't comment one way or another on the quality.

The stores weren't awful but they felt pretty generic-- a bit like Carson's or Kohl's in terms of merchandise and atmosphere. I guess I still expected more of the stores since they had once been Marshall Field's. Like most other department stores, they had Christmas merchandise for sale, including Christmas-wrapped Frangos at Spring Hill and ornaments at Woodfield. In addition to the ornaments at the court entrance at Woodfield, they had one tree of Chicago and Marshall Field's clock-themed ornaments near the Frangos in the basement. These seemed to be inferior imitations of some Radko ornaments -- including the clock and Chicago Theatre marquee ornaments -- sold a few years ago at Field's.

I don't know how they compare with other mint meltaway candy prices, but I was surprised that a four-piece box of frangos was over $3.00 and a pound approached $20.00, depending on the box design. Of course, they do go on sale much more often than they did when the stores were Marshall Field's and those Wow passes must reduce the prices.

As a regular, average department store, it was all-in-all OK. But comparing it to when it used to be Marshall Field's, it was terribly disappointing.

I was also at the Bloomingdale's on North Michigan Avenue recently, and it was interesting to note how well the store including its bathrooms are very clean, modern and what I would expect at Field's. In a certain way, I found that frustrating--but I will explain further in a future post.

Jim


Date: Saturday, September 18, 2010  10:58 am CT
Posted by: Linda Simons

Thank you, Michael Smith, for posting the video about Rikes. I lived in Dayton 1972-1997 and have fond memories of the downtown store. When I first moved there, it was still a full service store with travel agency, photography studio, fabrics and patterns, handbag and glove repair, and lots of other services as well as clothing, furniture, and the usual department store merchandise. True story: one day I was on the escalator and had my Marshall Fields tote bag, a cloth bag that looked like the Fields shopping bags. A woman came running up to me and said, "Do you work for Marshall Fields?" I explained that I was a former Chicagolander, and that I had purchased the bag on a trip home. She expressed her admiration for Fields. I wore out that bag. I wish I still had it.

Date: Friday, September 17, 2010  2:54 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

I walked thorough the store formerly known as Marshall Field's yesterday. All I can say is, I think Macy's just doesn't get it, doesn't get Chicago, and thinks we're just another suburb of New York. It's clear from their ad (a glossy sheet) that wrapped the entire RedEye newspaper on Monday, and which was photographed in, (I'd guess) Central Park and Manhattan. Female Chicagoans are not going to buy short sleeved pink tops for fall! (They will buy them only if they are planning a trip to Los Angeles.) They also will not buy a short sleeved black top with white trim (or maybe this was a dress.) Not unless it comes with a matching sweater.

Foxy shoppers please note: a lot of the same or similar fall clothes and accessories at Macy's (misses) are at Carson's and are on sale. They are all full price at the store at 111 N. State St., Chicago.


Date: Friday, September 17, 2010  5:19 am CT
Posted by: Cheryl

I Loved Marshall Fields and have never stepped foot in that other store.

NORTH EDGEWATER HOUSE WALK, Sunday, September 19, 2010
The Edgewater Historical Society is not directly affiliated with FieldsFansChicago.org but one of its volunteers is also our most active volunteer here at FieldsFansChicago.org; additionally, the Edgewater Historical Society displayed an exhibit on Marshall Field's from 2006-2007. With that in mind, please consider attending and enjoying the Edgewater Historcial Society's 22nd Annual Home Tour this Sunday afternoon, September 19, 2010. Please see http://www.edgewaterhistory.org for more details.

Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010  2:01 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Part 1 of the BBC World Service's "The World Today" story on Marshall Field's, Macy's and our cause is available until Midnight, Saturday, September 18.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p009k956/The_World_Today_12_09_2010

Part 2 includes about 2-3 minutes of discussion by the show's panel. We hope to have it at some point.

Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010  2:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Images from Sunday's events are now added to the photo album at the top of our home page, FieldsFansChicago.org

I'm sure you share my gratitude when I say that I can't thank G. Evenson and "Zelda" enough for your generous use of their photos.


Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010  11:17 am CT
Posted by: Jim

Many of the same issues came up when I communicated with Crain's Chicago Business about the possibility of the Museum of Science and Industry being renamed for someone who stepped tforward with a hugely substantial sum of money to dramatically benefit the institution.

First of all, Crain's said there was not precedence for that in Chicago history. In fact, there is precedence--the Columbian Museum was renamed the Field Museum when Mr. Marshall Field I became a huge benefactor. Interestingly, Mr. A. Montgomery Ward fought Mr. Field when he attempted to locate the Field Museum in the middle of Grant Park. That controversey still extends to today in the controversey to relocate the Chicago Childrens Museum to Grant Park.

Even more fascinating is how the Musuem of Science and Industry is purposely NOT named for an individual-- endowed by Sears, Roebuck and Company president and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, he did not want the musuem named for him.

However, given the circumstances and hard times, I think it is possible that the right donor could somehow have their name asscoiated with another institution. I bring this ip in this context not because we should debate the names of other institutions--those are different causes beyond our scope--but to illustrate that this is in fact different than what is the story with Marshall Field's and Macy's. I know more than a few differ in their opinions, but to me personally, I'm mostly concerned about the brand "Marshall Field's" being synonymous with Chicago. For ME, the name needing to come back is about the stores and Chicagoans they represent, not as much about Mr. Field or Mr. R.H. Macy, neither of whom I am 100% crazy about as people.

I want Marshall Field's to come back because retail innovations in Chicago's culinary arts, fashion scene, interior design profession should continue to be presented under what is by far Chicago's most internationally known brand--not a brand from another city.

While we are on the subject, I enjoy the nostalgia for stores like Rike's and many others, but I don't think you would see the same efforts for other lost department store brands that you see for Marshall Field's. You don't see people rallying in the streets for the former May Department store brands, let alone the many others. Yes, there is disappointment and sadness, but not to the extent that there is for Marshall Field's. Like I once said, I have friends in St. Louis who miss Famous Barr, but they angrier about the loss of Marshall Field's on State Street. You don't see people trying to have T.J. Maxx change its name back to Zayre. My family worked for the likes of Sears, Ward's, Carson Pirie Scott, Wieboldt's, Hecht's, etc. but never for Field's. But it's Marshall Field's we come out for.

Field's was more than a store. It was Chicago's international institution.


Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010  11:17 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I love the Field Museum, have spent many happy hours there. If I had a billion dollars to give them, would I expect the name to be changed to glorify me? Not on your life! There are nobler ways to get glory besides using money to paste your own name over a beloved, long-established cultural icon you did not bring into being. As we used to say-- get a grip! Mr. Benefactor, apply your name to your own creation, or maybe, consider the route of modesty. Your friends, enemies and museum community/patrons will know you did it anyway, the rest don't matter. Move from richesse presume to noblesse oblige.

Slapping Macy's name and culture/will over Marshall Field's did not bring glory to Macy's. Obviously. If names did not matter, Macy's would not have been so determined to squelch whatever Field's culture it could from Chicago. If old honored names did not matter, it would have been simple.


Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010  11:17 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Thanks to Michael Smith for sharing the link to the great video about Rike's. The video was an interesting store about how a local department store was interwoven into the fabric of its community. How sad that similar stories could be told about other stores in other cities, all these beloved departments and their unique traditions now gone.

So much of what WAS special about various communities has been homogenized and "dumbed down" to the absolute lowest common denominator. Today's children will know nothing more than Anytown USA.


Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010  10:44 pm CT
Posted by: gayle

Hi Folks,

It was so great to see and talk with so many of you at the rally!

Funny true story:I have a very dear friend and coworker who has never understood my contempt for Macy's. She shops at the suburban stores occasionally, and although she isn't a loyal customer, she just didn't see what the big deal was about. (She's from Brazil, and didn't grow up in Chicago.)

On Sunday, she made a special trip downtown to attend the book signing. Afterwards, she decided to do some shopping, and headed to Macy's. Here are her observations:

1. Store lighting was garish, and displays were "nothing special."

2. Too much red everywhere!

3. Hardly any employees, and the ones there didn't offer to help her.

4. Food court "looks like a cafeteria now."

5. When she went to the ladies room to wash her hands, the first two sinks had hand-written "out of order" signs on them. The signs were stained and gross. The NEXT THREE SINKS did not work, even though they had no signs. She and another customer finally discovered that one lone sink worked,and they had to take turns using it.

6. My friend, in frustration, said "what's wrong with this place!?" The other customer said "It's Macy's now.That's why it's a dump. Field's never would have let it run down like this." My friend was surprised to hear another customer speak so matter-of-factly about how poorly Macy's ran the store, so she showed her my book. The woman looked at it, and said "I'm going to Borders right now. Thank you!"
Geez, even the people who shop there can't say anything nice! My friend walked up to me Monday morning and said "I finally understand.It really isn't the same, is it? Not even close!"

BY next year, I'm predicting 85%..... :-)


Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010  8:45 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Good story: The latest edition of NewCity has a story on this past Sunday's rally for Marshall Field's:
Field Day: Keeping the green dream alive on State Street by Lindsey Kratochwill
http://newcity.com/2010/09/13/field-day-keeping-the-green-dream-alive-on-state-street/
The print edition that just came out today (cover story on the new conductor of the CSO) also has the story on page 3.

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: Told to FieldsFansChicago by gle

The opinions page of this week's Crain's Chicago Business has an op-ed piece by FieldsFansChicago.org's co-organizer, Jim McKay. It is a response to recent reports that the Museuem of Science and Industry may be renamed for a substantial benefactor. The opinion piece draws comparisons and contrasts between the conversion of Marshall Field's to Macy's, the renaming of the Sears Tower as the Willis Tower, and the move from Children's Memorial Hospital to Lurie Children's Hospital.

The op-ed piece is in print ediion and can also be viewed at http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20100911/ISSUE07/309119922/letters-time-for-a-new-chicago-naming-conventions.


Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010  6:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

A huge "Marshall Field's Regards" to all who helped make our "Rally for Marshall Field's, Rally for Chicago" a huge success.

* Participation was rather fluid with rough estimates of 70 Field's supporters cycling through our afternoon rally with a peak of between 30 and 40 during the 50-minute-long event.

* CBS2, NBC5, WGN-Channel 9 and Fox32 all covered the story during their evening newscasts. WBBM Newsradio 780 AM also talked about the rally on Sunday morning.

* Gayle Soucek's book, Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago, was in stock at Borders at State and Randolph but other book stores were still waiting for delivery. If your local store does not have the book, check back in a few days or you can order from http://www.historypress.net Ms. Soucek has upcoming book signings throughout the Chicago area including at Barnes & Noble at DePaul on State in October and the Chicago History Museum in November.

* BBC World Service aired the story on our ongoing efforts this past Sunday. In Chicago, it aired at 12:50 am on Chicago Public Radio, 91.5 FM. We hope to have more details on how you can hear it again if you missed it. The story aired on all continents and shows how this is an issue of international concern.

* Thanks to all who helped make the event a success, including but not lmited to, A., gle, Gayle, Paul, those who flew in, and, of course, Zelda, and many others.

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


Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010  6:45 pm CT
Posted by: Heidi

wish I could've been there, I was actually in Chicago last week and couldn't stay. Can't wait to get the new book.

Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010  10:10 am CT
Posted by: D.J.

All my life I have dreamed of visiting Marshall Fields and now to learn that Marshall Filed has been taken over by Macy's, as I planned to achieve my childhood dream to visit Chicago, is more than I want to think about. Macy stay in New York and leave the rest of the USA keep it's uniqueness.

Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010  9:53 am CT
Posted by: gle

It was great to see so many Field's Fan "regulars" as well as new faces on State Street Sunday, at both our Field's Fans rally and the debute of Gayle Soucek's beautiful new book, "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago." The coninued and growing support is encouraging, and shows that Chicago is a city that knows what it wants--and that is Marshall Field's.

TV Fox 32 covered the rally on the Sunday 10:00 p.m. news. Chants of "We don't shop here anymore!" came across loud and clear. I thought the news anchors just kind of stated what happened, and gave looks like they didn't know what to make of it--that's it. At least the station covered the event.

Messy's came out with a VERY glossy red ad insert wrapped around the "Red Eye" newspaper on Monday, September 13. Its focus was on finding your magic at Messy's. I made it disappear into the trash.

"Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago," is now proudly displayed over my desk at work. My co-workers love it and are asking me all sorts of questions, about our movement and the history of Chicago in general.


Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010  12:54 am CT
Posted by: Michael Smith

http://video.thinktv.org/video/1434909165

Thought people would enjoy this on here. It is about the history of Rike's in Dayton, Oh. Such a sad ending to a magnificent store. You'll be amazed why it went down the toilet.


Date: Monday, September 13, 2010  8:37 pm CT
Posted by: Jason

I am working in Germany but was thrilled to hear the BBC story on Field's. BRING IT BACK!

Date: Monday, September 13, 2010  11:15 am CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi Field's Fans:

It was great to see so many of you at our rally yesterdy - some new ones, too! The movement is alive and well. Gayle's wonderful book had a successful book signing at Border's, and the border's associate said he was surprised at the excellent turnout! It's sure to do well in their Chicago Section on the main floor.

When I got home I simply could not bear to put Marsha back in her box, so she is now standing at the side of my fireplace (at least for a while), in full Field's regalia. Everyone loves to be photographed with her, and that makes me happy. We also got numerous honks and shouts of approval from tour buses, cars and pedestrians on State Street.

But the most special moment of all was when I was wheeling Marsha over to Border's and spotted a whole group of MACY'S EMPLOYEES looking through the glass doors and smiling at Marsha!

We were blessed with a perfectly beautiful sunny day, and all had a lot of fun.

Keepin' the faith,

Your friend in Field's,

Zelda


Date: Monday, September 13, 2010  11:15 am CT
Posted by: Jo

I stopped by the rally yesterday. I hope we can get Marshall Field's back!

Date: Monday, September 13, 2010  10:00 am CT
Posted by: Gayle

Channels 2 & 9 covered the rally, and mentioned the 81% survey.

Date: Monday, September 13, 2010  9:50 am CT
Posted by: Jeff S.

The book signing was so nice! I and a few others were at the tail end of the day at Borders and had such a nice conversation with Gayle about her book. Even though we were not with the big crowd earlier, it was so nice to see the support of Marshall Field's in front of Borders. Those of us who sat and visited with Gayle were drawn into good conversation about our particular memories of the great Marshall Field Department Store! Thank you for a great afternoon.

Date: Monday, September 13, 2010  1:48 am CT
Posted by: Duane

I admire your tenacity. I just wish it could come back.

Date: Sunday, September 12, 2010  11:00 pm CT
Posted by: Marie

Channel 9 and 32 both had stories about the rally.

Date: Sunday, September 12, 2010  7:22 pm CT
Posted by: Sue R.

I really miss the store and won't even shop at Macy's on line as there are none near me.

Date: Sunday, September 12, 2010  7:19 pm CT
Posted by: S.

NBC5 Chicago has a story that is quote negative. I feel that Fields Fans are like the late Montgomery Ward...in that we have to convince the city's citizens of what seems obviously a good move - bring back Fields. I remember the stories of how Ward had to fight 20 years to make sure that Grant Park and the Lake remained free and open to the public.

Hope the rally went well. I would have been there as in past years but could not because of health reasons.


Date: Sunday, September 12, 2010  2:07 am CT
Posted by: D.F.

Another book to add to your list about Marshall Field is "Give the Lady What She Wants" by Lloyd Wendt.

Date: Saturday, September 11, 2010  7:30 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

Marshall Field's was everything that was right with retail and nothing that was not. I hope that State Street once againa becomes Field's and stands tall and proud as the crown jewel in Chicago retail.

Date: Saturday, September 11, 2010  12:21 am CT
Posted by: Gayle

To Nancy P.--

I was thrilled to read your post. I pay tribute to your aunt and uncle in my book, Marshall Field's: the Store That Helped Build Chicago.

I'm a big fan of Uncle Mistletoe...I hope that I did him (and Johanna and Addis) justice. :-)

See you all at the rally Sunday!

Field's forever,

gayle


Date: Friday, September 10, 2010  2:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Chicago Tribune piece on the BBC World Service story on Field's -- view from across the globe:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0910-notebook-retail-20100909,0,3053710.story


Date: Friday, September 10, 2010  1:20 pm CT
Posted by: In Florida

Nothing would please me more than to know that Marshall Field's would be up and running again. It was a fabulous store, and to a very great extent, really defined Chicago for many of us.

As I reside in Miami I shall be unable to attend in person, but please be assured that I shall be there in thought. Your are doing something wonderful, and I am cheering for you (and all the rest of the MF&Co supporters)... loud and clear!


Date: Friday, September 10, 2010  1:12 pm CT
Posted by: S.W.

I travel to Chicago often and truly miss Marshall Fields. I have written a letter to Macy's once again expressing my desire that Marshall Fields return to Chicago. B Thank you so much for keeping me posted on the activities of your group.

Date: Friday, September 10, 2010  10:05 am CT
Posted by: Mary

Here's to a big turn out on Sunday....please be sure to come and be a part of it. It can't happen without you!

Date: Friday, September 10, 2010  12:17 am CT
Posted by: Nancy P.

I'm thrilled that Chicagoans are working toward having Marshall Field's come back. I grew up in a Marshall Field & Co. family. My Aunt, Johanna Osborne, was a designer/buyer who did the Christmas windows for years, among other things. She, my uncle (Addis Osborne), and my father (Ivar Viehe-Naess, Jr.) conceived Uncle Mistletoe and Aunt Holly a few years before I was born (I have a pair of the original dolls that had been my Great Aunt's.) I was privileged to work in the paperback book department at the State Street store in 1969 - a very happy time. We never shopped anywhere else but Fields. And the Christmas breakfasts with my parents and my Aunt Johanna, the lunches at State Street and Old Orchard while shopping with my mother, the Christmas windows...only a few of the great memories I have.

I was married in 1974 to someone (his name is Marshall) from the Philadelphia area and I've missed Fields terribly. Frangos, too, of course. There is nothing like Marshall Fields anywhere - I support your cause wholeheartedly!!


Date: Thursday, September 9, 2010  10:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Field's Fans will be discussed on WGN Radio 720 AM at 4:04 am Friday morning (in about six hours from this writing) and again at just after 10:00 10:35 am tomorrow morning (Friday).

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2010  7:45 pm CT
Posted by: S.B.

Today WBBM Newsradio 780 AM aired a segemnt on this Sunday's rally to bring back Marshall Field's.

http://wbbm.cbslocal.com/2010/09/09/marshall-fields-super-die-hards-to-rally-4-years-after-macys/

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2010  9:53 am CT
Posted by: Kathleen H.

I agree with Roger Ebert in that Macy's disregard for the name of Marshall Field is a rape and pillage of the city of Chicago. Every other corporation that has purchased the Field's stores has honored the name of Field, a name of extensive history and great philanthropy in our city. Why won't Macy's show even a modicum of respect for the people they hope to lure? As long as the name of Marshall Field is in exile, I will never spend a dollar at any Macy's store. Anywhere.


Date: Thursday, September 9, 2010  9:38 am CT
Posted by: Luann Mary S.

I'm so grateful you continue to fight the good fight. Macy's said the 111 N. State St. location was their crown jewel; unfortunately, it's treated as anything but. The women's bathrooms seem to always be a mess, with sometimes three or four sinks out of order. That beautiful piece of architecture is being run into the ground. The buzz and excitement, especially at Christmastime, is absent. It's as if a pall hangs over it. I miss Marshall Field so much (and yes, I have a life), (as well as Carson's on State), if not for its quality merchandise and iconic status, for its historical significance. Isn't there a way Field's can return to the State Street location alone? That way, people will be forced to come to the city to shop, and it will bring a vibrancy and business back to that Great Street. It might inspire Carson's, and other greats to return to State, as well.

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2010  8:18 am CT
Posted by: gle

Messy's may boast about a small sales increase, but they are the only ones I hear boasting. From the customer side I still get the usual responses to my "I want my Marshall Field's" button--"Ugh Messy's, it's not the same, it's not special, all they have is that cheap stuff, they are only good for bargains, they're only a teenage store now, I guess we're stuck with them (not we love them), I want my Marshall Field's too!"

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2010  6:56 am CT
Posted by: Howard E.

disagree...lifetime chicagoan..59..born on the westside...still ride the greenline into town as i live in oak park..my family loves downtown, the el,and the beautiful building that houses the store..but we think macys is just fine..it took a while..but thats it...its the classic building, not the fields name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Response from Jim, co-organizer: Mr. E.: I think I understand where you are coming from In our recent poll, 13% actually preferred Macy's over Marshall Field's while snother 6% liked both the same or were indifferent. Clearly you are represented by the 13% in our poll. However, 81% still prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's That's a whopping four out of five Chicago shoppers who still want Marshall Field's back. Thank you for your post.


Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2010  4:54 pm CT
Posted by: J.DS.

Whomever runs for Mayor might ask for votes from the people for Marshal Field's. If he could guarantee it's return, she or he might be the winner.

Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2010  2:43 pm CT
Posted by: Mary in Detroit

I travel back and forth between Michigan and Chicago, and I WILL NOT even go into Macy's. I am moving back to Chicago, and what a joy it would be to have Marshall Fields back!

Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010  7:20 pm CT
Posted by: M.P.

I look forwaard to attending the rally this weekend.

Viva Marshall Field's!


Date: Monday, September 6, 2010  7:20 pm CT
Posted by: John M

Some of my happiest shopping experiences were at Marshall Field's. I would plan trips around the stores and still to this day feel its as if a child was taken from me.

Date: Monday, September 6, 2010  6:13 pm CT
Posted by: Doris in NE

My Grandfather shipped cattle from Iowa to Chicago in the early 1900's and then would go to Marshall Fields to buy gifts for all of his 7 children (my mother was one of the kids) I would love to have these buttons for my children. Thank you,

Date: Monday, September 6, 2010  5:25 pm CT
Posted by: C.

I think Nordstrom on Michigan Ave. is the new Marshall Field's (for now.) The problem is, they only have a fraction of the merchandise that Field's had. I'm not used to shopping in small mall-type stores.

Date: Sunday, September 5, 2010  1:46 pm CT
Posted by: PDX Tim

Never give up! Even Gottschalks is going to be reincarnated.

http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/92110474.html

I once drove a fairly long distance to shop one of their stores for some things I needed, just to avoid Macy's. It was small but very clean and plenty of service help, all of whom greeted me when I was in their department. I had almost forgot what that was like. I hope they grow and grow. I would love to see them throughout the West again as an alternative to the Macy's level of store. We don't have any at this time, like a Carson's (where I have been ordering from online too).

Best of luck in the upcoming rally and those of us outside the area who are unable to attend will be sending our thoughts! Feel free to tell anyone that you are representing thousands and thousands of others who want that squatter Macy's out of 111 State!!!


Date: Sunday, September 5, 2010  11:17 am CT
Posted by:

Macy's did post strong same store sales. Chicago is turning around for Macy's. Every confreence call for the last year reports that the Chicago stores are gaining the best in the country True they fell after the conversion, but the oakbrook store must be doinf=g something right, since penny pinching macy's is spending alot to remodel the store now. It is upsetting that the Field's furniture is gone and yes Macy's cannot compare to field's with style and quality, but the economy the way it is now the high end merchandise is suffering. The high end furniture stores are loosing ., customers cannot spend 14,000 for a dining room table. The sad fact is the economy is still not what it was 3 years ago. I hope that Mcys' would rename teh State Strret storeMacy's at Marshall Field's and bring back some of the Field's quality merchandise, but we have to push them and tell them what we as customers want . They are open to selling what we want. Boycotting will not change that to them. We need to work with them , not against them!!!!

Response from Co-Organizer Jim McKay: So many have tried to work with them but I sense some change in a positive direction--I attend the shareholders meeting in Cinci every year. I sensed more willingness on their part this year. In the past, we've suggested alternatives such as returning "classic" locations to Field's to simply running State Street as Marshall Field's with the best merchandise from both Macy's and Bloomingdale's plus those brands that only want to be with Marshall Field's. It could be its own district like Herald Sqare. Service levels would have to be addressed. Given Macy's resources, I can't undestand why they wouldn't want to make so many Chicagoans happy. I will write more after the rally has passed when I have more time. Many thanks for yours and all posts.


Date: Saturday, September 4, 2010  7:08 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Many thanks to all who helped make our leafleting on State Street a huge success today. Over a thousand leaflets were distributed. Special thanks to gle, A. and G.

Date: Friday, September 3, 2010  1:09 pm CT
Posted by: gwp

I am a Marshall Field fan & always will be. Thank you for the updates. I've had people ask me questions that I can't answer. Where is the money going to come from for a store? Are you thinking of talking over Macy's when they fail? (& they will).B

Date: Friday, September 3, 2010  7:05 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

t has occurred to me that while I lived in the Chicago area, there were all those stores where you could go for clothing and "stuff" -- They ranged from serviceable to quite nice or posh. I guess our way of thinking was simply to go right to the Source: Field's. We occasionally went to the others- but basically it was Field's or nothing. Why go anywhere else? Not only was the merchandise a draw, but the place itself. If there had been no FIeld's I suppose the rest might have flourished better and longer. --pause-- can't imagine such an unthinkable void in my past! Guess we will have to learn to do it in the future.

A thought: if you manage a herd of dairy cows, and sell them off one by one to feed the others because you haven't figured out how to run the business well enough to feed all of them, and by this strategy you report a 4% profit on the herd each quarter, why is that a commendable business practice? The herd is disappearing magically like the Cheshire cat, down to the signature smile at the end.


Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010  5:40 pm CT
Posted by: SLS

Just returned from my class reunion. I wore my Forever Marshall Field's button and so many asked where they could obtain one????

Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's reported a 4.3% sales increase for August at stores open more than year. Perhaps that increase is great in the Chicago area, but consider how far the stores have fallen; moreover, consider that 81% of Chicagoans prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's. They could be doing even better.

I don't think Macy's will in the near future disappear and will exist for sometime in some way. But Macy's has its place in the American retail landscape--just not at 111 N. State Street. There are better uses for that very special international destination.

It came up in discussion today with a friend. I like Lord and Taylor but clearly, it doesn't have much a presence here in Chicago. I agree with the person who said that it was a shame that Macy's didn't leave the Marshall Field's stores Woodfield, Northbrook, Old Orchard, Oak Brook and Water Tower, not to mention on State Street. They should have turned the Lord and Taylor stores at those mall locations to Macy's.

According to today's sales figures, Carson's parent, Bon-Ton, isn't doing so well . Given that Macy's has taken multiple department store brands in several markets (L.A., Boston, Atlanta, NYC/Northern New Jersey, etc.), it's entirely possible that Carson's might end up in Macy's hands someday sooner rather than later. Both Carson's and Field's changed hands three times within a decade. It can happen again.

The retail landscape constantly changes--let's hang in there and see what seachanges happen to bring back the world's beloved Marshall Field's.


Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010  3:44 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

To J. Gimbles: I noticed the whitish Frango Mint cookies at Watertower Place in Chicago recently. I was nauseated. I know this means the chocolate is old (possibly from last year or older.) They were full price, too. They only had the cookies, 1 lb boxes of Frangos, and only in the original flavor, as well as Frango Mint coffee. I was looking for a small package of something chocolate, so I just went across the street to Ghiradelli! (They sell fresh chocolate there!)

Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010  12:02 pm CT
Posted by: G.

A friend of mine knows how I much I detest Macy's so they decided to play a little prank.

They went to a Macy's and, without buying anything, they asked for a Macy's bag and placed the bag on my desk at work. We all had a laugh--but then the office discussion turned to how much we all hate Macy's and still can't believe how inferior Macy's is to Marshall Field's. Everyone was so intense and passionate about Field's and their dislike for Macy's.

And how about the Macy's bag: at Field's, they usually didn't give the bags away without a purchase because, as was explained by one kind sales person, "we'd give away hundreds--everyone seems to want a Field's bag as a souvenir."

I wouldn't be surprised if Macy's wasn't deseperate just to get their bags out there as an attenpt at advertising.


Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2010  11:41 am CT
Posted by: drew

More "magic" at the Red Star. Greg Norman golf apparel will now be featured! Wow! Wasn't Greg Norman really popular in the 1980s and 1990s?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Greg-Norman-Tees-It-Up-with-bw-3568178633.html?x=0&.v=1

As I recall, Greg Norman clothing was sold by several other retailers back in the day; I believe Sears carried this line. Pairing Greg Norman with Tasso Elba (whoever THAT is!) should really attract those who seek unique, distinctive fashion! Tommy Hilfiger, Madonna and now Greg Norman. Wonder when Jordache jeans and Members Only jackets will be added to the "only at macy*s" fashion line-up.


Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2010  8:10 am CT
Posted by: gle

A co-worker in the elevator yesterday saw my button and gave the usual comment, "I want my Marshall Field's too." I respondend that everybody does, and added that Messy's thinks they are such hot stuff. She responded, "They sure aren't!"

Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2010  12:19 am CT
Posted by: K.B.

We loved Field's.

We visited Macy's in New York once. We weren't impressed. We came out of the store empty-handed.


Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2010  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Crains Chicago Business on line, ChicagoBusiness.com, has a video story about the possibility of a major donor stepping forward to greatly enhance the Musuem of Science and Industry. In exchange for the donation, their name would be added to the MSI's name.

The story starts with what is now iconic footage of former Marshall Field's customers picketing on State Street on Saturday, September 9, 2006.

Keep in mind that the Columbian Museum was renamed in honor of its biggest benefactor at the time, the Field Museum of Natural History. The change was warmly received.

It comes down to whether something is better or not. Macy's is not better than Field's.


Date: Monday, August 30, 2010  7:25 am CT
Posted by: Don P.

I split my time living between Wisconsin and Florida. There are Macy's stores in both places, but I will not go to them because of what they did to Marshall Field's.

Like myself, I hear from more than a few who refuse to shop Macy's where ever they are in the nation because of what they did to Marshall Field's in Chicago.


Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010  10:05 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

A warm "thank you" to all who helped make our leafleting efforts on State Street a huge success yesterday--A., G., J. and especially "gle". We were out under the clock at State and Washington from late morning to mid-Afternoon, until we distributed more than 1,000 leaflets. The response still expressed an overwhelming preference for Marshall Field's. There was a great deal of interest in a book about Marshall Field's that is being released in the next few days. This is the book by Gayle Soucek. Ms. Soucek will be having a book talk and signing at Borders on State and Randolph--kitty corner from the Marshall Field and Company Building--at 2:00 pm, Sunday, September 12, after the rally that we have scheduled.

We will be leafleting again this Saturday, September 4 from about 1 to 4 pm or longer. Please email info@FieldsFansChicago.org if you are interested.

We are also requesting your financial assistance so that we can continue our leaflet and button distribution programs and other activities. Again, please email info@FieldsFansChicago.org on how you may contribute financially.

Best regards, much respect and many thanks for all of your efforts.


Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010  6:02 pm CT
Posted by: G.S.

Today's Chicago Tribune had an editorial cartoon on privitization of the City of Chicago's assets and other civic services. The cartoon featured a City of Chicago flag with the six-point Chicago stars replaced with the stars of Texaco, Hardee's restaurants and Macy's. The Macy's star really ellicted contempt in our household.

Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010  2:32 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I was with Field's Fans distributing leaflets yesterday on State Street to promote our rally for September 12 at 1 p.m., to be followed by the book signing at Border's at 2 p.m. for Gayle Soucek's new release, "Marshall Field's, the Store that Helped Build Chicago." I thought the response was VERY encouraging. Many people said they will come and look forward to it, including the younger generation (Messy's target market). I understand we gave out about 1,000 leaflets. I can hardly wait to see the book. It should contain a lot of good memories.

Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010  11:36 am CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

How old are your Frango mints?

Would you believe those wacky folks at Macy's are selling boxed Frango mints from 2008? MMM, tasty. Not. I bet the candy is all nice and waxy by now after sitting on a shelf for two years. Macy's also have plenty of stock from 2009. Perhaps Macy's need to learn how to handle chocolate or how to rotate stock or will finally realize it was the fact the candy from Marshall Fields is what truly made it special.

Just got back from California. The red star stores are horribly understaffed, messy and have lots of broken doors. Why are so many exterior doors out of service at Macy's? It can't be from people rushing to get in the stores. Perhaps people rushing to get out?


Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010  11:25 am CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Me bad.

I've got people talking about Marshall Field's over at the Project Rungay site. If you love Project Runway, you'll love the comments at Project Rungay. Very funny stuff.

All I said was:

Ivy's outfit was very Macy's.

Peaches outfit was very Marshall Field's.

Amzaing how many people knew exactly what I meant by those comments. Many blog entires about how people miss Marshall Field's.

Field's 4-ever. Macy's No No, Got to GO!


Date: Saturday, August 28, 2010  9:22 am CT
Posted by: Pam

I love out here in Arizona and have not stepped foot in a Macy's because of what they did to Marshall Field's.

They should also conside the business they lost across the nation when they foolishly dumped Field's.


Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  11:21 pm CT
Posted by: John P.

Macy's clearly doesn't listen to what customers want.

Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  9:49 pm CT
Posted by: Hello!!!

Count us in on Sunday the 12th!

Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  6:23 pm CT
Posted by: Ellen P., Wayne

We miss Field's FIERCELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  5:34 pm CT
Posted by: Mary

I Plan to come to the protest and the book signing.

The book signing in 2008 was really great. I very much recommend it.


Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  2:19 pm CT
Posted by: Richard

Love the cause! Here's to Field's!

Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  1:31 pm CT
Posted by: drew

In general conversation with a friend, she mentioned how much she hates shopping. She said she had been shopping in the Red Star at Robinson Town Centre in suburban Pittsburgh and purchased a dress she liked. She later decided she wanted to buy the dress in another color she had seen at the store. She was upset to find that the two Red Star stores near her (Waterfront and Century III) did not carry the line. She said, "I though all macy*s were the same but evidently not. How stupid! It's supposed to be the same store but each carries different stuff."

She mentioned that a bra she bought at Century III was not stocked at Monroeville, the petite sections varied from store to store, and how unappealing and cheap the merchandise looks. She said, "They don't really carry anything for the adult woman. It's all kid fashions and old lady clothes. No professional clothing a woman could wear to work. Everything provocative and suggestive." While this person was a major shopper at Kaufmann's and Lazarus, she said there is nothing at the Red Star that appeals to her. She said her friends "don't even bother going there" because the stuff is so cheap looking. She mentioned that several relatives said they would never let their young daughters wear the fashions sold at macy*s because they are "inappropriate" for school and social events.

So the genius is merchandising the stores differently to appeal to the local markets, yet the stores all carry the same name. Wouldn't it be "confusing" if a customer enters a store looking for a particular item only to be told it isn't carried at that location? Since the idea of macy*ization was to offer consistent shopping, since the idea of "my macy*s" was to localize the assortments, and since the idea of dumping the regional nameplates was create a nationwide brand--why is the Red Star still sending out mixed messages?

What are you running, Mr Lunkhead? A discount store to compete with walmart and Target, a mass merchant to compete with JC Penney and Kohl's, or an mid/better department store to compete with Dillard's and The Bon Ton? Obviously you don't know, because shoppers can't figure it out either. You can't be everything to everybody.

Here's a suggestion: Give the shoppers what THEY want...


Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  12:06 pm CT
Posted by: mary beth moore

does anyone know when marshall fields gave away cymbidiun orchids? I think it was in the late 40's or early 50's. thanks

Date: Friday, August 27, 2010  7:24 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I finally finished the recommended book, Hendrickson's "Grand Emporiums." It was both enlightening and saddening. So much has changed since the late 70sC3 personal computers were not on very many minds then, and it was truly a different world. Nevertheless, I would like to think that we as a people have not changed so utterly that a Marshall Field's has become irrelevant or unsupportable.

I cannot bear to think of empty floors and herds of dust mice rolling across the marble beneath Tiffany's dome. (It will not suffice to suggest turning it into offices or the like.) The monster of profit-manipulation has been devouring once-great local institutions across the land, and there seems to be no St. George to go after the Dragon.


Date: Thursday, August 26, 2010  1:01 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay


JUST ADDED!

A SECOND EVENT!

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2010

1:00 - 1:45 PM
RALLY FOR MARSHALL FIELD'S, RALLY FOR CHICAGO

2:00 - 4:00 PM
NEW BOOK TALK & SIGNING:

Author Gayle Soucek
"MARSHALL FIELD'S:
The Store That Helped Build Chicago"

Be Part of History As It Is Written...
Be There for Marshall Field's!
Be There for Chicago!

SAVE THE DATE!

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

~ E V E N T ~ O N E ~

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2010

1:00 PM

Under the Marshall Field's Great Clock at
STATE & WASHINGTON STREETS

RALLY FOR MARSHALL FIELD'S, RALLY FOR CHICAGO

...Followed by A Talk & Book Book Siging at Borders on State

We're asking for less than an hour of your time at the rally
to stand up for our beloved international city
and also help bring back Marshall Field's
--the institution that brought us 154 great years.

Make History!
Be There for Marshall Field's!
Be There for Chicago!

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

Please join us on Sunday, September 12, 2010 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 and more.

It has been almost four years since that very sad day in Chicago history when, despite wide local and international outcry, Chicago's international icon, Marshall Field & Company, became another of over 800 Macy's stores.

Overwhelming demand for Marshall Field's continues to hold steady among Chicago shoppers. Our 2010 survey of over 500 Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers found that 81%--four out of five Chicago shoppers--still prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's. Similar results were yielded in 2009. Full results are at http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org/survey2010.html

These results were presented to Macy's top-level executives--including the CEO and Board of Directors--at the Macy stockholders meeting in Cincinnati on May 14, 2010. This meeting centered on Macy's enhanced commitment to, above all else, giving local customers what they want. Does that sound familiar? Of course it does--we all know that for 154 years, Marshall Field's was all about "Giving the lady what she wants."

Macy's presented a few small local success stories from this initiative, dubbed my "My Macy's"--but really, the stories made it more obvious than ever, Chicagoans actually want "MY MARSHALL FIELD'S!" Over 100,000 customers wear buttons with that message!

What Chicago doesn't want is dramatically less help on the sales floor. Chicago also doesn't want the State Street store consolidated down to fewer floors; much of the ninth floor has been consolidated with the eight floor, who knows what's next? What Chicago doesn't want is an iconic store building with broken escalators, elevators and the like. These are just examples of what is regularly reported on our web site's blog.

Macy's claims that they are experiencing some successes in doing some of the things Marshall Field's used to do, it makes complete sense that they would be hugely successful if they restored Marshall Field's full scale, starting at the historic State Street store.

Despite the tough economic times, the fact is that people will spend for quality, value and the latest must-have items and experiences. Gone for four years, there is more pent-up demand for Marshall Field's than ever. Does Chicago want to buy those special things at Marshall Field's and take them home in forest green Marshall Field's shopping bags? YES, more than ever.

So we need YOU to come out to State and Washington Streets at 1:00 pm, Sunday afternoon, September 12, 2010, to make the message even more clear to Macy's: Chicago wants its Marshall Field's!B

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!

MAKE HISTORY!
BE THERE FOR FIELD'S!
BE THERE FOR CHICAGO!

...and bring friends and family!

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

* Field's Fans should start gathering at 12:40 PM 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 http://www.FieldsFansChicago.org, our Facebook Group,
B our Twitter crawl and your Email box for last-minute news and bulletins.

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

~ E V E N T ~ TWO ~

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2010

2:00 - 4:00 PM

BORDERS on STATE STREET
State & Randolph Streets

NEW BOOK TALK & SIGNING:
Author GAYLE SOUCEK

"MARSHALL FIELD'S:
The Store That Helped Build Chicago"

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

Since 2006, we have been saying how all of us--you, I and everyone else--has been making history by working to restore Marshall Field's to State Street.

Gayle Soucek's new book, "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" covers the history of Marshall Field's from the 19th Century to TODAY. It even includes special pages covering our rallies, as well as others efforts to restore Marshall Field's.

This book is the first of several of which cover or allude to YOUR rallies, YOUR letter writing and YOUR efforts to bring back Marshll Field's. Others books featuring coverage of our efforts to restore Marshall Field's are also due in the coming months and next year.

Now that history is being written, you are indeed part of that history.

Chicago's loyalty to Marshall Field's is fierce. Dayton-Hudson even had to take out advertising around town to apologize for changing up Marshall Field's hallowed green bags. And with good reason -- the store and those who ran it shaped the city's streets, subsidized its culture and heralded its progress.

The resulting commercial empire dictated wholesale trade terms in Calcutta and sponsored towns in North Carolina, but its essence was always Chicago. So when "Marshall Field's" was retired in 2006 after the stores were purchased by Macy's, protest slogans like"Field's is Chicago," and "Field's: as Chicago as it gets," weren't just emotional hype.

Many still hope that Marshall Field's will be resurrected like the city it helped support during the Great Fire and the Great Depression. Until then, fans of Marshall Field's can celebrate its history with this warm look back at the beloved institution.B .B

Available in local bookstores or order online at
http://www.historypress.net

PLEASE NOTE: This book, the talk and book signing, The History Press and Borders are in no way connected to FieldsFansChicago.org and is not a sponsor of our rally for Marshall Field's. FieldsFansChicago.org is simply passing this information along as a third party. The book and related events are not connected to nor endorsed by Macy's, Inc.


Date: Thursday, August 26, 2010  10:46 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

"Save on Faves"? This is he latest big advertisement pull-out in yesterday's Chicago Tribune. In case Macy's is listening, these aren't my faves. Style & Co.? Everlon? Charter Club? Zaynee? What is this stuff? How about putting these real brands on sale: Stone Mountain, Eileen Fisher, Woolrich, Chaus, Laura Ashley, Free People, Bass, Timberland boots, etc., etc. Knock offs (copies) of Tiffany's sterling and diamond key pendants? (If I were a CEO of that company, I might sue.)

Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010  5:32 pm CT
Posted by: Barbara W.

I am disgused with "Macy's" and their "monopolizing" the retail market. They have distroyed wonderful department stores that had been part of the culture of many of our cities (Marshall Fields, Wanamakes, Filenes, etc).

Are we, in cities outside of NYC to have out cultures and selections underminded by a Macy's "brand". In Seattle we lost Fredrick and Nelson in the 80's but we continued with the Bon Marche. And, it tried to keep up with the culture here, even though it was under a "Federated" ownership. But, then came along a New Yorker who thought that the whole USA would be better off with a NYC brand on department stores (and an increase in investor dividends). Now we just have Macy stores that are, generally, disgusting.

I, for one, am cancelling my Macy's card. And, when I do have to buy at Macy's, I will use my American Express card (which is rather expensive for merchants).


Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2010  8:50 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Not a promising outlook for "those wacky folks at macy*s:"

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424052970204719404575423442725338632.html

What analysts fail to address is "why" macy*s is on the decline with consumers. Their stores offer nothing special; and since they are now competing with discounters, the quality and service will continue to decrease. Their high-rent mall locations are incompatible with the discount store paradigm.

Lundgren has totally refused to listen to shoppers and forged ahead with his ill-advised scheme to "macy-ize" America's department stores. The baby step "localization" praised by retail analysts is nothing more than any other store has done all along; the Florida macy*s stores no longer carry snow boots and the Minnesota stores no longer carry swim suits in January--how brilliant!


Date: Monday, August 23, 2010  9:29 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Regarding gle's post about the American Express card from Macy's, I'm not sure it's bad thing...I tend to think of American Express as being a little more exclusive than most Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards. I'm not sure what the switch is all about behind the scenes.

I HAVE been told one thing that impacts all Marshall Field's account holders--standard or "Regards" level. If you have been boycotting Macy's and haven't used your Marshall Field's credit card in the past three years (or th e Macy's card that Macy's intended to replace it with) then your account is now closed and and it cannot be re-activated. I discovered this during a routine credit check. Not clear if it is part of the US cerdit card indust ry laws that recently took effect, or if it has to do with Macy's or Citi or all of the above.


Date: Sunday, August 22, 2010  2:42 pm CT
Posted by: gle

A TV Channel 9 News program today about 8:30 a.m. discussed Messy's Material Girl hype and similar promotions. Some parents are admitting this is not the back-to-school image they want pushed on their daughters. They used words like "too-much-too-soon."

In viewing the Messy's windows on State Street, I get an impression of that's all there is (Material Girl) and that's all that is supposed to be. I wonder--what about encouraging students to take pride in a professional appearance, since they will hopefully be entering a business professional workplace some day. What about people who have other style preferences than Material Girl? Is there such thing as an option any more? Material Girl is NOT the image I want any student I care about to aspire to for their future.

Give our students some professional back-to-school options please. And while you're at it, just bring back Marshall Field's!


Date: Saturday, August 21, 2010  12:24 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Someone posted a comment about Kohl's TV commercial featuring a Lundgren-esque character fast talking all the exceptions to a customer being asked to open a credit card. Just yesterday I saw ANOTHER Kohl's commercial featuring a salesclerk offering a coupon to a customer when the same character appeared rattling off all the exclusions. The point was that Kohl's DOESN'T have exclusions to their promotions! Plus Kohl's has clean, well-stocked stores, features national brands as well as REAL designer and CURRENT celebrity merchandise.

While JC Penney coupons DO have some exclusions, these are nowhere near as extensive as those at macy*mart.

I think it's foolish that Lundgren took so many better department stores downmarket and thought he could beat Kohl's and JC Penney at their own game. Remember what happened when Kmart tried to compete with walmart's low prices and got pounded into the ground? Kohl's and JC Penney have proven they are good at what they do and have established solid customer bases. Lundgren alienated many shoppers, wrote off millions of dollars in goodwill, destroyed unique shopping experiences across the nation, and has failed to establish a niche in the marketplace. By continuously cutting merchandise offerings and services in order to maintain a "profit," Lundgren has given shoppers even fewer reasons to venture into his stores.

What EXACTLY does your store stand for, Terry? Nordstrom offers exemplary customer service, Target has the reputation for "cheap chic," JC Penney represents traditional styles and good values, walmart is associated with low prices, Kohl's means wide selections and HONEST sales promotions...macy*mart means "has been" celebrities (Madonna, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump), tired designers (Tommy Hillfiger), overpriced knockoffs (Alfani, Charter Club, American Rags), dirty, ill-maintained and understaffed stores, coupons that aren't valid on most merchandise, high prices--except on the overabundance of clearance racks.


Date: Saturday, August 21, 2010  12:14 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Messy's website www.macysinc.com announces another new card. I wonder if this will be more or less confusing than the multi discounts, benefits, coupons, etc. that are already confusing anyone who has tried to use them.

"New Macy's American Express(R) Card Provides Brand New Privileges and Benefits"
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1461488

P.S. I look forward to the Field's Fans rally September 12 "Under the clock" at State and Washington!


Date: Saturday, August 21, 2010  11:50 am CT
Posted by: drew

The Red Star's newest "celebrity" fashion designer is being sued over her "Material Girl" line:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2010/08/16/daily44.html?ana=yfcpc

Yet another "faux pas" brought to you by "those wacky folks at macy*s."


Date: Friday, August 20, 2010  3:23 am CT
Posted by: Laura

Keep up the good work. Thank you for the button!


Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010  4:34 pm CT
Posted by: Mary R.

Even on a bad day, Marshall Field's was better than Macy's best day. Even circa 2005-2006.


Date: Wednesday, August 18, 2010  9:21 am CT
Posted by: Alice in the U.K.

I wonder if you could help me. I am trying to find out if Marshall Field has an archive library covering material during the 1890s. The reason for my interest is that I am researching a painting by an English painter A A Glendening, which was purchased from Marshall Field in 1895/6 and bears one of their labels numbered 250B. Would you know who I should contact to discover more about what paintings the department sold

With many thanks indeed


Date: Monday, August 16, 2010  1:37 am CT
Posted by: S.B.

Saw the Madonna story. Too bad what was once a fabled store has become a series of silly stories. I don't know what to say anymore. These guys are trying all type of things to get people in the door. Seems like marketing is run by a bunch of college kids who start everything by saying "Wouldn't it be cool if we...?"

Date: Sunday, August 15, 2010  8:58 pm CT
Posted by: Ronald

I was walk down State Street on Saturday walk past Messy and near the entrance on State Street near Randolph there were 3 buckets near the entrance with waters that Macy's did have water leak in the store and do not care about the store anymore!

Date: Sunday, August 15, 2010  5:17 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Last week I walked past the building that used to house my favorite store (Marshall Field's). It's windows were all hype for either Material Girl or Shrek, as if there was nothing else in the world and no people who actually like anything else. Marshall Field's didn't have to be a billboard for a bunch of trend celebrities--it as an entity in itself and still is.

Thank-you for the article posted by Zelda. It finally says what many publications don't appear to want to take the time to find out. Messy's little rosy pictures have a lot to do with manipulating bookkeeping, rather than providing quality products and service the way a store is supposed to.

I still miss Marshall Field's, and so does much of Chicago.


Date: Saturday, August 14, 2010  5:17 pm CT
Posted by: drew

There was a surprising flurry of activity on the main floor of the Red Star in downtown Pittsburgh this afternoon. People were actually looking through the merchandise! As I got closer, I noticed young ladies pinning inventory sheets on various items while others were using bar code scanners. These people were inventory takers, NOT shoppers.

The merchandise selection has gotten even thinner since my last visit; there is so much space between display fixtures that an elephant could walk through without touching anything. More "alcoves" that held only a paltry assortment of merchandise, display shelves that featured only large styrofoam red stars and lots of empty floor space. In some areas the merchandise was spread out to fill space.

I was especially appalled to see a large acrylic display with a picture of "the world's largest store" in New York. Evidently shoppers are supposed to be "excited" to know their lowly store in Pittsburgh is somehow part of "the magic of macy*s."

The floors WERE clean, but badly in need of wax. The carpets were pretty much filthy and were badly in need of cleaning. The windows along Forbes Avenue were nice enough displays of home wares and luggage; nothing special or creative. The display windows along Smithfield Street featured furniture and accessories; again these displays were nice enough but nothing exceptional. The windows under the landmark clock at Fifth and Smithfield were covered with plastic "billboards" advertising Levis.

Something else I noticed were the many, many young sales clerks throughout the store and precious few of the familiar faces who worked at Kaufmann's.

BTW there was a decent looking red batter bowl that I considered purchasing for a cousin whose kitchen theme is red. Then I remembered it wouldn't be anything "special" since she has a macy*s nearby--and hates them. Wow! Mr Lunkhead a gift from Kaufmann's would have been special to someone whose favorite store was JL Hudson's/Marshall Field's.

?

Date: Friday, August 13, 2010  5:17 pm CT
Posted by: Another Field's Fan

I have to agree that it looks like they significantly reduced staffing at Macy's on State St. (Please note: they now have signs up saying 'We're hiring' in Cosmetics.) On several recent occasions, I took some walks through the store formerly known as Marshall Field's. It is not just my observation. Another shopper on the 6th floor said to me: "Doesn't anyone work here anymore? God, I miss Field's!" She had walked around the entire 6th floor (as had I) and had not seen a single sales person. That's not to say they weren't there. We just couldn't find them. If there was anything she and I wanted to buy, Macy's made that impossible. Something like this would have been unheard of at Marshall Field's.

Date: Friday, August 13, 2010  2:19 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

One thing I've been thinking about recently is Marshall Field's Candy Department. It used to be on the first floor, in various locations. I remember my father bringing home lavender colored paperboard boxes of the BEST candy I've ever had in my life on special occasions. I'd like to know who has the recipes now for that wonderful Marshall Field's candy. What are they going to do with the recipes? Just store them in a file drawer? Is there a Marshall Field's History Museum or Archives somewhere? Even if it's in one room it would be worth a visit.

Date: Thursday, August 12, 2010  3:28 pm CT
Posted by: S.

I am originally from Milwaukee, WI and I now reside in St. Louis, MO. I was raised with Marshall Field's and you never stepped foot in a Field's store without knowing you were someone special. I began my career in the cosmetics industry at the Mayfair Mall Field's location and I will ALWAYS love this store. I would do anything to bring a company back with so much culture and history. No retailer could ever be Marshall Field's and what you are doing with these efforts is so relevant and necessary in my mind.

Date: Thursday, August 12, 2010  2:27 pm CT
Posted by: Multiple sources

Sun-Times articke on Macy's 2nd quarter earnings and Madonna's fashion line. There is a place to comment, but you need a quick-and-easy login so that they can prevent spam, etc. As of this writing, three readers have commented.

http://www.suntimes.com/business/2591184,CST-NWS-macys12.article#Comments_Container


Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010  9:19 pm CT
Posted by: Josh

I went to the Chicago Cubs game last Saturday at Wrigley Field. During a quiet moment toward the end of the game, I overheard a conversation in front of me, between two macho, "outdoors-type" of men.

One said, "Well, what do you want to do afterward? Afterall we DID drive 260 miles to get here."

The other replied, "Well, if Marshall Field's were still here, I would be over at State Street having a brew downstairs, and then heading upstairs to surprise my wife with something very special from Marshall Field's...along with a half-dozen boxes of FRANGO mints!" "That would be sure-fire payback for letting me go to this game! But SINCE it's only disgusting macy's, let's just get on the road and get something to eat along the way home."

The other seat-partner replied, "You shop at Marshall Field's too?" His friend responded, "My friend...EVERYONE wants to shop at Marshall Field's when they are in town!


Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010  1:24 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Marshall Field had it right a loonnngg time ago:

Give the lady what she wants.

What don't they understand? I know -- anything.

Maybe it would help to look closer at the live lady in question, and stop inventing who she is at dept meetings.

That is, I just looked up Walmart on Wikipedia. Given that surveys show their shoppers to be generally among the least affluent in the land, I am amused to learn that they consider their 'ladies' to be a) "label-aspirationals," "price-sensitive affluents," and "value price shoppers." Translation: Poor wannabees, compulsive or avocational pennypinchers, and poor-indifferents. They never imagined, apparently, that in a place like ours, there is another shopper: the "desperate-deprived". We have few alternatives less than an hour away, partly because Walmart drove most of them out of business. Another example: the "Expedient," wanting a cheap, expedient product because that is all it is worth to me, like the more-or-less rainproof jacket I bought when caught in a rain storm far from home. The selling points for choosing Walmart was that a) we were already near the store and b) there was a reasonable certainty I would find something without spending all day searching other stores and c) even if I hated the coat I would have one that met my emergency for $15!


Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010  1:24 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Macy's bucks the trend of other stores and earned 35 cents a share this past 2nd quarter. Macy's attributes the earnings to better inventory control in conjunction with the MyMacy's program. An analyst on WBBM AM 780's Noon Business Hour show attributed the earnings to a drop in the amount of store staffing and inexpensive clothing imports that could still make a profit even with discounts of 30% to 40%.

Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2010  9:50 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

The Washington Post article Zelda brought up below is a fascinating one. Please do read it and comment as you can.

As "gle" points out, Macy's second quarter results and conference call is tomorrow. Check under "investor relations" at MacysINC.com


Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2010  6:06 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Please keep us updated about Gayle's book. It is not listed on amazon.com yet, and I hope it will be available. Gayle has been an active participant in this blog; her comments are always interesting and well-written.

Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2010  4:31 pm CT
Posted by: Kathy, Champaign

We miss Field's and travel to Chicago less often since it is gone.

Macy's is not the same.


Date: Monday, August 9, 2010  6:31 pm CT
Posted by: L.G.

In the Chicago area, Macy's should have converted the Lord and Taylor stores to Macy's and left the Marshall Field's stores in those malls as Marshall Field's. Lord and Taylor is popular on the East coast but not so much here. Chicago would have gotten over the loss of Lord and Taylor and there would still be Marshall Field's and Macy's at Water Tower, Old Orchard, Northbrook Court, Woodfield and Oak Brook--the best locations. And of course, we'd have to have Field's at State Street. Field's at Stratford, Springhill, Hawthorn would be missed but Chicagoans would have managed and not have such hatred for Macy's.

Macy's blew it!


Date: Monday, August 9, 2010  1:54 am CT
Posted by: S.B.

I recently was on a extended trip to Louisiana and was considering taking a weekend trip to Houston. Talking to my mother the first thing she said was "Go see Foley's!" I had to tell her that it no longer was Foley's but now Macy's. She couldn't believe it. Even though I've told her about the macyification of regional stores in the past... this conversation hit home. No more Field's (in home for the last 30 years), no more Foley's (in her hometown Houston), wow... they really did ruin a lot of wonderful regional stores! I think my mom now more than ever appreciates the uniqueness of regional stores.


Date: Sunday, August 8, 2010  9:37 pm CT
Posted by: B

Hi All

Haven't posted for a LONG time but I have been keeping tabs---

I travel for my business and on Friday, returning, I packed my suitcase and had a bit too much and I did not have a proper carry on. My regular larger suitcase had taken it's last trip last week and I did not have time to replace it before my next and latest trip--so I squeezed into a smaller case-- I also had a briefcase with my laptop-- -- I opened the front pocket of the smaller case I was using and low and behold -- a MARSHALL FIELD's shopping bag folded and then folded in half sideways -- I really did NOT want to use it but I needed it for the few things I had left over-- so off I went with the shopping bag --

Upon returning my rental car the next associate over at the car rental company, who was not helping me, stopped and asked me if Marshall Feild's was open again -Most Enthusiastically and hopefully. I told her it was simply an old bag and she said she was sorry and hoped that I would tell her it was back--

I checked my suitcase and I had my briefcase and the shopping bag. During the rest of the trip I had 11 -- Eleven --people approached me or questioned me, to inquire if I had shopped at Marshall Field's and if it was Back-- One lady ran up to me in a busy concourse to stop me and ask me --Her answer to me when I answered was "I hate Macy's for killing Field's"--I was sorry to dash the hopes of those people and I saw the sadness and disappointment in all of them for the loss of Field's. One Lady and I sitting in the gate area talked of all the great memories we had about the State street store and the Oakbrook store- we were both "Chicagoans" no longer residing in the metro area--

I told several of them -- when there was time-- about Field'sFansChicago, and the site.

This occured in the south central part of the country.

Take care all

to the Once and Future, Great, Marshall Field and Company!


Date: Sunday, August 8, 2010  4:24 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Messy's website www.macysinc.com announces a webcast earnings conference call for August 11, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. ET:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=84477&eventID=3273026

I assume the call will be in line with an August 5, 2010 press release also from their website:

"Macy's, Inc. Same-Store Sales Up 7.3% in July"
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1456876

Keep in mind that July sales in 2009 were down about 11% and that July sales in 2008 were also down and so on. Sales still aren't up to what they were when stores were Field's. And I'm sorry, but living in Chicago with regular access to State Street, I find it impossible to believe any rosy-picture narcissism Messy's still uses to try to convince the public. With Material Girl juniors as their idea of something to get excited about, I am even less convinced. If I had a daughter, I would want a much better image available to her. I think anyone who cares about the future generation should demand the quality and diversity that Marshall Field's carried, instead of settling for whatever Messy's decides is hot!


Date: Sunday, August 8, 2010  12:52 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi Field's Fans:

Check out this great article in the Washington Post, which shows what shaky ground Macy's rests on. They are in debt up to the eyeballs!

Look at Macy's: U.S. tax code encourages companies to rack up huge debt
Macy's has become the great American department store, with 850 locations scattered across all but four states. And it has gotten there the great American way, by running up huge debts and flirting with default, or worse.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080606249.html

Your friend in Field's,

Zelda


Date: Saturday, August 7, 2010  4:38 pm CT
Posted by: Jeff S.

The Fox Valley store used to be so nice when it was Marshall Field's. Was in the store earlier today--very sad. It is just not kept up. The escalators in particular; they were noisy and squeeking and made a terrible vibrating noise. Marshall Field always had quiet, efficient, oiled and well-maintained elevators and escalators. So many of the former Field stores have had broken escalators as part of their "business as usual".

Date: Saturday, August 7, 2010  9:38 am CT
Posted by: Arthur

Kohl's has been running commericals that Kohl's coupons and rewards can be used on anything in the store, unlike some stores (Macys)that let you only buy a certian items. Now they have a new commerical where a quick talking man who looks very much like Terry Lunkhead comes the customer at the register to disclose the limmted terms of the coupon. I think it is great that Kohl's is showing how Macy's has the same inventory as Kohl's but is more expensive and has more limitations on coupons and rewards.


Date: Saturday, August 7, 2010  8:14 am CT
Posted by: Judy M.

I've worked in the "loop" for almost 30 years and many lunch hours were spent on State Street at Marshall Field's or Carson's. Now, it's a vast wasteland of dumb-downed stores which I have no desire to enter. No longer is State Street "that great street". I'm dating myself here, but I remember a song (probably from the '70's) by Tom Post - "little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky, little boxes on the hillside and they all look the same". That's what *messy's* has done to so many famous and beloved stores in this country. They've become those little ticky-tacky boxes - all the same, no personality, no quality. And the worst of it is that Lundgren doesn't care. But obviously, a lot of people in Chicago care. So I'm proud to carry on the fight!

Marshall Field's Forever!!

Judy


Date: Saturday, August 7, 2010  8:06 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Yay Team!

Surely someone is Out There who thinks buying and restoring Field's (at least on State) would be a fun challenge...but I doubt its current owner would EVER turn it loose because he wants to see it turn pale and die. This is not about selling stuff. If TL intended to nurture his investment, there would be no duct tape. I can't help but wonder what will come first- the downfall of TL or the obliteration of MF on State.

Keep up the good fight.


Date: Friday, August 6, 2010  7:20 am CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

While Macy's same store sales are up, the thing to ask is are former Field's locations up from four or five years ago when they were Marshall Field's stores?


Date: Thursday, August 5, 2010  2:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Gayle Soucek's new book, "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" is due for publication in the coming weeks. It should be one of the definitive books on Marhsall Field's.

Another book due next week is Darlene Quinn's "Tangled Webs," her followup to "Webs of Power." Both books are a "factionalization" of the recent consolidation of departement stores during the past 25 years. It is a little more than loosely based on the story of Macy's and other departement stores. Should be fascinating.


Date: Wednesday, August 4, 2010  12:34 pm CT
Posted by: L.W.

Field's is NOT macy's!!!!!

I was brought up in Chicago -- MARSHALL FIELD'S IS CHICAGO!


Date: Tuesday, August 3, 2010  12:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I was reading about how GM has started to come back. They went wrong when they sopped caring about quality and service. And now they are coming back because they have increased their quality and service. This sounds similar to the story of Macy's take over of Marshall Field's. If they bring back Marshll Field's it will be like GM's comeback.

Date: Monday, August 2, 2010  5:07 pm CT
Posted by: Matt E.

Terry J. Lundgren, President, CEO...AND...Chairman of Macy's Inc. will go down in history as making the worst mistake in retailing and as the one who destroyed shopping and took the adventure out of destination shopping for countless millions. Making famous regional department stores ALL macy's stores, and lowering them to macy's low standards of service, style, selection and atmosphere has already been judged in both my MBA and PhD marketing classes as the worst decision a retailing CEO/Pres/Chairman has EVER made in U.S. History. What's worse, is that he obvisouly MUST realize the error of his ways, but his ego stands in the way of his giving the customers back what they truly want..and what should be!

Date: Monday, August 2, 2010  1:08 pm CT
Posted by: Francis P.

Marshall Field's on State Street was the huge shopping destination for us when we would come to Chicago. It makes no sense to have the same store everywhere as Macy's now does.

I hope you are all successful in your quest.

Franc


Date: Sunday, August 1, 2010  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: North Riverside

I just heard about this site. KEEP GOING!

Date: Sunday, August 1, 2010  2:32 pm CT
Posted by: gle

It seems pretty obvious by now that Chicago is NOT going to love Messy's. I continue to hear comments whenever I wear my button (which is most of the time) about how Messy's line of merchandise is NOT special, and is nothing compared to the quality of Marshall Field's. While some say they don't think Marshall Field's is coming back, one thing that IS certain is that Chicago has not warmed up to Messy's--THAT'S A FACT.

I look forward to the Field's Fans rally in September to continue to make our point, and would even more look forward to a rally to celebrate the return of Marshall Field's to State Street.


Date: Saturday, July 31, 2010  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Mark

Chicago wants its Marshall Field's!!!!

Date: Saturday, July 31, 2010  11:01 am CT
Posted by: S.A.

I last shopped at Marshall Fields's on Friday, September 8, 2006.

I have not shopped there since.

Macy's is arrogant not to give the customers what they want.


Date: Saturday, July 31, 2010  10:23 am CT
Posted by: Mary S.

Bless you all for your on going efforts and your goodness. All of the generosity of time and spirit most assuredly will breathe life's vigor into the struggle to regain this iconic and deservedly legendary store which is remembered both wistfully and with great fondness. Fields was a integral part of the fine tapestry which illuminated the soul of Chicago; hopefully--through your collective efforts--this ghastly error soon will be rectified.

Date: Saturday, July 31, 2010  9:01 am CT
Posted by: Mary S.

I'm glad this continues.

We won't be happy until we have our Marshall Field's back.


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: Mary S.

I fully support the rteurn of Marshall Field's and Company to State Street.

Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  8:23 pm CT
Posted by: Scott Johnson

I received the newsletter today and I am glad to see our cause continue.

Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  7:01 pm CT
Posted by: Samantha

They should at least bring Marshall Field's to State Street. Let them have the suburban locations, at least the newere ones.

I might shop Macy's for a few things if they had left Marshall Field's on State Street.


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  6:23 pm CT
Posted by: Field's was the best

Hi!

thanks for your news email today. Field's was the best. It had everything and had great value for the money. It was an experience. Macy's should bring it back as a special store.

I plan to be there on the twelfth.


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  5:59 pm CT
Posted by: James Z

The m**y's display department has a has a whole new take on window dressing. I was walking by on the Wabash/Randolph side yesterday & there was pigeon sh*t splattered at the foot of the display windows that extended 2 feet out onto the sidewalk. (I was not tempted to look up... Boyds... as they say in NYC)

Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  2:49 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I WANT MY MARSHALL FIELD'S!!!!!


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  2:03 pm CT
Posted by: Toni Smith, Rockford, IL

My husband and our two kids will be coming to the rally in September. We miss it lot.


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  1:47 pm CT
Posted by: P C

My husband and I and my parents (Chicago born) will be visiting Chicago in mid Aug. and we would like to wear the Fields buttonB . Please send 2. We lament the loss of Fields frequently and our yearly visit to Chicago has lost a lot of its excitement since Field's became Macy's (mom and I are consummate shoppers)--we have Macy's here at home so what's the point of shopping at the same storeB in Chicago? Boring.B Same old merchandise everywhere. And if you get good service at Macy's,B 9 times out of 10, the salesperson is a former Field's employee who remembersB what customer service really meant.

Fields wasn't just a store, it was an experience that brought back memories of my grandmother taking me for lemonade at the juice bar in the basement while she drank coconut milk served in paper cones. I have a prized collection of MF shopping bags.


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  11:59 pm CT
Posted by:

Since Field's became Macy's, I don't even bother going to State Street. It stinks that Carson Pirie Scott is gone from State Street.

Thank you for continuing to do this.


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  11:40 am CT
Posted by: B.S.J.

I wish I could be there underthe clock right now, cheering for the return of Marshall Field's!

Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  10:01 am CT
Posted by: David E.

I"ve been to Macy's

I've been to Bloomingdale's.

I've been to Nordstrom .

I've been to Nieman Marcus.

I've been to Saks .

I've been to Carsons.

I've been to Lord & Taylor.

The sum of these does not measure up to Marshall Field and Commpany.


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  9:40 am CT
Posted by: J.A.D.

Marshall Fields forever!!!

Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  9:39 am CT
Posted by: John T.

We're down in Indy but plan to come up and support Marshall Field's on September 12. Viva Marshall Field and Company!


Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  9:39 am CT
Posted by: D. A.

I was a Marshall Fields Shopper. (grew up in Chicago ) Now I live in Orlando Florida. Burdine's is now Macys too. I refuse to shop Macy's.

Date: Friday, July 30, 2010  9:32 am CT
Posted by: Paul P.

Ths inside of the former Marshall Field's reminds me of when the Dollar store moved into my favorite Walgreen's. Down market.

Date: Thursday, July 29, 2010  7:25 pm CT
Posted by: CMZ

I haven't bought anything at Macy's in last five years except for a few Frangos.


Date: Thursday, July 29, 2010  11:03 am CT
Posted by: Sara Freeman

Hey everyone,

My name is Sara and I'm a writer based in Chicago. I loved Marshall Field and feel sad whenever I walk by Macy's. I'm currently researching an article about the film director Vincente Minnelli and his early days in Chicago. He was hired as a Window Dressing apprentice by Arthur Fraser during the early 1920's and worked there for a few years. I'm trying to find some photographs, newspaper articles, etc. about Marshall Field's window displays during that time. Does anyone happen to have any info about the subject? I'd be eternally grateful for any help! Please feel free to e-mail me or reply here. Thanks a bunch! :-)

~Sara, saralynnfreemanAT@yahooDOTcom


Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2010  6:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Plans will be finalized in the next few days, but it's pretty certain that the next rally for Marshall Field's will be held at
1:00 pm,
Sunday, September 12
under The Clock at State and Washington.

SAVE THE DATE!

Be there for Marshall Field's!
Be there for Chicago!

Many thanks and best regards.


Date: Monday, July 26, 2010  3:12 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I keep hearing from others: The only reason I might buy something from Macy's is all the coupons.

I thought Macy's was going to cut back on coupons from the days of May Department stores.


Date: Saturday, July 24, 2010  10:14 pm CT
Posted by: L.R.

My husband and I both grew up with back-to-school clothes from the basement of Fields on State. We were both long-time Fields customers.

I dressed my kids in Fields' children's department. Our youngest son started his first post-high school job in the Mayfair, Wisconsin store. Only one of our 6 children ever buys from Macy's (she sends me a Spode Christmas Tree piece every Christmas); the rest of us haven't been inside a Macy's store since the change.

We stand in solidarity with your boycott.


Date: Friday, July 23, 2010  5:08 pm CT
Posted by: Frank Link

I have not nor will I ever shop at Macy's since the change from Marshall Fields to Macy's. Chicago is Marshall Fields and it holds a special mystique that can never be replaced.

Date: Friday, July 23, 2010  11:21 am CT
Posted by: J.F.

I was glad to receive the "I Want My Marshall Field's" button. I will wear it at the September rally.

Date: Thursday, July 22, 2010  3:17 pm CT
Posted by: C. c. Chicago

To Gary H.: Wow. Do I miss Bonwit Teller, I. Magnin, Lord & Taylor at Water Tower and, of course, FIELD's, even more after reading your post. I think Chicago can stand to lose Marshall Field's at Water Towe Place, as long as we get Marshall Field's on State St. back.

What I don't understand is how Macy's can hope to sell basically generic merchandise to the public. On a walk through the store yesterday (I need some air conditioning,) I noticed a few things.

On the 6th floor, I was checking out sheets. Oh sure, they have the same designer sheets, like Tommy Hilfiger, that lots of other stores have. Only at Macy's on State St. they're more expensive. Martha Stewart? I don't know. I don't like her that much. Most of the rest of what they had to offer was: Charter Club, and Style & Co. These "brands" just do not compute with me.

Perusing the books at Barbara's in the basement, I noticed a big, prominent display of books on Chicago. This is obviously aimed at tourists. Border's on Michigan Ave. has many, many more books on Chicago.


Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2010  5:15 pm CT
Posted by: Sandras O.

Walked through a suburban Chicago Macy's today. I say walked instead of shopped because I have never bought anything from Macy's and never will. Was amazed to see there was no one working the Estee Lauder cosmetic counter! And there were customers asking where is the sales assistance? Also walked through the main floor of the State Street store last weekend while in the city. It was really sad to see the state of some of the cosmetic counters. Really heart breaking as my mom used to work for Fields in the 40's and growing up that was our store.


Date: Saturday, July 17, 2010  11:34 pm CT
Posted by: drew

I attended a family wedding this weekend in Columbus OH. Out-of-town guests stayed at hotels directly across the Mall at Tuttle Crossing. I hadn't been to this mall for years and was APPALLED to find a macy*mart anchoring BOTH ends of the mall. I parked at the store that was formerly Marshall Field's. The dark green granite entryways were marred by the Red Star nameplate. Signs between the entrances indicated this store catered to "a more moderate lifestyle." Indeed this was merchandised as a lower-end macy*mart, but there were some nice architectural touches including offset display areas and a central elevator/escalator area. The store was clean, but it appeared nothing had been painted or waxed since the days of Marshall Field's.

At the other end of the mall, the macy*mart had some better brands such as All-Clad cookware mixed in with their typical discount store merchandise. This store was formerly a Lazarus and WAS a very nicely designed store, but the new owners are doing only minimal maintenance.

I shopped at Van Maur at Polaris Fashion Place, also on the north side of Columbus. The macy*mart at that mall was rather unusual--a young adult department, male and female fashions close together, with exposed ceiling girders, cement floors and industrial shelving units. Right next to this was a traditional men's department which blended into the kitchen wares area. I'm like, "What's this?" The layout was confusing and misleading. Was this an urban clothing store, a traditional men's shop, a Bed, Bath and Beyond or what? The other floor was just as confusing.

>From what I saw at the three Columbus area stores indicated macy*mart doesn't know what it represents as each store had different layouts and merchandise. Wasn't Mr Lunkhead's grand plan to have all stores the same? If each store is so different, how can the nameplate develop any sort of image or clientele. Marshall Field's, Lazarus, Kaufmann's, Filene's, Burdines and the others stores all had an image and reputation in their respective communities. macy*mart is inconsistent, bland and nondescript.

Family members said that people in Columbus lament the loss of Lazarus (and Marshall Field's) and haven't warmed up to macy*mart. And guess what--NONE of the out-of-town guests bothered to stop at macy*mart whereas in the past much shopping would have been done at Lazarus and Field's. Good move, Terry! Think of all the visitors to each city who don't bother going to your stores because they have one back home--and probably don't shop there either!


Date: Saturday, July 17, 2010  5:14 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I think of how many other people grabbed the Field's Fans leaflets out of our hands at the July 4 fireworks show at Navy Pier. Many who had time to stop said they hoped Field's could come back, and expressed disappointment with Macy's. Nobody said they were excited about Macy's.

Then, I was at a public concert in Evanston about a week ago. A woman leaned over to me and said, "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BUTTON!" I told her about the protest in Chicago. She kept saying, "I HATE Macy's, I HATE Macy's, I HATE Macy's!" Of course I had to give her the button. She thanked me the way people usually do when they find out about our cause.

I continue to be unable to find anything exciting about Messy's, and would love to see that beautiful building on State Street restored to something to get really excited about--obviously MARSHALL FIELD'S.


Date: Saturday, July 17, 2010  6:39 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

All of us here seem to be witnessing a "scourge" (perfect word!) of a scale few suspected when it hit, and probably we would be wise to assume the worst devastation will indeed be realized. In the meantime we have been scoffed at for whining about losing a silly store.

It's not silly. If it is 'whining' to continue to object, to resist, and to monitor widening and deepening depredations.... well, whine we shall. We might ask-- is it a mark of high character to shrug off a marauder?

I would hate to have this monumental fouling act indelibly etched onto my record. As with BP, although this is not exactly environmental pillage, it certainly entails the loss of a good way of life and even of employment and community prosperity. The common motive is that old favorite: egotistical, arrogant greed. I don't know how that can be stopped when it's on a roll, the way being paved by those who figure it's a good deal.

I came upon a new book on the history of department stores-- the author made a very pithy observation to the effect that our day is too different from the day of Marshall Field's and its ilk. Women no longer stay at home. They do not need to look for amusement at a palace of commerce where the day may be spent in one building, meals taken, entertainments enjoyed, and sights seen. And shopping taken care of. All of us are in a hurry-- in/out/get it done.

Maybe that is the reason all department stores will die, but someone might ask why a mall format is superior, from the busy customer's point of view. People have plenty of time to spend at malls for the above reasons, we all know.

The question now arising is-- why go to a department store OR a mall if the offerings are generic, mediocre, and ubiquitous? Why go if the destination is dirty, slipshod, lame, or uninviting? That's why I seldom crossed a Wieboldt's threshold in the day. Or Walmart now. But we have a Macy's force apparently determined to make the point that generic, mediocre, ubiquitous, dirty, slipshod, lame and uninviting are all we can afford, no less than we deserve, whether it be one venue or the other.

This is not a question of merchandising, it is one of a core philosophy about how people want to spend their hard-earned money, and under what circumstances. Dump or palace? Marshall Field gave the lady- or man- what she or he wanted, which most emphatically was not a dump, guys.


Date: Friday, July 16, 2010  12:16 am CT
Posted by: Ron H.

Four years later and macy's continues to break their promise- they said St Louis would be a major player in their game. LIES-LIES! They got rid of most of the employees and have started downsizing the downtown store to 3 floors! I am sure they will close the store completely in a few more years.

Have you seen the state of their stores in St Louis? Most are dirty and the carpet needs to be cleaned or replaced. It seems as though they took over Famous Barr and have done no maintenance or repairs in the last four years! Way to save money macy's!

God I miss Famous Barr! Still refuse to shop macy's and never will! Hopefuly someday macy's and Lundgren will meet their fate!


Date: Thursday, July 15, 2010  10:37 pm CT
Posted by: Gary H.

I grew up in NYC in the 60's and 70's. Macy's was pretty well known as a middle-of-the-road store. It was not trying to compete style-wise with Saks, Bonwits, Bloomingdales, or Bergdorf Goodman. When I moved to California, my company worked with Macy's in San Fran. The store there was much more high end than the NY counterpart. It was more like Bloomies in style. The first signs of trouble appeared in 1985 when the bean counters in NY "re-merchandised" the San Francisco store and, in turn, homogenized most of its charm, all in the name of reaping more retail dollars out of every square foot of selling space. By the 90's, it was becoming obvious that Macy's was starting to devour a lot of the local merchants. In Southern California, in the 70's, we had the Broadway, Robinsons, May Company, I Magnin, Bullocks, Bullocks Wilshire. By the 2000's all these stores were gone -- they all became this scourge called Macy's. I travel quite extensively with my business and came to love Chicago. I would always visit Marshall Fields. Even I as a frequent tourist knew that Marshall Fields was Chicago. And many of the people I knew from Harrods in London considered Marshall Fields like a sister store (a lot of the same people worked for both stores at one time or another). When Target Corporation took over Marshall Fields, I started to worry that the Fields cache would be lost. Even Target Corp were wise enough to allow the Fields brand to remain. Why destroy the golden goose? Not so with Macy's. The short-sightedness of their bean counters, which I could see as far back as the mid-80's, has just gone rampant. Not content to "merely" destroy famous regional department stores throughout the US, their top guns were going for the crown jewel: Marshall Fields. I was sad to read that the famous State Street (and to a lesser extent, Water Tower Place) Marshall Fields were now Macy's. What an insult to the people of Chicago! It is like a sharp slap in the face and I hope people continue to NOT shop at Macy's. As for myself, I refuse to shop at ANY Macy's stores throughout the US. I lump Macy's with Wal Mart on a level of greed and vulgarity and corporate ignorance. I will not come close to a Wal Mart store either. I appreciate all the Chicagoans who want to bring Marshall Fields back. It's a good idea, however, I would be concerned that these corporate bullies will simply slap the Marshall Fields name onto the mediocrity called Macy's. I remember when Donald Trump tried to bring back Bonwit Teller into his then new Trump Tower. It failed miserably. You cannot recreate magic and memories with tacky merchandising and poor service. I can only suggest that the good people of Chicago be especially mindful that the spirit and high level of quality represented by Marshall Fields does not get tarnished even more simply by taking Macy's corporate philosophy and cloaking it in the old Fields' logo. That will not bring back the shoppers. It seems like the only way to accomplish this is for a private consortium to buy back a few major Fields stores from Federated/Macys. I would start with State Street and Water Tower, plus prime suburban locations: Northbrook, Oak Brook, and Woodfield. Bring back the high end labels Fields was known for. Design the stores to be shopping palaces again: don't try to copy the boring look of every other department store. Think Harrods. Hire some of the Harrods people to accomplish it. And bring in top draw salespeople. Service at Macy's is on par with Wal Mart. Bottom line, Macy's was never anything exceptional. Their Herald Square store is big, but so were all the other major NY department stores (in their heyday). Macy's merchandise was on par with Gimbels and Korvette's. All of a sudden, over a generation, this middle-of-the-road store becomes a bohemoth. Corporate stupidity at its best or worst. Now that Macy's sales are flat to faltering, it is my hope that some civic-minded Chicagoans with vision, taste, and money to back it, will at least buy back some of the prime Fields locations. Good luck, Chicago. The bean count ers in Cincinnati will soon learn that you are not another backwater.

Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2010  7:24 pm CT
Posted by: D.B.

I grew up in South Bend and always shopped at Marshall Fields, taking the South Shore to get to the loop. My one and only visit to a Macy's was to one of their stores in New York City in 1967. HATED IT! No comparison to Marshall Fields. Even though there are many Macy's around the Detroit area, I NEVER shop there, just because I am so peeved. Especially after Hudson stores had become Marshall Fields here in Detroit, and for a few years I was happy!

Date: Tuesday, July 13, 2010  1:23 pm CT
Posted by: Goeff

I have to agree with the acclaimation of Hilton Hotels and how they are able to run brands to exploit the unique character of certain historic hotels.

While it might be excessive to operate dozens of brands, the fact that they can't run a few variations sucgh as Marshall Field's on State Street strongly suggests that Macy's management has a narrow range of talents.


Date: Monday, July 12, 2010  4:52 pm CT
Posted by: Michael Russell

Was at a dinner party Thursday night. Somehow Macy's got brought up. The comments were "the store is such a mess it looks like a thrift shop on a bad day." "Stores are filthy." "Low end merchandise" "Everything is exclude from coupons" We live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, so we don't have a Macy's store. The closest is Appleton. Unfortunately the Macy's upper management doesn't realize that we all travel. None of the people will step into a Macy's store. They all go to Nordstrom's and Von Maur. It's not only people who live in communities that have a Macy's store, but thousands of people who travel to communities that have a Macy's store, that won't step one foot into these low end stores.

Wake up Macy's and give the people what they want. Style, quality, and service!!!


Date: Monday, July 12, 2010  3:45 pm CT
Posted by: Brian Betts

I have some memorabilia type items i'm thinking of parting with from the Marshall Fields stores. My father was the master carpenter for Marshall Fields in the 60s and 70s contracted by Pepper Construction. His base shop was located in basement of Old Orchard. My father also went to state Street to remodel the Walnut Room and build displays as well as traveling to the 3 other locations to build displays and do repairs. I have items such as solid red brass MF logos in the script style that are about 2 foot by 1 foot, and actual walnut from the walnut room when he and others remodeled it. I'd really have to look through all the stuff and make a list if theres any interest.

I was on this site trying to find out what year the Walnut Room was remodeled. I personally did work there for Pepper Construction in the late 80s on the walnut room and other floors.I was going to build a bar from all the wood but my rec room is now destine to become a playroom for the lil one. If anyone knows then the Walnut room went through its major facelift in the 60S or 70S let me know please. My father passed away a few years ago and i failed to ask him specific questions about the items. i just know the logo came from Old Orchard and the wood came from state street.


Date: Saturday, July 10, 2010  8:12 am CT
Posted by: Mark F

Dear Fields Fans - I have never been to Chicago or Marshall Fields but have followed this blog because of my own frustration with Messy's and their devastation of Jordan Marsh and Filene's in Boston.

You are experiencing exactly what we saw here with Jordan Marsh. A department store of several floors above ground and a basement was whittled away to two above ground floors and a basement. The rest of the building is now office space. What remains is a dirty disorganized store with a handful of cashiers selling mediocre merchandise.

The beautiful historic Filene's department store across the street is now a shell - the interior has been gutted and the facade remains - because of a failed redevelopment.

A once vibrant downtown shopping district has become a disaster thanks to the folks at Messy's. I feel your pain.


Date: Friday, July 9, 2010  9:41 pm CT
Posted by: drew

You Chicagoland folks can bet your Marshall Field's charge card that macy*mart will definitely downsize your beloved State Street store--and probably some of the larger branches. The closing of the 9th floor is the start of changes to come. As more and more departments are dropped and selections within remaining departments are pared down, there is really no reason to maintain all the floor space. If you walk around the store, you will probably notice lots of empty spaces and wider expanses between merchandise displays.

As I have reported, the downtown Pittsburgh store operates 10 floors, but many sections have been closed off and former display alcoves are empty. Merchandise is spread thin to take up space. The store has recently been placed on the market with macy*mart offering to lease back space for their store. I am afraid the same fate awaits the Field's building.

It's obvious Terry has no desire to run a full service, well stocked department store and he envisions something like a typical mall store in every location. Evidently the "my macy*s" initiative has fallen by the wayside as the stores offer even fewer choices, less service, and nothing unique to attract shoppers. The only people who shop at macy*mart are those who stock up on the overabundance of clearance merchandise and those bargain hunters are those who keep the stores afloat.


Date: Friday, July 9, 2010  9:25 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Can't get enough of that "exclusive" Martha Stewart merchandise? Just stop by your local PetSmart which now has a large display of Martha Stewart pet supplies! Doggie brushes, combs and grooming tools with her signature robin's egg blue color handles are available, as are a wide assortment of dog collars and leashes.

Martha Stewart paints at Home Depot, Martha Stewart craft supplies at Michael's and walmart--and Martha Stewart linens, china and kitchen wares at macy*mart! If Mr Lunkhead was the "marketing genius" he fashions himself to be, he should have insisted that ALL Martha Stewart merchandise be sold at his lovely macy*mart. Since he dropped all the brand name home goods in favor of Martha, he should have made macy*mart the "exclusive" distributor of everything she licenses.

Since his vision of "America's department store" competes with JC Penney and Kohl's, Mr Lunkhead should diversify his merchandise offerings. I think Charter Club dog food, Alfani detergent and Tasso Elbo snack crackers should all be real winners.


Date: Friday, July 9, 2010  12:23 am CT
Posted by: Chris a

Just to save elctricity is such a waste to close the 9th floor. They really cannot do much with the store. Target tried to rent floors 10 and above and it did not work for them. It does make me sad to see the classy Field's furniture and accessories gone. Macy's had a special thing going with State Street and yet they are re not capitalizing on the store as a special store. They are trying to make it just like Herald Square. I say where is the MY Macy's program? IF they had any sense they would keep State Street special and make it a destination store for people all over to come and visit. They would rename it Macy's at Marshall Field's. The sales are getting better for them, but the State Street stores sales would excel much more if they made it a destination store which they are not. The idiot bean counters and Lundgren do not care they want to Wal-mart retail everywhere

Date: Thursday, July 8, 2010  3:12 pm CT
Posted by: C.J,

As someone below implied, a major way Macy's makes stores profitable is by relying on deferred maitenance and a skeleton-size floor staff. It's a strategy that doesn't work in the long run.

Date: Thursday, July 8, 2010  CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Don P. is absolutely correct. In fact, it was under Taubman's ownership that it was shrunk down to five floors and then to three under May Department Stores. During that time, the Wannamaker flagship was also run under the Hecht's and Strawbrdge names. The basement was converted into parking.

It should be always kept in mind that even more prominent department stores like Wannamaker, Jordan Marsh and Filene's were deeply revered by the cities and tourists of the cities they served. However, none matched Marshall Field's in terms of historic importance to their cities and in terms of international reputation. In Chicago, we don't have all that colonial history and destinations that the likes of Boston, NYC and Philadelphia have. Instead, Chicago had Marshall Field's.

Regardless of who did what at Wannamaker's, it is Macy's that appears to be doing the same RIGHT NOW with the former Field's flagship on State Street. As I stated at the annual shareholders meeting this past May, since Macy's considers its management the most talented, it should have the talent to give what four out of five Chicago shoppers want at 111 N State St--Marshall Field's--while somehow also honoring the goals they have with Macy's. Rather than be utually exclusive, achieving such a goal would not only bring back Marshall Field's, it would also make Macy's much stronger.


Date: Thursday, July 8, 2010  12:07 am CT
Posted by: Don P

To Pete:

May Company had shrunk the John Wanamaker store to 3 floors years ago. Macy's inherited the store from Lord & Taylor in it's present state.


Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2010  4:14 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

To Jeff S.: Horrors! I wonder what they plan to do with the 9th floor on State St. (Closing it could just be a way to save on the electricity bill.) They could cut some more staff, too.

I happened to walk into the store formerly known as Marshall Field's on State St. on Tuesday morning. Hey. NO ONE was working in the Hosiery Dept. on the first floor. NO ONE was working in the Scarves Dept., (or whatever that department is.) NOT A SINGLE register was opened in the south east corner of the store. I had a question about an item, but why bother?

I skipped the food courts and the Walnut Room. I had lunch at the Corner Bakery instead.


Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2010  2:15 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

Macy's releases June sales figured tomorrow, as do other retailers. Most retailers--not just Macy's--have been experiencing a huge drop in stock prices in the past couple of weeks.

It will be interesting to see how it goes.


Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2010  6:12 pm CT
Posted by: R.H.

We miss Marshall Field's.

Macy's doesn't compare.


Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2010  11:59 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Regarding the ninth floor:

I say it's all in their scheme. Macy's wants to flatten State Street down to three or four plans. They've done it at Wannamakers and Daytons and Famous Barr. They are planning the same here. It's all about bean counters.


Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2010  10:23 am CT
Posted by: F.D.

I'm glad to see this site.

Date: Monday, July 5, 2010  9:18 pm CT
Posted by: JimmY Gimbels

After all the hoopla about Organic Frango Mints and candy production returning to Chicago but not made with the original recipe), is Macy's phasing out Frango Mints? Once front and center at register displays and in the candy department, Frango mints now have a much smaller profile in the stores. Godiva products have prime display space throughout the stores. Frango Mints are now tucked away in housewares since the candy and food departments are now closed.

In several branches, the selection is limited to original mint flavor in the green 1 lb boxes. Gone are the flavors and well as the Frango-flavored teas, syrups and seasonal products.


Date: Monday, July 5, 2010  8:05 pm CT
Posted by: J.F.

Thanks so much! I plan to attend the rally on September 12th and want to get others involved!

Date: Monday, July 5, 2010  5:34 pm CT
Posted by: Kathy B.

I was glad to meet Field's promoters at the lakefront last night. Chicago needs Field's back. It was one of Chicago's best things.

Date: Monday, July 5, 2010  4:45 pm CT
Posted by: Brad H.

My wife and I received a handout about Marshall Field's coming back. Macy's made a big mistake getting rid of Field's. We come from Boston to visit family every other year. There's no reason to shop at Macy's in Chicago since we have them there, in too many places. When it was Field's, it was a tourist destination that we had to make.

Best of luck.


Date: Monday, July 5, 2010  1:20 pm CT
Posted by: Mary

Thank you for keeping on with this.

Date: Monday, July 5, 2010  11:20 am CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

We were sort of caught off guard when we passed out leaflets at Navy Pier yesterday evening, before the fireworks there.

We had a "clearance" of sorts, bringing along what amounted about at least 1,000 miscillaneous leaflets from the past couple of years--perhaps there were 1,100. I didn't expect that we would go through all of them. After all, we were about a mile from the nearest former Marshall Field location and it was the Fourth.

It turned out to be one of our top three leafleting events in the entire time FieldsFansChicago.org has existed. All of the leaflets were eagerly snapped up in about an hour. People came back from the crowd to get more leaflets or came up to us explaining that they saw someone else with the leaflet and they wanted their own. More than a few said that they planned to come out for a September protest. Even more said they missed Field's and it was a huge reason that they shopped Chicago and State Street.

The only leafleting days that had a faster rate of distribution were one or two of the Black Fridays and Saturday, December 23, 2006.

Clearly, Chicago still wants its Marshall Field's.

Special thanks to "gle" who got the ball rolling.


Date: Monday, July 5, 2010  9:31 am CT
Posted by: Me

Chicago and Marshall Field's! there's nothing like it! I received one of your brochures last night.

Date: Sunday, July 4, 2010  3:41 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Some retired friends enjoy taking bus trips during the summer. They haven't been to New York City for several years and decided to sign up for a trip this summer. When they were going over their itinerary, the agent told them their NYC trips no longer include shopping at the Red Star. The agent said people complained that "macy*s is everywhere," "that store is nothing special any more," "how would a souvenir gift from macy*s be a memento from New York when they are in any mall."

So the great marketing genius diluted the value of his own beloved 34th Street outlet by creating a nationwide brand. Bringing home a "gift" in a Red Star bag wouldn't be any more "exciting" than a purchase from walmart. A shopping bag and gift box from a well-known department store in another city would tell the recipient "I thought of you while I was away." A gift from the Red Star could say "I forget about getting something for you so I stopped by the mall on my way here."

The Red Star--you don't shop there when you are at home, why would you shop there when you are away?


Date: Sunday, July 4, 2010  10:01 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

If the truth were to be known, this probably was the plan from the very start: to disembowel and sell off the flagship stores. After the honeymoon frolic, why spend money maintaining a bride you will consume and whose bones you will spit out?

I used to work on the 9th floor. It was not especially glamorous but it was full of good stuff. I cannot imagine the dead air, dust balls and ghosts drifting though the place. It breaks my heart.

If there were perfect justice in this world, Mr. Classy Lundgren would be condemned to do all his shopping at his Chicago flagship store, and live in an unmaintained 9th floor restroom, forevermore. His Macy's, no doubt about that.

We have Bernie, BP and Macy's--- between calamitous weather and our high caliber internal enemies we really don't need the services of terrorists. Thankfully there are also high caliber heroes amongst us as well.


Date: Saturday, July 3, 2010  6:19 pm CT
Posted by: Jeff S.

Last call for Memory Lane on the 9th Floor! Took my one last walk around the almost empty 9th Floor of the State Street Store today. If you want to see it for one last time, I'd encourage you to hurry. It is all cleared out except for the section that sells oriental rugs. After the rugs are moved down to "8" the 9th Floor will be but a memory of what was once a great department store.

Many, many years ago, this floor sold antique furniture, drapes, appliances such as washers, dryers, and then in the 50's and 60's it sold televisions, lawn furniture, etc. This was a floor basically dedicated to "things for the home".

It is interesting to note that the Executive Offices are still located on "9" as is the Event Center and Human Resources. They may get downsized and moved to a lower level; who knows.


Date: Friday, July 2, 2010  9:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Sunday, July 4, 2010
HELP US PASS OUT LEAFLETS & BUTTONS RIGHT BEFORE THIS SUNDAY'S FIREWORKS near NAVY PIER

This Sunday, July 4, Field's Suppoters will be out near Navy Pier from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm before the fireworks display distributing leaflets and buttons in support of the return of Marshall Field's.

If you would like to assist in the leafleting and button distribution, please email: INF O at FIELDSFANSCHICAGO dot ORG by Noon, this Sunday. Someone will contact you back via email or phone.

The parade will kick off at Noon near Belmont and Halsted.

Please note: There will also be leafleting and button distribution associated with Independence Day fireworks in Chicago, although such activities will be held at Navy Pier this year. Look for more details here.


Date: Friday, July 2, 2010  3:36 pm CT
Posted by: Andy Johnson

Macy's is further downsizing the former Dayton's flagship store in downtown Minneapolis. It looks like the entire 5th floor is being eliminated -- furniture and rugs are being discontinued and mattresses are being moved to the lower level. I've been extremely loyal to shopping downtown Minneapolis at Dayton's (and later the regional Marshall Fields which was essentially the same high-quality merchandise with a new name) but I've barely spent a dime since Macyfication took place a few years ago. So sad...

Date: Friday, July 2, 2010  10:34 am CT
Posted by: Jeff S.

Macy's no longer holds the title as having the world's biggest department store building. There is a store called Shengsae that took over that title in South Korea a few years ago!

Date: Thursday, July 1, 2010  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Paul R.

Received info about this site at this past Sunday's gay pride parade on Halsted.

My partner and I will be at any events that you may have, whenever we can be there.


Date: Thursday, July 1, 2010  4:54 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

It was four sad years ago today that, very sadly, Fields.com became Macys.com and KeepItFields went on hiatus.


Date: Thursday, July 1, 2010  8:13 am CT
Posted by: drew

Further info on macy*mart's plan to sell its downtown Pittsburgh building:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10182/1069555-28.stm

Since the store is three times the size of suburban locations, look for the downtown stores too be even LESS of an attraction since they will offer nothing more than a typical mall store.


Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010  9:17 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Here's a link to another article about the landmark downtown Pittsburgh department store being sold by macy*mart:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_688340.html

It's interesting that the ultimate question is how much space does the store want and for how long? If the company doesn't OWN the building, wouldn't it be easier just to close the store and walk away?

Audrey Guskey is a well-respected marketing professor at Duquesne University; she is often interviewed in the local media and is considered an expert in marketing. Dr. Guskey's comment that macy*mart's reception in Pittsburgh has been "lukewarm" is putting it kindly. If the downtown store was Kaufmann's sales leader for so many years, why is the new ownership seeking to downsize? Didn't Mr Lunkhead say people would just adore macy*s and forget about their regional department stores? Guess not.

It's a safe bet that macy*mart will soon announce plans to sell off their remaining downtown department stores and "lease" space in the buildings. I don't know anything about the Chicago real estate market, but I would think the former Marshall Field's building would be prime office space. Since so many departments have been eliminated and merchandise offerings have been trimmed, Mr Lunkhead and friends could easily consolidate the merchandise on fewer sales floors.


Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010  7:37 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Hi Field's Fans,

I still miss Marshall Field's soooooo much! I felt a special pang today because I was watching an old classic movie on TV, "Sitting Pretty," with Clifton Webb as Mr. Belvedere. In the film, Robert Young is making a business trip to Chicago, and his wife, Maureen O'Hara, tells him to make sure and go to Marshall Field's to buy something. Then, as now, even after the store is gone, people have continually thought of Field's as being something really special about Chicago. It was the destination of vacationers, business travelers and all those who grew up with its traditions, its excellence, its great service. And right up until Macy's changed the name and quality level of the store, it still retained something of its original greatness, right up until 2009. Wouldn't we all love to have it back!

Continue the boycott, and, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, "never never never never give up."

Your Friend in Fields - Forever,

Zelda


Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010  4:02 pm CT
Posted by: drew

I have reported several times about how the downtown Pittsburgh macy*mart has greatly reduced inventory and services. Today's Post-Gazette reports the building is up for sale and macy*mart will "lease" space:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10181/1069346-100.stm

Want to bet that Mr Lunkhead will now try to sell ALL the downtown flagship stores and lease back a portion of the space? Some people have reported that departments in the former Chicago and Minneapolis stores are being moved downstairs, so I'm thinking this is the new way to show a profit--sell the stores, get rid of maintenance and upkeep costs, downsize the selling space and offer even less merchandise. The former downtown flagships will be "right-sized" to match the typical suburban store...nothing unique, distinctive or "exciting."


Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010  9:21 am CT
Posted by: Jon C.

Absolutely fascinating. I'm sure you all will think the same after seeing this detailed website on historic regional department stores. The author, a currently unemployed architect who lives in Michigan, has superbly accomplished an ongoing tribute to department stores across the nation and Canada.

http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com/2010/05/marshall-field-company-chicago.html

I enjoy all facets of the website, however the detailed floor-by-floor listing of merchandise is thoroughly interesting. Reading the "Second-Middle State" and "Fourth Holden Court" brings back memories of newspaper ads which indluded the precise floor areas to find the advertised pictured merchandise.

Be sure to check out the other regional department store links as well.


Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: D.B.

Good show on Sunday! Good show!


Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010  3:27 pm CT
Posted by: gle

There was an interesting comment about Macy's in a "Chicago Tribune" article by "Associated Press" in relation to some changes China has announced regarding its currency:

"Stocks close down after China currency enthusiasm fades" June 21 by Associated Press

"The news from China hurt retailers because inexpensive imports from China would become more expensive. That could cut into earnings. Macy's Inc. fell 3.4 percent, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc. dr opped 1 percent"

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/la-fiw-markets-20100621,0,2559224.story

I'm not financially savvy enough to interpret the currency changes being made and certainly hold nothing against China, but I think the comment reflects on Macy's' reputation for being cheap.


Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010  2:51 pm CT
Posted by: Sherrie T.

Hi. I miss Marshall Field's and I really don't like Macy's. I still have quote a few Marshall Field's bags and use them when I go out. I get a lot of comments about how they too miss the store and don't like Macy's.


Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010  2:19 pm CT
Posted by: C. C. Chicago

I think it is getting increasingly difficult to shop without Marshall Field's on State Street. When will decent stores return to that Great Street?

Recently, I needed an evening dress for a big occasion. I went to the following stores: Carson's, another Carson's, Nordstrom, Filene's Basement, Lord & Taylor and Kohl's (just in case). I ended up having a dress shipped from a Boston Store in Milwaukee, and buying another back-up dress from Nordstrom (in case the first dress got lost.) That is just the dress. There is also the problem of finding a jacket, purse, shoes, etc., etc. to go with it.

I don't have time to spend eight hours a day shopping in all of these far flung stores. The whole time I just kept thinking: "If Marshall Field's were still here, I could just go downtown and find everything right there, like I did the last time when I needed a day formal dress for a wedding!"


Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010  12:05 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

I was at our 25 year class reunion last weekend. Foley's takeover by Macy's came up. One of my old friends said her mother worked at Foley's customer service for years and, of course, now works for Macy's. She said it is just terrible for her mom. She made the comment that her mother told her little sister and her friends (in high school) that she could get them gifts from Macy's with her discount. They told her no way as they didnt want anything from Macy's. Goes to show you that Macy's has no only alienated all the former regional stores' clientele but also has failed in attracting the young, hip market they were supposedly targeting.

No one likes Macy's. I don't know how they are surviving in this climate.


Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010  10:23 am CT
Posted by: Leslie F.

I have pride in Marshall Field and Company and what it did for Chicago. Macy's--ICK!


Date: Monday, June 28, 2010  11:45 pm CT
Posted by: John

Was at the picket on the day it became Macy's, 2006. Saw the signs for Field's to come back on ABC7's coverage of the Gay Pride Parade. Glad to see you guys still going.

It's criminal what Macy's did to that store!


Date: Monday, June 28, 2010  9:37 pm CT
Posted by: drew

I visited the downtown Pittsburgh macy*mart on Saturday. The display windows along Forbes Avenue were covered in BLACK curtains. The display windows along Smithfield Street featured fashions that most parents would forbid their daughters from wearing.

The main floor was clean, but badly in need of a coat of wax. The displays were neatly organized but merchandise was sparse, and there was ever more space between the fixtures. While the men's room on the second floor was clean, there were no paper towels in any of the dispensers. Fortunately I didn't have to use the rest room because the stalls had no seat covers or toilet paper in the dispensers.

Maintenance on the building has greatly diminished. I noticed several electrical outlets hanging out of the walls, cracked and chipped tiles, letters missing from signs (Cha_ter C_ub), filthy carpeting where display fixtures had been removed. Much of the Martha Stewart kitchen ware has been moved to the Arcade level from the upper floor. The upper floors feature even more wide open spaces than before and merchandise is spread thin. There were several display tables with boxes of glassware. On further inspection, I noticed that three tables were stacked with boxes of the exact same glassware--so much for selection and variety. I look for a major downsizing of the store because they are not merchandising all the floor space properly.

Although we haven't yet reached the Fourth of July, the downtown macy*mart had very limited assortments of summer shorts and tops. Lots of winter merchandise on clearance but not much one could wear on these hot, humid days. While Kaufmann's was often OVER stocked on merchandise, this store is pathetic in depth and breadth of selection.

Many of Kaufmann's long-time services (post office, snack counters, jewelry repair, Ticketmaster) have been discontinued. This store had the highest sales per square foot of all Kaufmann's stores, but macy*fication turned a winner into a loser.


Date: Monday, June 28, 2010  5:23 pm CT
Posted by: Mike H.

Viva Marshall Field's!!!!! How Chicago needs it's Marshall Field's!


Date: Monday, June 28, 2010  4:12 pm CT
Posted by: Alan G.

I saw the Marshall Field signs at the parade yesterday and it tears well up in my eyes. Is there a chance it can come back? If any store could come back, it would be Marshall Field's.

Good luck! I'm behind you!


Date: Monday, June 28, 2010  4:04 pm CT
Posted by: D.F.

Got a flyer at the Chicago Gay Pride Parade. I'm proud of myself and my city and Marshall Field and Company. I worked there in the 1980's, Macy's is not the same, 34th St store in NY not withstanding.

We need Marshall Field's!


Date: Monday, June 28, 2010  12:09 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Watched the Pride Parade coverage on Channel 7 last night. Oh so cool to see the signs supporting the return of Marshall Field's in the background of all the floats. Good on all of you!


Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010  9:45 pm CT
Posted by: Saul

Good to see you people at the Pride today!

Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010  8:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to all of those who pased out leaflets and buttons at the Pride Parade today.

At least a couple of dozen people came up to us and asked to hold the signs we had while someone took their photo. There was not a heckler in the crowd.

Look for a new photo in our front/home page photo gallery.


Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010  10:17 am CT
Posted by: Carol H.

I am an American History teacher in Florida but was born and raised in Chicago. Our textbook pays tribute to the history of Marshall Fields by stating that it was the first modern department s tore concept in American.

I am PROUD to wear the Field's button. I have NOT entered a Macy's store since the name change and WILL NOT. In fact, my father and I traveled back to Chicago in September 09 and we walked pa st the Marshall Field's State Street store on the way to the lakefront. I can only say that I had tears in my eyes walking by.


Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010  9:32 am CT
Posted by: Paul F.

My name is Paul (F.) and I am a Chicago lover. I live in Prague, Czech Rep., but come often to the States. I have very fond memories of my four visits to Chicago within last couple of years when I was also introduced to the Marshall Field's department store story and people who love it. I follow Field's Fans on Twitter and am always glad to hear some news or see the community living.

I have to request three more of those buttons you offer. I have seen them in Chicago, my friend gave me one but I passed it on to another person, Donald Stoltenberg, who had lived in Chicago till the 50's and even did some graphic design work for Mr. Fields.

I would be very proud to wear your button and also give it to somebody who cares. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm.


Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010  9:30 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Today's Chicago Tribune has an ad for a rugs clearance at the State Street Store only. It seems that rugs are being moved down from the 9th floor to the 8th floor.

Is this a sign of Macy's further shrinking down the State Street store and eliminating things? I think so.


Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010  5:47 pm CT
Posted by: C.B.

In support of movement for bringing back Marshall Field's we proudly wear "I Want My Marshall Field's Back" buttons.

Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010  8:29 am CT
Posted by: GRA58

I was at Six Flags Great America yesterday, and saw that Six Flags Corp. had saved the Little Dipper roller coaster from the recently, and tragically, demolished Kiddieland. They had a plaque next to the ride's entrance describing how the coaster was built, how much it was loved by generations of Chicagoans, and how they were proud to now be the current owners and stewards of a piece of Chicago history and tradition. It really made me feel good. Here's a big corporation who sees value in preserving local color and cultivating customer good will. The line for the Little Dipper was really long too. Obviously a crowd pleaser. Contrast that against Macy's shut-up-and-do-what-you're-told attitude towards local color. "Perplexed" should take a look at what Six Flags did. That's a real piece of marketing genius, not an imagined one.

Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010  6:51 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Am I the only one tired of the fashion etc media requiring us to be "hot"? Sorry- the Madonna line looks as desperate as the rest of them and Madonna jr, at least in the provided image, looks like she wants to be somewhere else. Good idea.

And JRB: Yea! I always called it Field's even in the 60s but I agree- when I get serious it is still Marshall Field & Company. Familiarity breeds contempt. My Field's. No thrill in that-- we have a diminished Field's if I can possess it. (Actually I always regarded it as mine but in common ownership with countless others of varying tastes and resource, and no one had to remind me it was "mine.")

But then-- today we are instant buddies with total strangers, and few are called by a title and surname. Many, if not most, Americans have a historical abhorrence of someone appearing (or being) more important than themselves. Who but an American photographer (Liebovitz) would have the hubris to ask the Queen of England, posing in full regalia for an official royal portrait, if she would remove the crown? Net result: My Macy's. Well....not *mine.* I don't want it.

WE want OUR Marshall Field & Co.!


Date: Friday, June 25, 2010  6:36 am CT
Posted by: Ronald

I ride the Chicago L a lot when I past the Macy on State Street on the Wabash side of the building a piece of wood is covered a window that is broken and the company that does not care because people on the street can not see it and only people who ride the L could see it. In my opinion that we know Macy does not care about Marshall Field building and they are CHEAP.!

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010  6:00 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Sunday, June 27, 2010
FIELD'S LOYALISTS at CHICAGO PRIDE PARADE

Fans of Marshall Field's run the gamut from conservative Republicans to leftwingers with 30 piercings, from the very wealthy to the kid who sent money from her lemonade stand to help fund our cause, and everyone in between.

This Sunday, a subset of Field's supporters plan to leaflet and pass out buttons at the Chicago Pride Parade. This will be the fourth year in a row. As of a couple of days ago, Macy's was not listed as participant in the Chicago parade as they were in 2008, but Macy's has been participating in other cities' similar parades so it's possible Macy's will be there this year. Or maybe not.

Regardless, some Field's supporters will be there.

If you would like to assist in the leafleting, button distribution, and the carrying of a sign, please email: INFO at FIELDSFANSCHICAGO dot ORG Someone will contact you back via email or phone. The leaflets, from what I have seen, are quite interesting and classy, talking about the history of Marshall Field's.

The parade will kick off at Noon near Belmont and Halsted.

Please note: There will also be leafleting and button distribution associated with Independence Day fireworks in Chicago, although such activities will be held at Navy Pier this year. Look for more details here.


Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010  8:11 am ET
Posted by: gle

Another has-been "celebrity" fashion line launches "exclusively" at macy*mart:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100623/FEATURES01/6230347/1319/Macys-to-carry-fashions-from-Madonna-daughter

No doubt Madonna and her daughter have wide appeal to female teens--especially those who enjoy "oldies" radio.


Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010  4:45 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

I have compiled some old commercials from Marshall Fields and other regional stores that will bring back the uniqueness we used to have for each region:

Field's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx1GOmUyM2k&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NORB7KOiqU&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bls23ycDQeA

Foley's

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7zlsr_foleys-department-store_lifestyle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QDuwtsYz6g&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orI24F4c5g8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEcCPq2m_cg&feature=related

Joske's

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4ajek_joske-s-department-store

Bamberger's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpg9fzlUqns&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ2yt7TiYio&feature=related

Gayfer's

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2e2xb_gayfers

Gimbel's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ChbWTPHE9Y&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNVllkbUspI&feature=related

Jordan Marsh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZGk5tkyl5M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz8WxiILMwY

Lazarus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHPZlik14aA

Robinson's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e0Il1PbAfI&feature=related

May Company

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e0Il1PbAfI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_ClCChFAX0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZcv3UTBkGU&feature=related

Sakowitz Houston

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOkWfOPBofs&feature=digest

Sanger-Harris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF4kJSC9hTI

The Broadway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8gww-mbwns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG4G3ezOMKc

Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue Commercials

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIJQ57mT4RQ&NR=1


Date: Sunday, June 20, 2010  1:54 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I notice the State Street store windows (the ones displaying all the perfume and cosmetic bottles) have the theme DISCOVER beauty at Macy's. You got to be kidding!

Date: Friday, June 18, 2010  1:50 am CT
Posted by: PL

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010  1:26 pm CT
Posted by: Jon C

For all Fans of Marshall Field's and regional department stores - - -

If you read only one book this year, I highly recommend this one:

THE GRAND EMPORIUMS - Am Illustrated History of America's Great Department Stores
by Robert Hendrickson
Stein and Day, Publishers
Scarbough House
Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. 10510
Copyright 1979
488 pages

I bought it in hard-bound over twenty years ago on Amazon.com. Every few years I pull it out, read it over again, and still learn things about what made America's large, medium-sized and smaller department stores so very great.

Enjoy!


Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010  1:26 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I just checked out the State Street store about 12:30 p.m. on a pleasant Tuesday afternoon.

What stood out to me:

Various cosmetics are on display in the State Street windows.

Displays in the aisles almost obstruct anyone trying to walk through, but that's not what immediately catches my eye on entering the store. Dirty, cracked floors are still the first thing I see.

Balsa wood airplanes still dangle under the Tiffany dome.

A large American flag hangs at the north end of the first floor. A sign does give Marshall Field's credit for originating the flag tradition at the store.

"Hero" specials for Fathers' Day included white underwear. (Didn't a person used to give Dad a nice tie?)

An up escalator is broken between the 5th and 6th floors.

I noted 8 tables of "statistics" eating in the Walnut Room around a simple floral centerpiece, with about 3 tables occupied by the rear windows. There was no line during peak lunch hour.

The Frango Cafe next door was less than half full.

A general laid-back unkemptness seemed to cheapen everything in the store, even such merchandise as sparkling jewelry.

I checked out Sears down the street for comparison. The shiny clean (uncracked) floors, air conditioning, and general airy cleanliness made it feel like the more upscale store.

I still don't understand Messy's attitude. It appears so obvious they don't love the place, but still expect everyone else to regard it as a #1 celebrity trend. Customers can't help what they see. I guess we just don't have those rosy-colored Messy's sun glasses.


Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010  6:26 am CT
Posted by: J.S.

I think what you are doing is great, keep up the awesome job.

Thank You.


Date: Sunday, June 13, 2010  1:56 pm CT
Posted by: gle

GO HAWKS, GO FIELD'S, GO CHICAGO!

I watched coverage of the Hawks victory on Friday, and thought about how Chicago loves our winners. The Hawks are winners. Marshall Field's is still a winner over Messy's as a shopping preference. If Field's were to come back, there would be a big celebration and people might have to even take a number to get into the building.

I also attended a large neighborhood festival over the weekend, and had several conversations with passionate Field's supporters who noticed to my "I want my Marshall Field's" button. Chicago knows a winner and knows Field's is still a winner. We would love to have another reason to celebrate by having Field's return as our # 1 store.


Date: Saturday, June 12, 2010  12:34 pm CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Maybe the author is too hard on this mistake...but geez, it shows how mad people are that Marshall Field's is gone.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Chicago-Macy-s-unfortunately-celebrates-its-Bla?urn=nhl,247927


Date: Friday, June 11, 2010  1:56 pm CT
Posted by: Jeff S.

Was visiting the Oak Brook Store last evening. Very quiet and not busy at all. They are preparing for "changes" such as luggage going up on 3. Children's clothing coming down to the basement. The Food Court moving across the aisle. Seems business is so slow, the 3rd floor could be completely closed off and no one would notice!

Also, of note, the Oak Brook Store was designed by the man who also would construct the Cozy Cloud Cottage every year at Christmas!


Date: Friday, June 11, 2010  9:27 am CT
Posted by: gle

Chicago loves a winner. The Hawks are our winners. Marshall Field's is still our winner in shopping preferences over Messy's. If Field's returned to State Street, there would have to be a rally for the store as well. Just imagine it! Chicagoans are the most loyal fans in the word. GO HAWKS, GO FIELD'S, GO CHICAGO!.

Date: Thursday, June 10, 2010  2:09 pm CT
Posted by: Katie

We are looking forward to this year's rally for Marshall Field's and Chicago. We are coming out with a book all about Marshall Field's in the coming months and plan to release it around the time of the rally.

Date: Thursday, June 10, 2010  12:22 pm CT
Posted by: Nina

Several years ago I did some holiday shopping at the Marshall Field's in Lake Forest, just a short walk from the downtown Metra station. I was in the area last weekend and had "mixed feelings" about the current fate of the Field's store.

Good News: It's not a Macy's. According to the locals, Macy's tried and failed to make a "go" of the locatoin.

Not-so-good news: The building is currently occupied by J. Crew and a cosmetics store. Couldn't a town like Lake Forest find some "classier" emporia to occupy this beautiful space (which still bears the Marshall Field's signs on the exterior, like State Street, but no clocks)?

Response from the webmaster:
I must respectfully disagree. I don't see any good news. I think it's sad that the store as Marshall Field's is gone.

Date: Wednesday, June 9, 2010  11:13 pm CT
Posted by: J.R.B.

I visit your web page a few times a year to see what is happening, and today, I added our name to you email newsletter list. I left Arlington Heights ( not quite a suburb then) in 1958 to go to college and became a Chicago visitor after that. Marshall Field was special in every way, and a high point at Christmas and for back-to-school shopping. The crowds were awful, but who cared; is was like a fantasy. My grandparents lived on North Dearborn Parkway and we would ride the subway directly to the Marshall Field station. Later, the store for men on Wabash was a stopping point each time I returned. Our family Christmas tree has Uncle Mistletoe, Aunt Holly, Fred and Marcia ornaments from a trip with our then six-year old daughter in 1981.

I am writing to ask you to consider something more: The name "Marshall Field's" irritates me almost as much as Macy's. The elegant grand name "Marshall Field & Company" was the elegant grand store in my memory. We always referred to it a Marshall Field, never Marshal Field's or Field's. I believe the 's came about when the Dayton-Hudson stores acquired the company because their stores were marketed as Dayton's and Hudson's.

So, my plea is not to go back just to the Marshall Field's era, but recapture the true nature of the enterprise with its more prestigious earlier name. Neiman Marcus is not Neiman Marcus's, Von Maur has no 's


Date: Wednesday, June 9, 2010  1:20 pm CT
Posted by: Michael M.

Boy that (perplexed) comment sure seemed bothered by us kooks blathering on about Macy's......If we've hit a nerve than you guys at Macy's corporate are really getting paranoid or maybe us whackjobs are starting to make some progress.......either way Terry you are just rearranginging the deck chairs on the Titanic my friend. The Fields name means so much I am confident someone will buy it in the chapter 11 proceedings

Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010  10:23 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

I came across this story from five years ago (July 30, 2005) from the AP.

It's interesting to note the hesitancy in Terry Lundgren's comments. Field's CEO Frank Guzetta's sounds outright opposed to Field's being replaced. Guzetta was brought in as the CEO of Field's under the short ownership by May Department Stores of around only 15 months.

Later, of course, Guzetta had the job of convincing Field's customers that Macy's was just as good. In November 2007, he was quoted as saying that Macy's was no longer interested in courting Field's customers and that Macy's was looking for new customers. At the time, it seemed snarky; now it seems that he was simply speaking the truth. A few months later, after Christmas 2007, Guzetta retired. He since came out of retirement to head up Ralph Lauren.

It seems to me as if, in retrospect, that Guzetta was pushed out in part for not drinking the Macy's Kool-Aid about Field's.

Here's the story:

Marshall Field's stores to keep their name -- for now
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Marshall Field's department stores will keep their venerated name, for now at least.

Terry Lundgren, chairman and chief executive of parent company Federated Department Stores Inc., said Thursday the company will survey customers before making a decision later this year about whether to put its Macy's nameplate on Marshall Field's stores.

"Certainly, there is something different about Marshall Field's," Lundgren said in an interview with the Star Tribune. "It's a long-established name, particularly in the Chicago market ... and we need to talk to a broad range of customers before we make a decision."

The newspaper said Lundgren's comments kept alive the possibility that Federated will preserve Marshall Field's headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, where about 1,500 to 2,000 people work for the company.

"(Marshall Field's) doesn't fit the mold of Macy's. It doesn't fit the mold of Bloomingdale's," said Frank Guzzetta, president and chief executive of Marshall Field's. "It has remained a stronger part of the local retail scene than some of the other department store chains. ... In the final analysis, I think the decision will be made to keep the brand."

Cincinnati-based Federated is paying $11 billion for May Department Stores Co., which owns Marshall Field's and its 62 stores. Federated said Thursday it plans to convert 10 department store chains it bought from May into Macy's, nearly doubling the size of Macy's to 730 stores nationwide. Shareholders of both companies approved the takeover this month. Federated expects the deal to close in the third quarter, following completion of regulatory review.

"It was just about everyone's assumption that the Marshall Field's (name) would not survive" the acquisition, said Jim McComb, a Minneapolis retail consultant. "Now, I say it's not out of the realm of possibility that the name will remain."

On Tuesday, Nick Potts, 25, of Minneapolis, launched a Web site created "with the intention of preserving the Marshall Field's trade name for future generations." Nearly 2,400 people have added their names to a petition on the site pledging to take their business elsewhere if Federated changes the Marshall Field's name to Macy's or Bloomingdale's.


Date: Tuesday, 8, 2010  4:32 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Even if Macy's is profitable, it could do a lot better by bringing back Marshall Field's to State Street. There is pent up demand as someone said.


Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010  6:29 am CT
Posted by: Steve

Make your own model Marshall Field's truck

http://www.freewebs.com/jlrev/Marshall%20Field%20&%20Company%20Delivery%20Van.bmp


Date: Monday, June 7, 2010  8:48 pm CT
Posted by: Reginald R.

Drew and so many others are correct when they write about the current "sameness" of shopping malls from city to city, state to state because of the "macy-ification of the U.S. It used to be that every city or region had its own "local" name department store. When I was visiting a city on business or a vacation, I would be drawn as I drove on an Interstate highway or busy street near a mall. I would "stop and pull-in" when I saw an anchor department store with a "new" and different name than what I had been used to shopping back home.

Now there is no compelling reason to take time to shop a mall with the regularly common Sears, JCPenney and macy*s. I just drive right on. In the past I would have stopped out of curiousity and spent an hour or two, and spent several hundred dollars. It's the "something-different" name, especially the famous, legendary Marshall Field name that would immediately get my attention. Mr. Lundgren has ruined shopping for millions by making everything macy*s.

No more Foley's, Jordan Marsh, Filene's, Woodward & Lothrop, Hecht's, Burdine's, Liberty House, Bon Marche, Jones Store, Famous-Barr, Kaufmann's, Strawbridge's, John Wanamaker's, Robinson's..and most of all, Marshall Field's to add some excitement to shopping a different store. I'm sure shopping center owners and management firms do not like the macy-ification one bit, and are suffering as a result. Just think of the small shops inside the malls that are missing out because of the absence of a strong magnetic anchor to draw the customers inside the malls!

I'm with you all in your quest to bring back Marshall Field's and the regional department stores not only in name, but in uniqueness, guest service, selection and style.


Date: Monday, June 7, 2010  7:06 pm CT
Posted by: susan wilgus

A friend of mine has 2 4-drawer file cabinets that formerly belonged to the executive offices of Marshall Field's. Are there any collectors who might be interested? Reply to Swilgus AT Ameritech DOT net.

Date: Monday, June 7, 2010  6:50 pm CT
Posted by: Rick

From time to time I've read your emails. I too miss the various department stores. I'd like to shed a little light on your comment about The Drake Hotel. In the 1960s TWA purchased the international operation of Hilton Hotels. Hilton International also owned a few properties in the United States, but was prohibited from branding them Hilton. The only exception was the former Kahala Hilton in Hawaii. Similarly, the Hilton Hotels Corp was prohibited from using the name Hilton outside the United States.

Since The Drake was onwned and operated by the Hilton International it was never permitted to use the Hilton name, even though it used the Hilton reservation system. Hilton Hotels even had different booking codes HH & HL.

In efforts to expand their markets, Hilton Hotels created the Conrad International brand for hotels outside the US. Likewise Hilton International created the Vista International brand for properties in the US.

In 2005 Hilton Hotels re-acquired Hilton International from its then British owners consolidating the two companies with similar brand names.

It's fairly common for well known exsisting hotels not to carry the chain's name on the door like the Drake, Waldorf-Astoria, Beverly Wilshire, but that also is changing.

It's too bad it didn't stay that way in retail with Dillard's, Belk & Macy's dropping all the familiar names.


Date: Sunday, June 6, 2010  4:45 pm CT
Posted by: A news reader

What I don't understand is how any time Macy's sales inch up a notch, Lundgren crows like the public is supposed to take it as a sign of success. A June 3, 2010 press release from Macy's official website www.macysinc.com boasts:

"Macy's, Inc. same store sales up 1.4% in May"
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1434008

The release also quotes Lundgren as saying, "... same-store sales in May would have been up by approximately 5 percent were it not for the later Memorial Day, which shifted the Sunday and Monday of the holiday weekend by one week into the June reporting period this year from the May reporting period last year," [HUH, blame Memorial Day because sales weren't even higher?]

Yet a June 4, 2010 "Tribune" article reports that Macy's stock fell 6.5 percent and stated "Retailers were among the hardest hit stocks after investors bet that a weak job market would discourage consumers from spending."

"Stock plunge to 4-month low on disappointing employment report and and drop in Euro; Dow falls 323" June 4, 2010 by Stephen Bernard, AP business writer
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-ap-us-wall-street,0,7695507.story

Then, a most recent Macy's story from several news sources is about a guy who breaks a record by applying lipstick to a bunch of women at Macy's. Who cares? The only time I ever see crowds at Macy's on State is when there is a free give-a-way such as that. They don't all come pouring in the next day after the give-a-way.

There are those who say Marshall Field's isn't coming back, as if people should shop at Macy's because we're stuck with it. I don't see that as a reason to shop anyplace. If all a store can do to attract crowds is apply free lipstick, it doesn't say much.

It still makes more sense to me if 81 percent of a bunch of shoppers would rather shop at Marshall Field's than Macy's. Marshall Field's did have more than free lipstick and trendy junk that actually doesn't appeal to much of Chicago.


Date: Sunday, June 6, 2010  8:42 am CT
Posted by: GRA58

Hey "Perplexed": How do you square your claim of "marketing genius" with a $5.4 billion write-off of goodwill in early 2009?

Some genius.


Date: Sunday, June 6, 2010  6:21 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Wellll- we have to travel an hour minimum to get past the Walmart orbit. Finally got to a Bon Ton last week. THAT was depressing. I don't know what is going on there but it was scantily stocked and unkempt- there was even lots of open space (BT has always been way overcrowded). The counters for jewelry were all but empty, replaced by tacky freestanding units apparently bought that way complete with merch. My husband could not obtain short-sleeved cotton shirts at Penney's and we didn't bother with Macy's. He found some underwear at BT, squirreled in a disorderly display unit missing lots of its formica veneer, like its neighbors. Long ago BT replaced its shoe department with storage shelving, a complete DIY thing which I detest, especially since I do not care to shop at Shoos-R-Us. The one checkout station by the main external entry was closed (mid-day) by the time my husband got there, and he finally located someone at the cosmetic counter to take care of it. The girl at the shoe cash register had an air of desperate pleasantry, she had little to do and certainly was not tidying up the shoe boxes on their shelves. After the girl at the checkout station left, I think those were the only 2 employees left in the store and maybe about 6 shoppers besides us. It sure looks like that place is dying. Do I want to go back? Nope. We went there for brands, BTW.

We went out of our way to shop in a real store but it was hardly worth the effort. Even at a languishing new strip mall near the large mall, at a Jos. Banks, my husband had no luck with shirts; he finally purchased some online out of desperation. We prefer to buy what we can see and touch first, but it is becoming necessary to buy from catalog/internet.

Is this all there is? If this is an indicator of our national mercantile/cultural health we are in big trouble.

I keep calling it a cultural issue because it is or we would not be so upset with the way things are going.


Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010  11:00 pm CT
Posted by: A Field's Fan

"The Consumerist" features an item on how Macy's and Estee Lauder set a record for most lipstick applications in an hour. The Consumerist astutely notes that the other record is the record number of Chicgo shoppers Macy's has, as they put it, "pissed off" by replacing Field's with Macy's.

There have been several responses there, long before the item was posted here. It's not just a thing with person or two at this website. EVERYONE wants Marshall Field's to come back. Be sure to leave your own comments.

http://consumerist.com/2010/06/macys-estee-lauder-team-up-to-break-completely-pointless-world-record.html


Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010  2:07 pm CT
Posted by: Donna K.

I was so happy to have Marshall Fields come to Columbus, Ohio when it did. I loved the store in Chicago and was thrilled that it had become part of my community. When Marshall Fields left, I was extremely upset. It's departure meant the departure of quality merchandise, quality employees, and a store that really knew what customer service meant. The merchandise carried at Macy's is inferior, the staff are not informed in their line of merchandise (when you can find them), the store is over crowded with merchandise that is topsy-turvey in the aisles and the shopping experience is not a pleasant one. I really would like to see Marshall Fields return. I currently shop at Von Maur or Dillard's but must go out of town to shop at Dillard's. It would be wonderful if Marshall Field's would return!

Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010  12:04 pm CT
Posted by: Bruce Allen Kopytek

Thank you for keeping the idea of Marshall Field & Company alive!

As a frequent visitor to Chicago when I was younger, I learned how special Marshall Field & Company was. What has since transpired is a shame.

The history and unique nature of many of America's best stores should not be forgotten. If you would like to share a little of this history, please visit:

http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com/2010/05/welcome-to-museum.html

I have acquired a lot of information and material about department stores, and am always looking for more. The Field's exhibit is by far the most comprehensive in the "museum," and I encourage all "Field's Fans" to check it out. remember, though, the whole thing is a "work in progress" and I hope to embellish it more . . . soon, I hope to post some photos of the store's classy 1970s First Floor remodel.

Best wishes!


Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010  9:24 am CT
Posted by: RichW

I just read the post from "Perplexed" in metro Cincinnati, which is where Federated/M*cy-mart corporate headquarters are. Unfortunately, the person is "Delusional" based on the content of the comment. This site is about much more than Chicago people wanted a Chicago icon back. I am a New Yorker. My first job was working for Macy's in NY when it was a much better run department store and not a national chain store. This is about the loss of national treasure. I loved shopping in Marshall Field's in Chicago. It was like shopping Harrod's in London- surprising and adventurous- AND CLASSY. I loved shopping at A&S in Brooklyn, Filene's and Jordan Marsh in upstate NY, Burdine's in Florida. All those stores are gone now, replaced by a cookie cutter store with absolutely no differentiation from its own stores across the country (big deal that in Florida they bring in short sleeves and shorts yearround- Penney's, Sears and Target have done that for decades) and no product differentiation from its competitors (Kohl's and Penney's). I will say that Kohl's, Penney's and Target keep clean stores, well stocked fixtures and sufficient customer service associates. THOSE are key points where the new national m*cy-mart clearly is lacking. One other comment- IMagnin was indeed a major department store as everyone in SF knows. It was not a small specialty store. Chicago had a nice sized IMagnin on Michigan Avenue. I think this "perplexed" person needs to do some homework, not only on the history of the department store- but on brand management. Everyone in Omaha is "perplexed" as to why m*acy-mart runs tv ads all day here and there is not one store here closer than a 3.5 hour drive. Then again, Lunkhead&Co do not seem to be very smart about the way they run their business (into the ground). I still will never spend a penny at a m*cy-mart or bloomingdale's store again. The cards were chopped up long ago. Any gifts from there are immediately returned. Keep up the fight!!!

Date: Friday, June 4, 2010  12:55 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

When I attended Macy's annual shareholder meeting three weeks ago, my ears perked up when I heard a former director at Hilton Hotels, Mr. Stephen Bollerbach, introduced as Macy's, Inc.'s "Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors."

Hilton owns about ten brands of hotels with certain back-room functions that tie-in for efficiency; at the same time, clearly Hilton maximizes its profits by maintaining hotels' distinctive identies where it makes sense. It's what customers want.

A prime example of this is the Palmer House Hilton.

Or consider the Hilton Hotel that is still run as "The Drake."

These are Hilton Hotels which not only retain their names, but also have distinctive personalities while still operating certain aspects centralized under the Hilton division of Hilton.

I think this makes perfect sense in the case of Marshall Field's on State Street, although in some ways I would see Field's be a class akin to Hilton's Waldorf Astoria or Conrad.

And considering Mr. Bollerbach's relationship with Macy's, it's clear that Macy's has access to someone who could offer substantial advisement and experience in successfully pulling that off.

It's very doable, it's what four out of five Chicago shoppers want, and Macy's made it very clear at the sharehoilders meeting that they are all about giveing customers what they want-they want "My Marshall Field's."


Date: Friday, June 4, 2010  11:14 am CT
Posted by: D.

I grew up in Chicago and love Marshall Fields. I moved to the east coast where I became a Macy's employee for ten years. I was so devastated that Macy's was taking away our beloved Marshall Fields.

I since lost my job due to cut backs. I still go back home to Chicago and I miss My Marshall Fields. I remember as a child going to Marshall Fields to look at the best Christmas windows ever. Mom would take me into the toys department and I would love to see the beautiful dolls on display. Oh how I miss them.

Living on the east coast and working at Macy's people would come in to shop and tell how they missed Jordan Marsh Department store. I didn't understand until it happened to My Marshall Fields. I had never shopped in a Jordan Marsh store but realized what they missed.

Even though I worked for Macy's I couldn't understand how they could take our Marshall Fields away. I am thankful that they did keep the yummy Frango Mints.

I would be so proud to display the "I Want My Marshall Field's" button. Letting people in the east know how I miss Marshall Fields.


Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010  6:13 am CT
Posted by: Joanne Rodriguez

I, JUST LIKE SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE WANT MARSHALL FIELD'S DEPARTMENT

STORE TO RETURN TO THE WONDERFUL STATE STREET AND THE WONDERFUL

MICHIGAN AVENUE IN CHICAGO. I WANT MARSHALL FIELD'S DEPARTMENT STORE TO RETURN WHEREEVER THERE WAS A MARSHALL FIELD'S DEPARTMENT STORE.

I AND EVERYONE LOVES MARSHALL FIELD'S.

MARSHALL FIELD'S DEPARTMENT STORES COME BACK SOON. WE (THE PEOPLES

IN CHICAGO AND EVERYWHERE LOVE THIS STORE. MARSHALL FIELD'S DEPARTMENT STORE YOU ARE THE GREATEST STORE IN THE WORLD. WE ALSO LOVE CARSON PIRIE SCOTT, SEARS AND ALL THE CHICAGO STORES.

COME BACK SOON, MARSHALL FIELD'S. WE MISS YOU.

MARSCHALL FIELD SENIOR.THE FOUNDER OF MARSHALL FIELD

S DEPARTMENT STORES, ALSO IS GREAT.


Date: Tuesday, June 1, 2010  6:13 am CT
Posted by: K Anderson

To Perplexed in Metro Cincinatti.... You almost fooled me for a moment there Terry! ;-)

I post on here is because in today's world choices are dwindling! Banks swallowing other banks... Airlines....Automakers etc. But in retailing I understand certain stores don't fit today's clientele but what I miss and Macys/Federated has dropped the ball is the uniqueness of a store in different city! I remember there was a time when I air travel and at the airport one can tell where one was coming from with the shopping bags! Federated had stores with strong ties to their communities and I can tell you living in Florida... There isn't a day go by I hear I miss Burdines! So

I can imagine that is said in the midwest of Marshall Fields! What Macys should of done of the historic Department Stores like Marshall Fields, John Wanamakers, Strawbridge and Clothier, Richs and others is have that one flagship store with a unique. Go to other countries and see how Department Stores are operated! When I was in London there were so many choices with stores Harrods,Selfridges,Debenhams,Marks and Spencer and in Tokyo it was Seibu and a dozen other I can't pronounce! But here in the states the choices are dwindling and they are stale! We don't need another national retailer like Sears and Penneys! Macys is trying to force the public to accept it! They don't know who they are! Some Macys are trying to compete with Nordstrom and there are others that looked like a Low tier Penneys Store and that's what is so upsetting! Sure CIncinatti they are making money but they have lost the respect a long time ago! Let's see if they can cash that check in the future!!!!


Date: Monday, May 31, 2010  CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

I'm not so sure I concur with all of the specific examples that Jimmy Gimbels offers in his post below.

Could the stores now be profitable...more than when they were Field's? So they say...however, it reminds me of when I was in College on a tight food budget. Yes, I cut my grocery bill to $20 a week --how great is that? The problem was that in the longer term it was not sustainable and detrimental to my health. If I ate better, I would have had a lot better health and more energy to do more.

I think that might be what's going on at more than a few of the former Marshall Field's stores in Chicago. Sure, they have slashed so much that they could be doint better in the short term--but I don't think it is sustainable nor good for Macy's long-term corporate health.

Regardless of the current situation, the fact that four out of five Chicago shoppers have a preference for Marshall Field's says that Macy's could be doing so much better if they gave the customers what they wanted.


Date: Monday, May 31, 2010  6:34 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Dear PERPLEXED:

What you need to understand is everything those wacky folks at Macy's tell the press is just SPIN. It is pure PUFFERY. Transparent sales figures are never released...apples are compared with oranges. Consumer reporters at the Trib and Sun Times run the press releases line by line because they are just too lazy to check the facts. One thing that Macy's does well is spin a good story.

Example: Macy's claims that they do not rely on coupons. True. But only becuase Macy's call them "shopping passes."

Example: Macy's claims sales in the Chicago region are better than ever. True. But compared to what? Field's? NO. Compared to their own drastically reduced sales plans. Go to a Macy's store in the Chicago area and it is always lower on the shopper count than any other department store in the mall. Count shopping bags: you will see fewer with that red star on the side.

Macy's needs gimmicks to bring people in. A $2000 necklace for $99. Seriously. Comparing a Style & Co. blouse to a Lauren blouse to get a compared to price of $65..now $19.99. Macy's has lost several large law suits during the past five years for misleading ads featuring pretend regular prices and "compared to" prices. Read all the fine print at the bottom of ads and in the mailers.

Macy's market is the bargain shopper who accepts price over value and quality. Trouble is, their lower to middle class demogrpahic will only do trade when Macy's has a sale. We call them "rainy day shoppers."

You will be hard pressed to find a person who looks to Macy's for fashion and quality....or service.


Date: Monday, May 31, 2010  6:46 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Oh my! Perplexed thinks this site is hateful? He or she must not have visited very many other sites and blogs- I find many which you would expect to do better, dripping with venom and obscenities at least in the comments. But then some people feel hated if another disagrees with them. In describing the mood of this site I would use the words "disdain," "disappointment," and "disgruntlement," which you must expect from people who have been given stones for loaves and have been required to like it. Why praise the giver of stones?

Why is it genius to homogenize? What is so compelling about a mediocre store you find everywhere, one among many?

What we are being told is that someone has decided there is no more room in this nation for a Marshall Field's and its ilk. That life has changed, and we no longer can support what was meaningful through world wars and the Great Depression. That a youthful middle class requiring granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, bedroom suites, wireless internet, and 2 SUVs cannot and will not have anything to do with top-rate shopping.

The role of tradition is a topic too deep to discuss here, but dismissing something as "traditional" is not a persuasive argument against it.

Where are Perplexed's "sitations"?


Date: Monday, May 31, 2010  12:55 am CT
Posted by: Robert

In reguard to the comment by perplexed I wouldn't say going to market with one world wide name is marketing genius J.C.Penny did that already.Just keeping Fields on State which was a top tourist destination, that would have been marketing genius. Visitors to Chicago would have continued to flock to it instead of seeing it as just another macys.

Date: Sunday, May 30, 2010  10:41 pm CT
Posted by: Stephen G.

Walked thru a local suburban Macy's this weekend while accompaning my wife to her new favorite store for everyday cloths (after MF became Macy's obviously) Coldwater Creek. While walking thru Macy's, I stopped in the men's dept. looking for a couple of new summer items (comparable to Field Gear), and asked the sales person what was being sold differently in this store than stores in any other city...i.e., what was the "My Macy's" promotion giving the Chicago market different from say NYC? The clerk could not answer the question nor could the co-worker he consulted. Looked around for a few minutes but saw basically the same stuff avaialable at stores throught the mall; some marketed under the same brand name as other stores, some with the exclusive Macy brands. Clerks were nice, but merchandise was comparable to Penny's, and much at higher prices. Macy's needs to do a better job explalining what they are exactly selling in each city that defines it as a "MY MACY's" destination. What exactly is State Street selling different form the "Worlds Largest Store" on Herald Square that Chicago (as well as tourist) shoppers REALLY want to buy? One example, where is the "Field Gear" of MF quality for both men and women that should be uniquely marketed in the Chicago area? "My Macy's" is a mystery to me!

Date: Sunday, May 30, 2010  9:33 pm CT
Posted by: R. H.

The poster "Perplexed in Cincinnati" seems to me like an employee of Macy's. The arrogance ladened synopsis puts Macy's at the forefront of "saving the department store" with Lundgren as the white knight. To say this is a hate-generating blog is incorrect. There are positive comments about other quality department stores (the few left) like Nordtroms, Von Maur, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Dillards. Simply because we disagree with the Macyfication of America does not mean we are hate mongers.

Date: Sunday, May 30, 2010  8:52 pm CT
Posted by: L.A.K.

Good luck with the campaign


Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010  9:52 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

You better sit down before you read this item.

OK, continue.

More than 30,000 readers of Consumer Reports responded to a survey about the best places to shop.

Is Macy's number one? Surely. you jest.

Is Macy's top three? Nope.

Top five? HA!

In terms of value, service, checkout, and returns, the scores are:

Costco 85

Dillard's 82

Kohl's 81

JC Penny 80

Target 79

Sam's Club 78

Sears 77

MACY'S 77

Meijer 77

Walmart 73

Kmart 72

There you have it. Those wacky folks have taken our beloved Marshall Fields from a world-class department store to a "general merchandise store" like SEARS. If Macy's works real hard on their "magic", the red star store might make it to a Penny's or Kohl's level. Hmmm...doubt it.


Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010  6:33 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Just received a wedding invitation from a cousin who will be getting married this summer in Columbus OH. The last time I was in Columbus I shopped at the huge downtown Lazarus (now closed), Marshall Field's and Jacobson's across the street in the Columbus City Center (now demolished). My cousins live near Polaris which hosted beautiful Marshall Field's and Lazarus stores. What a great shopping mall! Several of us from the Pittsburgh area are going to the wedding but we are NOT doing any shopping since we don't patronize macy*mart here.

Wonder how many visitors who would happily explore a popular regional department store and spend hundreds of dollars there have been lost since the macy*marting of America? Why bother visiting a shopping venue that has the same stores as the mall back home? Whenever I've traveled across the nation, I always looked for a "new" department store but never bothered to go into Sears, JC Penney, Kohl's or Kmart. I will be visiting friends in Cleveland later this summer and look forward to shopping at Dillard's since it is something different!


Date: Friday, May 28, 2010  CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

To respond to those Field's supporters as well as the one "perplexed" poster apparently in the Cincinnati area.

Let's continue on from this statement that Macy's is profitable, thanks in part to the "My Macy's" program, and, let's face it, more coupons than have ever been offered by Field's in its last decade.

So what perplexes me, in light of the success of My Macy's, is why not follow through? "My Macy's" apparently nudges in the right direction but why not go all the way in what customers want? The fact that four out of five Chicago shoppers on Michigan Avenue and State Street want Marshall Field's over Macy's clearly demonstrates that the program in Chicago needs to turn in to "My Marshall Field's." Clearly there is pent up demand for Marshall Field's--it's a huge asset that goes unused, especially wnen so many want it. It's perplexing that the CEO doesn't want what is clearly the "It thing" in the current Chicago retailing scene--it's what 80% of shoppers currently want. I think it's pretty negative when a company doesn't want to give what four out of five people want. I can't understand why a company wouldn't want lots and lots of positively happy customers. Based on Macy's premise, customers are supposed to be kind of happy with Macy's, but it appears they would be even happier with Field's. It should be obvious to anyone.

I don't like to get personal, Perplexed, but with your claim that this is a negative site with a teeny-tiny following, why do you even bother reading it so much and take such time to write such an extended reply? If I came across what I believed was a really lame site followed by few, I wouldn't give it the time of day, let alone take time to post to it. On the other hand, if a site really concerned me, I probably would follow it regularly and even post disuasive opinions.

"Perplexed": In the future, please leave your legitimate email address and I will keep it private. I don't have anything to hide behind--in fact, that's part of why I make the trip to Cinci and argue my case in person every year.


Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010  9:51 pm CT
Posted by: Kathy Gerash

So glad to have found your site. My great grandfather worked as an upholsterer at Field's. My grandmother would take the El train from Maywood every week to Field's. The El terminated in Field's basement! My mother worked there in the 30s and was re-hired in the 70s. One of the people she worked with the 30s was still there and remembered her. My mom would tell me how she would meet my uncle, her brother, at the 28 Shop over their lunch hours. My mom would take me and my best friend to one of the dining rooms where we would have hamburgers with chili sauce - fancy ketchup - served in tiny white bowls. When my family moved away from Chicago my mom and I would return every year to go to Marshall Fields. I bought the most beautiful wool sweater with long wool skirt there in the 90s. Pheasants were embroidered in the wool knit. When my mom was in assisted living I bought her a nice sweater with the Marshall Field's label. My husband is now also a Marshall Field's fan. We got one of the last canvas totes (I think) at the State Street store in 2006 or thereabouts. Embroidered on the tote is Marshall Field's Frango. I have a box that held tapered candles from Marshall Fields. Thank you all for fighting for the Field's name. I had no idea.


Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010  8:39 pm CT
Posted by: Perplexed (Metro Cincinnati)

I read some of your blog and I am totally perplexed. I am into business news and there has been nothing but great news about Macy's lately. It's a national brand that is keeping it's local flavor via My Macy's and doing so quite successfully. It's decision to close regional offices and replace them with districts reporting to a central office has been a win for the company of substancial proportions. Going to market with one worldwide known name was marketing genius. While we all love tradition, that can take you right into oblivion. Mr. Lundgren, via Macy's, has saved the traditional department store from certain extinction. For that, we should all be grateful.

If Field's was the great company you incorrectly think it was, Target Corporation would have never sold it, considering what it sold was Field's in name only and actually a chain called Dayton's, which had started Target. But remember what I said above about tradition. While you and your small group of supporters don't shop Macy's, millions do day in and day out, including on the web.

Bottom line, what I am reading on your blog is not at all reality. Marshall Field's is not coming back. By operating a site whose sole purpose is to crucify Macy's, you do nothing to honor Marshall Field's. I would like to see this site do just that....with one rule: nothing but positive comments. The world is in terrible enough shape without reading the hate on the blog. And the peddling of hate is exactly what goes on here.

PS That post about I. Magnin was total BS. Bullocks bought them in the 1940's and Federated bought them in the 1960's. Macy's got them in 1988 as part of an agreement not to pursue a takeover of Federated so that Campeau could buy it. This idea that someone from the Magnin family wanted to resurrect the chain is nowhere to be found on the web. I tried to find it and couldn't. Besides, this chain was mostly small specialty stores.....not large department stores. (And they were obviously losing money!) You should require your posters to site references.


Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010  3:24 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I noticed another of Lundgren's rosy-picture broken-record reports in the "Chicago Sun-Times," about how Macy's is doing better and hyping My Macy's, though admitting it's too early to predict outlook for the year due to economic uncertainty.

"Macy's returns to profitability in 1Q" May 12, 2010 by Associated Press
http://www.suntimes.com/business/earnings/2264728,macys-earnings-051210.article#Comments_Container

Economic uncertaintly or not, even with reports that many stores do see improvement, persons who live in Chicago and go through the State Street store can't help but notice the picture that blatantly continues to contradict any amount of words Lundgren puts into his press releases. Floors are still adorned with duc tape, merchandise is still trashy and unappealing, and there don't seem to be enough "statistics" eating in the Walnut Room to brag about, at least not as many as we remember from Marshall Field's.

CHICAGO STILL MISSES MARSHALL FIELD'S!


Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010  9:59 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

The Chicago Tribune's Blair Kamin talks about the Marshall Field's Department Store Building on State Street and its architectural sibling in Philadelphia, the Wannamakers Department Store Building, both "now part of the Macy's empire."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/ct-met-kamin-phillyarchitecture-0526-20100525,0,2045083.story

"D.H. Burnham & Co., the firm led by Chicago's Daniel Burnham, designed Philadelphia's great John Wanamaker's department store (1911), an East Coast sibling of the former Marshall Field's on State Street. As at Field's, an austere classical exterior gives way to inner glory, a five-story atrium topped by a vaulted mosaic ceiling. Like Field's, Wanamaker's is now part of the Macy's empire."


Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010  1:23 pm CT
Posted by: Helen T. of Niles

I applaud what you are doing. It's about our identity as a community.

Look what happens when corporations are too big to fail.


Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010  1:48 pm CT
Posted by: Jim W.

Don't we have anti-trust laws these days?? I can remember up to several decades ago when mergers were disapproved by the Federal Trade Commission and Senate committees because there would be less competiton among name brands and companies controlling those names. Washington DC was protecting the consumer, so monopolies would not result. Keeping competition strong was the aim. How did Mr. Lundgren get by with his U.S.-wide "macy-ification" scheme of dominance?


Date: Monday, May 24, 2010  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Leanne, Lincolnwood

I'm a huge fan of Sex In The City. Over the weekend I saw that there was or maybe still is a tie-in promotion with the Sex In The City 2 movie.

SITC2 isn't out yet, but in all the years I have watched the show, I don't think I ever recalled them shopping at Macy's. I don't think they even once carried a Macy's bag. And "The City" in this movie is NYC, synonymous with Macy's which is synonymous with middle of the road.

Now I know such situations can be manufactured out of producted placement, but when they shopped at Bergdorf's, I don't think it was out of product placement. It was clear that that is where these ladies aspired to shop. It would be less-than-consistent to any SITC fan for these girls to aspire to shop at Macy's.

I understand that most of us don't have the money to shop Bergdorf's on a regular basis. I can understand that most of us have Macy's or JCPeney budgets. I know that Sarah Jessica Parker promotes here fragrances at the likes of Macy's and Carson's. But if SITC were set in Chicago, We (and the SITC characters) would all aspire to shop at Marshall Field's.

Having a SITC promotion at Macy's is like having a promotion for the Julie and Julia movie at Applebee's.


Date: Monday, May 24, 2010  4:45 pm CT
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels

Talk about an odd couple: Macy's is running in-store promotions and co-op printing advertising for the movie "Sex and the City 2.C. You know, the movie based on the hit HBO show that features big name designers, high fashion, and trendy looks. All which CANNOT be found at Macy's...but Marshall Field;s had it all.

I propose a new contest for this site: Find the unique way that Macy's uses duct tape in their stores. Since those wacky folks cut maintenance and display staffing, the Red Star Store has really become best friends with the duct tape industry. I have witnessed duct tape used to repair rips in carpeting, keep a cracked floor tile in place, affix a handbag to a display, seal a package of bedding, hold a clock on the wall, indicate an elevator is (still) out of order, and reposition a broken door handle. What have you seen?


Date: Monday, May 24, 2010  1:06 pm CT
Posted by: gayle soucek

To John D: Qatar Holdings LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority. Here's contact info:

Qatar Investment Authority
P.O. Box 23224,
Doha,
Qatar

Tel:
+974 4995900
+974 4995859

Fax:
+974 4995991

Contacts:

Admin Affairs Department
Tel: +974 4995900
Fax: +974 4995813
E-Mail: sarahs@qia.qa

Asset Management Department

- Equity and Fixed Income
- Hedge Funds
- Private Equity
- Real Estate
Tel: +974 4995836
Fax: +974 4995937
E-Mail: amenquiries@qia.qa

Finance Department

Tel: +974 4995901
Fax: +974 4201812
E-Mail: monia@qia.qa

Investment Policy and Strategy Department

Tel: +974 4995914
Fax: +974 4201816
E-Mail: manar@qia.qa

gayle


Date: Monday, May 24, 2010  11:32 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

One thing that concerns me about Lungreed: Not only was he successful in eliminating what was left of regional nameplates, quality merchandising, service and uniqueness from the retail landscape, but he also continues to make sure those never come back. Case in point is I Magnin. I Magnin was a treasure on the west coast. A truly top quality jewel that had respect nationwide for their quality and service. When Macy's took over (the post bankruptcy Federated/Macy combination), I Magnin and Bullock'sBullocks Wilshire were promptly shut down and Macyfied. The I Magnin family attempted to rescue the name and bring the brand back to its former glory. However, Lungreed made sure that did not happen. He marketed a line of cheap lingerie called I Magnin within Macys to ensure the copywright did not expire thereby causing the I Magnin family to scrap their plans. His ego makes me sick. I can see him doing that to Marshall Fields, Foley's, Burdine's and the other stores to prevent a white knight from bringing the treasured brands back to the public.

Date: Monday, May 24, 2010  9:46 am CT
Posted by: Jon C.

The following link will provide some recipes from the 1940s and 1950s of Marshall Field & Company in Chicago. These are recipes not reviously discussed in our Field's Fans website, as far as I recall.

http://www.lostrecipesfound.com/recipes.html

Enjoy the tastes and aromas of Marshall Field's until Marshall Field's returns!


Date: Sunday, May 23, 2010  10:42 pm CT
Posted by: John D.

Would someone be able to find the phone number, snail-mail or website/email address of Qatar Holdings for us, please?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/7702151/Harrods-new-owners-announce-upgrade-plans.html

The "White Knight" needed to rescue Marshall Field's, could be Harrod's new owners, who promise to restore Harrod's greatness.


Date: Sunday, May 23, 2010  7:29 pm CT
Posted by: L.L.

What a loss ,I visit and used to shop at marshall fields--no more.

Date: Saturday, May 22, 2010  7:29 pm CT
Posted by: drew

Some unhappy "side effects" of macy*fication are surfacing in the Pittsburgh area:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_682336.html

Monroeville Mall was once a "destination" shopping center in this region, anchored by Pittsburgh's own Joseph Horne Co. (later operated by Lazarus) and Gimbels (later bought out be Kaufmann's)as well as JC Penney. Since Lazarus was downgraded into a macy*mart, the purchase of the May Company forced the closure of Kaufmann's. (Boscov's operated the store for a time, but they had internal issues which forced the closing of former May Company stores they purchased.)

Since Mr Lungreed eliminated the competition, there really aren't any other department store operators to fill vacant mall locations caused by macy*fication. Perhaps walmart might look better than an empty store in the eyes of mall owners. What a great shopping experience--a mall anchored by two low end retailers at each end. I predict the better specialty retailers will leave because neither walmart or macy*mart would attract the middle to better shopper; in fact, JC Penney is far superior in quality, value and selection to macy*mart. I would venture that desperate mall owners across the nation might now be willing to allow walmart to take over vacated properties.

Terry's already dismal legacy promises to get worse if walmart enters regional malls! Picture a large regional mall full of downmarket retailers anchored by two huge discount stores; neither store attracts the demographic that supports middle, aspirational or better stores.


Date: Friday, May 21, 2010  1:20 pm CT
Posted by: H.V.

Thanks for your work. Keep the faith. Keep it Field's.

Date: Friday, May 21, 2010  11:20 am CT
Posted by: Tim Wrenwick

I have to agree with those who are pointing out two things:

One, that regardless of how Field's did before, there is clearly pent-up demand for the store to return.

Two, If Macy's were to bring back Field's, they would have some mighty happy customers on their hands. Happy enough to even consider shopping Macy's when they weren't near a Field's.


Date: Friday, May 21, 2010  7:01 am CT
Posted by: Carole S., Batavia

I used to work for Marshall Field's. While I am not able to travel to Ohio for a stock meeting, I do send my good wishes to those who go. I wish the CEO would listen to the customers. GIVE THE LADY WHAT SHE WANTS!

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2010  11:39 am CT
Posted by: K Anderson

I read today's newspaper and noticed that nearly all major retailers are seeing record profits. Target, Wal-Mart (always),Dillards,Nordstroms,Penneys and even K-Mart! Macys is still trying to find answers and make excuses for their short comings! They are a store without an identity! I live in Florida and the original Finkelstein operated Macys was first class! It was a social status if you drove to Aventura and shopped there! I was recently there and it looked like a flea market! Junky and cluttered clothing nobody wants, cracked glass counter tops and mannequin parts stashed in dressing rooms! The wost decision is converting Burdines into Macys! You see, just like Marshall Fields, Burdines was Unique and Brian was right! The Florida Store! The chain has won numerous awards for designs and visual menchandising plus the interior has the palm tree tropical motiff! It's just retarded that they are Macys and it's cheap looking! Mr Lundgren has got to be one of the worst businessmen in the country! You can have sucessfull a company with many divisions. Look at The Limited, they own Victoria Secrets, bath and body works, express, Henri bendels and other brands and profits are soaring! Federated could have kept the same formula: check with brands are popular when one shops in Chicago=Marshall Fields, Philadelphia=John Wanamakers and Strawbridge and Clothier, Atlanta=Richs, Texas=Foleys and Florida=Burdines! I have a feeling this guy will be ousted soon... And Chicago you have our support because we want back Burdines which was our Marshall Fields!

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2010  CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Regarding Susan in NY's post: Mr. Lundgren acknowledged that Marshall Field's was a revered brand that a lot of positive respect. But he didn't go much further than that.

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2010  5:50 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

I love this part of JIm's report: "Mr. Lundgren said that Marshall FieldC-s is a great brand and that MacyC-s hoped to do more with it." That was so reassuringC3C3as much as if I said my kitchen sink is a great sink and I hope to do more with it.

He's already done what he could TO that great brand to drive it into oblivion, so we can imagine what "more" means.


Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010  7:29 pm CT
Posted by: Zelda

Many thanks to Jim McKay for representing the feelings of all who continue to miss Marshall Field's. The fact that the poll replicates the last poll -- a year later! -- shows that the wish to have Field's back has not diminished one bit. The key to good business is to figure out what people want and find a way to deliver it. Terry must have been absent when they taught that one in business school. WE WANT OUR MARSHALL FIELD'S BACK. CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010  6:52 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

In response to State Street spectator, at Friday's Annual Stockholder meeting, Mr. Lundgren said that the Walbut Room has been recently experiencing the most visitors since statistics started being kept. He didn't say when that was, but he implied that it had been a long while.

Throughout the meeting, the message I kept returning to is that regardless if things are trending upward or not, it's very clear that today in 2010 there is a great pent-up demand for Marshall Field's on State Street that would darmatically increase whatever is going on currently. Four out of five Chicago shoppers want Field's.


Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010  5:23 pm CT
Posted by: L. Grand

So proud of you, Jim, for not only attending the shareholders meeting, but for standing up and giving a report! Though I haven't posted for a while, I'm sure I'm one of countless people who STILL are rooting for the return of Marshall Field's! I happen to believe it will happen, and not too long into the future.

Proud of all Field's Fans, and glad to be one of them!

L. Grand


Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010  4:11 pm CT
Posted by: A State Street spectator

I just went through the State Street store circa 2:30 p.m. It was one of Chicago's rare sunny days, obviously resulting in a little more walk-through traffic on the main floor. Lively vocal music played in several areas of the floor, giving an impression of people and vitality. As I went up the escalator, however, the floors were less occupied the further I went. There did not seem to be ANYBODY eating in the Walnut Room even though a hostess waited at the reservation desk. I checked the hours to see if the restaurant had closed for the day. The sign said 11 am to 7 pm. I then noticed ONE table was occupied--way in the back near a window. Two tables were occupied in the Frango Cafe next store, which was scheduled to close in about 15 minutes. In the 8th floor furniture department, a couple of salespersons sat at desks; otherwise the floor echoed an eerie silence. I was glad to get downstairs and outside.

How I would love to see genuine vitality of Marshall Field's returned to that beautiful building on State Street.


Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010  3:02 pm CT
Posted by: Michelle T.

BRING BACK MARSHALL FIELD'S! IT'S CHICAGO!

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010  11:02 am CT
Posted by: Lisa G.

The 81 percent number should be quite convincing that Marshall Field's should come back.

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010  6:34 am CT
Posted by: Barbara, Lake Bluff, Illinois

I just read here occassionally and almost never post.

Had to post that I miss Marshall Field's.

We're rooting for it to come back.

Keep it going!


Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010  10:43 pm CT
Posted by: L.V.

I had a similar experience to Brian's in Harrod's last month. When I was making a purchase, the professional salesman asked where I resided. I said, "Chicago, Illinois, USA"!

He responded: "Oh, what a travesty it was what happened to your shopping emporium, Marshall Field's. I'm so sorry. Macy's has devastated it down in the gutter, from what I hear. It's sadly laughable to think that of all stores, Macy's thinks it is America's store." The States deserve better." He concluded by saying: "Marshall Field's represented the best of the States...clearly not Macy's."


Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Joanne

I'm from Indiana.

L.S. Ayres brings back fuzzy memories but we all miss Marshall Field's.

I wish Macy's would listen to its customers.


Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: G.R.

I appreciate what everone is doing to bring back Field's, but I can't help but think that this is all about the CEO wanting to save face. Any other corporation would have acquiesced to their customers' desires. Not so with Macy's. Maybe you should all take a psychology course persuasion.

Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010  7:01 pm CT
Posted by: Lorianne S.

When we travel to Chicago, we no longer bring home bags of merchandise. We used to when it was Field's. We have Macy's here.

Marshall Field and company made our shopping in Chicago unique and fun. We looked forward to it.


Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010  11:59 am CT
Posted by: David Carlson

Keep up fighting the good fight.

Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010  6:34 am CT
Posted by: Susan in Bartlett

Thank you for continuing this.

Date: Monday, May 17, 2010  10:12 pm CT
Posted by: David G.

I was glad to get the latest newsletter. Marshall Field's is still sorely missed.

Date: Monday, May 17, 2010  7:23 pm CT
Posted by: Bill R.

To Whom It May Concern:

Keep up the efforts.


Date: Monday, May 17, 2010  4:32 pm CT
Posted by: Lesle R.

Still have not shopped at Macy's since they took over and got rid of Marshall Field's. I have not spent a penny.

Date: Monday, May 17, 2010  4:02 pm CT
Posted by: S.C.

Given the outcry for Marshall Field's, I can't help but think that Macy's people knew what they were doing when they removed our beloved icon from the international shoppingscape: they got rid of the superior competition.

I refuse to shop Macy's and don't forget not to shop at Bloomingdale's either.


Date: Monday, May 17, 2010  10:00 am CT
Posted by: Janice

The return of Marshall Field's would herald such an astronomical sales growth in Chicago for macy*s Inc that it would go down in the record books! The CEO of macy*s should realize that it was not only the Marshall Field's name, but also everything that made Field's famous around the world---the classy sophistication and quality brands---not duct tape over dirty torn carpet, and not Martha Stewart assortments previously in Kmart and Tommy Hilfiger's clothing from the'80s.

Date: Monday, May 17, 2010  9:54 am CT
Posted by: J.C.

Given Mr. Terry Lundgren's comments that sales are up, he would be wise to consider how much greater the revenue would be if Marshall Field's State Store was reverted back to its world-class sohpistication, distinctive merchandising, immaculate housekeeping, clean assorted food options, forest green trademark color decorating within the store and in shopping bags and boxes, as well as designer lines of apparel. Every other CEO wants optimum sales revenues coming into their stores. Other CEOs are not happy unless they have the full potential for maintaining the highest number of customers. Terry Lundgren has immense sales potential he is losing since 2006, without the name and culture of Marshall Field's. Also he should consider that customers like variety in names when traveling to other cities. Once again, macy*s has become like Sears, Kohl's, JCPenney in that travelers have those stores back home. Why would they waste their time even entering macy stores in Chicago or anywhere??

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hiCGKmUcmNbAV74nzyc7VXcbrTKgD9FMRS0O0

Also, I read that the proposal to elect board members by majority of votes rather than a plurality of votes had been approved by the shareholders, going against the recommendation of the macy*s board. Mr. Lundgren's response: The board will take the results "under consideration". What?? I thought that approved actions by shareholders HAD to be implemented, after all it IS the shareholders who control the


Date: Monday, May 17, 2010  8:42 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Ohhh- I am sure most of us are thinking the same thought about Harrod's new owners. I find it hard to believe that this era is less able and willing than prior ones to support a Fields-on-State.

I have only been to Harrod's once in 1995. While I admired and enjoyed Harrod's English flavor I came away convinced that Field's was right - "There's nothing like it back home" - not even if home was London. Anyhow, I am happy to share soul space with Harrod's.

So yes, it's a different world dealing with terrorists, war actions, carbon footprints, HIV, greedmongers, corporate thinking (or not)-- and media bombardment with anything crude and violent. And now- literally at our fingertips on a keyboard we have the world, from drivel to galaxy. It is a significantly fluffied, jaded, self-absorbed, entitled and cynical world. Who needs a Marshall Field's?

We do. Grace is all the more welcome these days.

Is shopping really a trivial pursuit in a troubled world? (When has the world not had great troubles?)

In short, human depravity notwithstanding, shopping has long made the world go round (Got stock?).

T. H. Breen in "The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence," makes the observation that were it not for the unifying effects of shopping England (as it were), this 18th century population sprawled along the east coast would not have been possessed of a common bond and motivation to carry out what became the Revolutionary War. So there, shoppers.

It boggles the mind that Lundgren/Macy's has the --fill-in-the-blank-- to stick to a program of passive vandalism (negligence, at best) and gets away with describing it as a commercial success because the chart line is staggering to a level slightly higher than the bottom.


Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010  9:10 pm CT
Posted by: Withheld by request

Has anyone recommended or pursued financing to buy the State Street location back from Macys and reopen it as Marshall Fields? I see all your statistics, but if it reopens as Marshall Fileds, it's essentially still Macy's.

Believe me I remember when I was a kid and my mother would make reservations for us to eat at the walnut room and shop at MF and then go to I.Magnin then back to downstate where I grew up.

MF was the best. A true department store. Nothing like what Macy's is trying now. Or what the Federated stores were at one time.


Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010  7:32 pm CT
Posted by: Paul

Hey Eric, funny you mention the peeling paint @ Oak Brook, I noticed it today too! Seems strange going to Oak Brook for a couple things & not even going into Field's. Sad how they've let it run down!

Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010  2:34 pm CT
Posted by: Scott S.

Yesterday's Sun-Times had a brief blurb about Macy's Chicago districts being two of their five best. This was only in the printed paper as far as i could find. I looked all over for a link.

You can read the article in the paper (at the Library if you didn't get it.) You can send a letter to the editor at letters@suntimes.com


Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010¥ 12:26 pm CT
Posted by: Louis R.

Congratulations on a great survey!

Lou


Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010  10:11 am CT
Posted by: Emily R.

Thank you for continuing the Marshall Fields dream.

Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010  6:39 am CT
Posted by: William F.

Keep going!

Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010  2:21 am CT
Posted by: Brian K Reid

So funny about all the comment about Harrods! I was in London last year and shopped at Harrords... I purchased a bottle of Prada mens colonge that the saleswoman said will not be availabe stateside for another six months! She added it will availabe at only Saks and Neiman Marcus. After the purchase she looked around and whispered in my ear and said it's not going to be available at that rubbish you call a store named Macys! I just laugh and said I'm not proud of it either! Bring back Marshall Fields and Burdines-The Florida Store!!!!

Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010  12:48 am CT
Posted by: Eric B

Today my wife and I visited Oakbrook Center and tiptoed nervously into the Red Star Store. We hadn't been there since 2005, when of course it was still Marshall Field's. We have some great memories of this once-fine store, and frankly it was hard to fathom some of the negative reports about its deterioration posted in this blog in more recent years; we couldn't imagine it being THAT bad ...

Well, seeing is believing. YEOW!!!!!!!!!

OMG, this store is in deplorable condition. Paint high up on the exterior walls is peeling and flaking off. Inside, cracked and chipped floor tiles blobbed and streaked with crud are everywhere. Worn, filthy carpeting with -- yes! -- duct tape repairs in at least a couple spots visible from main aisles. Disheveled displays and merchandise piled up helter-skelter. Smudged, scratched walls and doors.

Oh, there were customers -- definitely not Field's-types, though. In fact, they more resembled the unfortunate souls caught on camera at www.peopleofwalmart.com.

The Marketplace downstairs was even more depressing, a ghost town and shadow of its former self. We took a quick look around and skedaddled ... empty-handed, of course. Come to think of it, Wal-Mart is actually a more pleasant place to shop.


Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010  5:34 pm CT
Posted by: David S.

I still want Marshall Field's.

There are some places that still keep the name Marshall Field's alive. There are the Marshall Field's appartments on the north side and, of course, Woodfield Mall and anything with Woodfield in it the name is named after Mr. Wood, the CEO of Sears and Marshall Field's.


Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010  3:32 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Bravo to those who participated in the Marshall Field's survey, and to our representative who attending the shareholders' meeting in Ohio on Friday! We are showing that Chicago has not forgotten its Marshall Field's and doesn't intend to.

Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010  9:16 am CT
Posted by: Gretchen

Retail CEOs by nature want to please their customers and will do most anything to maintain that customer base and make changes to keep them and gain more customers. Mr. Lundgren, on the other hand, for some strange reason, is defiantly opposed to doing anything that the customers obviously want. I do not understand it.

Field's was a reason for people to come to Chicago. Field's was a reason for Chicagoans to feel proud and shop at Field's. Why would anyone travel to go to macy*s in Chicago when they are all over, like Sears, Kohl's. JCPenney etc?) Besides, macy's merchandising is bland and cheap-quality with a higher price tag.

Gifts from Field's truly meant something worldwide. Field's IS Chicago, through and through!


Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010  7:41 am CT
Posted by: steve

In the light of the recent take over of Harrods for B#1.5 billion perhaps someone should contact Quatari investors about Fields. Macys could sell the store off to someone who may wish to restore and maximise the Marshall Fields brand to its former glory...

Harrods and Fields share a reputation for only providing good quality merchandise. Granted, in an age where even Dior and Burberry etc are largely made on Chinese production lines, how we define or find true quality is a bit of a grey area. But having stores with carefully edited and well considered merchandising, beautifully displayed and with attentive service and top quality services (restaurants, travel agents, washrooms etc.) remains a key USP of the department store model.

Harrods and Fields also share the benefit of being housed in architeturally distinctive buildings. Harrods has been Disneyfied a bit by Al Fayed but it keeps the millions of tourists happy. Fields has its Tiffany dome and beautiful Romanesque structure. The also share the (different shades i grant you) green livery and carrier bags...or did till Macy took over.

Harrods used to have the byline "there is only ONE Harrods". Ok so in the early years of the 20th century they had a store in Manchester, England ( which angry customers made them revert the name back to Kendal Milne & co - so you see your fight is NOT new) and one in Beunos Aires(?!). But for the last 90 or so years there has only been one Harrods and that is a major selling point in an age of global brands like Starbucks, Gap, mcDonalds etc. Every day we see thousands of brands and logos all around us. Some just wash over us. Having a distinctive brand which people have positive associations with is even more important in these uncertain times. Local, unique, individual, historic brands and businesses should be cherished not bulldozed in the name of cost cutting or progress. Fields is one of those brands that needs to be nurtured and cherished.

With new owners Harrods is going to expand in new ways - an exact replica of the London store in Shanghai is one possibility as are a scattering of stores around the middle east and far east along with a global luxury retail website. How this will affect the brands cachet remains to be seen. But with the right investment Fields COULD be America's Harrods - a globally recognised provider of quality and service.

The golden age of the department store(1920-1970) is well behind us and i doubt if we will see the likes of the towering JL Hudson in Detroit with its acres of fine restaurants and impossibly long list of sevices and merchandise. But people still need to shop somewhere and ideally enjoy the experience of handing over their hard earned money. We are in a recession but a store like Harrods which offers "destination shopping" can still turn over around B#750m a year in sales. Make Fields into a destination store again and watch those sales go up.

Any Quatari investors reading?!

I wish you all well with this campaign.

Steve


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  11:34 pm CT
Posted by: Betty H.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  11:21 pm CT
Posted by: Paul

Still have NO desire to even look @ anything @ Macy's. Field's near me (Oak Brook & Woodfield) are pale shadows of what they used to be, bad merchandise, rude help. I remember Sunday buffet brunch @ Greener Fields in Oak Brook, used to be nice! Now, good luck, better off @ L & T or Nordstrom's . . . LOL

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  11:00 pm CT
Posted by: S.Y.

The best "localization" strategy that would absolutely work, Mr. Lundgren, would be to return Marshall Field's and its entire merchandising of quality brands, ambiance, cleanliness, professional style of doing business and guest service to the way it was when you walked in and said "Everything would remain the same. We would not notice any changes at all."

Truth is...as we knew it would be...EVERYTHING has changed and gone downhill fast. Everybody knows it.


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  7:57 pm CT
Posted by: C.B.

Marshall Fields will always be number one!!

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  4:15 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Today's "Tribune" has an article on Lundgren's view of the state-of-the-store:

"Macy's CEO says localization strategy, private brands and exclusives helping spur sales" May 14, 2010 by Lisa Cornwell, Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-ap-us-macys-shareholders,0,2856445.story

There is a comment blog---please comment and be sure to reference our site and the survey!


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  3:35 pm CT
Posted by: Jane

Never.

I have never and will never step foot in a Macy's store.

Former Fields Fan and shopper.


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  2:22 pm CT
Posted by: G.H.

No one asked, probably because I live in the b� urbs, but I HATE MACY'S!!!.

They send you all these coupons in the mail, yet when you go into the store to shop (I go to Oak Brook), they are not good on anything except the crap! I absolutely REFUSE to buy anything at Macy's.


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  2:20 pm CT
Posted by: Bob C.

Well done!

It would be nice if the new owners of Harrod's would buy Field's State Street, they would know just how to operate it.

I was just at a dinner party on the East Coast this Tuesday where one of the guests was from the Midwest and was railing against Macy's taking over Field's, still won't shop even locally at their stores.


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  2:18 pm CT
Posted by: R.R.

Big Fan, have not spent a penny at Macy's since the rebranding.

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  2:03 pm CT
Posted by: P.K.

If Macy's was smart, they would establish a "Fields" section in each store.

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  2:02 pm CT
Posted by: J.

I wish I could be at these meetings, but there's really no way. Thanks to those who take the time to go and deal with these idiots in person!!

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  1:50 pm CT
Posted by: J.K.

Bravo on the survey.

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  1:44 pm CT
Posted by: C.W.

Fantastic work!

I can't believe that Macy's can't see the huge PR benefit they would reap by returning the flagship store to the Field's name and quality. Sales would surely rise dramatically and all of Chicagoland would cheer.

I am proud to say that I have not shopped at a Macy's since the conversion except I will admit to sneaking in once to buy Frango mints. I felt guilty about it even as I enjoyed them.


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  1:41 pm CT
Posted by: E.T.

On behalf of Chicago - Thank you, ALL, for your on-going efforts to restore Marshall Field's to Chicago!

Who knows? Stranger miracles have happened! Let's hope for the best!


Date: Friday, May 14, 2010  9:54 am CT
Posted by: Jeff S.

Well, well, well! It seems that another Marshall Field "thing" that is going away; Frango coffee! It is currently on sale at 70% off. Better stock up now! My sources at the Fox Valley Store tell me that what is out on the shelf is all that is left. When it is gone, it is gone!

Date: Thursday, May 13, 2010  11:36 am CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Macy's continues to deny customers what they really want. Marshall Fields. Why can't they just humble themselves and admit a mistake was made (like Coca Cola did with the New Coke debacle in 1986)? Of course, the same would ring true in other markets like Florida (Burdines), Georgia (Rich's), Ohio (Lazarus), California (I Magnin, Bullocks/Bullocks Wilshire, Robinsons, The Broadway)and Texas (Foley's). If they would bite the bullet and restore high quality to the merchandise and bring back the names and traditions they would see an increase in sales (and better pr for them). It amazes me how things have changed. I remember back in the 80s and 90s when I would read a men's fashion magazine there were literally pages of "available at" listing of fine department stores nationwide. Now its Dillards, Nordstrom, Von Maur and Lord & Taylor. That's about it. Macy's is so low they are not listed half the time anymore. They are getting desperate for sales. I took our Schnauzer to have her fixed and there were stacks of Macy's coupons on the receptionist desk. The lady told me someone from Macy's came in and dropped them off there and at a host of other business up and down the corridor where we live. Foley's former stores are not doing well no matter how much Macy's tries to gloss it over. Dillards and Nordstrom are kicking their butt here.

Date: Thursday, May 13, 2010  11:00 am CT
Posted by: Pete

Chicago edition of The Onion's AV Club laments the renaming of local institutions by heartless conglomerates. Macy's conversion of Marshall Field's is mentioned.

http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/our-town-their-billboard-8-great-moments-in-chicag,41009/


Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010  9:52 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's First Quarter Conference Call made special note of smaller stores (often in smaller markets) which seen larger gains.

Macysinc.com often has these conference calls archived within a short period of time. Check under the investors section at MacysInc.com


Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: Mary M.

We miss Marshall Field's and have not shopped at any Macy's since they took it away.


Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010  3:12 pm CT
Posted by: Lynn in Texas

Macy's ads, especially its web site, uses more and more models and poses that look more and more like Target's.

With our hometown airline Continental merging with United, I can easily see Macy's red mergging with Target red. Anything is possible in this day and age!


Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010  11:07 am CT
Posted by: Jerry H.

Here's my wish:

Macy's brings back Marshall Fields. They realized that they were wrong and we were right all along. Sales will increase, quality customer service will return, and superior merchandise will once again appear on the shelves of the Marshall Fields stores. Macy's will still exist, but not in Chicago. Am I dreaming?


Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010  2:59 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Macy's will have a conference call to discuss earnings for the first quarter, 2010.

The call begins at 9:30 am Chicago time and can be accessed via the links at

http://www.macysinc.com/Investors/


Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010  2:07 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

It's curious that Macy's released the VisitMacysUSA.com site the same week as the stockholders meeting and the same week that Field's loyalists have previously demonstrated that Chicago still wants Marshall Field's and not Macy's.

Keep up the good work! Macy's claims that they aren't interested in Field's but it shows they are smarting and worried -- the results of their hubris and disrespect!


Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010  1:51 pm CT
Posted by: Louis Epstein

I am so glad that Lord & Taylor escaped the Great Homogenization!

Lundgren just didn't understand that department store brands with their own homes and cultures are something people do not like to lose...to go one-brand is to go down-market.People didn't see Marshall Field's or Robinson's,or Filene's,or Rich's,or Lazarus,or Famous-Barr,or Foley's as the alternative to J.C. Penney's.But that's all Macy's has become.


Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010  12:32 pm CT
Posted by: gle

I am not as financially savvy as some who might read this blog, but in reading the Macy's shareholder proxy materials noticed something that others who are voting might want to take note of:

Last year there was a shareholder proposal (Proposal 4) regarding having the majority of votes actually cast rather than supermajority votes be what determines an outcome (proposal by Mr. William Steiner with Mr. John Chevedden as designee). B According to this year's proxy form, that proposal 4 did go through last year. This year's Proposal 3 (amendment and restatement of the company's certificate of incorporation) contains amendments resulting from that vote, with the supermajority vote requirement eliminated from several decision-making categories, including the removal of directors. B That appears to me as a victory for shareholders.

This year, the same shareholder Mr. William Steiner also has another proposal (Proposal 4) that asks for same thing to apply to director elections (which the board did not make part of its Proposal 3 above).

Both of these appear as something that would give shareholders more voice in the future and which those voting might want to study carefully.


Date: Monday, May 10, 2010  7:53 pm CT
Posted by: Susan NY

It would appear that Macy's has as its goal the slow strangling death for our dear store. Why would they throw that all away to allow someone else to restore it to health? They will dismiss the store's demise as a Sign of the Times, nothing could have been done to save it. Shrug.

For them to have that failure to their credit apparently would not be thought much of an embarrassment; in fact, that would be success: destroying a once-thriving competitor, rival, 'colleague' - whatever.

There is such a thing as shooting oneself in the foot- can't help but put it that way; there is also the time-honored cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. Mr. TL is losing his nose, inch by inch by inch but since it grows back fast, it's OK.


Date: Monday, May 10, 2010  4:25 pm CT
Posted by: Joseph Scott

Regarding the sticker that is put on each purchase you make at Macy's. It basically takes the place of a gift receipt, it contains all of the information on the day the item was purchased, i.e. date, time, store and purchase price.

I don't think they print gift receipts like they did on the Field's system. Those receipts contained the exact same information as the stickers that Macy's now uses.


Date: Monday, May 10, 2010  12:17 pm CT
Posted by: J.J.C.

It appears that Macy's is attempting to propagate the visitors center concept that was the hallmark of Marshall Field's.

The new http://www.VisitMacysUSA.com seems to be an expansion of visitMacysChicago.com site. There are now pages for New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

While they have no problem mentioning O'Connor, Moffat, & Co. (San Francisco, http://www.visitmacyssanfrancisco.com/history.cfm) and Wannamaker's (Philly, http://www.visitmacysphiladelphia.com/history.cfm), they seem to have this psychological complex against mentioning Marshall Field's at http://www.visitmacyschicago.com/history.cfm, even though they describe it as a legendary flagship, I could only find Marshall Field's mentioned twice...once was to (back-handledly) say that Mr. Field didn't want the Burnham fountain which eventually was realized as part of the major store renovation concluded in the 1990s.

It looks as if they have even used a digital photoediting program to tone down the green patina of the Field's clock to a greyish color. How childish of Macy's!

SHAME ON MACY'S! They continue to disrespect their most beautiful store and the citizens of Chicago.


Date: Monday, May 10, 2010  11:16 am CT
Posted by: Jeff S.

Am glad that Harrod's was not sold to Macy*s!!

Will someone out there please buy and bring back

MARSHALL FIELD & COMPANY.


Date: Monday, May 10, 2010  8:01am CT
Posted by: Linda

Mohammed Al Fayed has announced through a spokesperson that after 25 years, he is retiring from retail to focus more time on his children and grandchildren. As such, he has sold Harrods Knightbridge to the Quatar Investment Authority.

Marshall Field's on State Street is like Chicago's Harrods. I wish that something similar would happen for our store.


Date: Sunday, May 9, 2010  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Someone brought up how Walgreen's recognizes the value in keeping Duane Reade's brand name and its distinctive NYC Drugstore culture in tact.

FedEx is experiencing the opposite because they did away with the Kinko's brand, replacing it with "FedEx Office."

Kinko's services are apparently down--and now FedEx is hanging banners in all of their Fed Ex Office windows that say "Kinko's Inside."

I wonder how long before permanent "FedEx Kinko's" signs are restored(?).

Macy's needs to learn the same lesson......but at least Fed Ex didn't do away with what made Kinko's great or bing it down market like Macy's did with Field's.


Date: Sunday, May 9, 2010  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Happy Mother's Day
to All Mothers
&
Those Who Nurture.


Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010  7:34 pm CT
Posted by: Linda

This is in regards to George Miller's inquiry from April.

I don't think that Macy's is getting rid of furniture entirely at State Street, but Macy's has downsized interior design dramatically. It is now a shadow of its former Field's self.

I worked at State Street but left when it became Macy's. When I left, Marshall Field's had over 30 people in interior design. When I spoke to a former colleague a few weeks ago, I was told that only three or four interior design staff left.

There really is a difference between Marshall Field's and Macy's. I miss the great store that once was and hope that some similar incarnation is restored.


Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010  6:23 pm CT
Posted by: S.R.

I don't shop at Macy's but a friend recently purchased a box of Frangos. Apparently they now attach a special Macy's bar code sticker to most all merchandise. The sticker must be attached for an item to be returned.

Has anyone else heard of this?

Maybe there is another explantion, but this is a far cry from the return procedure at Field's, let alone the days of decades ago where one could return any merchandise that Field's sold, no questions asked. Certainly times have changed, but this sounds really rigid. Is this a new procedure at other stores?

Thank you.


Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010  3:26 pm CT
Posted by: Craig

TL dissolved Field's essentially for two reasons:

1. To extend the Macy's brand nationally entailed incoporating the Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit markets;

2. Field's and Bloomingdale's roughly served the same customer base, hence no need for two brands targeting the same audience (especially since Bloomigdale's is a national chain, and Field's was a regional chain).

Was that a smart move? Probably not, considering the mediocre performace of Macy's in the above-mentioned metro areas and the continued backlash, especially in Chicago.

Probably the correct move would have been to keep the Field's moniker, and strengthen its market postion between Bloomingdale's and Nieman-Marcus (where Field's had settled by the mid-2000s thanks to the upgrades made by Target Corp. and former Field's CEO Linda Ahlers). Sort of like a Nordstrom of full-line department stores. Ironically, Gene Kahn, CEO of Field's new parent May Department Stores, planned to use Field's as a template to upgrade May's portfolio of regional department stores.


Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010  2:34 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

I'm pretty sure that the French Room was a room for designer hats--but what a room it must have been!

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010  8:16 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Welcome back everyone!

The recent blog silence reminded me of how important it is to have such a resource to share concerns about the effect the loss of Field's has on- dare I say it - the planet and Western culture. On the face of it, it would seem a small thing- life moves on. But as has been said-- for want of a shoe the horse was lost... for want of MF a culture is lost? Feels like it to me....


Date: Friday, May 7, 2010  3:05 pm CT
Posted by: Michael L

I came to Chicago twice in 2005 from New York to see Field's before the plunder. I had lunch in the Walnut Room on 9/4, last day it was Field's and was with you at the first protest. It's great to see this site still going strong...reading the article about the Ambasator Hotel proves WE HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE! While my heart belongs to New York, Chicago is a very special place and I will be there opening day when Field's makes it's comeback.

I have some pictures of the store and tree from 9/4/05 I'd be happy to email anyone that would like.

Keep the faith!


Date: Friday, May 7, 2010  1:24 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

What's new...What's up with this blog?

There's been some technical issues with the server over the past couple of weeks meaning that posts could not be submitted to our blog. On top of this, some personal concerns have prevented the blog from being fixed--until today.

Things with the blog should be back now in full swing. Please help with our cause to restore Marshall Field's by submitting your posts.

Also: we expect some interesting news late next week--although, sadly, as far as I know, it won't be that Macy's finally has agreed to give customers what they want--Marshall Field's!

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

Many thanks and best regards,

Jim McKay


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