Macy's launched an Apple shop at its Herald Square store last week, becoming the first U.S. department store with a hub devoted to the brand. The shop features a range of products, including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and the new Nike-branded Apple Watch. Staffed by Apple associates, the shop is on the main floor in the busy cosmetics and fragrance area. Macy's is also moving to highlight consumer technology at 180 stores. It's rolling out dedicated areas before the holiday season that will include Apple Watches, but also Fitbits and other "smart" watches. The Herald Square store will have this section as well.
Total Retail's Take: The Apple partnership comes as Macy's is collaborating with other brands to create a mini-mall designed in part to bring excitement into its stores. Macy's and Luxottica Group, for example, have a partnership to open LensCrafters optical shops in 500 stores over the next three years. That builds on its collaboration with the eyewear conglomerate's Sunglass Hut brand that has led to Sunglass shops in nearly 700 Macy's locations. Hopefully, the new mini-mall strategy — as well as partnering with Apple, one of the most successful and recognizable brands in history — will help Macy's reverse its six straight quarters of declining sales.