Macy's announced this week that it will be opening pop-up shops in its stores in a new marketplace concept called "The Market @ Macy's." The new storefront layout gives pods of space to brands and companies on the Macy’s ground floor to promote and sell their products. CNBC reports the idea is to give Macy’s customers more variety to their shopping, as well as enable the Cincinnati-based retailer to gather further insight into what they like. The collaboration also affords smaller retail startups and brands the opportunity to have a brick-and-mortar presence with a legacy retail name. "Overwhelmingly, what we think makes this so attractive for Macy's and our customers is it continues to drive customers to stores by giving a constant break of discovery," said Marc Mastronardi, executive vice president of new business development and innovation at Macy's, in a statement to the press. The Market @ Macy's program formally launched Monday and will be available in 10 cities.
Total Retail’s Take: Collaboration over competition seems to be a theme in retail in 2018. Between Kohl's looking to partner with grocery stores, J.C. Penney’s successful partnership of in-store Sephora pop-up shops, and Nordstrom's holiday-themed shops, it seems brand partnerships and pop-ups are going to be a bigger part of the future of retail. What I believe would make The Market @ Macy’s program successful is if it thinks global, but acts local — i.e., making the pop-ups individual to the cities they're in. Hopefully, this can be the beginning of a turnaround for Macy's, which like many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers last year, struggled to keep up with the changing digital landscape.