How can trend forecasting help Macy’s build on their recent success?

Key takeaways

  • Macy’s has managed to stay relevant in an environment where the existence of physical retail stores is being called into question through building a strong e-commerce platform
  • While Macy’s is a household name for most Americans, the retailer should develop on-trend capsule collections to attract a younger, fashion-forward demographic
  • Data-driven trend forecasting can help Macy’s refine their ready-to-wear assortment by accurately predicting demand for the next must-have styles

Macy’s, also known by some as “America’s department store”, has become a household name ever since it was founded 160 years ago. The retailer is known for its affordable yet high quality fashion, carrying various in-house brands such as Alfani and Style & Co, in addition to well known designers like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. However, beyond providing their customers with trendy clothing at the best value, Macy’s also has a major cultural legacy in America, with their annual parades along with other events like fashion shows making Macy’s one of the original experiential retailers. 

Macy’s at Herald Square in 1903

Enhancing Macy’s e-commerce Success with Trend Forecasting

Despite the bleak retail environment that has led to the closure of many iconic American department stores this year, Macy’s has managed to stay afloat by adjusting their strategy to suit the needs of our rapidly changing world. This means focusing on e-commerce, at which Macy’s has proven to be very successful. In fact, the retailer reported a 53% increase in digital sales during the most recent quarter, attesting to Macy’s ability to stay relevant during a time when the existence of physical retail stores is being called into question. 

To build on their recent online success, Macy’s can infuse trend forecasting to their e-commerce strategy to ensure that the retailer is in tune with changing consumer tastes, and plan their collections accordingly. With insights into the kinds of images with which consumers interact on social media, Macy’s can get a clue into how trends will behave ahead of the market. With this data, it is possible to predict up to one year in advance changes in demand and visibility for any given trend, along with their geography and customer segmentation, making it possible to avoid overstock by accurately predicting consumer demand. 

Targeting a younger audience: Capsule collections

Macy’s is perhaps best known for its women’s ready to wear selection, with women aged 16-34 as the retailer’s target consumer base. However, women’s apparel represents just under a quarter of Macy’s revenue, with only 35% of Macy’s apparel shoppers under the age of 40. Given its role as a major historic department store, Macy’s should take advantage of its high level of brand awareness to target a younger audience, as millennials account for half of the ready to wear market. Targeting millennials and Gen Z is a logical next step for Macy’s, especially considering the retailer’s renewed focus on digital growth, since younger generations tend to be more keen to shop online compared to older generations. Thus, to remain a relevant player in the retail landscape, Macy’s should leverage their high level of brand awareness and focus on widening their consumer base by capturing the attention of younger generations.

To achieve this goal and successfully attract a younger audience, Macy’s should leverage their in-house brands to create on-trend capsule collections. This strategy has proven to be highly successful in the past: earlier this year, Macy’s partnered with influencer Danielle Bernstein for a capsule collection that generated over $2.5 million in sales in 24 hours. This collection included fashion-forward pieces like crop tops and ruched-sleeved blazers, proving that Macy’s can in fact capture the attention of the fashion-conscious young consumer through offering well curated, on-trend capsule collections. 

Avoid overstock and fashion misses with trend forecasting

In addition to ensuring the right styles are covered in Macy’s product assortment, having the correct quantities is equally important to avoid overstock. Macy’s can utilize their private labels by creating unique capsule collections that cover all of the must-have trends in any given season. For Macy’s private brands, having a fashion miss in key categories like sportswear or dresses contributes to rising inventory levels. Therefore, creating a fashionable, well curated loungewear collection with the assistance of Heuritech’s trend forecasting technology could be a successful strategy to strengthen Macy’s ready to wear assortment mix. 

Since comfortable yet on-trend clothing has become the latest must-have wardrobe staple in the past few months, having a hit loungewear collection could make all the difference in re-establishing Macy’s as a major player in the fashion industry. Trend forecasting can provide Macy’s with key insights in terms of what colors, styles, patterns, and quantities to include in such a collection. For instance, tie & dye is a key pattern trend for Spring 2021 in North America, with a predicted increase in visibility on social media of 64% compared to 2020. Moreover, the most represented category for this  pattern is tops, and it is popular across all 3 of our consumer segments – edgy, trendy, and fashion forward. With this in mind, tie & dye would be a must have fabric for a loungewear capsule collection, as it appeals to all consumer segments and is trendy particularly for tops. 

Find out how SS21 trends are adopted in the US vs Europe

Trend forecasting could be the key to help Macy’s thrive in a rapidly changing, highly competitive retail environment by reducing overstock, attracting a younger target audience through on-trend capsule collections, and avoiding any fashion misses. Heuritech can help Macy’s by ensuring all of the bases are covered for must-have trends up to one year in advance, from shapes, colors, to fabric textures, to secure Macy’s reputation as both a historic yet fashion forward iconic American department store. 

About the writer: Jenna McFeely, Fashion Curator and Trend Analyst at Heuritech

Jenna writes about the relationship between fashion, art, and technology, taking an cross-disciplinary approach to analyze trends in visual culture.

Questions or feedback? Email us at info@heuritech.com

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