My Facebook Thoughts

Monday, November 12, 2007

Give The City What They Want

I'm slowly gearing up for the holidays. I will, of course, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and get all giddy with my wife and son when we see Santa at the end of the parade. My wife and I will get out there the day after Thanksgiving and really officially launch Christmas 2007.

The thing about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it never made me want to shop at Macy's. Of course, growing up in the Chicagoland area going to Macy's was never an option. I also don't ever remember hearing anyone say, "I wish we had a Macy's here". When I think of Macy's three things come to mind, New York, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street".

I'm good. Macy's doesn't agree.

In Chicago we HAD Marshall Field's. To me Marshall Field's was the place I would go to to find that extra special gift. The people in the store would assist me without hesitation. They would even place my purchase in my bag on the back of my wheelchair making sure nothing was getting smashed. I always left the store with a smile, knowing my wife was going to love what I just bought her. Usually, when you got a gift for someone from Marshall Field's the people would start smiling just when they saw the box from Marshall Field's. If you were fortunate enough you got to visit the Downtown Marshall Field's store. When you walked into that store it was like stepping into a time machine back to the 40' and 50's. Christmas time was even more special. You could have lunch in the Walnut Room with a 45' Christmas Tree, see the special window displays or see Santa in a magically decorated place. That was then...

Today Marshall Field's is gone. Gobbled up like an ear of corn by a corporate pig known as Macy's. Now I realize corporations have their goals. I should say corporations have a goal, to make as much profits as is humanly possible. Don't let the employees or customers get in the way of profits. Business' come and go, I can except that fact. But Marshall Field's was a piece of Chicago's identity. Ironically, people would identify Marshall Field's with Chicago just as people would identify Macy's with New York.

The customers in this case wont just roll over though as Macy's management would like. Former Marshall Field's customers are refusing to just except this recent corporate intrusion. They are refusing to have New York shoved in their faces. They are spitting out the Martha Stewart designed Walnut Room tree. They are swatting away the commercials with Donald Trump in them. They are trying to tell Macy's WE ARE CHICAGO DAMMIT! Visit the blog of these Chicago Marshall Field's Fighters,

I support them 100%. Chicago's identity is slipping away. We have to stand up to the corporate world telling us who we are before its too late. I'll watch the Macy' Thanksgiving Day Parade, but don't be looking for me in their store on Friday.



Scott Ploch said...

Listen carefully people, Marshall Fields is gone and it's not coming back.
If it was such a great store, highly over rated in my opinion, why didn't all these crybabies spend more money to keep them in business?

Mark Plocharczyk said...

That's the attitude that's screwing up the country. Marshall Field's wasn't doing poorly. If it was it wouldn't have been bought three times.

Why does every city have to have all the same stores?

I get sick and tired of New York City being shoved down the throats of America.

Scott Ploch said...

It was underperforming, hence being bought three times.
I agree that every city needs it's identity but money dictates more.
Macy's, if they were smart, should've bought it but never changed the name. It still was over rated.

Anonymous said...

MArk. Thanks for the positives.....its going to be a fight, but, thats OK....looks like they are finally listening to us...Chicagoans ARE sticking topgether.....we DO NOT want/LIKE Macys......Fields or NOTHING.

Marshall Fields Forever,
3rd generation Fields Shopper
Nordstrom for now.......

Mrs B

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ploch may not realize that Field's was profitable and growing prior to Macy's takeover. In 2003, Field's worst year of the last decade, it posted $107 Million in profits. In the first quarter of 2004 Field's posed gains of 6.1% and the gains continued through Macy's takeover, especially on State Street were the store underwent a $115 Million renovation with significant upgrades to merchandise throughout the chain.

Macy's long had interest in acquiring Field's, but only to gain prominent real estate throughout the region to support its national expansion plan. This had the added benefit of eliminating Field's as competition for both the Macy's and Bloomingdales brands, both of which Field's outperformed with higher average sales per store.

Thank you Mark Plocharczyk for your wonderful comments about Field's and its value to the character and culture of Chicago. With Macy's continued failure to win over customers I hold onto hope that we will once again have Marshall Field's back home where it belongs!

Anonymous said...

Mark, great article! You captured the sentiments of me and of many other Chicagoans. We will NEVER shop at Macy's. And, everyone, including Mark, please come to the next pro-Field's protest, which will take place on Sunday, December 2nd, at 12:00 Noon, "under the clock" at State and Washington!

Anonymous said...

Fields was not underperforming before the changeover. It was an attractive purchase for the various buyers because of its stronghold in the Chicago area and, after Dayton's took over, in Minneapolis and other midwestern cities. Terry Lundgren must have skipped the class on marketing and the power of brand names when he was in school. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

L. Grand said...

Thank you for your support, Mark! This is a very insightful and honest report you've given here, with which any Field's Fan can agree. Thanks also for referencing the website. Word is spreading faster and faster, in part due to the efforts of people like you. GREAT JOB!

Anonymous said...

Mark, great article! I think the brand support for Field's is unprecedented, and people like you will help spread the word. The anti-protestors (mostly Macy's employees and contractors) just don't get it, and that's fine. There are enough of us that do understand Field's importance to Chicago, and our wallets speak very loudly! Just ask the folks at L&T, Saks, Nordstrom, Carson's, Penney's, and Kohls...they have all claimed increases in sales, and many have directly attributed it to Macy's alienation of old May customers.

Anonymous said...


I get so sick of hearing that if Marshall Field's was so great, why did their customer base keep shrinking every year. It was reported in the Chicago Tribune the last year that Target owned them their customer base had shrank considerably since the 70's and 80's. Their merchandise went from moderate to better to high end. The State Street looked like Bloomingdale's and Saks more than a Field's. Most of my family and friends and myself stopped shopping at Field's when the merchandise became to high end with a discount policies. The return policies which were the same as Nordtrom went to Target policies. The customers were not treated like high end, but high end with discount policies. FDS did not keep the name, due to they could not run a third division. They had 2 choices, run the stores as Macy's or Bloomingdale's or sell them. The problem was who could afford to buy them? They opted to run them as Macy's, since Macy's is the MOST recognizable department store in the world. If anyone is to blame for Field's loss is Target and May Company for selling them out for profit.