Student tours focused on history, fashion and merchandising are available in Macy's stores in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Orlando.
Macy’s has much to offer students who want to learn about its venerable, 150+ year legacy and successful business strategies—everything from its contributions to style to its vanguard, ever-evolving approaches to merchandising and marketing.
Led by expert guides in Macy’s stores around the country, Macy’s student group tours provide participants with an opportunity to gain insight into the company’s rich history; its many retail industry innovations; its fashion trends and tech methods; and its flagship stores’ architecturally and historically significant features. In addition, student groups can experience the many delicious dining options Macy’s stores offer. Student tours are a fun and entertaining way to expand one’s understanding of one of the U.S.’s largest and inventive retail operations.
Student Tour at Macy’s on State Street in Chicago
Students who take the Macy’s on State Street Retail 101 Tour are led through the store by a seasoned Chicago tour guide. Along the way, participants receive information about the company’s and the store’s fascinating histories; Macy's revolutionary business and marketing concepts (localization, selling across stores and multiple devices, and building connections with customers); and its visual merchandising techniques, from window displays to ‘shops’ dedicated to trending brands.
Who knew for example that founder, R.H. Macy, introduced the 1-price system, or that he was the first retailer to use white space and quote specific prices in newspaper ads?
Students also learn about the spectacular architectural components of the State Street store, which was once the Marshall Field’s flagship, including its exterior granite pillars and two Great Clocks that serve as meeting places for shoppers, the Tiffany Vaulted Ceiling that comprises 1.6 million pieces of iridescent glass (the world’s largest Tiffany-designed glass ceiling) and the regal Burnham Fountain.
Like R.H. Macy, State Street store founder Marshall Field was a retailing pioneer and tour guests learn that he was the first major retailer to offer credit, free delivery, no-hassle money-back guarantees, bridal registry and in-store book signings. He was also the first to establish in-store dining, which radically altered the shopping experience.
The tour incorporates a stop at the stunning paneled Walnut Room restaurant, which opened in 1907 and is the longest continuously-running restaurant in the nation.
- Macy’s State Street Dining Options: The Walnut Room restaurant is not only an interesting stop along the tour; student groups can reserve it for a delicious sit-down meal. They can also order quick bites on their own or pre-order them at Seven on State and the Signature Kitchen.
- Bus On/Off Loading Zone: Randolph Street entrance
- To inquire about or book a group tour and dining in Macy’s on State Street email: VisitMa[email protected].
Macy’s Herald Square Guided Tours for Students
The Macy’s Herald Square store in Manhattan—built in 1902, after the extraordinary success of the original Macy’s emporium on 14th St.—was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978. The guided Macy’s History Tour for students offers a deeper look at the history of the retail enterprise and architectural features of the store—the store’s original wooden escalators and a bronze memorial plaque dedicated to Isidor and Ida Straus, subsequent Macy’s owners who perished on the Titanic.
Student participants in this tour will pick up all kinds of intriguing tidbits, for example, how a red star came to be the Macy’s logo; how Macy’s came to place a woman in an executive position and pave a path for women to represent more than 78 percent of today’s Macy’s workforce; and how Macy’s introduced items we presently take for granted—the tea bag, the Idaho baked potato and colored bath towels.
The Herald Square store also offers students the Breakfast Fashion Show, a 90-minute program that begins before the store officially opens and leads participants through the history of Macy’s and the newest fashion trends (models are optional). Participants enjoy a private buffet breakfast in Stella 34 Trattoria (a modern Italian Trattoria with great views of the Empire State Building) or Chef Street (a more casual setting serving burgers, shakes, salads and noodles from Airstream-style trailers), and receive a souvenir Macy’s tote bag and 10% off Visitor Savings Pass.
An instructive Fashion Tour and Merchandising Tour that incorporate the expertise of outside consultants are available to merchandising and fashion students. These tours present product collections and discuss business-related topics, including window and mannequin displays, store signage and electronic product codes.
- Macy’s Herald Square Dining Options: In addition to Stella 34 Trattoria and Chef Street—the Breakfast Fashion Show sites that are available by reservation—students can enjoy quick bites at McDonalds, Pinkberry, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Juice Press and Pizza Bar.
- Bus On/Off Loading Zone: 34th St. entrance between Broadway and 7th Avenue
- To inquire about or book a group tour and dining in Macy’s Herald Square, email: [email protected].
Retail 101 Tour for Students in Macy’s Downtown Boston
This student tour introduces participants to the founder of Macy’s, Roland Hussey Macy, his intriguing tale of adventure and perseverance, his pioneering practices and the roots of the Macy’s retail enterprise—all in a store that serves as a cornerstone of the revitalized Downtown district.
Participants will also learn about the store’s original status as a Jordan Marsh department store founded in Boston, and the retail innovations the Jordan Marsh enterprise introduced—for example, the notion of organizing products by ‘department’ to boost customer convenience and transforming shopping into entertainment through art exhibitions and concerts.
- Bus On/Off Loading Area: corner of Chauncy and Summer Street (closest landmark is CVS at 55 Summer St.)
- To inquire about or book a group tour at Macy’s Downtown Boston email: [email protected].