"Our goal is to be a retailer with the ability to see opportunity on the horizon and have a clear path for capitalizing on it. To do so, we are moving faster than ever before, employing more technology and concentrating our resources on those elements most important to our core customers."
Rowland Hussey Macy (1822-1877)
- He was the first to employ an in-store Santa in 1862. Children came from all over to tell Santa their secret desires and Christmas toy wishes. Of course the parents were in the perfect place to make their Christmas list come true.
- The country, and world, began to recognize Macy's as the instigator of the annual Christmas Parade. Of course, the last of the parade was a sleigh with Santa himself riding inside! After the parade Santa took up his seat inside the store to greet the long line of children waiting to see him! This affair eventually morphed into the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, which Macy used to kick off the Christmas buying season. His parade was a marketing ploy for getting people to New York and to flock to his store at Christmas time.
- Customers loved crowding outside his store to peer into the large, decorated windows, which advertised the latest in fashion, kitchen wares, and toys. His friend P.T. Barnum suggested he make them more elaborate by using moving figures to tell various Christmas stories. The windows became the hit of the season, and a practice picked up on by many other retailers around the nation at Christmas time.
- He began accepting mail order. That, too, grew into a huge market for the Macy's store.
All in all, employing a capitalist spirit and shrewd business tactics (like mergers), the store eventually grew to be the largest department store in the world. His short life left quite the legacy to the world of retailing success and free enterprise economics.