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Journal cover: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Marshall Field's becomes Macy's: understanding retail brand

Document Information:
Title:Marshall Field's becomes Macy's: understanding retail brand
Author(s):Marilyn Lavin, (Department of Marketing, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA)
Citation:Marilyn Lavin, (2009) "Marshall Field's becomes Macy's: understanding retail brand", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 37 Iss: 11, pp.993 - 1007
Keywords:Brands, Departments stores, Retailing, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09590550910999398 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the controversy surrounding the 2006 extension of the Macy brand to the Marshall Field's stores. Initial reactions, as well as on-going resistance, to the re-branding provide a means of understanding of the strength of retail brand, how it is established and whether “symbols and traditions” may be separated from retail brand per se.

Design/methodology/approach – The effort of Federated Department Stores (later Macy's Inc.) to rebrand Marshall Field as Macy's offers a unique opportunity to understand retail brand. This paper relies on news accounts for a chronology of events leading up to and following the Marshall Field's re-branding as Macy's. In addition, analysis of postings to the customer-originated fieldsfanschicago blog is used to understand, from the consumer's viewpoint, how retail brand is formed and to consider the strength of retail brand.

Findings – The paper concludes that retail brand may be as strong as product brand, that personal experience, as well as retailer-controlled variables, is strongly associated with retail brand, and that retailer “symbols and traditions” are an integral component of retail brand.

Originality/value – This paper examines retail brand in the context of the extension of family brand. The use of blog posts permits a first-hand account of how customers perceive retail brand and of how intense their attachment to such brands may be.

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