October 28, 2008
Macy's Celebrates 150 Years of a Brand Naming Miracle on 34th Street
Macy's in New York celebrates its 150th birthday today.
In addition to an "epic cake" and lighting the Empire State Building Red, the store plans on renaming 34th Street in New York. As of this morning, 34th street will now be called RH Macy Way in honor of the company's founder, Rowland Hussey Macy. The renaming will only be in effect until November 15th, a week before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
It's a nice touch but I might respectfully add that Macy's and 34th Street are two names that are permanently embedded in the American consumer's mind.
Macy's is a true American name that has stood the test of time and 34th Street is so much a part of Macy's identity that Fashion Week refers to today's celebration as "Anniversary on 34th Street," a play on the classic movie "Miracle on 34th Street" from 1947, which of course features Macy's.
The man responsible for this prominent brand naming, Rowland Macy, came from one of the eminent Nantucket families. His father was a whaler and a descendent of Obed Macy, the man who wrote the first history of Nantucket.
Rowland left his family and the sea 150 years ago and opened the first Macy's in New York City. In doing so, he instituted many concepts that would become common business practices, such as charging the same price for the same product to every customer, advertising prices in the paper, and even having a "Santa Clause" in the store at Christmas time.
As a side note, he is also a distant relative of top novelist Caitlin Macy, who also works in New York City and will be releasing a new set of stories next year.
Happy Birthday, Macy's.
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