8 Things You Never Knew About Macy’s

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What comes to mind when you think of Macy’s? Our iconic star logo? The annual Thanksgiving Day Parade? Or maybe our spectacular Fourth of July Fireworks? Well, in the spirit of our 158th birthday, we’ve round up a few facts you (probably) never knew about Macy’s. Oh, one more: Did you know you can still ride the original wooden escalators at our flagship Herald Square store? Crazy. Let’s keep reading!

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102116_8_things_image02Once lost at sea, Macy’s Founding Father Rowland Hussey Macy attributed a shining star to helping him find his way—and our logo was born. The earliest iteration of it appeared in an ad in 1861. Over 150 years later, the star still stands strong in the iconic Macy’s red.

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In 1858, R.H. Macy & Co. only sold fancy dry goods at its first ever store on 14th Street & 6th Avenue. And on the very first day in business, sales totaled $11.06. Can you believe it? That’s like two cups of coffee right now. It actually wasn’t until 1902 that Macy’s moved uptown to Herald Square on 34th street and Broadway–exactly where it is standing today!

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102116_8_things_image05In 1902, Macy’s Herald Square was among the very first American retail stores with escalators. And they’re still in operation today! Very helpful when you’re perusing nine selling floors, especially on days like Black Friday when juggling all those gifts!

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102116_8_things_image07Macy’s was the first retailer to promote a woman, Margaret Getchell, to an executive position. Macy’s is known for many firsts that changed the retail industry, but to promote a woman to an executive position at a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote…that’s making history. Fast forward to 2014, the Wall Street Journal names Macy’s Chief Financial Officer, Karen Hoguet, the top performing CFO in the S&P 500. ‘Nuff said.

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102116_8_things_image08The first ever Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held on Nov. 27, 1924 and originally called the Macy’s Christmas Parade. Started by immigrant employees, the event once featured floats, bands and zoo animals. In fact, this November will mark the Parade’s 90th Anniversary! Another fun fact? Now a beloved tradition, it attracts more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million television viewers nationwide.

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102116_8_things_image11The Macy’s Flower Show began in San Francisco as a fragrance promotion in 1946. Ah, the beauty of spring! Today, this botanical extravaganza has grown significantly (see what we did there?), to feature the work of well-known floral designers from across the country, and is now also celebrated in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., for two weeks every year!

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102116_8_things_image13Since July 4th, 1976, Macy’s has put on the largest fireworks display in the nation, firing off about 50,000 shells per show. Boom! Not to mention, there’s millions of spectators that pack balconies, rooftops and the streets of New York City to see the event live.

102116_8_things_image14An estimated 7,000 people view the display windows at Macy’s Herald Square each hour. So if we were to get our calculators out, during an average workday, that’s about 84,000 eyes. Which means, there’s more than half a million people who view the Herald Square display windows in any given week. One word: Wow.

 

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 Want to snag your own piece of Macy’s nostalgia? Shop our exclusive tote collection at macys.com. And if you’re curious to find out even more about our magic-making past, be sure to check out Macy’s, Inc. History.

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3 Comments
  1. Like the history.
    Macy’s is the only
    Store credit card I carry. No one else’s ever. Though I am not frequent shopper. Maybe you should come back to downtown cleveland.

  2. Amazoing history, and one that should be taught in every Fashion Reatil program iatcollegs and universities in the country.
    I am a fashion design teacher and that’s why I know. And yesterday, I mentioned the Macy’ s story to my students. What a coincidence!

  3. For point three… shouldn’t you say 11 selling floors. In addition to 1 through 9 floors, there is the mezzanine (floor 1 1/2) and the basement (one below).

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