Marshall Field’s Changes Name to Macy’s
Macy’s has announced that all locations of Marshall Field’s department stores will be rebranded as Macy’s branches.
It has always been much more than a department store. It’s the magical place where parents brought their children to see the windows at Christmastime, where those children grew and did the same with their kids — stopping, of course, to visit the one true Santa Claus.
It is Marshall Field’s. Or simply “Field’s” to everybody in Chicago. For longer than anyone can remember, Marshall Field’s has been one of the few constants in an ever-changing city. With its famous clock, the store that was built in stages between 1892 and 1914 is as much a part of the city’s landscape as Wrigley Field and Sears Tower.
On Tuesday, Federated Department Stores Inc., said it is planning to change to Macy’s the name of all 62 Marshall Field’s, including the one on State Street that dates back to 1892. And if it seems like just another merger or name change that happens all the time with very little fuss — even in Chicago, there wasn’t much noise when the White Sox’s Comiskey Park became U.S. Cellular Field — to those who grew up with Marshall Field’s this is different.
Chicago’s biggest cheerleader, Mayor Richard Daley, took a different view. “Things change. If you aren’t willing to accept change, then you stay in the past and we’re never going to stay in the past in this city,” he said. “The thing that I like is that they’re going to reinforce that store as a destination, just like Macy’s in New York.”
There’s little doubt that the “Macy’s” brand has more national cache than “Marshall Fields,” so this is a perfectly logical move. What’s inexplicable, though, is changing the name of the Chicago branches, especially the main store on State Street.
I’ve been to both that store and the main Macy’s in Manhattan’s Herald Square and, frankly, don’t quite understand what the fuss is about. They’re just fairly nice department stores. But they hold a certain magic for a large segment of the population — notably the female half.