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.

Marshall Field’s Name Change Upsets Some (AP)

marshall-field-macys-protestIt 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.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Burgess says:

    Federated owns many small, regional chains. Keeping different branding for each is very expensive, from the in-store labels to the shopping bags. “Unitizing” the stores should result in millions of dollars saved.

    This is why Hecht’s is now becoming Macy’s as well.

  2. John Bingham says:

    Marshall Field’s is an icon of Chicago and Midwest. I would suggest that after name change happens people discontinuing shopping at these stores.

  3. Virginia York says:

    Macy’s is New York’s pride, as in The Macy’s Parade. Marshall Field’s is Chicago’s. Keep it that way.

  4. David Martin says:

    Marshall Fields has always been a part of the magic that is Chicago. I’m sad to see the name change and I hope they don’t get rid of the wonderful clock or the windows at Christmas.

  5. Dave Durk says:

    Macys is New York. Marshall Field’s IS Chicago. Marshall Fields has WONDERFUL FRANGO MINTS. THEY used to be made at the flagship store
    on State Street. Now they’re made out-of state (That’s just wrong).
    At Christmas Fields “DECORATES” inside and their outside window; it is
    a Magical, awe-experiencing event. Now it’ll be just a national chain.
    I HATE national chains. It’ll be the same like when Burdines – “The
    Florida Store”, changed its name to Macys. I used to shop there, I don’t shop there anymore-The MAGIC is Gone. It’s just Macys – a “National Chain”. Is Chicago changing the Front Plaque to Macys?? Their front clock on State Street??? I know, why not just sell the whole damn chain and
    change ALL the names to WALMART?….Email FIELDs -tell them what you

  6. Dave Durk says:

    THINKING ABOUT IT…I used to shop at Marshall Fields downtown. NOT ANYMORE – MACYS IS NOT Chicago! I’m walking 2 blocks to Carson’s Pierre Scott – they’re getting MY business NOW! “CARSON Pierre Scott IS CHICAGO” – they aren’t a sell out. Long ago I have fond memories standing in line waiting for Santa Clause at their downtown location. I hope THEY capitalize on the FACT Carson Pierre Scott IS Chicago. Wishing THEM the Best of financial success. I’m now a Carson’s supporter!! Peace – the world needs more of it !

  7. A Banks and Family says:

    Dear Federated,

    Please reconsider your name change of Marshall Field’s. I love Macy’s and have been a frequent customer of your NY and DC area stores for over twenty years. I also have been a devoted Bloomies fan for as long as I can remember and was just ecstatic when I discovered that there was a Boomingdales here when I first moved to Chicago to attend college.

    I have lived in Chicago for the last 14 years and can’t imagine not having a Marsahall Fields store here. The store, it’s signature clock, green bags and wonderful traditions are a local legacy that remind us that any man with a vision and determination can be a success.

    Chicago just wouldn’t be the same without Marshall Field’s as our destination for special gifts, lunch in the Walnut Room and our 13 hour sale sprees for all those great things we can’t do without. It has been a place to get that first designer suit to go with that first real job. It has been the place I could count on to get the perfect wedding gift 2 hours before I’m due at the event. It is the place that I take my nephews to the morning after Thanksgiving to see the incredible Chiristmas decorations, meet Santa and have hot chocolate in the Walnut Room. It is the place were my fiance and I held hands and thought about how great our future was going to be as we walked through the designer showcase house on the top floor.

    The people of Chicago are so glad that an incredible firm such as Federated has come in to make our shopping experience even more fantastic and bring it back to the standards that Marshal Field himself set over 140 years ago. We were praying that Federated would see Marshal Field’s as the incredible jewel that it is in the same way you have with Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Federated has done such a great job with Bloomies and Macy’s. Couldn’t you please consider giving the Marshall Fields name a chance to shine for you?


    A. Banks – A devoted Marshall Fields, Bloomies and Macy’s Customer.

  8. Jill Weston says:

    I am extremely upset that the Field’s name is going! I will never walk through the store again with the Macy’s Logo – that is New York and we are CHICAGO!!!

  9. Gina Zito says:

    I don’t like this at all. Marshall Fields is my favorite store. I’m sure Macy’s will have the same great things but Marshall Fields is one of the Windy City’s pride and joys. What….now were followers of NYC??? This looks bad… 🙁

  10. Abel Bastida says:

    I do understand the logic behind your decision in regards to changing Marshall Field’s name to Macy’s. We must all look at the larger picture. But it is with sadness to comprehend a change in a historical icon such as Marshall Field’s signature name. I would venture to say, that there were other ways to profit and achieve your goals that are just as effective. You would gain a more positive interest from the Chicago and partial mid-west market had you have chosen to keep the Marshall Field’s name. I cannot support an element that will take from a legacy, built within the structural integrity of this great city, since it’s struggles and accomplishments through-out the industry boom till current. All along hearts of the families who plan outings to shop these stores because of it’s native and reputable name.

  11. Karen Tones says:

    “Give The Lady What She Wants!” was the original Field’s slogan. So, this lady wants the company to keep the name of Marshall Field’s on the stores!!!

    I don’t live in New York, I live in Illinois. What’s so wrong with having regional identities, must everything be the same?

    Signed: A former Field’s – future Carson’s customer.