We welcome thoughtful comments and respectful opinions that help make the case for the restoration of Marshall Field's to State Street and elsewhere. Off-topic, obviously incorrect, disrespectful or abusive posts will removed at the host's discretion, although an attempt will be made to contact the author, assuming a valid email address is provided with the post. The ethos is conversational--corrections are welcomed. Differing or opposing views are welcome and such posts should respect that this is a blog for opinions of Field's supporters. Due to problems with spam attacks--some even from those opposed to our cause--during certain periods, posts are moderated. As a result, it may take up to seven days for your post to appear, but usually it will take less than a day, and sometimes even immediately. Thank you for your patience, support, and written contributions.

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A 21st-Century Marshall Field's For A 21st-Century Chicago

Review why a revived and reinvented Marshall Field's make more sense than ever today and in the century to come..

78% want Marshall Field's--14% prefer Macy's.
October 2019: New surveys in progress show no significant change: 4 of 5 want Marshall Field's to return to State Street.

While new survey is being implemented, see our Survey Page for complete details including survey results from 2012.

Date: Mon, November 4, 2019, 09:30 CT
Posted by: Jim McKay ,

Special thanks to John, Auntie Clara, Susan & Evan, Bob, Sheryl, Gloria, & Lucie, as well as Gail, Gayle, David, Alfred, Frank, Judy, Marianne, Tammy, and so many others, past, present, and future, who made today possible. Pedestrian traffic was surprisingly slow on State Street, but nevertheless our message was warmly received. Everybody was glad to get pin-on buttons and flyers and talk about Marshall Field and Company and how it just needs to come back. Be sure to check out all dozen photos.

Special note: In one photo there's a photo on another smart phone of a Marshall Fields box with a beautiful ribbon around it. The person who showed me that explained that a family member requested that their cremation urn be stored in the Marshall Fields box because that was their favorite thing in life. (And you thought you loved Marshall Fields more than anyone…) Wow!

if you missed today, and still wish a button or to come out and have your photo taken for our selfie's petition, stop by during noon hour on Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We will be out there. So begins another holiday season!

Monday, November 4, 2019


Our blog had been on hiatus since last holiday season, but now it's back. We'll be featuring fresh posts here, as well as reposted highlights from our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Thank you for your support and interest.

Date: Sun, December 23, 2018, 14:54
Posted by: A State Street Spectator,

Thank-you to all who joined Field's Fans to leaflet on State Street Saturday December 22. People were running up to us and grabbing leaflets out of our hands. We actually could hardly keep up. When it was time for us to pack up, cameras still kept pointing.

I don't know if the congestion and confusion of everything being crammed into lower floors of the store, with the center atrium blocked for the new occupant's use, is unwelcoming to those looking for a holiday experience, or what. Anybody in there is trying to find an escalator or whatever else they are looking for. It makes me miss Marshall Field's more than ever.

Anyways, keep up the good work Field's Fans!


Date: Fri, December 21, 2018, 17:14
Posted by: A State Street Spectator,

I went on a holiday trolley tour in with a group in Chicago last week. The tour drove past what the driver called "The Marshall Field's building." He talked about highlights and traditions of "The Marshall Field's building," never referring to it as Macy's even though he did sadly admit it was purchased by Macy's. After he finished his narrative, I added 'IT'S STILL MARSHALL FIELD'S TO US!" Everyone applauded. Fortunately I had our Field's leaflets on hand. The driver was very happy to get one.

Date: Wed, December 12, 2018, 19:38
Posted by: gle,


I notice Macy's has the Christmas stuff absolutely crammed into the 7th floor. It makes it look like more people are there, but I remember when the whole store was crammed with shoppers as Marshall Field's. Now the crowds are at Kristkindlemarket down the street. That's about what we have left for holidays on State Street.

Date: Wed, December 12, 2018, 13:59
Posted by: Dennis Tarrant,

As a newcomer to Chicago, having arrived only not much more than thirty years ago, I still no the difference between the "new, fake" Macy's and the real Marshall Fields.

Somehow, I wound up on the official site for Marshall Fields and Company.

Thanks for the hard work. I plan on getting involved once we are back in Chicago. Our home is still under construction and we haven't sold our home in Oregon yet.

Can someone send me contact information and anything that will keep me informed on the group's activities, etc.?

Thank you,


Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:20
Posted by: Jim M ,

Talks about two malls in Chicago where they are replacing department stores with apartments, including tearing down a very nice former Marshall Field's in Northbrook. (If you do search of this group, there's more on the Northbrook project from this past September.)

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:19
Posted by: Jim M (FB 12/10/2018),

Regarding the taller M in the Marshall Field's logo. Sign-related zoning law is another issue. The higher arch changes the proportions, resulting in a larger overall area on a façade, if you consider it's overall rectilinear measurements. So legally, the rest of the letters can be larger if that arch doesn't extend as high. A former student is an architect for Walgreens. Several years ago Walgreens compressed the horizontal dimension of the their logo in part to accommodate zoning laws for signage. Of course, this extended even to print logos.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:18
Posted by: James P (FB 12/10/2018),

Lance, I'd gladly live with either Logo (tall M or not) so long as they were revived, placed back on the store and merchandised properly to something resembling what the once represented.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:17
Posted by: Lance D (FB 12/10/2018),

I was gonna say they were probably too cheap to pay for the extra space.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:17
Posted by: James P (FB 12/10/2018),

Lance, I understand it was about marketing materials, labels and signs.

It was easier to fit.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:16
Posted by: Lance D. (FB, 12/10/2018),

I always called it the "Target M".

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:14
Posted by: James P. (FB, 12/10/2018),

Lance: Dead on.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:14
Posted by: Lance D. (FB, 12/10/2018),

Am I the only one that notices a difference in the "M" before and after Target converted all department stores to Marshall Field's? Meaning the pre-existing "M" has a higher arch than the "M" on the converted stores.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:13
Posted by: JIm M. (FB, 12/8/2018),

Very cold today but more than warm enthusiasm for bringing back Marshall Field's to State Street! Due to a traffic issue we went out there until about 12:30 PM-my apologies to anyone who came by before looking for us. About 450 flyers and over 300 buttons were distributed. Of special note: as always, we had more than a few people stop to take photos of our signs. Towards the end of this photo collection is just a sample. Special thanks to all who have made flyers and buttons on State Street possible including Sharon, Judy, Tammy, Nichole W., Gail , Gayle, John, Marianne, Alfred, Frank, and Gloria, and ESPECIALLY Susan & Evan, those who posed for photos, and everyone else. We'll be out there again next Saturday, December 15, and the following Saturday, December 22.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:12
Posted by: Michael D. (FB, 12/2/2018),

Regarding the model buildings surrounding this year's Walnut Room Great Tree. I can't believe even Macy's was unthoughtful enough to tack it's name on the MF model being used with the Christmas tree. And in same/similar font as Herald Square.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:11
Posted by: Patrick J. (FB, 12/2/2018),

A little secret regarding the Ornaments that were made for the Christmas tree that was in the Walnut Room. I along with five other young people at that time did the work behind the scene. We were all under twenty five years old. We were hired during the summer of 1984 to apply fabric imported from France onto various styrofoam shapes. We were in a small room on the 13th floor where the visual merchandising department resided. Below is a few pictures of us working at Marshall Fields. I promise you Macys is nothing like Fields. Field's had character, class and sold you an experience. It was Neiman Marcus before Neiman Marcus was a household name. Facts.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:09
Posted by: Pamela C. (FB, 12/3/2018),

I am visiting Chicago in Jan. Marshall Fields was always our first stop. I still love the building. Given the posts here lately I dread seeing what has been done to the interior. It is the old elegance there that I loved as a kid and now.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:07
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 12/1/2018),

A super rainy and windy day today in Chicago, but that didn't dampen enthusiasm for bringing back Marshall Field's to State Street! A couple-hour break in the storms meant that we could be out on State Street after all, so we could "walk between raindrops" and again demonstrate our overwhelming passion for the return of the world's greatest emporium. That said, because it was drizzling and misting, it was a little hard to get people to stop for a photo. Those who ventured out into the weather mainly wanted to get where they were going. Nevertheless, between 2 PM and 3 PM, over 150 flyers and over 60 buttons were distributed. Of special note: we had more than a few people stop to take photos of our signs. These are just a sample. Special thanks to all who have made flyers and buttons on State Street possible including Judy, Tammy, Evan M., Nichole W., Gayle, Gail, John, Marianne, Alfred, Lucie, and of course Gloria.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:05
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/28/2018),

Garrett has special six-piece tins to commemorate 100 years of Frango. One celebrates its Chicago heritage and the other celebrates its Seattle heritage. They are $10 each and are marketed as stocking stuffers.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:03
Posted by:
Tammy P (FB, 11/26/2018),

Ask Rick: All about our old Chicago tradition of holiday windows on State Street

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 17:00
Posted by: Aidan C (FB, 11/24/2018),

I know there's been some confusion about the walnut room menu this year. All I can say is it's disappointing. They removed options from the menu and replace a number with an overpriced buffet. I guess that's once again the "Magic of Macy's" (oh also forget about viewing the tree from 8 because change is good)

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:58
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/24/2018),

Some sad news: As someone else suggested in the past week, viewing of the Walnut room and the tree from the eighth floor is no more. "Change is good!" They have set up a new viewing area behind a velvet rope on 7 near where you check in for us eat at the Walnut room.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:56
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/24/2018),

Thank you again to everybody who helped make today's efforts out on State Street a huge success! During lunch hour yesterday and then again today, we passed out about 1,000 flyers and about 300 pin-on buttons. Special thanks to Gloria, John, Alfred, Lucie, Gail, Gayle, everyone who appears in these photos, and everyone else who made it possible. I heard not a single negative word about bringing back Field's—everybody wants Field's to come back. Please plan to join us during the noon hour (and perhaps beyond) Saturday's through Christmas. contact me via Facebook messenger for further details.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:55
Posted by: Ginny O (FB, 11/23/2018),

My mom worked ay MF&C on call. They were having a special sale on gold!

So she was assisting while another lady passed out Frango Mint!

The next day she brought a plastic bag with her! When Franco Mints came by she would take one and and put it in her bag!

When we were finished with dinner she went into her pocket and pulled out her surprise! My sister Ann and I were delighted with her mints!

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:55
Posted by: Jim McKay (FB, 11/23/2018),

Thanks to all who all who helped to make today's flyers and buttons a big success. Things were a little odd so we actually ended up focusing on flyers instead of buttons. There were four different street musician bands around the area so it was very hard to talk and ask people to take photos with us. Same for asking if people wanted buttons. That said, in a little over an hour, we distributed over 200 flyers and over 100 buttons. If there is less noise tomorrow (Saturday), we hope to have more photos tomorrow. We definitely will be out during noon hour, weather permitting. Special thanks to John, Gail, Gayle, Alfred, Frank, Lucie, and, most of all, Gloria for making it all possible. (Earlier post:) So begins another holiday season!

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:26
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/20/2018),

The former John Wannamaker flagship at Philadelphia's Center City is considered the architectural sibling to Field's State Street store. Wannamaker, a friend of Marshall Field I, liked State Street so much that he hired Daniel Burnham to design a similar store that also had some unique but parallel features. Once as great as Field's, Wannamakers went out of business over three decades ago after a long decline. (Remember, unlike Macy's and Bloomingdale's, Field's never even flirted with bankruptcy nor did ever go out of business.) Four different store brands have since operated inside the former Wannamakers.

Back around 30 years ago, the store was downsized and repurposed even more radically than what State Street is currently experiencing. Imagine what is happening at State Street, but then also having the lower level and sub-basements at State Street turned into a parking garage! (They did implement a similar parking garage at the Palmer House.) While we do engage in historic trivia here, our primary activity is as an activist community trying to preserve the State Street store from being completely whittled away. So when you view photos pf the former Wanamakers flagship, remember to come help leaflet, attend stockholders meetings, etc to stop--or at least put the brakes on--this sort of thing from happening.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:20
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/20/2018),

The windows at Macy's Center City, Philadelphia look awfully similar to State Street. As Michael Dannhauser pointed out on another post, Herald Square (34th St, NYC) is down to just six windows as well, but they are much more detailed. Various legal reasons, it was OK for Macy's to install their plaque Philadelphia. Imagine if this was the case at State Street.

PHOTOS: Macy's Center City Holiday Windows

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:19
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/15/2018),

Mary Ann Parker: Most of the State Street store is designated a landmark.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:18
Posted by: Mary Ann P (FB, 11/15/2018),

Marshall Fields should have been designated a landmark.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:17
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/17/2018),

WGN Radio Interview

Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago

Dave Plier is joined by author and historian Gayle Soucek to talk about the history and legacy of Marshall Fields. For more than 150 years, Marshall Field's reigned as Chicago's leading department store, celebrated for its exceptional service, spectacular window displays, fashionable merchandise and cherished holiday traditions.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:16
Posted by:
Jim M (FB, 11/17/2018),

Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:16
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/17/2018),

Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:16
Posted by: Mike & Jim (FB, 11/17/2018),

Garrett had a Frango float in the Festival of Lights Parade on the Mag Mile.

It's interesting how, like last year, they associate the chocolates with a clock, but they only suggest the Marshall Field clock. When you see this sort of thing, you have to bet that there are at least some people at Macy's who realize how valuable the Field's brand really is. Then there are probably those who are too proud to admit that they made a mistake along the lines of Coke II.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:14
Posted by: Ginny O. (FB, 11/16/2018),

Don't know where to begin with my Marshall Field's Memories!

My mom would work there on an as needed basis.

There was a special discount for employees - 30% discount for one week!

Bought my wedding gown there!


Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:13
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 11/16/2018),

Frango shop now at North Bridge (Michigan Ave entrance to the mall with Nordstrom).

Besides the fact that Macy's is also selling them at WTP, when we did our survey a few years ago and now in our new survey, we're finding a lot of the former Marshall Field's shoppers are at Nordstrom (No surprise, I'm sure.) But of course, that makes it a good location to sell Frango's.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:13
Posted by: Linda S (FB, 11/14/2018),

My parents met each other working at Marshall Field's on State Street. when they got married my mom was fired because they didn't allow married couples to work together. (1947) my dad stayed working there for several more years. mom worked in the linens department and dad worked in the mattress department. he liked to embarrass us in front of our friends when we were teenagers by saying "i met linda's mom between the mattress and the sheets!" oh my gosh - so embarrassing!! the field family used to have employee picnics at their estate on the north shore (winnetka maybe?) with food, games, pony rides...all kinds of fun. it was like being on another planet for some kids from the northwest side growing up in a two-flat!

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:11
Posted by: Lance D (FB, 11/13/2018),

"Macy's Radical Plan to Save Itself: Shrink"

Centralized check outs...

Invest in stores...

Wow...groundbreaking. Macy's has figured out what other companies already knew.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:11
Posted by: Mike S (FB, 11/12/2018),

Be sure to read the customer comments on the article. They nailed it.

Macy's Radical Plan to Save Itself: Shrink

Too much space and too few shoppers yield a plan to reduce the amount of merchandise and the number of employees at slower-performing stores

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:08
Posted by: Susan D (FB, 11/11/2018),

Unearthed the final copy of The Field Glass, the employee newspaper at Marshall Fields. Great historical retrospective of the Grand Dame prior to the takeover by Dayton Hudson. Everything I learned about being a great merchant started at 111 N State Street in Chicago!

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:06
Posted by: Aidan C (FB, 11/5/2018),

Was at State Street today. The old girl is a mess at the moment with renovations. 8 was open for photos but is in the process of being cleared out. 6 is starting to reopen and the new escalators to the Lower Level are open (but not functioning). It's a shame to lose the BATUS era atrium. The area is surrounded in plywood and plastic. The windows were also less than stellar this year and I'm pretty sure reused from last year. To be completely honest Water Tower had better decorations than the "Midwest Flagship" at State Street. The store has lost a lot of what made it special.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 16:06
Posted by: Jim McKay (FB, 11/4/2018),

111th Great Tree Lighting, 100th Anniversary of Frango

Interview with Macy's Andrea Schwartz.

Date: Tues, December 11, 2018, 12:05
Posted by: JJ,

Amy Meadows will give her presentation, "Behind the Scenes: Marshall Field's and Christmas" at 11:30 am on Wednesday, December 12 at the Lake Villa Public Library in northern Lake County, Illinois. Please Google the Lake Villa Public Library for further details.

Date: Mon, December 10, 2018, 21:14
Posted by: Christianne Murrens,

Hi - Did my annual Christmas shopping downtown this past Saturday.

It was so sad to see the old store in such disrepair. The floors, especially on the first floor, are cracked, escalators not working and filthy dirty. When in the store and looking out the windows you can see the dirt and cracks everywhere. Looks so old and tired and unloved!! I think they are just letting the whole thing fall apart. Why and how did we lose our beloved store?!

Merry Christmas to all!

Date: Sun, December 02, 2018, 17:50
Posted by: David S,

Wish I could post a photo

The Marshall Fields Christmas Candy Kitchen is set up with the delivery truck and the man and woman in coats holding their Fields bag.

Fields Ornaments on the tree too numerous to mention..

I'm down to 2 Spice Fields Hawaiian Pepper Sea Salts, Just finished the citrus chive seasoning, and Lakeshore Grill Spice - I should have bought more......

It's Christmas time and once again, Fields is throughout the house....Just wish I go shopping there........

Merry Christmas Fields Fans....

Date: Fri, November 30, 2018, 16:20
Posted by: MFS,

Before CVS purchased Longs Drugs in California, there was an old Rexall Drug store in Los Angeles that kept its Rexall branding because it was a famous location. It was the only location like this. How hard is it to make green awnings that say "Marshall Field's by Macy's"? They said something about the cost of making separate Field's bags, but now they're making separate Field's bags! As a former longtime Macy's employee, I can tell you that the arrogance of the New York management knows no bounds. Macy's San Francisco chain was closer to Field's in reputation than its New York sister; this may be why they think it will work. But New York ruined the San Francisco chain, too. Everything suddenly changed because "this is how the east does it." One day I asked the question, what if the west's way is more efficient and profitable? A manager replied with one word, "ego". In hindsight maybe Marshall Field was the lucky one, because his name still has value.

Date: Fri, November 23, 2018, 13:09
Posted by: Alfred F. Imhoff,

Happy Thanksgiving to all my beloved sister and brother Field's Fans--here's to the once and future Marshall Field's! --Alfred in Washington

Date: Wed, November 21, 2018, 19:00
Posted by: gle,


Date: Mon, November 12, 2018, 10:27
Posted by: Jimmy Gimbels,

My friends, I am so depressed. Over the weekend, I visited the Marshall Field's building. OMG. Those wacky folks at Macys certainly trying to wipe any of the Marshall Field's brilliance.

Let's start with the holiday windows...or the few windows that are left. Gone is the magic of Marshall Field's impressive displays. Macys has gone with the message of "magic of giving. There are several unrelated, cheap-looking scenes. One window depicts underwater them. I don't get it. Many people looking at the window didn't quite understand the collection. But then again, many people gave the windows a quick glance and continued walking. Oh dear.

The store has gone through a remodel to condense down to seven floors. Bland is the only description I can think of.

The "new" furniture area is among the worst. Harsh white LED lighting (with white walls) is so bright as to induce headaches. The collection of furniture is certainly uninspired and displayed in the a most haphazard manner. Macy's seems to have cornered the market in recliners and sectional sofas. Odd how a remodeled area of the store has a floor with many "potholes".

On seven, the Marshall Field "museum" area is now holiday decorations and cards. The candy kitchen is long closed - remember when Macy's promised to make Frango mints in the store? The ice cream parlor is now a..umm..mmm..can't quite figure it out. I think it is a pub.

Over in the Walnut Room, the tree looks better than past years, but the base is surrounded by what looks like cardboard models of Chicago building. It has the look of the grade school art project.

All home related items are now crammed into the lower level. Merchandise selection severely cut back and quality now at a Kohls/Pennys level. By the way, the bakery is long gone (I miss Fields' carrot cake). The food court remodeled. Selection is limited. On a Saturday around 1 PM, most food goods were sold out.

I was shocked at the condition of floors throughout the store...especially on the first floor. Equally bad are the exterior doors...chipped, rusty, and badly in need of a couple drop of oil.

I miss my Marshall Fields. Sigh.

Date: Sun, November 04, 2018, 15:23
Posted by: gle,

Thank-you fellow Field's fans for stepping up and continuing to be out there for return of our favorite store on November 3!

I did early voting the same day, and the lady who signed me in asked why I was wearing so much green and we got into quite a discussion of how important Field's was to so many people's lives.


Date: Sat, November 03, 2018, 22:32
Posted by: Pete,

Cool photos!

Date: Sat, November 3, 2018, 21:27
Posted by: Jim,

Today kicks off the holiday season and with that, that means Field’sFansChicago will be out under the clock at State and Washington to remind people that no other brand experience is better known from Chicago raw wide than Marshall Field’s. You’ll note that things were relatively quiet on State Street. (See One of the photos towards the end of the slides/photos.) Still, we gave away over 100 pin-on buttons during the noon hour. We will continue doing this on Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Please let us know if you can join us or at least stop by to come get a button and have your photo taken with our science. Special thanks to John, Gloria, Gail, Gayle, Alfred, Lucie, and all others Who have helped in the past. Thank you very much!

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's!

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:40
Posted by: Jim McKay,

TOMORROW! Yes, we'll be out under the State/Washington Clock on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at noon passing out buttons and flyers. Plan to join us. Stop by for a pin-on button and a selfie.

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:39
Posted by: JIm M., FB, 10.31.2018,

Bob H.:

The Clock ornaments are a nice concession for the fact they got rid of the 1990s atrium.

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:39
Posted by: David H., FB, 10.31.2018,

I like the look of the clock ornaments...

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:39
Posted by: Bob H, FB, 10.31.2018,

I do have to say I like the clock ornaments. I'll be back in Chicago in a couple of weeks and I will check the tree out then. Kenya you were right about last year's tree. Definitely one of the worst!

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:38
Posted by: Michael D, FB, 10.31.2018,

Although better than last year, not nearly as glorious as the themed trees during the MF years.

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:38
Posted by: Kenya, FB, 10.31.2018,

The tree this year is beautiful... last year was so tacky! I miss working there during the holiday season all three hustle and bustle.

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:37
Posted by: Bob H., FB, 10.31.2018,

Steve G:

I hope not! But if it is I hope they at least keep the openings on 8 open that would look tacky boarded up. I was in Chicago over the weekend and got to see first hand what they've done to the escalator atrium...Made me sick!

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:37
Posted by: Steve G., FB, 10.31.2018,

Anyone know if this will be the last year you can see the Great Tree from 8?

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:36
Posted by: Michael D., FB, 10.31.2018,

111th Gteat Tree is up and ready for Saturday’s official lighting. Note the clock ornaments.

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:35
Posted by: Jim ,

John R: To be sure, I'm glad the stuff was saved, but beyond the benevolence and good will--they are receiving the value of 5:37 of air time on WGN news (plus streaming views) that would otherwise cost a nice amount; plus since these items could sell at auction for a nice amount, I would bet that Macy's is getting a tax write off of close to a $1M for donating to the Chicago History Museum.

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:35
Posted by: John R (from FB),

John Robert At least all of that was saved and not carted away in dump trucks. I'd like to think other department store chains would have a relative amount of archival content like this, but as we've seen before, some businesses (department stores and otherwise) just aren't as sentimental as others. That one WGN anchor said something about the archival material being worth a million dollars or so. I'd like to think anything like this would be considered *priceless*.

Date: Fri, November 02, 2018, 12:34
Posted by: Thomas G,

Treasure trove of festive finds unearthed in Marshall Field’s vault – WGN-TV

[ 5:37 long segment on clearing out the upper floors at State Street, Macy's is giving the items to the Chicago History Museum. It is valued at about $1 million. A lot of great stuff and great tax write off for Macy's, not to mention good PR/air time for Macy's.]

Date: Wed, October 31, 2018, 12:56
Posted by: Jim M,

Thank you for posting, Eric B. It will be interesting to see what the new owners ofthe Carson's brand do with it. I do hope it's a success. At the same time, I'm not impressed with what the new owners have done so far. But most of all, how do they make Carson's an experience again, how will they make it a brand that people want to seek out.

While I hope Carson's makes a comeback that encourages the narrow views at Macy's to change and facilitate a comeback of Marshall Field's, I think Carson's and Field's would be on divergent paths. Carson's has lost it's flagship for 12 years now and it's just another store in suburban malls. Notice you don't see people protesting and mobilizing to bring back Carson's. Field's and the desire for its return is an opposite path. The return of the State Street flagship is pivitol. At most, I don't see more outposts except perhaps Oak Brook, Old Orchard, Mayfair. And Old Orchard has just undergone a radical transformation, but really, it is all about State Street and restoring a "one of a kind international destination emporium."

If Carson's comes back, that's nice, but I won't tie Field's fate to Carson's success. Moreover, I'm skeptical of what is happening with Carson's, because at this point, and for the past thirty years, it's hardly what it was pre-1989, pre-Bergner's, when it was Marshall Field's worthy competitor.

Date: Tues, October 30, 2018, 01:03
Posted by: Eric B,

Holy cow! The new owner of Bon-Ton's 'intellectual property' has announced that they are reopening Carson's Evergreen Park store on Black Friday.

Repeat after me: "If Carson's can come back, so can Marshall Field's!"

Date: Sat, October 27, 2018, 12:10
Posted by: Jim McKay,


I have seen those articles including the one writer who specifically cited Field's early last month. For that one, I contacted the author and replied vigorously. The comment about Field's reminds me of the article that simply attribute Toys R Us' demise to Amazon and online when we know it was much more, including the high debit from the hedge funds,

Keeping the Bon-Ton comments brief, imagine on the other hand if they consolidated under one or two names. The reality is that the Bon Ton stores had little going for the quality of merchandise and service. But people shopped there because of an attachment to the name. Getting rid of Carson's flagship deprived any renamed stores of a current brand identity. For example, someone shopping the Elder Beerman converted to Carson's in downstate Mattoon, IL could have developed a relationship with the new brand if the could it associate it as a branch of the great State Street flagship in Chicago that they could still travel to. (Caveat: it would be a lot better if they could travel to the pre-Bergner's era flagship.) Or at least if they had consistent brand experiences. But face it, the main reason people shopped Bon-Ton was that it was the home town store with THEIR local name. And most of all, most everybody who shopped those stores knew from that (admittedly dated) red six-hexagon logo that the 6-7 brands were all the same chain.

But to the writer who suggested that Bon-Ton's failure demonstrated that having Field's at State Street would have failed. First, i asked her for data supporting what she said. None was provided except that Bon-Ton failed so Field's somehow could have as well. Moreover, I don't think most anyone thinks that Field's should have had 60+ stores, especially the one's that used to be Dayton's or Hudson's (that would be about 40 of those. What we have been calling for is modeling Field's after the very successful Selfridges which would return Field's on State as international destination like KaDeWe, Harrods, etc. Selfridges **Group** does exactly that.

I provided numbers, the usual ones that I provide here as well as Macy's stockholders meeting--the value of the Field's trade names as $270M-$419M ($419 was the official value, I say $300M, others say as low as $270M. I provide our survey results, of 2,300, our conceptual assessment of how business should have increased at State Street, and the fact that other world class department store operators would love to run State Street, not to mention vendors that would seriously consider relocating in a restored Field's on State Street.

The writer of the article never responded. When I have provided similar numbers at Macy's stockholders meetings, I can recall only having been given other numbers once, in 2010, by Terry Lundgren. The numbers were a quick flash that I could not even note them. The one number I recall was that Macy's had served the most in the Walnut Room than they had since numbers were being kept. It didn't answer when they started keeping numbers--before or after Macy's came in?

What I do know is that other apparent stockholders speak to me afterwards and say bring Field's to State Street is a good idea. Lundgren (still the most significant individual stockholder) and Gennette won't go along with that. But things can change. Who would have thought Macy's senior execs would be from Etsy, Home Depot, CVS, OfficeMax, etc.?

Date: Thurs, October 25, 2018, 13:03
Posted by: mikea,

Since the closure of BON Ton I have read a few analysts say one that one reason they failed was to many brands. It was mentioned that running the different local store names costs to much money and eroded gains made on sales if any. Also one analyst stated that even though it was bad to eliminate Field's and the regional stores it allowed for Macy's to stay profitable in the long run. (If they had maintained the regional stores they might have been in financial difficulty by now

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:46
Posted by: Alfred I (FB, 10/20/2018),

Regarding your most recent post, here's to the once and future Marshall Field's thanks, James!


Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:45
Posted by: Jim M (FB, 10/20/2018),

With each department store that closes, a world vanishes


Washington Post opinion piece on the loss of department stores mentions Marshall Field's as one of the finest department stores.

I offered the following in the readers' comments section afterwards:

"Replacing Marshall Field's with Macy's appears to have been a huge loss to Macy's stockholders if you look at the numbers. According to 2005 SEC 10 K filings by Federated/Macy's/Bloomingdale's and May Department Stores, the Marshall Field's trade names were valued at $419 million versus $377 million for Macy's/Bloomingdale's trade names. (The combined value of tradenames for about a dozen other May Department Store names including Lord & Taylor was less than $190 million total.) As a faculty member who teaches retail store design at different universities, today's success stories, like the Marshall Field-inspired Selfridges in London, are those department stores that consolidate down to a few locations that are run very well in terms of selection, quality of merchandise, and experience. Indeed, these become international destinations. The likes of Macy's/Bloomingdale's should not bring back every single old nameplate, but it was major overkill to get rid of Marshall Field's at Chicago's State Street which was ahead of its time as an international destination. In a survey of 2300 Chicago shoppers, 78% wanted it to return. Macy's continues to turn a deaf ear to that. Sure, it's not necessary to have 60 locations of Marshall Field's, but one very special historic destination on State Street would be a boon to consumers, taxing bodies, and of course Macy's/ Bloomingdale stockholders."

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:43
Posted by: Michael D (FB, 10/19/2018),

Chicago's former department stores leave a legacy. Mentions Marshall Field's:

The city that Sears, other retailers built

Chicago's biggest, most important buildings sprung from the decades when the city was the capital of department store chains

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:42
Posted by: Michael D (FB, 10/18/2018),

From today's "Chicago Tribune." Marshall Field memorabilia sells better than Sears.

Old Sears catalogs not likely to make you rich

But the vintage books are good for a trip down memory lane

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:41
Posted by: Carol F (FB, 10/15/2018),

Regarding Raymond Kunst's photo of the great Marshall Field's clock:

What a great perspective!

Keen observers will note that the 4 o'clock position on the face is shown as IIII; in fact, the Roman numeral for 4 is IV. It was believed that IIII was more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, so damn correctness!

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:39
Posted by: Raymond K. (FB, 10/15/2018),

Marshall Field's Clock (1907)-- Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, Chicago.

Each clock is made of 7.75 tons of cast bronze and hung by ornamental ironwork projected several feet from the building.

The face of the clock is 46" across, the minute hand is 27" and the hour hand is 20.5" long. The clock is impulse operated from a master timepiece located in the store. The timepiece is checked twice daily with the Arlington time signal and corrects the clocks every hour.

On November 3, 1945 the clock was immortalized in a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover with a repairman setting the landmark clock by his own pocket watch.

Nikon D800E & Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens

ISO 1100, 200mm, f/11, 1/250 sec

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:38
Posted by: Phil T. (FB, 10/15/2018),

Doing some cleaning....found a great set of Field's tumblers (double rocks) - never used. Great scenes of the Greatest Store!

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:38
Posted by: Michael D. (FB, 10/10/2018),

Fullerton and California in the city is getting an Amoco station.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:37
Posted by: Jim M. (FB, 10/10/2018),

Another story on Amoco's return...this one references Marshall Field's:

Crain's Chicago Business

Remember Amoco? It's coming back.

The familiar torch is returning to filling stations around suburban Chicago as BP seeks to grow in markets already saturated with its outlets.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:36
Posted by: Jim M. (FB, 10/12/2018),

Marshall Field's moved to State Street 150 years ago on 12/Oct/1868. The store spent the previous 15-16 years on Lake Street roughly where the Thompson Center stands. If you follow the link, you can read the entire text of the article. Apparently they're having a shawl sale. Hope it's not too late...

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:34
Posted by: Jeff L. (FB, 10/12/2018),

Bob C.:

The atria are protected features under the landmark designation - and the north one will increase the value of any surrounding offices anyhow by supplying natural light

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:33
Posted by: Steve G. (FB, 10/10/2018),

Bob C.:

If past behavior is the indicator of the future, the store will be long closed before they do those things. After eliminating all the special things that made the store what it was, it's only a matter of time before there isn't enough volume to justify even the smaller footprint. Look at Minneapolis, where they're now just finishing the evisceration of the former Dayton's, turning it into a glorified food court and suburban mini mall.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:32
Posted by: Bob C. (FB, 10/10/2018),

I was thinking, for some reason, today about the removal of the central atrium and it came to me that the next (il)logical step in downsizing the store will be to sell the Wabash Street side other than the main floor, or at least the valuable street frontage. After that? Decking over the North State atrium from 8-14 to make more office space. Not to be Nellie Negative here but, as any HR Exec will tell you, the best indication of future behavior is past behavior.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:31
Posted by: Rick D. (FB, 10/4/2018),

To me it seems like strategy to increase the company's market share more than the brand. Here in NJ I'm not seeing new stations, but rather conversion of other brands to Amoco. Not one of the Amoco stations is a conversion from BP. Often these "new" Amoco stations are virtually side-by-side with BP stations.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:31
Posted by: John R. (FB, 10/4/2018),

Meanwhile, the parallels to the Marshall Field's situation are apt, if not very interesting to consider....

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:31
Posted by: John R. (FB, 10/4/2018),

Regarding the return of Amoco: The picture caption in the article and the BP exec in the video both say "across the US". I wonder if this means we'll see Amoco stations in areas that they weren't in traditionally before (like TX for example) (??)...

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:30
Posted by: Jim M. (FB, 10/4/2018),


I saw that, but imagine if the Amoco brand does better. Do you think they will let some high-volume BP franchise not convert to Amoco if they want rather than become a competitors franchise? I don't think so. At any rate,It's a great precedence in our cause to bring back Marshall Fields.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:30
Posted by: Christy W. (FB, 10/4/2018),

My husband thought it was to bring back nostalgia and a cleaner image than BP - but from the article it looks like they don't intend to convert any BP's. I'll admit we were tickled to see that Glenview station last week, like a blast to the past.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:30
Posted by: Jim M. (FB, 10/4/2018),

I posted on Amoco's return about six weeks ago. Of course, Marshall Fields is not mentioned in this article, but I'm posting because it demonstrates that a brand thought to be gone and never come back again can indeed come back, provided the owners want to do it. Gas stations are relatively mundane to the amazing international reputation and experience of Marshall Fields. And then there's the fact that, unlike other department store brands mothballed by Macy's, Marshall Fields is the only one that was equal in value (according to Macy's own SEC 10 K documents). It's only a matter of time ¦


Amoco gas stations return to Chicago area after nearly 20 years as BP brings back the brand

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:27
Posted by: Christy W. (FB, 10/4/2018),

My husband thought it was to bring back nostalgia and a cleaner image than BP - but from the article it looks like they don't intend to convert any BP's. I'll admit we were tickled to see that Glenview station last week, like a blast to the past.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:24
Posted by: Steve G. (FB, 10/8/2018),

Lance: That what I thought, too.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:24
Posted by: Lance D. (FB, 10/8/2018),

The boardroom paneling looks strikingly similar to the paneling found in the Oak Grill of the former Dayton's flagship in Minneapolis.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:23
Posted by: Frank L, (FB, 10/8/2018),

...taking the high road as a gentleman means one should not say anything bad about Macy's destroying this landmark. We are all thinking the same thought. This stinks,,,,,, At least Macy's did not get the Norman Rockwell painting.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:22
Posted by: Jim M, (FB, 10/8/2018),

Mike S.

They removed the commons area/atrium that was built circa 1991. When they are done, effectively it will be a wide corridor connecting State Street in Wabash rather than a big space in between. It also reduces the connectivity and large spatial experience between the lower level of the upper floors. That was the space that existed when one used to come down the escalator from the first level to the lower level.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:21
Posted by: Mike S, (FB, 10/8/2018),


Aside from taking away 8 and 9, how else is the State Street store shrinking?

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:21
Posted by: Jim M, (FB, 10/8/2018),


I think eventually it is. Really, the pivotal point I think is whether they get the tax break they are seeking to remodel the State Street store. (At the August landmarks hearing, Macy's breached apparently in surprise even to the landmarks committee, that they were going to seek a tax break in exchange for remodeling the State Street store as Macy's.).

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:20
Posted by: Lance, (FB, 10/8/2018),

I do hope they keep this paneling on display on the 7th floor. It is something that makes the store so unique and special.

Jim M. In response to your comments about the store shrinking with the latest renovation, as I have said, Minneapolis was a preview for State Street.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:19
Posted by: Steve G, (FB, 10/8/2018),

My recollection was that the boardroom (along with other MF executive offices were on 9. Also vaguely remember a pretty bright green carpet in the boardroom as well.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:18
Posted by: Leo N, (FB, 10/8/2018),

Lance, I would guess so

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:17
Posted by: Lance D, (FB, 10/8/2018),

If the paneling is on display, they must be gutting the upper floors ¦?

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:16
Posted by: Matt McCutheon, (FB, 10/8/2018),

Interesting item on display on the the 7th floor State Street store.

"This antique Boardroom panel was originally crafted and completed for the Great House, Whitehall, Shrewsbury in 1603. The panels were installed during the reign of James I in the same year he became the first Stuart king of England. The Great House in Whitehall was visited by royalty such as King Charles I and King James II as well as Oliver Cromwell in the 17th Century, and Charles Darwin and Prime Minister Disraelli in the 19th Century."

"Five rooms of paneling were purchased by Marshall Field and Co. in 1929 for use the store's Interior Decorating Galleries. Paneling from four of the rooms was purchased for use in private homes. In 1981, the remaining paneling was moved from Hughston McBain's corporate office in the 25 E. Washington building and used by Homer Sharp, Vice President of Visual Merchandising, to create the former boardroom in 1983,"

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:10
Posted by: Suzanne D, (FB, 10/8/2018),

If the walls at the former Marshall Field's warehouse on Diversey could talk... I remember going out there as an assistant buyer to sort vendor returns in the sweltering heat. The warehouse sales were the best- I bought a Robot Coupe food processor from France without the box for a fraction of the price! It died last year after 30 years - don't make them like that anymore ....

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:09
Posted by: Jim M, (FB, 10/8/2018),

I'm glad they have saved it and reused it--it would be very expensive to tear down in fact. But like I said in the past, people will think of this building first and foremost in its greatest glory as the Olson Rug warehouse.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:09
Posted by: Gabriel M, (FB, 10/8/2018),

I am glad they saved the Marshall Field's Warehouse. The Hudson's Warehouse in Detroit was incorporated into the Ford Field football stadium.

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:08
Posted by: Jim McKay, (FB, 10/8/2018),

Another story on the rebirth of the former Olson Rug/Marshall Field's/Macy's warehouse at 4000 W Diversey, this time from Curbed:

Logan Square's Marshall Field's warehouse readies for residential rebirth

The massive adaptive reuse project is starting to pre-lease its 123 rental units

Date: Mon, October 22, 2018, 14:06
Posted by: Kathy Wells, (FB, 10/3/2018),

There is a Marshall Fields plaque displayed in the Smithsonian institution. I think that the one that they have on display is from the former men's store on the southwest corner of Washington and Wabash.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 20:20
Posted by: A State Street Spectator,

PHOTOS ARE GREAT! And it was great to see the Field's fans who turned out for the rally, both old and new friends (including Marsha). The changes to the building make me uneasy, but I hope they are for the better since it is someone other than Macy's who is doing this. Maybe they will care more.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:31
Posted by: Jim,

Thanks to David, Lucie, Aaron, Timothy Gloria, and of course Marianne & Marsha Field's and not forgetting Gayle, John, Alfred, and Gail our heroes for making our Selfies Rally for Field's a huge success yesterday, to mark the 12 Anniversary since that very sad day in Chicago & International retail history when Marshall Field's was converted to another Macy's on 9/9/2006.

Chicago still wants its Marshall Field's!

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field's!

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:15
Posted by: Jim,

October 3, 2018 Chicago Tribune Editorial

Editorial: Chicago shopping, from Boston Store to Sears to Amazon ... and beyond


Briefly mentions Marshall Field and Company. Remember when reading Field, Leiter & Co's first location after the Chicago fire was also in a stable/water tank near 20th (Cullerton) and St. Of special interest is how the term "lost  was used to denote style. What is not mentioned but is alluded to is that Chicago's Boston Store was entirely different store from the one that just closed in Milwaukee.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:13
Posted by: Jeannie W,

I bought my son's baby bedroom furniture (at the Diversey Field's warehouse). A beautiful French provincial set in walnut with a thin gold border. Simple but elegant. I can still see it in my mind and it makes me smile.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:13
Posted by: Steve G,

And I always wished the waterfall fountain was still there. (When it was Field's, there was a really large mural showing the way the outdoor portion looked in "the old days."

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:12
Posted by: Aaron M,

They laid off all of the furniture repair staff in the wake of the M takeover and the relocation of the warehouse.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:12
Posted by: Steve G,

4000 W Diversey wasn't the most efficient warehouse building by current standards, but I'm sure it was fully depreciated! Furniture division warehouse sales were epic...discontinued items, customer returns, etc. Pretty sure one of the impacts of moving the operation eliminated a union contract or two...

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:11
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Crains Chicago Business, 10/2/2018

New York firm takes over big Field's warehouse project

Knickpoint Ventures has acquired most of a 1.5 million-square-foot former Marshall Field's warehouse near Logan Square, an unfinished redevelopment that includes a Cermak Fresh Market grocery store, apartments and office space.


This is of course was the Marshall Field's warehouse at 4000 W Diversey. Macy's assumed it for a couple of years before relocating the warehouse functions over 35 miles away southwest of Joliet. When that happened, more than a few employees could not make the move to the far away location. To be fair, a downside to this warehouse is that it is on multiple floors, as opposed to one continuous ground floor that is common in today's modern warehouses. The location was also a touch land-locked in the city. There was also a clearance outlet that was open to the public. If I remember correctly, it was open Wednesday through Sundays and the clearance outlet was, for a time, relocated by Macy's in a strip mall near Fox Valley Mall. Despite being part of our beloved Marshall Field's, some of us older Field's Fans remember it most warmly as the Olson Rug Company warehouse--specifically loved by all because of the amazing gardens, fountains and park on the south side of the street.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:09
Posted by: Patricia A., 9/24/2018, from FB,

New to the group. My parents used to take us 4 little girls downtown at Christmas to Marshall Fields to see their magical window displays. Then go inside to see Uncle Mistletoe and the huge beautiful gigantic (to a little girl) Christmas tree which seemed to reach to the heavens. We looked forward to it every year. I would talk about it for days on end. Marshall Fields was a magical place to us. Oh, how I miss it.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:07
Posted by: Pam C., 9/29/2018, from FB,

David D.:

Sad but true. Miss the furniture floor. Same merchandise as everywhere else. Complete lack of uniqueness and quality.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:07
Posted by: David D., 9/29/2018, from FB,

Dump the Red Star and bring back our Field's. They are making it a high rise WalMart.

Date: Thurs, October 04, 2018, 11:06
Posted by: Steve G., 9/25/2018, from FB,

Northbrook Court was the 'best of the best' when MF built this store in the mid '90's to replace JCP. The interior store finishes were top of the line. After the conversion to Macy's, I never understood how it stayed open as it was always pretty empty of customers.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2018, 16:40
Posted by: Miikea,

A couple of comments. The changes going on at state street are a travesty!! It hurts so much to see he beautiful atrium gone for a elevator bank. Why did they not just close off the store at wabash and Randolph and use the north elevator bank for the sold areas. They also could have reipen d the middle wabash elevqors for the store This could have kept the new atrium in tact I feel this ruins the store and the shopping experience. Fields put in that atrium for a enhanced shopping experience.

North brook court is not doing well at all as a mall and needs to be Reninvergorated Not only will Macy's close but lord and Taylor too. I don't think that store is doing well at all. Hudson's bay will most likely close all lord and Taylor's out side in New you're metro area and maybe all of them.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2018, 20:02
Posted by: Jim,

Macy's at Northbrook Court to be closed, torn down, replaced with 300 units of housing and an upscale grocery store. This Macy's opened as a newly-built Marshall Fields at 1995-96, replacing a building that used to house a Sears and then JC Penney.

Proposed Northbrook Court Revamp Razes Macy's, Adds Apartments | Northbrook, IL Patch

Date: Wed, September 19, 2018, 19:54
Posted by: gle,

I look forward to being under the clock for Field's on September 29 at Noon!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2018, 19:21
Posted by: Jim McKay,


Saturday, September 29, 2018, noon-1 PM.

Under the great clock at State and Washington.

Stop by for just a minute or two under the Great Clock at State/ Washington Noon-1 pm to pose for a selfie supporting the return of Marshall Field's to Chicago on State Street. Participants will receive free pin on button supporting the return of Marshall Field's. Once Chicago's #3 destination, Marshall Field's is by far Chicago is best known brand experience and world renowned brand experience and is sorely missed by millions. Additionally, the unrealized brand value of Marshall Field's is a huge loss to Macy's stockholders. Each year, the selfies photos are presented to Macy's stockholders at their annual meeting in Cincinnati. At 1:30 pm, participants are welcome to come and join us for a late lunch (at your own expense) and share stories and show off your favorite Marshall Field's items. As always, please save your "regret  (ie " I can't come because ¦ ") until after the event is over pre-event regrets will be removed.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2018, 18:53
Posted by: Jim McKay,


Saturday, September 29, 2018, noon-1 PM.

Under the great clock at State and Washington.

Stop by for just a minute or two under the Great Clock at State/ Washington Noon-1 pm to pose for a selfie supporting the return of Marshall Field's to Chicago on State Street. Participants will receive free pin on button supporting the return of Marshall Field's. Once Chicago's #3 destination, Marshall Field's is by far Chicago is best known brand experience and world renowned brand experience and is sorely missed by millions. Additionally, the unrealized brand value of Marshall Field's is a huge loss to Macy's stockholders. Each year, the selfies photos are presented to Macy's stockholders at their annual meeting in Cincinnati. At 1:30 pm, participants are welcome to come and join us for a late lunch (at your own expense) and share stories and show off your favorite Marshall Field's items. As always, please save your "regret  (ie " I can't come because ¦ ") until after the event is over pre-event regrets will be removed.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2018, 11:00
Posted by: Jim McKay,

We're thinking a 12th Anniversary Selfies Rally under the Great Clock of the Marshall Field and Company Building mid-day, Saturday, September 29, 2018. Details to follow. Please contact me at jjmckay AT me DOT com with concerns, etc before we finalize in the next 48 hours. Thank you!

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:30
Posted by: James P., FB 9/9/2018,

It was a hallmark of that store. One of the things to keep in mind is that Woodfield mall itself was laid out in that funky split-floor arrangement, so if you look at the mall interior entry, you can tell that the floor-to-floor heights for MF interior were designed to be taller to accommodate that feature, and was not your standard at the time for suburban department stores. believe that interior height was only for levels 1-2, and that the third floor is a bit shorter. Not sure.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:29
Posted by: Jim M, FB 9/9/2018,

Exactly! I was just thinking about that this morning the high ceilings [ at Woodfield ] really make the difference. They really do.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:29
Posted by: Charles W, FB 9/9/2018,

When I was a graduate student in Chicago in the early '70s, I decided that I wanted to see a Field's suburban store. I didn't have a car, so I took the Illinois Central commuter train from 55th Street to the Van Buren St. Station, walked across the Loop to the Union Station, took the Milwaukee Road to some station I've long forgotten, and from there, I went by taxi to Woodfield Mall. What impressed me about Field's was what is so noticeable in the photo: how high the ceiling was above the floor. It made for a very elegant store.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:27
Posted by: Jim M., FB 9/9/2018,

Marshall Field s opened at Woodfield 47 years ago today, on 9/9/1971. It became Macy s 12 years ago today, on 9/9/2006.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:26
Posted by: Lance D, FB 9/9/2018,

Lance: I'm sure I would not have liked it if it hit Minneapolis downtown or the stores I frequented in the Twin Cities, but I wonder if that strategy was applied more aggressively to the smaller stores. In furniture, we had budget every season to change out paint in key rooms, to make sure we always featured trend-forward colors that supported the current home looks.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:26
Posted by: Lance D, FB 9/9/2018,

Steve: mean you didn t care for Dayton s Project Vanilla Shake ?

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:25
Posted by: Steve G, FB 9/9/2018,

I remember when Woodfield opened [ on 9/9/1971 ]. It was out in the middle of all those seemed like the edge of the world!

Remember Woodfield opened in 71, so this is Field's brand new, state-of-the-art presentation at that time. My favorite thing about stores back then is that they were designed to house specific merchandise categories, not paved in grey carpet and painted white from stem to stern...

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:23
Posted by: Alfred, FB 9/9/2018,

Here s to the once and future Marshall Field s!

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:22
Posted by: Randy H, FB 9/10/2018,

A day that will live in Retail Infamy!

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:21
Posted by: Beth W, FB 9/10/2018,

Beth Walsh: Even more people showed up for that rally. Something around 400 people according to the media.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:21
Posted by: Beth W, FB 9/9/2018,

Come to think of it, I came back and did again another time too, [ in 2007 when we ] had people in period dress there.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:20
Posted by: Jim M, FB 9/9/2018,

For many people it was. When cynics ask what did the event accomplish, I point out to them that it was just enough to get some people to protest for something for the first time in their lives. That s pretty important.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:19
Posted by: Sara B, FB 9/9/2018,

It was a pretty amazing day. We were out there past noon. There were between 300-400 of us. Finally broke up when the police said they needed to move on to do another event. I don t see how the store has ever done as well since the change. Macy s screwed the customers, screw the stockholders, as someone else just said. All for ego.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2018, 21:19
Posted by: Beth W, FB 9/9/2018,

I remember that day.

I believe that may have been the first and only time I've ever marched in a protest march!

Date: Sun, September 09, 2018, 09:28 CDT
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Photos courtesy of Gloria Evensen.

Date: Fri, September 07, 2018, 15:08
Posted by: David Kmetz,

Can't believe I stumbled upon this! Watch til the end!

Date: Sat, September 01, 2018, 13:17
Posted by: Eric B,

What can we learn from the failure of Bon-Ton Stores and the regional chains this company owned?

In the early 1980s, at the same time other traditional department stores were closing up shop along State Street, Carson's launched a bold plan to remodel its flagship, upgrade the quality of the merchandise, and in general improve the shopper experience. Those changes did enhance revenue, at least until the start of a recession a few years later. It's important to note, though, that Carson's remained autonomous until it was bought by Bergner's in 1989. Things went downhill from there. As Jim noted, "[Carson's] became Bergner's in every way but name."

Among today's USA department store chains, Nordstrom, Von Maur, Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Belk appear to have a bright future while the likes of Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy's are struggling. Is there a pattern here? You bet. The better-off companies appear to be those which maintain some degree of autonomy, aim above the middle market, offer quality merchandise and exceptional customer service, and, in short, "give the lady what she wants."

In analyzing this pattern, would it not seem more logical for Macy's to bring the Marshall Field's name, quality and service back to State Street (and possibly also expand to more locations) rather than continue down its current path?

Date: Wed, August 29, 2018, 16:45
Posted by: Jim,

As discussed About six months ago in this group.


Macy's looks to sell Medinah Temple, move Bloomingdale's store ( back into the main flagship, 900 North Michigan Ave.)

Date: Wed, August 29, 2018, 16:36
Posted by: Jim,

As we discussed a few weeks ago. Of course, we are actually at the meeting for weeks ago. This is finally making a Chicago Tribune today.


"Macy's State Street flagship could get rooftop deck after selling upper floors to developer"

Date: Wed, August 29, 2018, 13:59
Posted by: Jim,

Except for perhaps limited fixture sales, today is the last day of business at many Carson's (what they call it these days) locations. A few (like Hawthorne are already closed). The bankruptcy liquidators are supposed to "turn over the keys" to the stores after this Friday. Carson, Pirie, Scott, & Co.'s (CPS) history is intertwined with its rival, Marshall Field and Company. Many of you are already familiar with the following but just think:

* One of CPS's first locations was across the street from MF&Co on State Street.

* In the days of Field & Leiter, without notifying Field, Leiter gave up the lease to the State/Washington Street store which was snapped up by CPS. Field had to negotiate getting the store back from CPS.

* 1 S State Street was constructed as Schlesinger and Meier but they had financial problems. The store was purchased and opened to the public for the first time in 1904 as H.G. Selfridge and Co. Selfridge had just parted ways with Field after he declined to rename the store, "Field, Selfridge, and Co. Soon after, Selfridge had a change of heart. Thanks to a deal negotiated by John G. Shedd, CPS bought the store which became the store's flagship for 103 years.

* Marshall Field and Company owned the land rights under the CPS State Street flagship well into the 20th Century.

Gayle Soucek has written a book on CPS. She likes to say that in writing the book, the story of CSP always comes back to the story of Marshall Field and Company.

Here's a link to the book:

Date: Tues, August 28, 2018, 17:22
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Last week it was Amoco making a comeback. This week another great brand is making a comeback in experiential retailing: FAO is re-opening in Manhattan and will have other locations throughout the country.

Here's a link to the story from Market Watch:

Date: Sun, August 26, 2018, 17:29
Posted by: Rich,

I have to AGREE I do not think that macy's has ANY interest in seeing State Street succeed and I feel that they are in it for the long term ---it has already been 12 years-- anyway -- macy's is in it for the long term to degrade and allow what was once supreme to fall into ruin. Compare bloomingdales on it's BEST day and Marshall Field's on ANY day in 2002--- Compare that and then you can realise that bloomingdales is a fancy macy's -- Compare bloomingdales of today with the Marvin Traub Bloomingdales of the 1980's --- Of course nothing stays the same and everything must change ---However--- I believe that macy's expects and is building in failure of State Street so that they ---CAN--- "sell it for business office space or condo's". Marshall Field's ---as bloomingdales would be pale and still sad---maybe at one point--a long time ago---Field's executives did something to lundgren and this is all personal vendetta? It is difficult to believe that a company could effectively have the Selfridge's of America and FAIL to see the value and potential of that! Either they were and are inept----or they simply refuse to accept what was possible BECAUSE they Prefer failure? VERY Sad!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 20:47
Posted by: gle,

It is very interesting to hear Macy's is suddenly concerned with historic preservation (of course if that means a TAX BREAK it makes more sense). Historic preservation from the customers' point of view includes the name, quality and service of Marshall Field's. Jim, keep us informed on things we could do!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:28
Posted by: Breton B.,

Regarding Macy's possible request for historic preservation tax credits at State Street.

Man, if they would really, really put the green banners back up and faithfully run that store as a flagship again, me and my dollars would be on the Hiawatha once a month and twice around holidays to show my support.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:26
Posted by: Chris R.,

At various times, myself, my husband, and two of my other family members all worked for Marshall Field's or for vendors that did business for Field's. In 2003, things were really looking up at State Street and Nicolett Mall was next. Between, May Department Stores and their sneaky deal to get themselves sold to Federated, as well as Federated themselves, they really screwed things up. There were other buyers who would have respected and kept Marshall Field's. May coasted with Field's in anticipation of a merger. When we tried to explain to Macy's what made Field's work, what people wanted, and what was more profitable, Macy's laughed at us with hubris. I had a Macy's senior executive say, holding back laughter, that they didn't care. I kew how things should be run. He added if they couldn't get their heads around Field's customers, they would just sell State Street as office space or condos.

Moreover, Federated wanted Bloomingdale's to succeed and they wanted to get rid of the competition from its rival Marshall Field's. That's likely why State Street isn't kept up with the same care as Bloomingdale's. Moreover, Federated took items away from Field's so that they were only at Bloomingdale's. That hobbled Field's even more. Imagine if they kept Field's at State Street and Water Tower and made Bloomingdale's on Michigan Avenue and Medinah Macy's. All the fine china, table top, and high end home goods and more would still be at State Street and selling as exclusive Chicago outposts for Federated.

The fact is that State Street could be doing so much better. Macy's arrogance and pride gets in the way of what would really be an easy fix for State Street. They would rather see it fail than succeed as Field's. Macy's is doing the bare minimum. (To have Clare say on our Facebook group), "some fresh paint or re-doing flooring or rearranging the store" shows that Macy's has its heart in the right place is an absolute insult to all of us who worked at or shopped at Field's. Such comments are a passive aggressive slap in the face to anyone who ever contributed to Marshall Field's. SHAME ON YOU!!!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:24
Posted by: Mike S.,

Sara A Bishop I concur. Bloomingdales is always clean and crisp. Never in a million years would you guess it is the same co as Macy's. Same thing out here on the East Coast. Center City Philadelphia (aka John Wanamaker) continually has broken escalators and is in need of a major renovation. You have to spend money to make money

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:24
Posted by: Sara B,

Regarding Bob C.'s comments on his weekend experience about State Street being so dead, That amazing to know I remember how popular was Amoco was popular in the 90's

Why is it so easy for Macy's to make Bloomingdales look nice but they let Marshall Field's look like a dump? The bathrooms at Bloomingdale's are pristine. But at Marshall Field's, the restrooms look like those in a bad McDonald's. Same for the rest of the store. How is it that Bloomingdale's on Michigan Avenue could be kept up to the standards Marshall Field's used to have, but Macy's doesn't do that for State Street?

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:22
Posted by: Chris Reynolds,

Regarding the return of Amoco:

So happy to see this!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:22
Posted by: M.N.,

Regarding the return of Amoco:


Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:22
Posted by: Alex C.,

That amazing to know! I remember how popular was Amoco was popular in the 90's.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:21
Posted by: Bill C.,

I'd like to see a few dozen more stations changed BACK to Amoco by BP . their BP brand hasn't done well in some locations where the station WAS a busy AMOCO

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:21
Posted by: John K.,

Regarding the return of Amoco: Clearly shows brand names have significant value. Why Macy kept the rights to store names and logos when the gobbled them up.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:20
Posted by: John K.,

Regarding the return of Amoco: WOW!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:20
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Who says brands can't come back? Back 15-18 years ago, BP phased out and rebranded all Amoco stations as BP. They kept the word Amoco for the ultimate gasoline until a few years ago. Then nothing.

But now it's back.

Several stations in New York State and one here in west suburban Bensenville are Amoco.

I was there tonight. It looked great!

So to those of you who say Marshall Field's can't come back, here's another come back. (What I understand is that they will use Amoco when one gas station is adjacent to another BP station, similar to the way Exxon and Mobil stations are kitty corner rather than have both be Exxon or both be Mobil.)

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:19
Posted by: Jim McKay,

From our participation at the Chicago Landmarks Commission Permit Review committee three weeks ago, we learned that Macy's wants to do a major remodel of the State Street store, provided it's covered by major tax breaks for historic buildings, known as "Class L" designation. I think we need to mobilize that any such major subsidy will be based on the requirement that the store be run as Marshall Field's. I perfectly understand that more than a few of you don't think Macy's can run a store as Marshall FIeld's--but if you consider that they run Bloomingdale's, it's not so much of a stretch--or if they partner or sell to Selfridges.

We likely will have a rally, need people to appear at the Landmarks commission, and other writings and petition. Stay tuned!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:16
Posted by: Susan C (From FB, 8/21.18),

I was in the State Street store today and it broke my heart to see everything blocked off. I did get noticed by one of my former coworkers. A lot of changes have been made to the lower level. The bedding department is now located in the lower level. Luggage has moved to the other side of the floor by the food court. Every thing is cramped together and it looks horrible.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:15
Posted by: James T. (posted 8/20/2018),

I've worked downtown for the last 12 years. State Street used to be my number one shopping destination when I needed just about anything for myself. Not anymore. My last few visits over the last year at lunchtime, the store has been shockingly dead. My last visit for lunch at the food court on 7, the food was just horrible. As far as shopping, the selection is like visiting any Macy's store out in the middle of nowhere, though more sizes. And the store is just looking "worn". I still enjoy browsing or buying in Barbara's books, and occasionally may check through men's furnishings, but the sad reality is this store has no compelling reason for me to want to visit. If I want anything from Macy's, I'll probably just order online and save the hassle of navigating a messy store and trying to track someone down to wait on me. I have no doubt this store will eventually close, being repurposed for something else that will "make more money" :-( Off to Nordstrom I go. Now the lobby at the Palmer House Hotel is still one of my happy places, for drinks, to eat, or to just sit and enjoy one of the most magnificent hotel lobbies anywhere!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:14
Posted by: Jim M (posted 8/20/2018),

And then when they say Marshall Field's was doing poorly, they actually include about 40 Dayton's and Hudson's stores. Nothing against them, but you will notice that the majority of former Field's locations that they closed in the past 12 years have all been former Dayton's and Hudson stores.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:14
Posted by: Lance (posted 8/20/2018),

Don 't forget, he also used the the closure of Texas operations to further his "Marshall Field's is failing" argument. The Texas operation should never have been in the deck of cards.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:13
Posted by: Jim M (posted 8/20/2018),

I should clarify: during the Q and A at the 2011 (or was it 2010) Macy stockholder meeting, Terry Lundgren pulled up a slide specifically created in anticipation of my presence that supposedly demonstrated that State Street was doing great. The thing is, he went through it so fast, I couldn t take it all in. The one thing that stuck out in my mind was that it said that meals served at the Walnut room increased by such and such a significant percentage. After it was over, it occurred to me, "increased since when? "" Since the year before? 2005? 1999? It really wasn't clear. In the same vein, Terry Lundgren also said when he announced the conversion, that the first 250 or so Marshall Fields credit cards he looked at in their database had not been used in along time. So that supposedly supported the idea of the switch. But then he didn't explain further: how does it compare with the first 250 Macy's credit cards? Or the first 250 Bloomingdale's credit card is? And 250 out of how many millions are thousands? What is the percentage of credit cards that are unused? How does that compare with industry average? At any rate, their own internal stats seem to be kind of slanted, if you ask me.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:13
Posted by: Jim M (posted 8/20/2018),

Remember when Dayton/Hudson/Target owned Field's? They would publicly break out sales and even break out for State Street or by specific stores. This was as recent as 2003 near the time of the sale. If State Street was excelling, they gladly would give that info out. City leaders do know, I'm sure, but it has to be kept confidential by law. There WAS one indicator: On Crains Chicago Business website on 2/27/07, it was reported that sales tax revenues at former Marshall Field's dropped so significantly that they had to conduct an official audit. I believe the threshold was a 30% change. Then to deduce, don't you think that when Carson's on State closed, Macy's State Street would have experienced at least a 10% increase in business? Similarly for Water Tower when Lord and Taylor closed there. Simply put, as Macy's, State Street isn't the destination it once was--and these days the stars of retail is all about destination shopping.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:12
Posted by: Steve (posted 8/20/2018),

Lance: It must be huge. The drop in furniture alone has to be many millions. I did over a million just in lamps (when I was there under Target more than 15 years ago.)

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:11
Posted by: Lance (posted 8/20/2018),

I'd like to know what the true sales loss is for State Street following the change to Macy's.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:10
Posted by: Bob C., (posted 8/20/2018),


Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:09
Posted by: Lance, (posted 8/20/2018),

In my opinion, Macy's hasn't wanted the State Street location to work. It should be as vibrant and lively as Herald Square is.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:09
Posted by: Bob C., (posted 8/20/2018),

BTW: Just read an interesting article on a grocery site wherein Wall Street criticized the Board of Directors of a grocery chain for 'starving the banner' and thus not getting a fair market value for it when they sold it, poor performance on behalf of shareholders. Point well made and what I fear is happening on State Street.

SuperValu is the parent. The brand is Shoppers. Here's the article.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:06
Posted by: Bob C., (posted 8/20/2018),

My niece was very disheartened yesterday after her first visit to the former Marshall Field's flagship since the Macy's conversion. She noted lack of decoration in atrium, a near-empty Walnut Room, the lower level in disorder (it wasn't clear to her as a shopper what was going on and looked like sections were being closed off, I explained moving of Home Store). She also noted interesting contrast to a nearby Chicago landmark, the Palmer House, vibrant and busy with visitors and locals her age. For those of you in the Chicago area, is this just a Sunday phenomenon?

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:01
Posted by: Christy W, (posted 8/21/2018),

Can't remember if I've shared this gem before ... an old 'L' car, still giving rides at the Illinois Railway Museum, features placards from Marshall Field's at Christmas . The ads were from the late 50s I believe!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 12:00
Posted by: Suzanne D, (posted 8/19/2018),

One of my favorite Fields keepsakes- a beautiful piece of art from local artist Marla Shega of Sycamore Il.. This is how I will always remember Marshall Fields at the holidays. I am a 4th generation Marshall Fields Employee ( when it was based in Chicago) and 3rd generation merchant. This was my view walking to work daily, so it means a lot to me! She does beautiful work and has some fantastic drawings of other Chicago landmarks. Her website is at

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 11:58
Posted by: Michael D., (posted 8/18/2018),



Marshall Field |

Marshall Field [1] Born: August 18, 1834 Conway, Massachusetts Died: January 16, 1906 New York [2], New York [3] Founder, Marshall Field [4]'s department stores Marshall Field is considered to be one of the greatest retailers of all time.

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 11:57
Posted by: Renee S.,

Regarding the 2nd Quarter Macy's conference call and Macy's loyalty program, Marshall Fields had a loyalty program. It was excellent service and good selection. Bonus if you had a card. The truth is, Field's may have suffered with the inclination to shop on line too. But there will always be people that like to look at things, try them on, get help by a sales person, etc. and boxing and bagging stuff for customers that wanted it was a nice touch!

Date: Wed, August 22, 2018, 11:55
Posted by: Gabriel M.,

With Macy's downsizing Union Square, I am assuming the Macy's sign will be removed from the I. Magnin portion. That is what I look forward to the most.

For most of the existence of O'Connor Moffatt, that firm was located where Gump's is today. The O'Connor portion of what is now Macy's is only a third of the flagship excluding the I. Magnin portion. Macy's commissioned the same architect to double the size of the store on the other side. O'Connor's moved to the current Macy's space in 1929. It was renamed Macy's in 1947. To be fair, for historical reasons, I refer to the Union Square store as Macy's. That is what it has been for nearly its entire existence.

Date: Wed, August 15, 2018, 11:18
Posted by: Jim McKay,

I listened to today's Macy's, Inc. 2nd Q 2018 Conference call this morning. Nothing specific. about State Street or Field's locations. A lot of numbers, as well as a welcome to the new CFO, Paula Price. Although sales are up over 2%, there is, at the moment a slide in stock. The closest to discussing Field's current state is how Macy's is selling the I Magnin portion of the Union Square flagship. After all the reductions, the San Francisco flagship complex which was O'Connor and Moffat until the mid-1940s will have gone from a peak of over 1,200,000 sq ft to between 700,000 and 800,000 sq ft. for what sounds like to me to be well over $300M. Meanwhile, the upper floors of State Street are fetching about $27M plus a sort of commission for space after a certain point of rentals.

You can listen for yourself if you are so inclined at

Date: Wed, August 15, 2018, 11:18
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 11:09
Posted by: James J McKay,

Macy's, Inc. will report 2nd Quarter results tomorrow with a conference call at 8:30 am, Chicago Time.

Listen by following the links at .

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 11:04
Posted by: Jim M. (From FB, 8.6.18),

Golly! Some of you long timers may remember this. As an act of good will, maybe 8 years ago, we Field's Fans contributed a small donation towards the kickstarter campaign supporting the making of this film on Stanley Marcus. They now have a short completed. Maybe another Few years, they will have a longer film completed.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 11:03
Posted by: Claire O. (From FB, 7.27.18),

Found a pair of Marshall Field and Company binoculars at Salvation Army.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 11:01
Posted by: Bob C. (From FB, 7.27.18),

I remember in early 70s, Marshall Field's being so crowded you had to line up to get on the escalators. And that wasn't Christmas, it was a weekday during the summer on our family vacation from Ohio. The 7th floor food halls were so crowded you could barely get through. What happened???

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 11:00
Posted by: John K (From FB, 7.27.18),

Marshall Field did have wide rubber tread escalators I think on the Wabash side. Possibly they originally were wood tread? Women's spike heels were just coming into fashion in the early 60s. They were a headache for the Frain ushers working the escalators at Christmas. Often got stuck in the space and you had to stop

The escalator and pull out or call mtnc. "Watch your step, please hold the handrail, two to a step please"! Can hear the mantra in my sleep. Many days for 4 seasons doing same while working for Frain.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:59
Posted by: Steve G. (From FB, 7.27.18),

Beth: I believe you are correct. Escalators with this trim appear to be identified on the almighty internet as 1930's and "new." I remember escalators of this style going all the way up to at least 9. I've never seen pics of wooden escalators at Field's. We also had Westinghouse escalators at Dayton's in Minneapolis downtown, assuming they're the same vintage!

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:59
Posted by: Beth W. (From FB, 7.27.18),

As I've mentioned, I walk through the store everyday from the Red Line/pedway out to Wabash/Washington to catch the L. I've always admired the sleek design of the escalators, but lately have been taking a closer look at the details. (These are NOT the atrium escalators). I see they are Westinghouse and also the handrails are much lower than I encounter in other places. I'm short, so that's great for me! I did search through the group postings first before asking: Are these indeed still the original 1930s era escalators and are Westinghouse escalators still in use in the other stores? I'm just curious about the design of them really.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:58
Posted by: Deidra. (From FB, 7.27.18),

I shopped @ Field's since I was very young. And then I worked at State Street in the Credit/Merch Adjustment dept in the mid, late 70's. I miss the high standards that used to be expected of every employee even those not in sales. It seemed that it was a badge of honor to work @ Field's.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:57
Posted by: Jim M. (From FB, 7.24.18),

Timothy: Field's and Macy's used to do a Frango pop-up at Woodfield during the holidays. It was located near or even in the center court on the way to the Nordstrom/Lord & Taylor wing. There was talk that Garrett would try something similar last holiday season but it didn't happen.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:56
Posted by: Tim N. (From FB, 7.24.18),

Garrett should do Frango pop-up locations for the holidays.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:55
Posted by: Jim M (From FB, 7.24.18),

Michael: Thank you for the update. I did not know about this. I 've been wondering how the kiosk at water Tower Place would do since they have Frango's for sale at Macy's next-door with the option purchasing them at Macy's next-door with the option of less expensive Marshall Fields/Macy's configuration boxes. It seems like I hear that most like them because they're from Marshall Field's or at least they remind them of Marshall Field's

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:54
Posted by: Michael D (From FB, 7.24.18),

The Frango boutique at Water Tower Place has closed. According to their website, it appears none are open but one is opening soon in Navy Pier. This doesn't seem to be a good sign.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:53
Posted by: Matt M. (From FB, 7.11.18),

Jim: Very interesting, thanks!

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:52
Posted by: Jim M. (From FB, 7.11.18),

Matt: From all that I have read, MayCo wanted to merge, and in the early 2000s they seemed to think they were en route to insolvency. Federated seemed to be the obvious pairing from May's perspective; Federated seemed (and I think rightfully so) that MayCo stores were weaker, so they weren't interested. (My opinion is that many of the stores Macy's now being closed are former MayCo locations, so I think Federated has good reason not to be interested in May before Field's.) Target was under pressure from investors to sellField's/Dayton's/Hudson's

because while it was modestly profitable, its profits were not increasing as fast as the Target division. (I believe around 2004, the department stores had profits around 2% while Target was closer to 6%.) In early 2004, Industry analysts thought a fair price for all of Field's was between $2.1 billion to $2.4 billion. Federated and Selfridges bids were rumored to be in that range; May Department Stores ended up paying about $3.2 billion, as I recall. I thought this all as internet hearsay and oblique commentary until Terry Lundgren suggested that this was the case during a student lecture at Ohio State maybe 4-5 years ago. I can't quote his exact words, but gist seemed to be that he didn't want to go higher on Field's in 2004, because he had a feeling he could buy all of MayCo including Field's not too soon after and thought he was vindicated.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:52
Posted by: Matt M. (From FB, 7.11.18),

Jim M: Why do you think May wanted to be sold to Federated?

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:51
Posted by: Jim M. (From FB, 7.11.18),

Steve Grobe: Yes. It was in the May 6, 2004 issue of the Chicago Tribune. But the one part not everyone may not have heard--and it's a rumor, albeit one I've heard a lot-- is that May Department Stores way outbid Federated/Macy's and Selfridges Group for Marshall Field's with the intention that Federated/Macy's, Inc. then would then be enticed to buy all of May Department Stores in order to get Field's. And then, as you said, we all know how that played out.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:51
Posted by: Steve G. (From FB, 7.11.18),

When Field's was put on the market by TGT, and ultimately purchased by May Co, Selfridges was a company that was also rumored to have been interested, but we all know how it ultimately played out...

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:50
Posted by: Susan C (From FB, 7.11.18),

WE want Selfridges to own Field's.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:50
Posted by: Jim (From FB, 7.11.18),

How can the owners of Selfridges who love their emporium so much that they install a plaque commemorating the 100th Anniversary of an addition to their London flagship also not want to own the store where their founder learned his trade? Of course Selfridges wants to own and operate Marshall Field's on State Street as well...of course they do.

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:48
Posted by: Jim (From FB, 7.9.18),

"A store should be a social centre, not merely a place for shopping."

--Harry Gordon Selfridge

Date: Tues, August 14, 2018, 10:47
Posted by: Charles (From FB, 7.7.18),

Purchased in the early 1970s, when I was a graduate student, in Marshall Field's housewares department, ninth floor, North Wabash, and still in use in our kitchen in Wichita today: a colander and whisk.

Date: Tues, August 07, 2018, 19:33
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Three of us who regularly support Field's Fans activities attended the Chicago Landmarks Commission meeting, including the Permit Review Commitee meeting during the second half. In addition to Gloria, Tim, and myself, Ward Miller from Preservation Chicago and another gentleman whose name I don't have also spoke about what is basically splitting the Marshall Field and Company building into largely two functionally separate buildings. In addition, an attorney representing Macy's, along with architects representing Macy's and Brookfield were also present. Two of the architects spoke.

Floors 8 and up are being sold to developer Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield intended to develop these floors into leased office space.

Keep in mind that this committee has as its charge to make sure that the historic architectural elements are left in tact in a context that is consistent wit that history. So pragmatically the main concern is that the exterior elements are visually compatible with the historic fa'ade; that interior changes also do not permanently change historic spaces and elements.

Some of the floors have been largely vacant or used for storage since at least the early 1990s, if not earlier. When Dayton/Hudson/Target (DHT) moved buyers to Minneapolis in the early 1990s, floors were left vacant. Floor 13 has been vacant since the late 1990s when DHT moved Frango production to Eastern Pennsylvania. Store management space has been shrinking. Macy's management on 9 & then 8 is moving to lower floors.

To me, what's sad about losing floors 8 & 9 is that, through various casual discussions through the years, believe if Field's were to come back, there would be demand for retail space on these floors from vendor who want to be associated with the Field's name but not Macy's.

Moreover, I'm unhappy that the tradition of customers being able to take photos of The Walnut Room tree from 8 will no longer be possible.

On the other hand, some of these floors have been vacant for almost 25 years; they will be back on the tax rolls and bring people to the building. It's just too bad they don't see that operating the building as Field's would bring people back to the building in droves!!!

Through the decades there have been proposals to convert the upper floors to hotel rooms; a data center; offices; shuffling of Field's retail space to accommodate a Target store in the building, and even a casino! Some of these schemes have even considered placing elevators on the outside of the building somehow, etc.


The fact of the matter is that the entire block that makes up the Marshall Field and Company Building--where Macy's operates on the lower floor-- is not completely landmarked.

Most notably, the new atrium opened in the early 1990s is not landmarked (nor is much of the 1893 section at Washington/Wabash). Because of that Macy's and Brookfield have chosen this space to create a new lobby with elevators that will lead to floors 8 and above where the new office space will be located.

The entry will be from Washington Street where Holden Court used to be located. There will be a relatively thin, metal and glass canopy over the entrance. The canopy will feature a modern graphic that takes its cues from the shafts of wheat from the Marshall Field coat of arms. The signage consists of what appear to be the number "28" as a graphic which I assume will be the address on Washington.

Walking (north) into the former 1990s atrium space from Washington, there will be maybe 30'-50' of common space flanked by entrances to the State Street and Wabash Avenue sides of the store on the left and right. Walking further north into the former Holden Court/ former atrium space will be a second set of doors which will feature lobby with 14 elevators beyond--7 on the left and right sides.

This will all occur the space that had been occupied by the south half of the 1990s atrium. This space had included the Chanel area, the visitors desk (with the giant light up Field's clock behind it) along with the Burnham Fountain. If you remember standing on the first floor at the top of the escalators to the lower level, it is from that point to Washington that will be cut off from the store to make the new lobby. The atrium windows with the floor by floor department descriptions in gold on the Field's green background will be gone.

The escalators from the first floor to the lower level will be rotated to run east and west; the distance from the escalators to the wall to the Washington Street side will be about the same as from escalators to the Randolph side edge.

So while not historic or landmarked, much of this dramatic 1990s atrium will be lost. Because the new atrium not landmarked, the Landmarks Commission is largely limited to impacting how the space is changed.

Additionally, Brookfield plans to build an outdoor terrace on the roof of the Washington side of the building.

They also will be extending the elevator lobby structure to the 14th floor which will not be visible to pedestrians on the street.

The Burnham Fountain will be relocated to be the focus of Middle Wabash.

The Landmarks Commission was very insistent that this terrace that these two elements have minimal and preferably no visibility from pedestrians on the street.

If you go to my post from last Wednesday, you can read what elements were discussed.

Because the space has been vacant for so long and there largely no historic changes, I believe all of us present supported the plans but with sadness that Field's isn't back. There's not really any legal reason that the architectural details can be opposed.

Gloria Evensen, a regular participant in Field's Fans activities, was the first asked to speak. She may wish to elaborate, but in general, what I heard was Gloria expressing concern that Macy's has done a poor job of keeping up the building and that this would lead to further diminishment.

Next to speak was the gentlemen who I think I may have met before, whose name I do not remember. He expressed concern about the signage. He wanted to make sure if it was minimal, if I understood correctly. There was some discussion about that and how further reviews were to be considered.

I was then called to speak. My message was that this store is of international importance as architecture that is a primary influence on department store and retail design in North America and Europe for the past 150 years. Several years ago, I attended the Landmark Commission's hearings on the Carson, Pirie Scott store's conversion to Target. Then, there were problems finding tenants to take over the former Carson Pirie Scott store and there was this sense that people were just glad to have a retailer occupy the space. I assured the commission that this should not be the same consideration with the Field's building--Macy's is not the only tenant that could and would want to run this store, and mentioned Selfridges as among the potential operators. Even though Carson's, Sears, and others are deeply troubled or going out of business, State Street is still viable as a world class destination emporium. For that reason, Macy's needs to be held to much stringent standards.

Furthermore, Macy's has had some precedence with other flagships such as Seattle, Portland, Wannamakers in Philly, Abraham and Straus in Brooklyn, and others where they continue to shrink the stores to sell off space for offices. That should not be allowed to happen with State Street.

I also mentioned that it would be a loss to lose public access to the 8th floor Walnut Room overlook.

Tim Eischen, a former Field's employee also spoke. He is known to post in our Facebook forum. I will cross post his own comments here. A main concern was that the building not be diminished and, as I heard it, he felt that the modern Washington Street entrance canopy was not to consistent or sympathetic to the building's exterior.

Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago also spoke. His group is focussed on preserving the historic architecture. Among his requests was that Brookfield pay for restoring the historic cornice, canopies details and other architectural details that were removed from the building many decades ago; he also asked that Macy's restore the Marshall Field's name and run Field's as shop or store in part of the building if not the full building.

There was audience applause for the Pro-Field's comments offered--that is very unusual for Landmarks Commission hearings.

Architects representing Brookfield (the developer of the lobby and upper floors) and Macy's also briefly spoke at the request of the commission. They expressed that they were thrilled and humbled to work on the project and wanted to use great sensitivity. Macy's architects are Atunovich Architects which do other higher end retail in Chicago. Antunovich's architect spoke with us briefly in the hall outside to assure us of his attempts to be sensitive to the Field's legacy, as well as answer to Macy's. (I understand if you hear some "Macy-ese" in those last couple of sentences.)

The Landmarks Commission staff recommended:

- The New dedicated office entrance on the south fa'ade is approved as proposed. Storefront and door details shall be submitted with permit plans;

- The two proposed metal canopies at the new office entrance are approved as proposed. Canopy details to be submitted as part of the permit application;

- Exterior signage is not approved at this time. Details are to be submitted for Historic Preservation staff review and approval when available;

- All interior changes including the new office lobby and relocation of the fountain are approved as proposed. Details of the new sliding partitions and redesigned retail pads and fixtures shall be included with the permit plans; and,

- As proposed, the rooftop deck glass railings shall be set back 5' from the inner face of the parapet along State Street and Washington and 10' from the inner face of the parapet along Wabash Avenue. The roof trellis shall be set back 30' from the inner face of the western parapet. Details of the railings shall be included with the permit plans. All vegetation should be low growth with no trees or tall shrubs.

Thanks to all who participated. As implied above, there will be other hearings so stay in touch and plan to participate.

Date: Tues, August 07, 2018, 18:01
Posted by: Jim McKay,


I don't have your email on file but you can email me at jjmckay at



Date: Mon, August 06, 2018, 13:23
Posted by: Erick,

Does anyone have a copy of the renderings that Macy's presenting to the Chicago Landmarks Comission on August 2?

Date: Wed, August 01, 2018, 19:17
Posted by: A State Street Spectator,

Thank you for notice about the hearing. I plan to be there.

Date: Wed, August 01, 2018, 17:46
Posted by: Jim McKay,


Tomorrow ,at 2 pm at Chicago City Hall, there will be a hearing on the architectural changes at the State Street store.

Here is the agenda:

All you have to do is show up at the 2:00 PM meeting. When you sign in, simply indicate that you are here about the changes to the Marshall Field and Company Building. Everyone from the CIty to Macy's to Brookfield Co. (the new owners of floors 8 and up) will see that people still care. I know it's short notice but especially if you take a late lunch, you can probably leave by 2:30 pm or sooner.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: The purpose of this meeting is simply to discuss whether the proposed architectural changes are appropriate to the landmarked architecture of the 1893-1914 building. What this is NOT is a forum to protest Macy's and bring back Field's. (That is suited to our rallies of the Macy's stockholders meeting, to name two examples.)

The majority of the changes are proposed for a part of the building that is from the late 1980s/early 1990s that largely is eligible to be changed. As an architectural professional, I believe most of the changes are acceptable, and moreover, given that the upper floors have been off the tax rolls for almost 25 years, it's overall an acceptable design. There are a few caveats, but the City's preservation committee appears to be addressing those.

Again, the goal is to demonstrate that Chicago still cares about this building and imply continued interest in Field's return. Why does this matter? We want to make it clear that further shrinking the store part of the building in the future would be met with resistance. So please come! You just have to sign in--you don't even have to stand up and testify or speak.

Two other details: One, occasionally they do not have a quorum so let me know if you are coming by emailing jjmckay at me dot com and I will email you if they cancel. Two, business casual or full business attire is highly recommended although not required.

I will be there.

Date: Wed, August 01, 2018, 17:37
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Thanks for your patience!

In the few days, some items from our sister forum at Facebook will be posted here.

Best regards,


Webmaster and Co-organizer

Our blog was on hiatus from June 29-July 31, 2018, but now is back.

Thank you for your support and here's to the once and future Marshall Field's!

Date: Thurs, June 28, 2018, 19:55
Posted by: gle,


Date: Thurs, June 28, 2018, 11:32
Posted by: robert braeckmans,

It was good to see people out at the parade.

My husband and I were Field's employees and we still miss it!

Date: Thurs, June 28, 2018, 11:32
Posted by: braeckmans robert,

Time to bring back Marshall Field's, indeed!

Date: Thurs, June 28, 2018, 08:30
Posted by: Becky Ford,

Cool to see the sujpport!

Date: Mon, June 25, 2018, 20:40
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Here's over two dozen more photos from yesterday's Chicago Pride Parade 2018. People more than ever want Marshall Field's to come back to State Street.

Keep in mind that these photos were taken after people approached us! We were also walking on the sidewalk BEHIND the backs of the parade viewers. If we have to do this next year, maybe we'll go out before the parade so more are aware of us.

In all, we gave out over 1200 pin-on buttons. Our button program started in a few phases. First, Gail H. printed and distributed "Forever Marshall Field's" lapel stickers back in the Spring 2006. Then a new wave of the Pin-on buttons started when Field's leafleter Doris Ray started the pin on buttons in late 2006. She took some money she had earmarked for car repairs and spent them on 200 "I WANT MY MARSHALL FIELD'S" pin on buttons. She was so generous and selfless. Since them dozens of you have paid for more buttons, including especially Gail, Gayle, Alfred, John, Zelda, and many, many more.

I mention all this because we have not seen or heard from Doris in about a decade. I'm happy to report that while I was passing out buttons at the parade, I was approached by a friend of Doris! If you wish more details, please email me privately at jjmckay at me dot com. Send her prayers.

Below are thumbnails of the best of yesterday's photos--be sure to look for our new lime green pin-on buttons:

Thanks to all who made it possible, especially Doris Ray.

Date: Mon, June 25, 2018, 20:23
Posted by: gle,

I am so glad Field's Fans were able to be at the Pride event on Sunday. Love our new mint green "Time to Bring Back Marshall Field's "buttons! I've got one on my desk at work.

Date: Mon, June 25, 2018, 11:10
Posted by: STAN LOOK,


Hack and take money directly from any ATM Machine Vault with the use of ATM Programmed Card which runs in automatic mode. email ( for how to get it and its cost .

Date: Sun, June 24, 2018, 12:22
Posted by: Peter kay,

I have some Marshal Fields shopping bags and a few Frango boxes I'd like to give to another MF Fan. I'm keeping some items I have for myself but have way more than I need and we downsized houses. I live just west of Grand and Harlem. Thank you.

Date: Sun, June 24, 2018, 12:20
Posted by: Peter kay,

Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:55
Posted by: Mary Anne,

Wish Field's was back! Macy's can't compare!

Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:44
Posted by: Jim McKay,

JOIN US AGAIN THIS YEAR as we distribute pin-on buttons and take selfies supporting Marshall Field's return to State Street. It's a little different than when we stand underneath the clock ' The crowd is a bit more energetic--but email me at jjmckay AT me DOT com if you would like to help. Just as a little test for this brightly-colored, very festive event, we're going to give out 1,000 lime-green pin-on buttons this time.

It's often forgotten that one of the first gay-friendly employers in Chicagoland was Marshall Field's. Even back over 70 years ago, Marshall Field's, along with salons, bath houses, and interior design studios were among some of the very few places gay people could work, be out and not fired. More than a few long-term gay couples met while working at Marshall Field's. Marshall Field's was a pioneer in gay culture.

Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:43
Posted by: Steve G,

RE: The photos of Field's 2003-2005:

I can't tell you what the motivation was at the corporate level at TGT, but I can tell you, in the furniture division, where I worked, we were 100% dedicated to moving the history and the integrity of the Marshall Field's brand into the future.

Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:43
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Amazing photos here of Marshall Field's comeback Branding circa 2003-2005.


Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:42
Posted by: Steve G,

Regarding Trend House: I personally lost a lot of sleep making sure that things like light fixtures and accessory details made it to the Trend House in time for the gala openings. The entire furniture division loved Trend House. We even built one at Southdale in Minnesota, it was such a great way to support our very successful interior design studio.

Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:41
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Many people forget about Trend House. This is where Marshall Field and Company really excelled. In the Elle article below, you'll find more than a few examples of Marshall Field setting the trend for furniture. That's something Macy's really does not do.


Some ideas were surprisingly ahead of their time, while others haven't exactly aged well.

Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:40
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Garrett Popcorn's Frango brand is celebrating 100 years.

Happy birthday! 🎂🎉🎊🎈🍧👍(Of course, the Frango dessert was invented 12 years after Marshall Field's passing; the mint meltaways we all know & love 💚💚💚didn't come about until later in the 1920s'most agree just weeks or a few months before Frederick & Nelson decided to sell itself to Marshall Field & Company.

Date: Tues, June 19, 2018, 19:40
Posted by: Jim McKay,

It's not healthy for our blog to often feature non-Field's-related posts, but occasionally an outside example demonstrates what we're trying to achieve here. In this case, the folks behind the grassroots group to save and restore Michigan Station in Detroit have given us advice and inspiration in our quest to restore Marshall Fields as both a name and a type of store on State Street. It's been 30 years since Michigan Station closed, and now it's about to come back to life, thanks largely to the efforts of a grassroots group like ours. The station has been on the brink of death and destruction more than a few times. Of course, the cynic in me points out that it's reuse is not 100% what people would've expected--so far it's not going to be a train station again. Tangentially, I would like to point out that we've heard from more than a few people, most significantly some former Minneapolis folks, that our efforts have indeed made a difference, putting the brakes on what could have been a much sadder story at State Street. Thanks for being a part of our quest bring back Marshall Fields and name and spirit at State Street.

How Ford plans to resurrect the train station

Date: Sat, June 16, 2018, 16:54
Posted by: Jim,

Michael B.

Thank you for comments. Actually, it's what we have largely been saying.

You wrote:


"Someone mentioned Selfridges. Remember, Selfridges does not have a ton of locations. They have one store in all of London, and that is in central London. They have not diluted their brand or stores by opening a ton of branches in every little mall or location.

I think this may be the key to North American stores, where they have to go back to operating one, good, high quality flagship in the downtown."


YES! Not just someone but hundreds --thousands?-- of people have mentioned. Check out our front web page. Moreover, we are advocating for one world-class Marshall Field's.

Date: Sat, June 16, 2018, 09:21
Posted by: Michael B ,

Concerning Lord & Taylor, it should be noted that the Hudson's Bay Company currently has a shareholder who is only interested in the company selling off prime real estate, and he does not seem to care about the retail business Hudson's Bay operates. This is likely the reason behind the closure of the flagship store in Manhattan.

This same shareholder has wanted them to sell off the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan and convert it into condos or something, just to get a one time cash infusion for their stock prices.

The company is also sadly selling or looking at selling and then leasing back their flagship stores in Canadian cities. They already sold the flagship store in Toronto and lease back the space, and they are now looking at selling the Vancouver flagship and leasing back the space.

This is all for a money grab and is sad, given the company has owned many of these stores for 100 years or more.

It should be noted that Hudson's Bay's Canadian department stores are doing well, and sales are increasing. However, the American brands they bought are dragging the company down.

Someone mentioned Selfridges. Remember, Selfridges does not have a ton of locations. They have one store in all of London, and that is in central London. They have not diluted their brand or stores by opening a ton of branches in every little mall or location.

I think this may be the key to North American stores, where they have to go back to operating one, good, high quality flagship in the downtown.

Date: Fri, June 08, 2018, 15:10
Posted by: Ben, Hampshire, IL,

That's very interesting about the different values of names like Marshall Field's, Lord and Taylor, and on and on.

Everyone loved Field's!

Date: Thurs, June 07, 2018, 18:50
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Thanks for posting Eric. I read that editorial on line earlier today but somehow I missed that!! I wouldn't have seen it had you not posted.

A response was issued from @FieldsFansChgo account on Twitter at 3:19 pm today:


Replying to @chicagotribune @Trib_ed_board

"MarshallField's became Macys because creative destruction is a key attribute of free enterprise In that spirit, stockholders at the annual Macy's meeting 3 weeks ago in Cinci complained about loss in value from "creative destruction" of MF's up to $419M according to estimates

Date: Thurs, June 07, 2018, 11:23
Posted by: Eric B,

Here is a quote from an editorial in today's Chicago Tribune, lamenting the newspaper's move from the iconic building which it has occupied since 1925:

"Sure, it would be nice if the Tribune stayed at 435 N. Michigan Ave., just as it would be nice if Marshall Field & Co., beloved as it was, existed today. But it became Macy's because creative destruction is a key attribute of free enterprise."

Link to full editorial:

Date: Tues, June 05, 2018, 15:43
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Regarding Steve G's item about Lord and Taylor closing its flagship, despite its legendary name, Marshall Field's has been much more valuable than Lord and Taylor.

At the time of the May Department Stores merger, Lord and Taylor PLUS 12 other May names, including the likes of Foley's, Filenes, Famous, etc, plus the bridal business names were valued in official SEC 10K filings with a total of less than $190 million COMBINED. By comparison, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and their tradenames (retired department store names, INC, Alfani, etc) had an official, combined value of $377 million. Also: Marshall Field's trade names (not including Dayton's and Hudson's) were legally valued at $419 Million, although unofficially, some put this number closer to $330M.

Date: Tues, June 05, 2018, 12:15
Posted by: Steve G,

Lord and Taylor now entirely closing its Fifth Avenue flagship. Very sad. Without these flagships, the chains lose their identity. When Macy's closed Lord and Taylor at Water Tower, it was in part assumed that it was also to send business to a languishing Macy's that lost business after it dumped Field's. But Lord and Taylor became an "also-ran" in Chicago after that. I'm sure the whole Lord and Taylor chain will be gone soon, just like how the loss of Carson's on State eventually resulted in Carson's going-out-of-business. I know some here wanted Hudson's Bay to buy Field's on State Street, but I'm grateful that they did not just because of this example.

Hudson's Bay to close up to 10 Lord & Taylor stores, including Fifth Avenue in New York

Date: Mon, June 04, 2018, 19:36
Posted by: gle,

It looks like Selfridge's is the only store in the world that is thriving. Whatever they are doing right, we could use it on State Street in Chicago.

Date: Mon, June 04, 2018, 14:49
Posted by: Jim,


Macy's buys Field's; Sears and Kmart are mushed together. Neither works out too well for Chicago. "

Crain's Chicago Business is observing it's 40th Anniversary. The piece below has a year-by-year timeline of major events including the 2005 item above.

Also featured is the premier issue with a 1978 headline about Field's opening in Northbrook and Dundee and another reference to Field's being gone, as well as photo showing Carson Pirie Scott's plaque as part of a Chicago flood photo.

BTW: I've heard on multiple occasions that Marshall Field's becoming Macy's was supposedly the top topic ever in the 10-year-plus history of the now-moth-balled "Chicagoist" news site.

Date: Mon, June 04, 2018, 14:48
Posted by: Jim,

We had a little bit of a hiccup where you couldn't post since Friday evening. Things should now be functioning again where you can post. Thanks for your patience!


Date: Thurs, May 31, 2018, 19:23
Posted by: Michael D.,

The new book, "What's With Chicago" has a spread on the Marshall Field and Company Great Clocks.

Date: Thurs, May 31, 2018, 19:22
Posted by: Bob C,

To me, the best part of Selfridges recognition as world's best department store is remembering Selfridges in the 1980's as a very mid-market store in a building that felt worn and not cared for.

It shows that with investment and focus, a store can bounce right back to the very top of the industry versus here in the US where it seems it's only been slow steadily declines for our great flagship stores with the possible exceptions of John Wanamaker and RH Macy buildings which seem to have not just stabilized but even growing again.

Date: Tues, May 29, 2018, 16:43
Posted by: Jim McKay,

LONDON, Friday 25th May - At the Global Department Store Summit held this week in London (GDSS2018), the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS) announced last night that Selfridges has been recognised as the Best Department Store in the World for an unprecedented fourth time, and will retain the honour until 2020.

It's too bad that Selfridges Group doesn't also run Marshall Field's on State Street...

Date: Sun, May 27, 2018, 17:38
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Word comes from our friends at Michigan Station Preservation that Detoit's Metropolitan Building is being revived with the first steps of new windows being installed. The building has been vacant since 1977; just a few years ago, demolition seemed a certainty.

Meanwhile, Michigan Station is being considered as a new headquarters for Ford. New windows have been installed.

So hope springs eternal and you never know what could change...

Date: Sun, May 27, 2018, 17:35
Posted by: Michael D.,

(Posted to FB on May 26):

The Chicago Tribune's new book, "Chicago Flashback," features Marshall Field's and State Street.

Date: Sun, May 27, 2018, 17:33
Posted by: Jim McKay ,

(Posted to FB on May 23):

The culture at Federated aka Macy's, Inc., parent of Bloomingdale's that acquired R.H. Macy & Co out of bankruptcy in 1994 has had a long-time, firmly-entrenched culture of long-times who stay decades and avidly support consolidation under the Macy's name and ethos. There's good and bad to that in general and from the perspective of Marshall Field's return. But more and more, the senior management is outsiders.

While CEO Jeff Gennette and Bloomingdale's President Tony Spring have spent practically all of their past 30+ years at Federated/Macy's, Inc, others are now outsiders. The new General Counsel is from OfficeDepot; the President of the Macy's division is from eBay. The guy who heads development from Home Depot. Now the new CFO comes from Peapod and CVS. Maybe the culture will change.

The outgoing CEO Karen Hoguet, at Federated for over 35 years, has been insistent on Field's not coming back, perhaps as much if not more than Terry Lundgren. At the same time, Hoguet is very well respected in financial circles for keeping Macy's out of debt. Debt has been a big issue for companies like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton/Carson's.

Ms. Price has been a financial officier at the US offices of Europe's Ahold which many of you will recognize for its grocery business names Peapod (grocery delivery Chicagoland and East coast), Stop & Shop (New England, NYC area), and Giant (Giant Carlisle-Pennsylvania and Giant Landover elsewhere in theMid-Atlantic). She is also a lecturer at Harvard.

Update with more information:

She's actually lived in Chicago for a time with a Bachelors from DePaul and a Masters from University of Chicago--so I'm sure that she knows Marshall Field's. But don't get too excited. The longest members of Federated/Macy's, Inc.'s board (for over two decades) and biggest proponents of getting rid of Field's spent a year or two as President of Illinois Institute of Technology in the late 1980s. And see what happened...


Macy's names new chief financial officer, replacing retiring Cincinnatian Karen Hoguet - Cincinnati Business Courier

Cincinnati-based department store chain Macy's Inc. has named a new chief financial officer, replacing retiring Karen Hoguet, the highest-ranking executive in the Queen City office.

Date: Sun, May 27, 2018, 17:27
Posted by: Michael B,

I picked up a 1925 trade journal on ebay called Chicago Merchant Economist and Dry Goods Reporter. It features a Marshall Field wholesale ad encouraging merchants to come to Chicago the week of November 30-December 5, 1925, extolling the special discounts that will extended to wholesalers.

Date: Sun, May 20, 2018, 17:29
Posted by: gle,


Date: Sun, May 20, 2018, 15:56
Posted by: Alfred ,


Date: Sun, May 20, 2018, 15:55
Posted by: Heather B.,

I absolutely love the Cubs sign!

Date: Sun, May 20, 2018, 15:55
Posted by: Timothy E.,

Sorry I can't be there with you. Wishing you guys all the best (at the stockholders meeting in Cincinnati)!

Date: Fri, May 18, 2018, 2:00 pm
Posted by: Jim McKay, Cincinnati

Thank you to all who helped make today activities at the Macy's stockholders meeting in Cincinnati possible, especially Frank and Bernice. I made some brief comments on why it matters to Macy's stockholders and customers alike to have Marshall Field's return to State Street. Afterwards, three of us held a mini rally in front of Macy's/Bloomingdale's/Bluemercury headquarters. See the photo below. I will comment more over the weekend.

Date: Thurs, May 17, 2018, 21:35
Posted by: gle,


Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:35
Posted by: Jim McKay,

This morning's Q1 2018 Conference call with Macy's Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette and outgoing CFO, Karen Hoguet did not mention Marshall Field's specifically. However, they did say on several occasions that the tourist stores and tourism sales are doing a lot better than they have in quite a while, up by 10% if I heard correctly. Macy's really did exceptionally this pasty quarter, beating all estimates, seemingly surprising even themselves with positive business every week.

Mr. Gennette also said that Macy's was very focussed on experience. I ask, what better experience is there than Marshall Field's? Most all of Chicago wants Marshall Field's back at State Street.

Here are a couple of articles from the Wall Street Journal that sum things up:

Macy's: A Miracle on 34th Street?

The department store once again exceeded expectations in the face of skepticism


Macy's Shows Signs of Life After Prolonged Slump

Strong quarterly sales prompts the retailer to lift its earnings guidance

One reader comment with the most "likes" as of this posting--a little harsh but discusses Marshall Field's:

--begin reader comment--


8 hours ago

I thought when Macy's acquired Marshall Fields they woudl be smart enogh to terminate the nitwits at Macy's and install Fields personnel and buyers.

Unfortunately I was disappointed. Thus we have another "strategy" that will resolve nothing.

By the way has anyone ever actually found a "sales person" in Macy's?

--end reader comment--

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:25
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 5/10/18),

Does anyone remember when Charles, 9th Earl Spencer visited State Street? We ran an event with the Althorp Living History Collection when I was a furniture team buyer. It was a spectacular event! The collection was featured at the base of the then recently-completed staircase up to the 9th floor.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:23
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 5/10/18),

People have asked me questions about the remodeling at State Street. The staff at the store will be glad to tell you about it.

As I understand it, the area where the new lobby including new elevators to upper floors eight and higher for the new office and work space will be located in the south end of the former Holden Court area which is now an atrium. It's also the area where the Choose Chicago vistor's center (From circa 2015) was located on the lower level, where the old Field's visitors center was located on the first floor (with the big light up clock) and where the Burnham fountain was. Towards the south, this is were Holden Court used to be and most recently Chanel fragrances. The visitor center has moved to Randolph/Wabash, by the Randolph entrance opposite men's underwear and online order pick up. Altering this space, the former Holden Ct/new atrium area, does not require approval from historic preservation groups and agencies because it is not part of the land marking, and that's because it's less than 30 years old. The Burnham fountain is in storage but will make a comeback in another part of the store.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:18
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 5/2/18),

re: Macy's is bringing Backstage shopping concept to Chicago

Mary Anne Razim-Fitzsimons: yes, Macy's is iconic in New York, but as a middle tier, less classy store. And anybody in New York who knows about Marshall Fields, knows that it was a much better store. In fact, a huge reason why I got involved in the cause was that when it was announced that State Street was becoming Macy's, I was at a wedding in New York City. All the New Yorkers kept coming up to me, to say how sad they were that Marshall Fields was becoming Macy's. As a couple of people put it, we don't care for your sports teams, but we sure preferred Marshall Fields.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:18
Posted by: Mary Anne R., (from FB, 5/2/18),

re: Macy's is bringing Backstage shopping concept to Chicago

Macy's is iconic in New York. In Chicago it's just an interloper.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:17
Posted by: Jeannie W., (from FB, 5/2/18),

re: Macy's is bringing Backstage shopping concept to Chicago

So Macy's Backstage will offer "value, newness, a special treat for yourself". Field's used to have an entire store that did just that.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:17
Posted by: Michael D., (from FB, 5/2/18),

re: Macy's is bringing Backstage shopping concept to Chicago

Keep thinking they'll add one to State as part of their renovations. Already an Off Fifth and Rack practically across the street.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:16
Posted by: Mike P., (from FB, 5/2/18),

re: Macy's is bringing Backstage shopping concept to Chicago

At River Oaks, its only Macy's and JC Penney as the anchor stores..I only know of a handful of chain stores at RO in a way this does not surprise me....(and the only reason I go to River Oaks is to go to FYE which I am surprised is still there too)

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:16
Posted by: Jim McKay., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Macy's is bringing Backstage shopping concept to Chicago


Old Orchard and River Oaks (I guess that means River Oaks will stick around for a little longer, if only as a Hail Mary pass. )

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:14
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on "Story"

James, I'm sure you could tell my response was a little tongue in cheek, but the truth is I believe our management wanted it BAD! We thought we had the chops to run it well, and I think we did. We also thought that being owned by a retailer (DHC) rather than an investment company (BATUS) would be seen as a major plus. The major difference, though, is that we wanted to run it and make it even better, not force it into our pre-determined idea of what a department store was supposed to be. (We had been operating D and H with the motto "Best Store in Town." If you run it with that goal, you might just succeed.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:14
Posted by: Timothy E., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Selfridges not getting Field's....Such a tragic play of events.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:13
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

Jim: I can't imagine a company overpaying for Field's! Oh, wait, the company I worked for also overpaid (according to most of the articles written at the time) for Field's. I'm so glad they did. It was an amazing experience to buy products for Marshall Field's!

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:13
Posted by: Jim M., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

According to the Chicago Tribune on May 6, 2004, Selfridges was quietly one of the three bidders for Marshall Field's when it was for sale by Target. Federated/Macy's/Bloomingdale's was another of the bidders and of course May Department stores was the third bidder. It's rumored that May Department Stores bid perhaps 30% more than what the value was. This caused the other two to drop out. Some claim May Department Stores overbid just so they could own Field's and therefore make their whole company attractive to Federated as a takeover or merger when they would otherwise would not be. Of course, Federated did in fact announce the merger/acquisition with May nine months after they bought Field's.

Meanwhile, Columbia University's director of retail studies has this to say:

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:11
Posted by: Marty B., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

Galen Weston needs to ride in on a white horse.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:11
Posted by: Darrid M., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

(Macy's) will try to make it cheap and destroy it like everything else

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:10
Posted by: Timothy E., (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

I doubt Macy's would ever consider letting 111 N. State go. They would rather see the store flat-out die and the building re-purposed as yet another 'mixed use' facility, than to see another retailer come in and revive it - especially under the Field's name.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:10
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

I hear you, Marianne, Although sometimes I think the new regime there could leave it alone like Bloomingdale's and it would be relatively better. Still, my hope is that some activust shareholders would see how profitable it would be to Macy's to sell State Street to a better steward. But then again, things could always get even worse

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:09
Posted by: Marianne, (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

Well said. But having seen how Macy's runs its stores, I no longer want them to be the ones to restore Field's.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:09
Posted by: Steve G, (from FB, 5/2/18),

Re: Story on Macy's acquiring Story:

Interesting, but not really a new concept. At my department store, we had themed merchandise promotions frequently. As a merchant, I always understood the importance of assortments that told a story, and that connected to the consumer on an emotional level. If you don't get excited by my merchandise stories, you won't give me your money. If you fall in love with my merchandise, it's a great relationship.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:08
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 5/2/18),

Macy's Acquires Story: A Small But Bold Move That Could Save The Department Store

Golly! All this endless searching around the country and ringing of hands, wondering what would be the next thing customers want when customers have made it loud and clear: millennials, baby boomers, everyone! They all overwhelmingly want Marshall Field's back in name and experience on State Street! It's a no-brainer! There's no need to make all these external acquisitions and and less surveys. Selfridges already runs their store just like Marshall Field's in London. It;sconsidered the most exceptional, successful, and profitable department store in the world right now. Macy's could have the same thing if They brought back Marshall Field's yet they scratch their heads. I think I should go and tell them this at the stockholders meeting, don't you? Maybe executives won't understand, but perhaps some major, influential shareholders will.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:06
Posted by: E.C., (from FB, 4/30/18),

I agree, it was a culture change.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:06
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 4/30/18),

To add to Jim's last comment:

...and a change to a completely different merchandising strategy.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:05
Posted by: Jim McKay., (from FB, 4/30/18),


Thank you for a great story and, moreover, making Marshall Fields what it was. My only caveat with your post is that it's quite evident it was much more than just a name change. It was a change in ethos.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:05
Posted by: Ed L., (from FB, 4/30/18),

Macy's doesn't even belong in the same breath as Marshall Field & Co

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:04
Posted by: Susan C., (from FB, 4/30/18),

acy's will never recover in Chicago from the name change.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:04
Posted by: E.C., (from FB, 4/30/18),

Was digging through my Marshall Field's collection... was digging through my closet and I had several bags saved up.

Interesting memory... I worked in a leased area (Sunglass Hut-State Street) when news broke that Macy's decided to change the name of Marshall Field's, we received a call from Chanel to take down all Chanel sunglasses from the floor within 3 days and send them back and Chanel will stop by and oversee the merchandise sent back including any damaged cases or sunglasses. We were the #2 store in the entire Sunglass Hut chain with Chanel sunglass sales. We sold on average 6-10 pairs a day. Our business took a big hit with the name change, including many people demanding me to cancel their credit cards. Chanel thought of Macy's as inferior. That week after the name change announcement was surreal. I still think Macy's has not fully recovered from this blunder, at least in the Chicagoland area.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:01
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 5/1/18),

Re: Historic Preservation magazine:

Lance: That's kind of what I meant! :-)

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 19:00
Posted by: Lance D., (from FB, 5/1/18),

Re: Historic Preservation magazine:

"Think of a different era...(before Macy's)

"...when Department Stores were exciting.(Unlike Macy's)


Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:59
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 5/1/18),

"Think of a different era, when department stores were exciting." Not a difficult concept to understand. It wasn't that long ago!

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:59
Posted by: Michael D, (from FB, 5/1/18),

The Spring Issue of "Preservation, the magazine of National Trust for Historic Preservation, has a page story on the Marshall Field's clock.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:58
Posted by: Steve G, (from FB, 5/1/18),


Thank you. Field's was certainly a solid business and a strong competitor until it was acquired by Federated Department stores.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:57
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 5/1/18),

Selle, the Tronc-owned Lake County News-Sun:

Carson's joins the roll call of failing retail brands

Opinion piece notes that rivalry between Field's and Carson's was muted when Field's became Macy's. I left my own response at the News-Sun FB page and the tronc website comments section.

The loss of Carson's occurred when Bon-Ton closed Carson Pirie Scott's State Street flagship instead of moving back in after the remodel. Without State Street, Carson's no longer had an identity. It became just another mall store. But really, Carson's ended when in 1989-90, it became Bergner's in every way but name.

It should also be noted that at the time that Macy's/Bloomingdale's parent, Federated, merged with May Department stores, the owner of Marshall Field's, the Marshall Field's tradenames were valued at $419M. Macy's/Bloomingdale's tradenames valued at $377M; the other May Department Store Company tradenames, including Lord & Taylor, were valued at $190M ***combined***. This is from Federated's and May Department Store's own Form 10K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2005 at the time of the merger. As Mr. Selle correctly implies, Field's did not go out of business; in fact, unlike Macy's and Bloomingdale's, Field's never even flirted with bankruptcy,

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:56
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 4/30/18),

Re: Wall Street Journal article:

This is another reason why people go online to shop. If you take the trouble to go to the store and then don't find anyone to help Or the help is paid so low that they are not really confident are qualified to offer intelligent assistance, you're better off looking at your Smart phone or buying from your computer.

Marty: I agree in certain ways. Younger generation is relatively uncomfortable with face to face interaction and prefers to text, the artificial semi-fantasy of social media--dealing face to face can be uncomfortable.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:55
Posted by: Marty, (from FB, 4/30/18),

Re: Wall Street Journal article:

Not sure the next generation places value on human interaction as related to the delivery of services other than with food and beverage.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:51
Posted by: Michael D., (from FB, 4/30/18),

Hello Macy's???

Retail's Other Problem: Too Few Clerks in the Store

Macy's, J.C. Penney and others have cut jobs even more than they have closed stores

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:49
Posted by: James McKay., (from FB, 4/27/18),

The 1700 block of Sherman in Evanston, featuring the landmark Marshall Field's store building is listed as one of Illinois most endangered:

Two North Shore Properties on Most Endangered List

The Stran-Steel House in Wilmette and the Varsity Theater Block in downtown Evanston were each identified as vulnerable properties on L...

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:48
Posted by: Kevin B., (from FB, 4/26/18),

Oh how sad (about the remodel). Thanks for the information.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:48
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 4/26/18),

Beth, (Scroll down a bit and I think there is more info in this blog.) There is all extensive, recent discussion on the "remodeling". The section by the Holden Court escalators and Burnhan Fountain is being remodeled to install elevators for floors 8 and up when it is converted to office rental space. The space between the fountain and Washington Street is not protected as a landmark since it was built less than 30 years ago. That space, including where Chanel was on the first floor will be the new lobby for the office space that is being carved out on floors 8-and up.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:46
Posted by: Heather B., (from FB, 4/26/18),

They also have shower curtains!

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:46
Posted by: Heather B., (from FB, 4/26/18),

Chicago Macy's Marshall Field's Clock In Black And White Tote Bag by Paul Velgos. The tote bag is machine washable, available in three different sizes


Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:43
Posted by: Jim McKay., (from FB, 4/24/18),

I also wonder how much competition with Macy's Bloomingdale's store in the same mall played into the decline and decision to greatly reduce china, silver, etc at Macy's Old Orchard. I don't understand how Bloomingdale's Old Orchard stays in business. Whenever I go in--weeknights or weekend afternoons, I never count more than 15-20 customers.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:41
Posted by: Timothy E., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Steve - re. Denby and 'casual' china... it was a no-win situation for the legacy manufacturers, because quality 'casual' dinnerware can cost almost as much as the formal stuff. So, for the folks who just wanna keep things 'casual', why bother with paying the prices that Lenox or Dansk or Villeroy & Boch are asking when they can find cheap, colorful options at Target or World Market, etc.?

Mikasa seemed to have been the one brand that managed to 'get it right' with good quality casual dinnerware at a 'fair' price.

Kevin Brennan - I have seen it, many times over the past several years. It keeps shrinking and shrinking and......

But see, here's the thing that seriously gets my blood boiling. Macy's has no clue - *no clue* - how to actually GROW a business let alone a department. They're not 'active' merchants (who actually know how to SELL stuff), they're passive retailers - too frightened (or just plain clueless) to do as Steve put it earlier, "own" the category.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:40
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Timothy Eischen: ...or the Nachtmann or the Schumann...

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:39
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Timothy: being a showroom for catalog and internet sellers became a problem for us as early as the 90's in furniture. That, unfortunately is largely due to the vendors not protecting their brands. Many of them did not value or protect their long-standing partners and opened distribution to new channel which in many cases led to a dilution of their brand and erosion of price.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:39
Posted by: Tim E., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Steve - Yep. And those are all trends that I, personally, am oh-so-sick of - ! I can never understand how anyone would *not* want a big, beautiful china cabinet - I mean, where else are you gonna store all the Limoges and St. Louis....??!

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:39
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Timothy...the rise of was a great opportunity in tabletop for brands like Denby, and a chance for our traditional vendors to try to branch out, but it's a hard niche to create value in. It was also really hard on Men's tailored and also in Furniture, we saw a huge shift in Dining Room...very much away from big china cabinets and formal tables and chairs to more casual sets and multi-purpose entertaining pieces like bars.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:38
Posted by: Tim E., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Another problem with actually stocking fine tabletop in-house is that time and time again customers would come into the store to see first hand all the different patterns, and then went home to buy it from any number of on-line sources. It costs stores a lot of money to stock and staff departments like that, and if folks aren't willing to pay the higher price that enables the store to maintain such a department, then it's doomed to disappear. Can't say I entirely blame the customer if she / he can find the same item at 40% less on eBay - but it's a shame to lose such wonderful departments. They showcased the variety of options that are out there, and educated consumers in all the various options that exist for refined living.

Steve Grobe - Agreed. A big factor has been that for 30+ years our society has been moving relentlessly in the direction of being ever more 'casual' - the whole generational mind-set that says "why bother with all that fuss...?" But these things are cyclical, and I sense there's an increasing appreciation for finer things lurking just over the horizon. When I entertain formally at home (which is fairly often), my younger friends are all thrilled. It's my guests of the generations older than me that chuckle and almost condescendingly scoff and ask me why I am going to all the "bother"!

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:37
Posted by: Jim M., (from FB, 4/24/18),

With the departments so mediocre, why make the trip, let alone be overtaken by a true quality, full-range of crystal, etc.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:37
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 4/24/18),

I also remember (more than a few years ago) making the trek downtown to Dayton's flagship to do the Bridal Registry. I think for lots of bridal couples it was a kind of a pilgrimage, back in the day.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:37
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Jim McKay: It's a downward spiral. Smaller decisions that make sense at the time make these businesses unrecoverable. It usually starts by eliminating the back stock. "We can ship that to you." Sounds like a good idea, but it probably negatively impacts the business another few percent. In reality that's the first chink in the armor. Eventually the business continues to shrink, floor space is taken, and eventually it's gone! I agree that a trip to the flagship would be a great way to go, and then you could bring a handful of best-sellers to the branches. The reality today, though, is that the stores don't seem to be embracing the concept of the flagship and what it means for brand image and status in the marketplace. I suppose at some point we'll be talking about fine china and crystal departments the same way we talk about fabric and notions departments...Remember when?

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:36
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 4/24/18),

I understand what you are saying, Steve Grobe. Rather than a small ineffective china, silver, and crystal department at all the stores, it would be so much better if they concentrated it as full-line nation destination at Marshall Field's State Street. People buy many of these things just a few times...they would be willing to make a day trip of it rather than 10' X 10' area as Zabella describes. Make an impact, don't water it down.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:36
Posted by: Steve G., (from FB, 4/24/18),

While this isn't easy for those of us who appreciate the history, all of that fine dining product has had declining sales for decades. Even when I was a buyer at DH/Field's, we would hear the stories about how this business was tough, and that bridal registries for that product were down. I will say, though that a smaller, more nimble store might have been able to minimize the impact. It's hard to say.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:35
Posted by: Zabella C., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Orland Square has tucked fine china into a 10 x 10 area......its a joke....stopped in Thursday

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:35
Posted by: Kevin B., (from FB, 4/24/18),

You should see the China Dept at State st. It is so much smaller. :-(

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:34
Posted by: Tim E., (from FB, 4/24/18),

As I'm sure you all know, Field's was renowned for having huge and entirely comprehensive fine china, silver, and crystal departments - the kind that drew shoppers into the store from across the Upper Midwest. Now, it's been reduced by about 85-90%, and squeezed into the housewares area, alongside the escalator bank. :-(

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:33
Posted by: Tim E., (from FB, 4/23/18),

Well, I visited my old Field's location today - Old Orchard - and to my great sadness discovered that the lower level is undergoing a total renovation. The former fine china and crystal areas are now completely gutted, down to the concrete and studs. Honestly, I'm surprised they kept it as it was for these past 10+ years - but it still breaks my heart.

(The area is being redone for Macy's Backstage.)

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:32
Posted by: Jim McKay, (from FB, 4/24/18),

Lance: Exactly as I tell the rare person who says something like "well, Marshall Fields was going downhill anyways"

And of course I say, a bad day at Field's was better than any day at Macy's does that mean thwy should run the store as Big Lots then since it's going down hill?"

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:32
Posted by: Lance D., (from FB, 4/24/18),

Marshall Field's on its worst day still had more class, style, and elegance than Macy's has on its best day.

Date: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:29
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Thank you for your patience while posting has been unavailable the past couple of weeks.

Above you will find some items from recent weeks at our Facebook page.

Here's to the once and future Marshall Field and Company on State Street.

Best regards,

Jim McKay

Date: Tues, April 24, 2018, 00:36
Posted by: David S,

Really Sad about Carson's & The Boston Store, Etc.

I liked visiting the Carson's on State, and luckily spent a day shopping at the Boston Store in Milwaukee once as well.

Recently our Flagship Burdines closed in Miami on Flagler Street. It was sad - went to the going out of business sale to pay my respects.

I think the downsizing of the Lord & Taylor building after this Christmas will be a terrible blow to New York. If you haven't been there go now. It's a beautiful store still, 10 Floors, 2 restaurants, and they just completed an amazing restoration which they will tear apart to become Wework next year.

As John Wanamaker once said "The Palaces of the People" will all soon be gone, and the future generations will be left with Amazon, and Walmart.....

Just visited Paris a couple weeks ago, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette seemed to be investing in their flagships like crazy, and man were they busy.......

I mention all this because I don't want to see Field's downsized anymore than 8 and above.

Bewildered by What's happening in the United States......

Date: Sun, April 22, 2018, 15:42
Posted by: gle,

In about two weeks time, two more options were eliminated for people who enjoy the hands-on experience of shopping, touching, looking and trying on. Yes, many of us still exist. We actually like to go out. Just sitting online doesn't cut it. I miss going to Marshall Fields, as well as Sears and Carson's. It made me feel better after work. Mariano's is about the only good place to go (and you don't find shoes or sweaters there). HOW I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MARSHALL FIELD'S RETURN TO STATE STREET.

Date: Wed, April 18, 2018, 18:51
Posted by: Jim McKay,

"Losing Marshall Field's was a blow to Chicago's identity; losing Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. makes Chicago a little less unique."

---Ernesto C.

This article may be behind a pay wall for you, but the gist is that The court has paved the way for Carson's (and sibling Bon-Ton Stores') liquidation.

All stores will begin liquidation with completion by August 31.


Bon-Ton to Liquidate Stores

Department-store operator's assets sold in bankruptcy auction to liquidation firms

Date: Wed, April 18, 2018, 13:29
Posted by: mikea,

Yes, sad day for Bon Ton and the regional stores along with the 20,000 staff that will be out of a job.

It was a mistake for Bon Ton to close state street. They could have downsized the store, and still kept a presence and the Carson's identity in Chicago. After State Street closed the remaining Carson's lost their Chicago identity.

Also this would have forced Macy's to keep State Street more of as a field's than Macy's store. Having both stores open would have enabled the competition to continue and would have brought more shoppers and tourists to State Street.

Most likely the better Bon Ton stores will be bought up by other retailers Belk, Macy's Dillard's JC Penney. Maybe Belk will buy a huge chunk including the better Carson's stores. It was rumored last year that Belk was interested in Bon Ton locations.

Date: Tues, April 17, 2018, 17:52
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Thanks to Michael Lisicky for bringing this to our attention. Bon-Ton's current CEO now says it's official. Carson's will go out of business. I really think a key mistake in Chicagoland was in 2006 when then CEO of Bon-Ton, Bud Bergren, decided to close Carson's on State Street rather than make a deal to come back after the building was re- developed by the troubled Joseph Freed Company. Without the State Street flagship, Carson's is no longer had an identity. Moreover, that first winter of 2006-07, when we were out on State Street, we counted 8 Carsons bags for every 1 Macy's bag. Moreover, I'm convinced that had they stayed on State Street, Macy's would have been forced to bring back Field's to State Street to compete with Carson's.

Elder-Beerman (& Carson's) to Close

All stores to close within 10-12 weeks.

Date: Fri, April 13, 2018, 19:56
Posted by: gle,

Just heard this morning that Sears is closing its last store in Chicago, Six-Corners. Yes, we need Selfridges to take over Marshall Field's more than ever!

Date: Wed, April 11, 2018, 18:00
Posted by: State Street Watcher,

If it's true about Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., then it's a very sad day indeed.

We need Selfridges to take over Marshall Field's more than ever!

Date: Wed, April 11, 2018, 12:22
Posted by: lukas graham,

Wall Street Journal reporting that the bankruptcy judge will not approve a plan by investors to buy Carson's and other stores owned by Bon-Ton. This means the only bids in next week's auction are all companies that want to liquidate the stores, including Carson's. This means that Carson's will likely be gone by mid-summer.

Carson's history is so intertwined with Field's, not the least of which is that Field's owned the land under the State Street store for many decades. Field's John G Shedd engineered Carson's moving to the State and Madison flagship in 1904. And for decades, it was Field's vs Carson's. So sad.

The Wall Street Journal article is headlined, "Bon-Ton Stores Headed for Liquidation"

Date: Sat, April 07, 2018, 22:48
Posted by: Rich,

Field's Credit Card as a Christnas Ornament ---

I REALLY Like that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Agree---TOO Many memories and ALL Great

I LOVED lunch in the downstairs Marketplace!!

GREAT MEATLOAF and Mashed Potatoes!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Store at Christmas was pure magic

the way clothing was wrapped in tissue and placed into the shopping bag!!!!

The inside pride of giving a gift in those magnificence green boxes!!!!!!!!!!!!

Too many memories ------ALL GOOD

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Missed !!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank You All and Thank You Jim

And I Agree -- Ms. Hoguet seemed to really dislike Field's!

Date: Fri, April 06, 2018, 18:21
Posted by: Mary G.,

Thank you for continuing the quest for Marshall Field and Company!

It is sorely missed!

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:59
Posted by: Jim McKay,

The rumors that I'm hearing about Brookfield's takeover of the upper floors of State Street is that access will be from the Washington Street side where Holden Court was built over in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This part of the store is so new that it is not landmarked. Employees would supposedly come through an entrance from Washington, through the former Holden Court area where Burnham fountain is now located and then take a couple of newly constructed elevators constructed in the 1980s-90s atrium up to floors eight and higher.

It will be interesting to see if this is indeed how it all plays out.

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:53
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Macy's, Inc. CFO Karen Hoguet to retire. She will continue full-time until a successor is appointed, presumably later in 2018; then will continue as a consultant until February 2, 2019.

Ms. Hoguet was very well regarded as a CFO, even winning "CFO of the Year" in a year-end feature in The Wall Street Journal. I've heard from friends who work in NYC retail that she was very good at her work. At the same time, in more than a few instances, I had this subjective impression that Hoguet was more opposed to Field's coming back than Terry Lundgren.

Macy's, Inc.'s official announcement on Karen Hoguet's retirement. Bon voyage and good luck!

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:49
Posted by: Jim McKay,

This year's flower show returned to the format of the Marshall Field's and first few Macy's years: floral displays were dispersed throughout the store but especially on the first floor and on the landings adjacent to the Holden Court escalators from 2-7. Other displays are in wine (Washington/Wabash) and toys, among others.

The show was similarly themed in NYC Herald Square 34th Street and San Francisco Union Square.

Macy's did do a great job on the show this year and it was up to Marshall Field's standards. Thank you, Macy's! They deserve credit where credit is due. The show runs through this weekend.


Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:45
Posted by: Marianne,

(Originally posted Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 9:04 am)

Favorite Field's memory is just walking through the store at Christmas.

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:44
Posted by: Andrea D,

(Originally posted Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 12:41 am)

My memories growing up shopping at Field's Oak Brook store and eating in the Oak Room. The best Ozark Pudding ever was from Field's!

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:43
Posted by: Beth W,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 12:58 pm)

Lucy! Great idea! I'll have to dig my Field's card out

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:43
Posted by: Corey K,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 10:02 am)

Favorite Field's memory:

Everything. It was the perfect department store.

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:42
Posted by: Lucy S,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 9:29 am)

I turned my Field's credit card into a Christmas ornament:

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:41
Posted by: Cynthia L,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 9:16 am)

Favorite Field's memory:


Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:40
Posted by: Thomas G.,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 7:57 am)

Favorite Field's memory:

Too many memories to list!

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:40
Posted by: Linda S.,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 7:49 am)

Favorite Field's memory:

Xmas lunch in the Walnut Room with my mother <3

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:39
Posted by: Melissa F,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 7:17 am)

Tammy P.:

Still have my card!!

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:38
Posted by: Tammy P,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 12:16 am)

My favorite Marshall Field's memory was when I was FINALLY approved and received my green Field's charge card. I was in college, had no credit, and was declined the first time. My mother suggested applying for a JC Penney card "because ANYONE can get one of those - lol). After making a small JCP purchase and paying my bill, Field's issued me one, too. :-)

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:37
Posted by: Jill G,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 1:29 am)

The Walnut Room was the best

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:36
Posted by: Timothy E,

(Originally posted Friday, March 30, 2018 at 12:00 am)

As a former Field's employee, there are just far too many to elaborate. But beyond my childhood memories (oh, the Walnut Room at Christmas!), perhaps one of my favorites, as an employee, was playing host to Jimmy and Roslynn Carter when they spent an afternoon and evening in my department signing copies of their new book for customers.

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:36
Posted by: Lucy S,

(Originally posted Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 11:09 pm)

My grandfather worked at the State St. store in the 80s until the mid-90s, and before Dayton-Hudson bought the company, they had really nice Christmas parties for their employees and their families.

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:34
Posted by: Jim McKay,

(Originally Posted March 29, 2018 at 10:06 pm)

Chicago Now blog has a piece asking readers "What is your favorite Marshall Field's memory?"

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:29
Posted by: Steve Grobe,

(Originally Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm)

Regarding Selfridges "Heritage" site, the first photo of Field's on State probably was taken between 1893 and--notice that the current Washington/Wabash building is in the background, apparently without the L tracks. That part of the building was completed in 1893 for the World's Fair; the clock would not appear until 1897 on the State/Washington corner. Harry Selfridge was instrumental in the Wabash/ Washington building construction.

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:28
Posted by: Steve Grobe,

(Originally Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:57 pm)

Regarding Selfridges, one of his favorite quotes was, "There's no fun like work!"

I felt the same way when I was buying for Field's...

Date: Wed, April 04, 2018, 20:27
Posted by: Jim McKay,

(Originally Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:37 pm)

Notice that the first five slides at the top of Selfridges' "Heritage" website -- roughly a third of the whole presentation--are about Harry and Marshall Field's. Macy's doesn't come close to this when discussing the store at their State Street web site. Just wow!

Date: Sat, March 31, 2018, 17:56
Posted by: gle,





Date: Sun, March 25, 2018, 15:24
Posted by: Jim McKay,

I humbly ask people to post responsibly on behalf of our cause. To re-comment on my post of March 12, no one is saying not to talk about Lord and Taylor atnd Carson's/Bon-Ton's, not to mention Toys "R" Us' tenuous existence. What is being said is that these need to be discussed vis a vis Marshall Field's because there are those who don't understand what we are trying achieve while others are actually new to what Field's was about. We are an advocacy group first.

I'm dismayed at some comments because these very same people have my phone and email to contact me. Anyone is welcome to contact me.

Again, the comments here are about our collective of cause of bringing back Field's to State Street including supporting the thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars that hundreds have contributed through the past dozen or more years.

Thank you.


Date: Thurs, March 22, 2018, 20:41
Posted by: A State Street Spectator,


Date: Thurs, March 22, 2018, 12:49
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Thanks to all who helped make last Saturday's St. Patrick's Day event a success, especially John, gle, Gail, Gayle, Lucie, Frank, Alfred, and many more. Over 600 pin-on buttons that say "Time to bring back Marshall Field's" were distributed to the enthusiastic crowd consisting primarily of millennials and Gen Z.

Below are some photos of those who volunteered to pose with our signs in support of a return of Marshall Field's to State Street.

Date: Thurs, March 15, 2018, 19:21
Posted by: Jim,

Yes! Weather permitting, we will be out on State Street late this Saturday morning, St. Patrick's Day, passing out pin-on buttons, flyers, and who knows what else.

If you want to help or just make sure that we connect, our phone is 312 Nine-Two-Seven 4424.

We will see you late Saturday morning under the Great Marshall Field's clock at State and Washington.


Date: Mon, March 12, 2018, 12:23
Posted by: Jim McKay,

Let's all keep in mind that the purpose of this board is not a general department store discussion board/blog/guestbook, but a discussion board that supports and makes the case for the relevancy (financially and otherwise) of bringing back Marshall Field's to State Street

Discussing Lord and Taylor's, Carson's, etc. problems are generally not the most appropriate unless discussed vis a vis Marshall Field's return.

The fact is that those stores are a contrast to Field's because Field's stood out from the others, among other things, on a dollar amount basis.* Remember, Field's value at the time of the MayCo/Federated merger was worth twice all other MayCo store names combined--at least 12 stores, INCLUDING Lord and Taylor--as well as some bridal/tux shop names. Numerically, that's $190M for LORD AND TAYLOR plus Kaufmann's, Famous Barr, Foley's, Filene's, Robinson-May, Jones, Hecht's, Strawbridges, Meier & Frank, etc. versus $419M for Marshall Field's (not including Dayton's and Hudson's), although I can understand critics saying it should be more like $310M for Field's. (That's still much more than Lord and Taylor.) So sure some of these old names will go out of business, but that doesn't have to reflect on the very good rationale for bring back Field's to State Street.

* I use the dollar amount comparison because even critics are challenged to deny dollar amounts in formal SEC filings.

Date: Mon, March 12, 2018, 11:51
Posted by: drew,

The aftermath of The Red Star debacle continues as shown in this "creative" re-use of their shuttered store:

The surrounding area is growing new job opportunities and is benefiting from proximity to Greater Pittsburgh Airport. Here again, the problem was macy*s because the store was successful as Kaufmann's.

Date: Mon, March 12, 2018, 03:10
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

The latest retail rumor is lord Taylor is toast. Hbc will take the best remaining locations and make them Saks. Selling Oakbrook and old orchard does not fit in that story. Lord and taylor has become the upscale carsons, it has become irrelevant.

Date: Mon, March 12, 2018, 02:19
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

The latest retail rumor is lord Taylor is toast. Hbc will take the best remaining locations and make them Saks. Selling Oakbrook and old orchard does not fit in that story. Lord and taylor has become the upscale carsons, it has become irrelevant.

Date: Sat, March 10, 2018, 23:02
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

A couple of more points on the Lord and Taylor's closings. Their chicago stores were considered to be profitable. Water tower had a ridiculous lease, rumor is they were only paying $6.00 per square foot, so of course ggp yanked their lease. Oakbrook was their first store in chicago, probably had another cheap lease. Oakbrook is one of the best malls in the usa with average sales of $1000 per square foot, unheard of. As I've said before, Richard Baker who controls Hudson's Bay, Saks, Lord and Taylor is a real estate guy, not a merchant.

Old orchard is also a premier mall, that lease is more valuable than northbrook. I think lord and Taylor will eventually exit the Chicago market.

Date: Sat, March 10, 2018, 22:14
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

A couple of more points on the Lord and Taylor's closings. Their chicago stores were considered to be profitable. Water tower had a ridiculous lease, rumor is they were only paying $6.00 per square foot, so of course ggp yanked their lease. Oakbrook was their first store in chicago, probably had another cheap lease. Oakbrook is one of the best malls in the usa with average sales of $1000 per square foot, unheard of. As I've said before, Richard Baker who controls Hudson's Bay, Saks, Lord and Taylor is a real estate guy, not a merchant.

Old orchard is also a premier mall, that lease is more valuable than northbrook. I think lord and Taylor will eventually exit the Chicago market.

Date: Sat, March 10, 2018, 02:34
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

Hudson's Bay is under pressure from activist investors like Macy's. It s decision to close Oakbrook and old orchard had more to do with store realestate value than sales. Hbc just sold the leases for these two stores for more than 23 million dollars.

Date: Thurs, March 08, 2018, 22:53
Posted by: Ron in CA,

Apparently the decision has already been made to close the Lord & Taylor stores at both Old Orchard and Oakbrook, leaving only two stores in the Chicago area. An additional store in Annapolis, MD will also close.

Date: Sat, March 03, 2018, 13:39
Posted by: Ron Downing,

I've been reading this blog since it's inception and this is my first post. I fully support the idea that a resurrection of Marshall Field's is long overdue. Macy's has killed the concept of the traditional department store, in part because consuming the May Company made Macy's have to become much more promotional. May Company drove traffic by having sales every week. In fact merchandise was usually only "full price" on Monday and Tuesdayand sometimes Wednesday. While May did push it's own store brands, there was a balance with better brands in most major markets and May did maintain fulll selection china, silverware, and crystal departments in all but it's smallest and lower market locations. It was widely noted that May never quite figured out what to do with Marshall Field's because it didn't fit May's traditional business model. At least they maintained the Marshall Field's name and generally the merchandise lines.

It's really sad about Lord & Taylor, because after Macy'sconsumed Marshall Field's, many postings on this blog noted that L&T became their go to store for better quality merchandise, like Hart Shaffer & Marxmens suits. With the HBC takeover of L&T, many if not most of the stores have been botched down to mid-market, often looking like a Hudsons Bay store in Canada. L&T opened a new store

in Salem, NH that I visited last year. There was nothing upscale about it and the merchandise in menswear was mostly the store brand 1808 Black-Brown or faded brands like Perry Ellis. The other suburban stores in the Boston market have similar merchandise, and I'd venture that the Chicago stores are the same. And they're shrinking the Manhattan flagship. No wonder sales are down?

Nordstrom is also introducing product lines to go aftera more moderate market, with men's dress shirts at a value price of $39.90.

I visited Chicago regularly and shopped at Marshall Field's regularly fromtge 19980's untilthe "Macy-fication". I even shopped at former Dayton's stores that were rebranded Marshall Field's because the merchandise was still high-quality. Friends in the Twin Cities never shopped at Macy's after the conversion because the merchandise was and is lower quality. I don't shop at Macy's in California where I live, and occasionally go through a Macy's when I travel. Former May Co stores that used to have china departments now have Fiestaware on the same shelves that used to feature better brands. So, what is the reason to go to Macy's when it's becoming less and less distinguishable from Kohl's, JC Penney, or Marshall's? As many of you have noted, there isn't any. Macy's has killed the traditional department storeas we knew it. If there was a way for them to sell the key Chicago storesto someone that knows how to run a high quality department store, that would be a true Miraclle on 34th St., or at least State St.. But I think that right now, Macy's is in a race to the bottom.

Ron in CA

Date: Fri, March 02, 2018, 16:19
Posted by: Another Field's Fans,

Re: Phil's last post, I'd be happy if just State Street came back as Field's. But ideally, State Street, Water Tower, Oak Brook, Old Orchard, and Woodfield. In order, those are also supposedly among the Chicagoland locations of Macy's Top 150 Stores in Chicagoland according to a post and doc someone had at Golden Age of Department Stores on FB a couple of years ago.

Date: Fri, March 02, 2018, 16:10
Posted by: ExpressNewsline,

Macy's Selling Top Half Of State Street Store For $30 Million


"To many shoppers, the store has been dying a slow death ever since the Marshall Field's name was removed. Brookfield plans to convert these largely unused floors into office space."

Date: Fri, March 02, 2018, 13:34
Posted by: mikea,

I really wished they would have kept the 8th floor. It would have had a minimal effect on merchandising the store. However the addition of new people working in the tore will give the 7th floor resteraunts and the store more business. Sad to see Macy's selling more stores just to continue to make huge profits. Selling real estate does not keep a company afloat.

Another sad and even worse scenario is the demise of LOrd & Taylor. I really liked the Old Orchard and Oakbrook stores. True the selection at Oakbrook is somewhat limited. Reading online analysts are attributing Hudson's Bay sales declines in the US and Canada to Lord & Taylor. Some are calling for Lord & Taylor to be dissolve along with Bon-Ton maybe not making it out of bankruptcy.

Would hate to see retail being limited to Macy's and Nordstrom on a national level.

Date: Fri, March 02, 2018, 00:25
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

It does not suprise me macys is selling the I magnin portion of union square. Like it's chicago stores,it was very minimal and elegant, unlike anything macys does.

If Macy's brought back field's, it would give them a full price vehicle to counteract their descent into discount merchandising. They have been on that route for a decade, just never publicly wanted to admit it. All they need to to is convert back STATE STREET, OLD ORCHARD, OAND WOODField.

Date: Wed, February 28, 2018, 11:10
Posted by: dave andrews,

The executives at macy continue their conversion to discount store format:

Back in the day all the major department stores had a

"bargain basement" which offered discounted merchandise from the main store as well as value-priced items. Atmosphere and amenities were different in each sales area. Today macy Last Act clearance sections put the "bargain basement" right next to the new merchandise, then "Backstage" is a separate in-store TJMaxx. In addition, much of the "regular" merchandise isn't of the quality one would expect in a better department store; 200 thread count polyester/cotton blend Martha Stewart sheets, queen size set for $120. There is little distinction between discount, clearance and regular merchandise.

Upscale designers are already pulling out of macy and I look for more better brands to leave. I also predict more store closings and staff layoffs.

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 18:45
Posted by: Jim McKay,

But wait, the upper floors of State Street and Northbrook Court, along with the former I. Magnin at Union Square aren't the only stores Macy's is selling...

Macy's eyes sale of Medinah Temple, moving out Bloomingdale's home store

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 10:25
Posted by: Jim,


These floors have been empty for over 25 years. This may help the store by bringing in the traffic that will work on these upper floors. The bad news is that the reason these floors have been hard to market and Macy's got such a low price of $30M is that they are hard to bring in utilities and adapt. The building as a whole is valued at $1.74BILLION. So that tells you something is not nearly as valuable about these upper floors and is a reason that they have been vacant for so long. It's also important to keep in mind that State Street will still be at least DOUBLE the size of Selfridges Oxford Street which is what I consider the most comparable store to State Street in terms of highest and best use.

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 10:24
Posted by: Steve,


Thanks for posting this. It's an interesting read especially given what's going on since then. Today's news of selling the top floors isn't entirely new, either. DH would have sold or leased the top floors if they could have. (Not sure how hard they worked that, though, to be honest.) Truly going to miss my old furniture floors where we worked SO hard to drive an exciting, profitable and diverse business. And, I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous for what a "new and more vibrant" Macy's on State looks like.

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 10:24
Posted by: Ken A,

Going back in time to April of 1990, and Dayton Hudson announces it intent to buy Marshall Fields from BATUS.

Shortly after the deal closed, the corporate offices of Marshall Fields were consolidated to Minneapolis, leaving the upper floors in the State Street Building mostly empty, save for some regional support staff.

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 10:21
Posted by: Beth W,

Just imagine if a store, a unique store with a vision, could set up shop and be a new incarnation of a Field's type department store. Imagine class being brought back to shopping. I've always been a daydreamer.

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 10:21
Posted by: Mike W,

Just imagine the demand and price that Macy's could receive if these floors were sitting atop of Marshall Field's rather than Macy's!

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 10:20
Posted by: Andrew,

Wow! Is this a bad thing?

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 09:14
Posted by: Jim,

Macy's to sell top floors of State Street store for $30 million

keep in mind that the lower seven floors plus the basements are worth quite a bit more money .

Recent appraisals have put the value of the entire building at one . seven four billion dollars .

At the San Francisco flagship , they are actually selling the former I Magnin portion of the building for redevelopment .

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 08:57
Posted by: Jim,

"In February 2018, the company signed an agreement to sell floors 8 through 14 of its State Street store in Chicago to a private real estate fund sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield intends to convert these largely unused floors into dynamic, creative office space. As part of this transaction, Macy's, Inc. will receive a total of $30 million ($27 million of consideration and a $3 million contribution for certain improvements), as well as upside participation in the ultimate value creation associated with the conversion of the upper floors to office space. This transaction will enable the company to make Macy's on State Street a more vibrant shopping destination. The company anticipates closing this transaction in the first half of fiscal 2018."

They are also selling the I. Magnin portion of the Macy's flagship at San Francisco -- Union Square.

Date: Tues, February 27, 2018, 01:21
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

While northbrook is considered an a tier mall. It isn't. Too close to old orchard. Neiman's is one of their best stores, but the Neiman's shopper never enters the mall. The fields macys Northbrook store has always been a dump. In its best days filled with stained carpet and damaged fixtures. I

Date: Thurs, February 22, 2018, 20:59
Posted by: A State Street Spectator,

So Macy's is selling its Northbrook Court location because it "doesn't do as well as it once had"? If that is the logic, Macy's should have sold Macy's a long time ago, especially after estranging customers nationwide by devouring so many traditional department stores. Selling the State Street store to someone willing to bring back the Marshall Field's name, quality and service would definitely be a plus for that store, which hasn't done "as well as it once had" since it stopped being Field's.

Date: Thurs, February 22, 2018, 19:18
Posted by: drew,

So The Red Star is selling its Northbrook store because "it doesn't do as well as it once had." Does that mean it did better as Marshall Field's? If so, wouldn't it make sense to once again make the store a destination by reinvigorating it as Marshall Field's?

They are also in the process of shutting down the former Kaufmann's location at the Waterfront, a highly popular dining and entertainment complex which also hosts numerous high end apartments and town houses. Amazing location but their store isn't an attraction.

Can't board members at The Red Star realize their macy*fication project (and the leader who spearheaded it) was an EPIC FAIL. Maybe analyze WHY shoppers aren't coming--and it's NOT totally the fault of online retail. The Red Star wisely held on to some of the iconic store names they bought --maybe start using them and bringing back former shoppers by giving what they want!

Date: Tues, February 20, 2018, 13:46
Posted by: Jim,

February 20, 2018

Macy's sells Northbrook Court store. Now what?

Comments Email Print


The story says that store will continue to operate but suggests that in long term, it, along with perhaps Lord and Taylor, will be redeveloped. It also says that the Macy's at Northbrook Court doesn't do as well as it once had.

Date: Wed, February 14, 2018, 19:34
Posted by: A State Street Spectator,


Field's was the store to get something special for this special day.

Date: Mon, February 05, 2018, 21:12
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

Bonton is toast. Boston store is one of their strongest brands, wisconsin loves the brand, stupid to make it carsons, bergners , yes, little identity

However, I stand by my source that they don't have a clear path and will be liquidated. Most of the chain stands for nothing, middle market with little relevance today. Plus, no assets and massive debt. In contrast, Macy's owns almost all stores and 75% in a tier malls. Even if malls are dying, the best never will, and the remaining real estate still has value

Date: Mon, February 05, 2018, 13:28
Posted by: Aidan Chism,

The Bon-Ton department store group, owner of Carson, Pirie, Scott, and Company has declared chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. No additional store closings have been announced besides the 47 previously announced. They are trying to sell the company and assets. Also they plan to change Boston Store (Milwaukee) and Bergner's (Peoria) to the Carson's banner. It would be sad to see another Chicago institute fade away.


Date: Thurs, February 01, 2018, 22:21
Posted by: Phil Eichler,

The big bears were in the old store for men. Abicombie was actually across Wabash next to one of the original Eddie Bauer s. Wabash , had the best men's stores including capper and capper and the I credible van lenti and antoine. The old men's store was fantastic, old school, old money, very proper.

Date: Thurs, February 01, 2018, 16:17
Posted by: drew,

It says a great deal for the "magic" of The Red Star when a location in the midst of a popular lifestyle center is closing. The Waterfront store was one of Kaufmann's/May Company's planned off mall locations. Many entertainment, eating and shopping venues are nearby. The immediate area surrounding the store is structured like an old downtown with sidewalks, varied storefronts, benches and other amenities. A very pleasant place to walk around, shop and enjoy the day. Across the street is a large strip center with Target, Lowe's, Michael's, Bed Bath & Beyond and Giant Eagle supermarket. A retailer couldn't ask for a better location.

A section of the upper level of the Waterfront store was closed off to provide space for The Red Star regional offices which were moved from the shuttered downtown Pittsburgh store. Newer building. High traffic, popular location. Corporate leaders. So WHY wasn't this store more productive and relevant?

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