of shopping leads to personal shoppers
Cheryl Rosenberg Neubert
The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA, Calif. Christine Farino is a busy,
busy girl. She goes full time to Chapman University,
where shes a junior. She also works part time
as a real estate agent. It's tough enough for her to
find time to grab a latte, never mind update her wardrobe.
Thats what makes Farino the perfect target for
Macys new ad campaign. The department store wants
more young, time-crunched women such as Farino to use
its personal-shopping service, known as Macys
by Appointment. For the first time, Macys placed
an ad for the service in the November issue of InStyle
Magazine. The wording of the ad, which claims that personal
shoppers are here to help you find what you need
to rock sassy, fresh style, clearly isnt
aimed at the soccer-mom crowd or corporate exec types.
Personal shoppers have been around for quite some
time, and the reality is we have success working with
the younger customer, said Shonaree Michael, director
of marketing for Macys Special Services. But
we realize there's still a job to be done, that its
hip, cool and fun.
And when you think about it, it is a pretty hip, cool
and fun thing. You simply call and make an appointment.
You tell your personal shopper your size, what type
of clothes youre looking for, maybe which designers
you like. Give her your budget. Then simply show up.
All the clothes the personal shopper has selected for
you will be waiting in a private area. You'll get a
robe. Sparkling water. And all the time- and privacy-
you need to try on the clothes. Shell bring you
shoes, jewelry, a bag. If you need a different size
or color or style, if youd like to try it on with
a different pair of shoes, shell go back to the
floor to search for you while you relax.
Farino had no idea Macys had someone who would
do all this for her. Shed heard of personal shoppers
but always imagined they were for movie stars, or at
least for people who had boatloads of money.
Shes certainly had her share of near-panic experiences
while braving the mall around the holidays.
I literally got claustrophobic, Farino said.
I was getting so overwhelmed by all the people.
It would be nice to have a room to your own, with peace
and quiet and not have any rush around you. When I've
been trying to do my shopping, I would wish I had someone
to do this for me. So I'd want to know how much they
charge for this.
Actually, its free.
I couldn't see why you wouldnt want to do
this, if its free, Farino said. If
they could bring stuff to me, and its free, thats
is what Agatha Dura does for a living. Shes a
personal shopper at Macys in Costa Mesa, Calif.
She is knowledgeable about all the departments in the
store, from womens clothes to housewares to luggage
She does not have many young women using her service.
She thinks personal shopping might typically appeal
more to an older shopper.
On the other hand, she sees young women come in to Macys
trendy Impulse department, where they drop $158 on jeans
and $98 on a tee shirt.
If thats the money these girls are spending
on two pieces of clothing, then wouldnt they want
the royal treatment? Dura said. By just
booking an appointment and coming in, we can make it
all happen. I dont know if the girls want help.
But they dont like to wait in the lines, either,
for the fitting room. Its a lot more organized,
and it doesnt cost them anything.
Farino is sure sold. She started shopping there recently
after receiving some gift certificates.
If they really marketed it as something thats
no charge, if that was really clear, I could see a lot
of college students or young 20-somethings doing that,
Farino said. For instance, I know in my mind I
want a red, pinstriped suit, but I could never find
it. I could just call my personal shopper. Talk about
the time I would save. It would just be amazing.
And thats exactly Macys point.