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Company > Macy's: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Macy's: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Apr 08, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into a comprehensive analysis of Macy's, a renowned American department store chain. We will begin by examining Macy's business model, exploring how it operates and generates revenue in the retail industry. Following that, we will conduct a SWOT analysis, dissecting the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as it gears up for the year 2023. Lastly, we will identify and assess Macy's key competitors, unveiling the challenges it faces in an ever-evolving market.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Macy's and the significance of their ownership in relation to the company's success and strategic direction.
    • The mission statement of Macy's and how it guides the company's operations and customer experience.
    • How Macy's generates revenue and the key drivers of its financial success.
    • An explanation of Macy's Business Model Canvas, providing insights into the company's value proposition, customer segments, channels, and key activities.
    • The main competitors of Macy's and an analysis of their competitive advantages and market positioning.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Macy's, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the retail industry.

    Who owns Macy's?

    Macy's Ownership Structure

    Macy's, one of the largest and most iconic department store chains in the United States, has a complex ownership structure. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol M, allowing investors to buy and sell shares of Macy's stock. But who actually owns Macy's?

    Individual Shareholders

    Individual investors make up a significant portion of Macy's ownership. These include both retail investors who purchase shares through brokerage accounts and institutional investors such as mutual funds, pension funds, and hedge funds. Individual shareholders have the opportunity to participate in Macy's growth and receive dividends based on their ownership percentage.

    Institutional Shareholders

    Institutional investors play a crucial role in the ownership of Macy's. These entities, such as mutual funds and pension funds, manage vast amounts of capital on behalf of their clients. It is common for institutional investors to hold significant stakes in public companies like Macy's. The decision to invest in Macy's is typically based on factors such as the company's financial performance, growth prospects, and overall market conditions.

    Macy's Management and Board of Directors

    Macy's ownership also includes the company's management team and board of directors. The management team, led by the CEO and other top executives, holds a vested interest in the success of the company. They often own substantial amounts of Macy's stock, aligning their interests with those of the shareholders.

    Similarly, the board of directors, composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise, also owns Macy's shares. The board is responsible for overseeing the company's strategic decisions and ensuring the best interests of shareholders are represented.

    Shareholder Activists

    Shareholder activists are individuals or groups that purchase shares in a company with the aim of influencing its strategies and policies. While their ownership stake may not be as significant as institutional investors, they can hold substantial sway in shaping the future of Macy's. Shareholder activists often advocate for changes in corporate governance, executive compensation, or strategic direction to enhance shareholder value.

    Macy's Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

    Macy's also has employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), which allow employees to own a portion of the company's stock. ESOPs provide incentives for employees to perform well and align their interests with the company's success. By owning Macy's shares, employees can benefit from the company's growth and profitability, fostering a sense of ownership and loyalty among the workforce.

    In conclusion, the ownership of Macy's is diverse and dynamic, encompassing individual and institutional shareholders, the management team, the board of directors, shareholder activists, and even the employees themselves. This multi-faceted ownership structure ensures that Macy's is accountable to a wide range of stakeholders, contributing to its ongoing success and prominence in the retail industry.

    What is the mission statement of Macy's?

    Macy's Mission Statement

    Macy's, one of the largest retail companies in the United States, has a clear and concise mission statement that encompasses its core values and goals. The mission statement of Macy's is as follows:

    "To be America's premier omnichannel fashion retailer, delivering compelling experiences, through curated merchandise choices, value, and exceptional service."

    This mission statement highlights Macy's commitment to being a leader in the retail industry by offering customers a seamless shopping experience across various channels. Macy's strives to deliver compelling experiences to its customers, ensuring that every interaction with the brand is memorable and satisfying.

    The mention of "curated merchandise choices" in the mission statement emphasizes Macy's dedication to providing a wide range of high-quality products that are carefully selected to cater to the diverse preferences and needs of its customers. Macy's recognizes the importance of offering value to its customers, ensuring that they receive the best possible products and services at competitive prices.

    Moreover, Macy's mission statement emphasizes the significance of exceptional service. This indicates Macy's commitment to providing outstanding customer service to ensure that every customer feels valued and supported throughout their shopping journey. Macy's aims to create lasting relationships with its customers by going above and beyond their expectations in terms of service.

    Overall, Macy's mission statement reflects its aspiration to be a trusted and preferred fashion retailer in the United States. By prioritizing compelling experiences, curated merchandise choices, value, and exceptional service, Macy's strives to exceed customer expectations and maintain its position as a leader in the retail industry.

    How does Macy's make money?

    Retail Sales

    The primary source of revenue for Macy's is through retail sales. Macy's operates a network of department stores and online platforms where customers can purchase a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, beauty products, home goods, and furniture. By offering a diverse selection of merchandise from various brands and designers, Macy's attracts a large customer base and generates significant sales revenue.

    Private Label Brands

    In addition to selling products from other brands, Macy's also sells merchandise under its private label brands. Private label brands are products that are exclusively designed and manufactured for a specific retailer. Macy's has developed several successful private label brands across different product categories. By offering exclusive and unique products, Macy's can differentiate itself from competitors and potentially earn higher profit margins.

    Credit Card Services

    Macy's also generates revenue through its credit card services. The company offers customers the opportunity to apply for a Macy's credit card, which provides benefits such as discounts, rewards, and special financing options. When customers use their Macy's credit card to make purchases, Macy's earns revenue through transaction fees and interest charges on outstanding balances. The credit card services division contributes to Macy's overall profitability and provides an additional revenue stream.

    Real Estate

    Macy's owns a significant amount of real estate, including its department stores and other properties. The company strategically utilizes its real estate assets to generate revenue. Macy's may lease out portions of its properties to other retailers, restaurants, or even office spaces. By doing so, Macy's can earn rental income, which contributes to its overall financial performance. Additionally, Macy's may sell or redevelop underperforming properties to unlock their value and generate cash.

    Online Sales

    With the growing popularity of online shopping, Macy's has invested heavily in its e-commerce operations. The company operates an online platform where customers can browse and purchase products from the comfort of their homes. Online sales have become an increasingly important revenue stream for Macy's, as it allows the company to reach a wider customer base and cater to changing consumer preferences. By providing a seamless online shopping experience, Macy's can generate revenue through online sales and stay competitive in the digital retail space.


    Macy's employs multiple revenue streams to generate income and sustain its business operations. Through retail sales, private label brands, credit card services, real estate assets, and online sales, Macy's diversifies its revenue sources and maximizes its earning potential. By continuously adapting to changing market conditions and consumer preferences, Macy's remains a prominent player in the retail industry.

    Macy's Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is a Business Model Canvas?

    A Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps visualize and analyze the key components of a business. It provides a clear and concise overview of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value. The canvas is divided into nine building blocks, each representing a different aspect of the business.

    Key Components of Macy's Business Model Canvas

    1. Customer Segments: Macy's targets a diverse range of customer segments, including men, women, and children of various age groups. They cater to different income levels by offering a range of products from affordable to high-end luxury.

    2. Value Proposition: Macy's aims to provide customers with a wide selection of fashionable clothing, accessories, and home goods. They strive to offer quality products at competitive prices, creating value for customers seeking both style and affordability.

    3. Channels: Macy's operates through multiple channels to reach customers. These include their physical stores located in prominent shopping destinations, an e-commerce website, mobile application, and partnerships with other retailers. This multi-channel approach allows Macy's to engage with customers in various ways and provide a seamless shopping experience.

    4. Customer Relationships: Macy's emphasizes building strong customer relationships by focusing on personalized experiences. They offer loyalty programs, personalized recommendations, and excellent customer service through various channels. Macy's also invests in customer feedback and uses it to improve their offerings and services.

    5. Revenue Streams: Macy's generates revenue primarily through the sale of products, including clothing, accessories, and home goods. They also earn revenue through services like alteration and delivery charges. Additionally, Macy's partners with other brands to generate revenue through collaborations and exclusive product launches.

    6. Key Activities: Macy's key activities include sourcing and merchandising products, maintaining a strong supply chain, managing inventory, marketing and advertising, and providing a seamless shopping experience across all channels. They constantly analyze market trends, consumer behavior, and competition to stay ahead in the retail industry.

    7. Key Resources: Macy's key resources include their physical stores, online platforms, supply chain infrastructure, technology systems, and a team of dedicated employees. They also leverage their brand reputation, partnerships with designers, and relationships with suppliers to provide a wide range of quality products to their customers.

    8. Key Partnerships: Macy's collaborates with various designers, brands, and suppliers to offer exclusive collections and enhance their product offerings. They also partner with other retailers to expand their reach and attract new customers. These partnerships enable Macy's to stay relevant, offer unique products, and tap into new markets.

    9. Cost Structure: Macy's incurs costs related to sourcing and purchasing inventory, marketing and advertising, store operations, employee wages, technology infrastructure, and logistics. They also invest in research and development to stay innovative and competitive in the ever-evolving retail industry.


    The Business Model Canvas provides a comprehensive framework to understand Macy's business model. By analyzing each component, it becomes evident that Macy's focuses on providing value to diverse customer segments through multiple channels, strong customer relationships, and strategic partnerships. This approach, coupled with their key activities and resources, enables Macy's to generate revenue and maintain a competitive edge in the retail industry.

    Which companies are the competitors of Macy's?

    Department Stores

    Macy's operates in a highly competitive market, with several companies vying for the attention of fashion-conscious consumers. Here are some of the notable competitors of Macy's in the department store sector:

    1. Bloomingdale's: Owned by Macy's Inc., Bloomingdale's is a high-end department store that offers luxury clothing, accessories, and home goods. It competes directly with Macy's in terms of product offerings and target market.

    2. Nordstrom: Known for its exceptional customer service and upscale merchandise, Nordstrom is a major competitor of Macy's. It carries a wide range of designer brands and offers a premium shopping experience.

    3. Kohl's: Positioned as a more affordable alternative to Macy's, Kohl's attracts price-conscious shoppers with its frequent discounts and promotions. While Kohl's doesn't offer the same level of luxury brands, it competes with Macy's in terms of variety and affordability.

    4. JCPenney: With a focus on mid-priced merchandise and a wide range of product categories, JCPenney competes directly with Macy's. It aims to provide value for money while still offering a diverse selection of clothing, home goods, and other consumer products.

    Online Retailers

    In addition to traditional department stores, Macy's faces fierce competition from online retailers. These companies have gained popularity by leveraging e-commerce and digital marketing strategies. Here are a few key players in the online retail space:

    1. Amazon: As the world's largest online retailer, Amazon offers a vast selection of products, including clothing and accessories. Its competitive pricing, fast shipping, and convenient shopping experience pose a significant challenge to Macy's.

    2. Zappos: Known primarily for its extensive footwear collection, Zappos attracts customers who prefer to shop for shoes online. It offers a wide range of brands, styles, and sizes, making it a strong competitor to Macy's shoe department.

    3. ASOS: A popular destination for young and trendy shoppers, ASOS specializes in fast fashion and offers a wide range of clothing, accessories, and beauty products. Its affordability and focus on the latest fashion trends make it a direct competitor to Macy's in terms of attracting fashion-forward customers.

    Specialty Retailers

    Macy's also faces competition from specialty retailers that focus on specific product categories or customer segments. These companies often offer a unique shopping experience and cater to niche markets. Some notable competitors in this category include:

    1. Sephora: A leading beauty retailer, Sephora offers a wide range of cosmetics, skincare products, and fragrances. With its knowledgeable staff, immersive in-store experience, and exclusive product offerings, Sephora competes directly with Macy's beauty department.

    2. Lululemon: Known for its high-quality athletic apparel and yoga-inspired clothing, Lululemon appeals to fitness enthusiasts and those seeking comfortable and stylish activewear. While Macy's offers its own activewear brands, Lululemon's focus on performance and fashion sets it apart as a strong competitor.

    3. Williams-Sonoma: A specialty retailer focused on high-end kitchenware and home furnishings, Williams-Sonoma competes with Macy's in the home goods category. Its emphasis on quality, craftsmanship, and unique product selections attract customers who prioritize premium brands and exclusive designs.

    These are just a few examples of the many companies competing with Macy's in various segments of the retail industry. The fierce competition forces Macy's to continuously innovate, adapt to changing consumer preferences, and provide exceptional customer experiences to stay ahead in the market.

    Macy's SWOT Analysis


    Macy's possesses several strengths that have contributed to its success in the retail industry.

    1. Strong brand recognition: Macy's is a well-established and recognized brand that has been around for over 160 years. Its iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade and flagship store in Herald Square, New York City, have made the brand a household name.

    2. Extensive product range: Macy's offers a wide variety of products, including clothing, accessories, home goods, beauty products, and more. This diverse range of offerings appeals to a broad customer base and allows Macy's to cater to different consumer preferences.

    3. Omnichannel presence: Macy's has successfully adapted to the digital age by investing in its online presence. The company has a user-friendly website, mobile app, and a strong social media presence. This omnichannel approach allows customers to shop conveniently across different platforms and enhances their overall shopping experience.


    Despite its strengths, Macy's also faces certain weaknesses that pose challenges to its growth and profitability.

    1. Declining foot traffic: Macy's, like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, has experienced a decline in foot traffic in recent years. This is primarily due to the rise of e-commerce and changing consumer shopping habits. As a result, Macy's has had to close several underperforming stores to cut costs and improve overall efficiency.

    2. High dependency on promotional events: Macy's heavily relies on promotional events and discounts to attract customers. While these sales events drive short-term sales, they can also erode profit margins and devalue the brand. Additionally, intense competition during these events may lead to a loss of customer loyalty.

    3. Inefficient supply chain management: Macy's supply chain management has faced criticism for being slow and inefficient. This has resulted in inventory management issues, such as overstocking or out-of-stock situations. Improving supply chain efficiency is crucial for Macy's to meet customer demand and reduce costs.


    Macy's can capitalize on several opportunities to further expand its market presence and increase its competitiveness.

    1. Growing online retail market: The rapid growth of e-commerce presents an opportunity for Macy's to further develop its online platform and reach a larger customer base. By enhancing its online shopping experience, investing in digital marketing, and leveraging technological advancements, Macy's can tap into the growing online retail market.

    2. Expanding international markets: Macy's has the potential to expand its operations into international markets, particularly in emerging economies. By adapting its product offerings and marketing strategies to suit local preferences, Macy's can gain a foothold in new markets and diversify its revenue streams.

    3. Strategic partnerships: Collaborating with popular brands or designers can help Macy's attract new customers and enhance its brand image. By offering exclusive collections or limited-edition collaborations, Macy's can differentiate itself from competitors and create a sense of exclusivity.


    Macy's faces various threats that could hinder its growth and profitability in the highly competitive retail industry.

    1. Intense competition: Macy's operates in a crowded retail landscape, facing fierce competition from both traditional department stores and e-commerce giants. Competitors like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have significant market share and extensive resources, which pose a threat to Macy's market position.

    2. Changing consumer preferences: Consumer preferences and shopping habits are constantly evolving, making it challenging for Macy's to anticipate and meet their needs. Shifts towards sustainable and ethical fashion, as well as the rise of online shopping, pose threats to Macy's traditional retail model.

    3. Economic downturns: Macy's performance is closely tied to the overall state of the economy. During economic downturns, consumers tend to cut back on discretionary spending, impacting Macy's sales. Additionally, fluctuations in exchange rates and trade policies can affect the cost of imported goods, leading to potential price increases and decreased consumer purchasing power.

    Key Takeaways

    • Macy's is a publicly traded company, meaning that it is owned by shareholders who hold shares of the company's stock.
    • The mission statement of Macy's is to "foster an inclusive and diverse workplace, and to offer customers a great shopping experience with unique and high-quality merchandise."
    • Macy's primarily makes money through retail sales of clothing, accessories, home goods, and beauty products in its physical stores and online.
    • Macy's business model canvas includes key elements such as value proposition, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, and key partners. This canvas helps to visualize the various components of Macy's business strategy.
    • Some of Macy's main competitors in the retail industry include department stores like Nordstrom and JCPenney, as well as online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
    • Macy's SWOT analysis reveals its strengths in having a strong brand and extensive product range, weaknesses in declining foot traffic in physical stores, opportunities in expanding online sales, and threats from increasing competition in the retail industry.


    In conclusion, Macy's is owned by its shareholders who contribute to its success and growth. The company's mission statement focuses on providing customers with a unique and inspiring shopping experience. Macy's generates revenue through various channels, including retail sales, e-commerce, and licensing partnerships. By analyzing Macy's Business Model Canvas, we can see how the company creates value and delivers it to its customers. However, Macy's faces tough competition from companies such as Nordstrom, Kohl's, and Target. Conducting a SWOT analysis, we can identify Macy's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, which are crucial for understanding its position in the market. Overall, Macy's remains a prominent player in the retail industry, constantly adapting and innovating to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.


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