When I first moved to Minnesota, one of the nicest things about shopping in Edina (cake eater territory) was that I could walk into a good men's clothing store and ask for "17 1/2 36-37 fitted" and not be laughed at. You paid for it, but you could get it--or they would know where you could. One of the places where you could get fitted suits of good quality was Marshall Field's, and I vividly remember walking into the men's area, and within five minutes the salesman had guessed my size (correctly) and found five suits that would meet my needs.
So what is going wrong now? Well, in my last visit to Macy's in Edina, what I noticed is that the guys who used to staff menswear are simply not there anymore, and when I looked at the garments they had, polyester blends were far more common than wool or cotton. Moreover, the old system of identifying garments by size had broken down--nobody cared to make sure that a 36 waist trouser was on a hanger identified as such.
In other words, the prices still said Marshall Field's, but the garment quality said J.C. Penney and the presentation said Goodwill. In other words, my view is that contrary to their CEO, the company does not need to "evolve" or "execute faster", but rather to remember the things that made them the nation's biggest and bring them back.
Granted, in a world of fast fashion and spandex garments, it's harder and harder to sell the old Marshall Field's experience, but at a certain point, that's precisely why you hire people in marketing, no? I certainly try to do my part, and the differences in fit, wear, comfort/breathability, and such are not difficult to describe.
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