As backdrop to the legendary parade, the Macy’s store at New York City’s Herald Square is a star of the show on Thanksgiving. But ask Terry J. Lundgren about Philadelphia, and the Macy’s CEO shares a surprising adoration for a different landmark altogether – the one in Center City that opened a century ago as Wanamakers.
“That is one of the most unique stores in the entire enterprise of Macy’s Inc.,” the chairman, president, and chief executive said as he gushed, largely unprompted, about the Philly stunner that is home to the world’s largest working pipe organ, the kitschy-but-adored Christmas Light Show, and the Dickens Village exhibit.
“It’s the only store in the world that has a pipe organ and that has performances on this organ every single week – and we maintain that. I mean, who would do that?”
Here’s who: A $28 billion company that believes, even amid the growing popularity of Internet shopping, that retailing remains a local game. With this guiding principle and Lundgren’s charisma as change agents, the 800-store chain, now based in Cincinnati, has grabbed a top position only a few years after the department-store sector looked like an endangered species.