Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke and Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer for Macy's, cut the ceremonial ribbon Friday morning officially introducing the Market by Macy's dual store operation to the village. (Photos by Joe Boyle)
Macy’s brings first Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage to south suburbs
By Joe Boyle
Evergreen Park is the beneficiary of a new concept introduced by Macy’s that store representatives hope will become the model for shoppers in the years to come.
Market by Macy’s officially opened Friday morning at what was the former site of Carson’s at 9700 S. Western Ave. in the Evergreen Plaza.
The grand opening featured Mayor Kelly Burke and Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer for Macy’s, cutting the ceremonial ribbon surrounded by Evergreen Park officials and store representatives.
“I’m just thrilled to have Macy’s here in Evergreen Park,” Burke said after the ribbon cutting. “This is an exciting time and I am happy that Macy’s chose to come here.”
Mastronardi believes the Evergreen Park location is pivotal for Macy’s future success.
“We are also thrilled at the reception we have had in Evergreen Park,” Mastronardi said. “This may be an indication that we have more of these stores coming here in the future.”
Market by Macy’s has opened numerous stores throughout the U.S. They will reach eight total locations by the end of the year after debuting in 2020 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Market by Macy’s will occupy the first floor of the Evergreen Park site and will offer contemporary fashions and items ranging from Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein clothing, and skin care products.
The second floor of the 120,000-foot square building will be Macy’s Backstage, which will feature a variety of discounted items ranging from clothes to toys. Macy’s Backstage has grown to more than 300 nationwide locations since 2015.
But the Evergreen Park is unique in that this is the first dual store operation currently in the U.S, including both Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage.
“This is a combination of a lot of people working together to get this done,” Burke said. “Brokers were working on this. It is very complicated. But they (Macy’s) contacted us first.”
Burke is pleased that Macy’s reached out to the village. The original Carson’s opened in 2016 and was considered one of the anchors of the new outdoor Evergreen Plaza. But the onetime retail giant floundered and closed in 2018.
But new tenants entered and the latest Carson’s was going to operate as a brick-and-mortar store half the week and an online entity the other half. But the operation could not sustain profits and was severely hampered by the pandemic. They subsequently closed.
Working with Macy’s, the Evergreen Park Village Board passed a resolution in April that allowed the retail operation to bring their concept to the area. Mastronardi believes that the dual store project could be the wave of the future for retail stores to operate successfully after the pandemic by balancing brick-and-mortar stores with online sales.
Natalie DePasquale, the store manager, said they are thrilled about the new Evergreen Park store.
“We are so excited to be in Evergreen Park,” DePasquale said. “The reaction we have received is exciting. This is a new concept and people have let us know they like it. We also have a lot of sales for the opening.”
Market by Macy’s actually opened the previous week. Christine Tyler, a resident of Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, said this is the second time she has already visited the store. Tyler said she is a longtime patron of Macy’s and worked for many years at Marshall Field’s, which became Macy’s.
“I’m excited to see Macy’s on the South Side,” said Tyler, who lined up with several other customers outside the store before it opened. “It’s like seeing a family friend coming to the neighborhood. I love Macy’s. I got excited when I heard that they were coming to my community.”
Customers were also pleased that a Toys R Us section will be found on the first floor of the Evergreen Park store.
Representatives of Macy’s believes future projects will include opening outside of indoor malls and introducing the dual concept philosophy.
Burke agrees that the concept has potential.
“This is how retail works today,” said Burke, who took time out to shop after the grand opening. “It is kind of like the library. Many people said this is the end of libraries with everything online. Many said that no one will go to libraries anymore. But many people still like to read books and libraries offer a lot more.
“It is the same with shopping,” Burke added. “A lot of people still like to shop in stores. I know women do. I think we can have that balance with online shopping. We will keep our fingers crossed.”
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