STORY at Macy’s, the always-changing pop-up store within 36 Macy’s locations nationwide, unveiled its second concept: Outdoor STORY. A collaboration with DICK’S Sporting Goods and Miracle-Gro, this adventure-filled store-within-a-store opened today and runs until September, offering Macy’s customers an outdoor-inspired playground that places an editorial focus on entertaining, bringing the outside indoors, as well as recreational activities. STORY at Macy’s explores the theme through a mix of curated merchandise from more than 70 brands, dynamic store design, and community-focused event programming which ranges from indoor gardening workshops to outdoor activities such as kayaking on the Hudson River.

To bring some outdoor experts to the table, STORY at Macy’s teamed up with DICK’S and Miracle-Gro. What better way to bring the outdoors to life than through inspired, exclusive merchandise that calls you to get outside and then to bring the splendor of nature to your indoor spaces through a range of plants, indoor gardens, and curated products.

Outdoor STORY marks a set of firsts for Macy’s, as the department store partners with the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, DICK’S, and Miracle-Gro, to bring the theme to life. “When Rachel Shechtman, founder of STORY, came to me with the concept, I paused, because I wouldn’t have thought about partnering with another retailer to sell outdoor products at Macy’s. However, as she presented her ideas and the merchandise her team was envisioning, it made a lot of sense. I reached out to Ed Stack, chairman & CEO of DICK’S, knowing that this would be a first for them as well – to share their exclusive private brand assortment in another major retailer – but he also saw the creative vision and we had the deal done and partnership launched in less than two months,” shared Jeff Gennette, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, Inc.

STORY at Macy’s signature, collaborative DNA is expressed through the first-of-its-kind partnership for Macy’s and DICK’S. The sporting goods retailer will come to life inside STORY through a highly curated mix of apparel and hard goods from DICK’S own private brands, Alpine Design and Field & Stream, making this their first debut at another major retailer. “We see this retail collaboration between Macy’s, Miracle-Gro and DICK’S as a way to showcase how three very different American-made companies can come together to create a unique shopping experience for all customers. We wish to thank the entire STORY team for thinking of DICK’S first when seeking an outdoor partner for this summer outdoor collaboration,” said Stack.

Outdoor STORY will further support the Macy’s brand experience team’s ‘test and learn’ approach via a variety of cross-merchandising strategies and event programming that showcases the community of each brand. “I think people may be surprised and intrigued by our partnerships, and that is exactly what we wanted. We want to show both consumers, as well as businesses, that collaboration is the new competition; bringing together brands as storytellers to add authority and authenticity to a subject matter, like we are doing with DICK’S and Miracle-Gro, benefits both the customer and the business,” commented Rachel Shechtman, Macy’s brand experience officer and founder of STORY. As the retail industry continues to evolve, Shechtman noted that, “The timing felt right to lean on each brand’s respective strengths to empower new modes of collaboration and learning.”

DICK’S Sporting Goods and Miracle-Gro were attracted to the opportunity to bring their respective brands to life in a highly-shareable setting, a defining feature of STORY at Macy’s, as recently evidenced by its launch concept, Color STORY. David Stark Design once again brings an ambitious creative vision to the spaces, taking customers on an outdoor adventure through lush greenery, playful landscapes, and endlessly Instagram-friendly moments, including kidpreneur Mikaila Ulmer’s Me & the Bees lemonade, stand at Herald Square. After the success of its popular spectrum installation in Color STORY, Current by GE will be back for Outdoor STORY. For this theme, Current by GE’s Tetra contour lighting will highlight ‘greenhouses’ on the main floor of Herald Square, guiding customers through a fauna circus on the mezzanine.

At all locations nationwide, STORY will host a range of dynamic indoor and outdoor activities!

Over the span of two months, STORY at Macy’s will program more than 250 events taking place at 36 locations nationwide. The events will spotlight local experts, while bringing the values of DICK’S Sporting Goods and Miracle-Gro to life through hands-on workshops and outdoor activities. Highlights include herb garden planting, planter customization workshops, terrarium making classes, tie-dye t-shirt making tutorials, cornhole tournaments and barbecue cooking classes that will feature a make your own custom BBQ sauce station.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.