Technology with attitude

Great Tree and Holiday Windows unveiled at Macy's on State Street… already?

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A little over a week ago, we were passing out candy and dressing up for Halloween. Once November arrives, most corporations completely overlook Thanksgiving and move right on to Christmas… and Macy’s on State Street is one of those companies.

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Last night, Macy’s held its annual lighting of the Great Tree in the Walnut Room and unveiled its holiday-themed windows. Michelle Williams, former member of Destiny’s Child and a Rockford, IL native, sang at the event. The tree, filled with thousands of silver lights and ornaments, stands 45 feet tall, and the windows tell the story of how children’s letters reach the North Pole.

Many Chicagoans have expressed their disgust for the Macy’s brand ever since it took over for Marshall Fields in 2005. And one of their biggest complaints were about the holiday windows. As each year passed, the displays just got worse. Tough times forced Macy’s to cut costs and eventually fire their lead designer. Last year, there wasn’t even a storyline… just a theme called “Believe.”

This year, Macy’s has tried to redeem itself with a cute story about how the kiddes’ letters get to Santa at the North Pole. And, of course, one of these ways includes dropping the letter off at your local Macy’s. Now, for every letter sent, Macy’s will donate $1 to charity. However, are most parents simply going to drive their kid to the store just to drop off a letter? Probably not. They’ll most likely do some shopping.

It seems as though Macy’s has taken a beloved Chicago tradition from Marshall Fields and eventually twisted it to incorporate a marketing campaign. Nowadays, the holiday windows don’t even stretch the entire length of the store’s position on State Street. Perhaps the company should spend less money paying celebrities like Martha Stuart, Donald Trump and Jessica Simpson to appear in their commercials (and sell their perfumes, colognes, clothing and other items) and put a little more thought (and money) into its holiday windows.