NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Earlier this month, JC Penney (JCP) locations that were announced last year as part of an initial (there will be more...likely conveyed after holiday 2014) 33 total store closing plan were officially shuttered. The personal stories attached to some of these closures were heart-wrenching, as is the sad fact that most locations have not yet secured new tenants. Sources have shared with me recently that Sears (SHLD) is preparing to launch a fresh round of store closures concentrated on the East Coast. I suppose in Twitter parlance, this is <BREAKING> news.
While these mall anchors and community staples disappear, leaving ghost malls susceptible to criminal activity scattered throughout the United States, there is one department store not named Nordstrom (note: Nordstrom (JWN) is investing $3.9 billion in the next five years to open and remodel stores, up from $2.2 billion spent in the previous five years) seeking to triumph. That retailer: good ole Thanksgiving Day parade organizer Macy's (M).
Macy's whopping $400 million overhaul of its Herald Square location in New York City, set for completion by the fall of 2015, receives all of the attention in terms of the company's remodeling activity. Hey, the store is pretty darn iconic. However, unknown to many is Macy's covert mission to remodel from the ground floor up its destinations in top markets in the U.S. and open stores utilizing a fresh layout.
Focused on enticing millennials to actually visit a store with their baby-boomer parent inheritance money instead of clicking on Amazon (AMZN) or a brand's actual Web site using an iPad, the Macy's of the future sports the following key characteristics that should have JC Penney, Kohl's (KSS), Sears, and even mighty Nordstrom shaking in their boots.