Macy's Plans World's Largest Shoe Store as Part of $400 Million Redesign

By Jill Colvin on November 1, 2011 8:18pm 

Exterior view of the restored Macy's Herald Square building along Broadway.
Exterior view of the restored Macy's Herald Square building along Broadway.
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Business Wire

MIDTOWN — Macy’s Herald Square plans to create the world’s largest women’s shoe department as part of a massive $400 million redesign that will add new luxury retailers, a brew pub and a sit-down restaurant with views of the Empire State Building, the store announced Tuesday.

The renovations, which Macy’s touted as “unprecedented,” will add 100,000 square feet of new retail space by converting stock rooms and offices, and extending the mezzanine level in the store's Broadway building, the store said.

In addition to updates on every level, a new “hall of luxury brands” in the Broadway building will feature handbags and shoes in a series of high-end two- and three-level shops, including the Louis Vuitton boutique, which will be expanded to multiple floors.

The second floor will be dominated by what the store is touting as the world's largest women's shoe department, with 39,000 feet of space offering “an unequalled assortment of fashion and luxury footwear” and as many as 300,000 pairs of shoes on any given day, the store said.

The retailer will also add a coffee, wine and chocolate bar, a new sit-down restaurant on the sixth floor looking out over Broadway, and a new complex of casual dining eateries on the lower level, including a brew pub that will remain open past store business hours.

The store will also be getting a high-tech boost, with interactive store directories, a “shoe locator system,” new signage and a mobile app.

But not everything will be brand new, as a series of restorations are also planned for the location.

Renovations to the first floor “Great Hall,” which features cosmetics, fragrances and jewelry, will restore the ceiling to its original height. Work on the building's exterior will include restoring and reopening the "Memorial Entrance" on West 34th Street; reopening windows along Broadway, West 34th Street and Seventh Avenue; and adding new awnings and canopies reminiscent of the original design.

Sidewalks near the store’s entrances will also be replaced with Macy's-branded "welcome mats" paved in the ground.

Macy's in Herald Square.
Macy's in Herald Square.
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Flickr/Stacey Huggins

In another ode to its more than century-old history, the store will preserve 42 of its 43 historic wooden escalators, using the 43rd for replacement parts, the store said.

"While we will be creating a modern, customer-centric shopping experience for customers at Herald Square, we also will be careful to preserve and restore the historical integrity of this landmark building,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement announcing the renovations, which are expected to last about four years.

“Blending Macy's architectural legacy with advanced technology and contemporary design is what makes this project so special," he said.

The plan also includes nearly 300 new fitting rooms and new restrooms, as well as a major expansion of men’s merchandise, which will cover about 200,000 square feet over seven floors.

The remodeling is scheduled to begin this spring.

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