Foley’s Department Store Will Be Dearly Missed

Goodbye Foley’s, Hello Macy’s

That loud gulping noise you hear is probably the nation’s largest department store operator, Federated Department Stores, swallowing the No. 2 department store marketer, May Department Stores in an $11 billion acquisition.

It could also be coming from the legions of shocked shoppers who have fond memories of shopping at their neighborhood Foley’s Department Store, which will be converted to Macy’s in the fall of 2006 as a result of the merger.

If not now, soon. Way too soon for some people.

What losing Foley’s Department Store means to some

Foley’s Department Store is an icon in places like Houston, Texas, where there are 16 out of a total of 69 stores. Most older Houston residents nostalgically recall weekend shopping expeditions where, with or without parents they headed to the downtown Foley’s Department Store in pursuit of a special outfit or party dress. At Christmastime, there was always the visit with Santa to look forward to, and checking out all the fun window dressings was a day-long affair.

With the imminent metamorphosis of Foley’s Department Stores into Macy’s, those memories may be all that will remain of what was one of the most respected and beloved names in retail. But big mergers are nothing new in the world of retail or any other corporation, and most people take it in stride. What other option do they have, really?

What’s in a name, anyway?

As long as there is a place to shop that offers great styles, good products and affordable prices, does it really matter whether the name emblazoned on the door says Foley’s or Macy’s? To many people it does, but mostly from an emotional place rather than from a need-fulfillment place. They feel a certain loss that is likely tied to their fond childhood memories. When the Foley’s Department Store they frequented as a child or teenager gets converted into a Macy’s Department store, they may still shop at the “new” store, but in their hearts the place will always be called Foley’s.

While the “new” store may meet their needs as well as the Foley’s store they remember, it just isn’t the same. However, in many cases, the new store meets their actual physical needs more usefully by offering an improved mix of clothes, better displays and bigger sales, which translates to a better shopping experience overall.

Speaking of shopping

There’s still time to shop at a Foley’s Department Store because they aren’t slated for conversion to Macy’s until late 2006. So if you are among those who lament the passing of this retail icon, you can browse your local Foley’s Store to stock up your memory bank as well as your closet.

If you don’t have a Foley’s in your area to browse the old-fashioned way, you can shop online for everything from the latest electronic gadgets like portable DVD players and Ipods, to Cuisinarts for the kitchen. Perhaps you want a JLo perfume set, a Moqu people-pillow in psychedelic colors or fashionable apparel for the entire family? The online Foley’s has it all, so shop now or forever hold your peace.

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