A Change in Business Strategy Proves Profitable for Macy's

The department store chain has thrived in a tough climate for retailers that cater to middle-income consumers.

In 2007, Michael Dervos, then regional director of Macy's New York-area stores, walked past a clearance sale in the shoe department of the store in Flushing, Queens. He noticed that all the shoes were size 9 and above -- even though many of the store's customers were Asian-Americans, who tend to have smaller feet. Meanwhile, on the clearance rack at a Brooklyn Macy's, which had customers who tended to have average-size feet, the shoe sizes were 7 and below. Dervos swapped the inventories of the two stores, and the shoes sold quickly.

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Jennifer Schonberger
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance