Macy Business

As I watched the old Woolworth Building in Haverhill, Massachusetts being torn down over the last couple of weeks I was reminded of another well known Haverhill store name that dated back to a time long before the Woolworth store’s 1949 start.  Rowland Hussey Macy founder of the famous New York Macy’s Department Store got a start in Haverhill in 1851.  In fact the first Macy’s parade was in Haverhill on July 4, 1854.  Growing up in Haverhill what I remember most about the Macy story is something that is inspiring to think about.  Between 1843 and 1855, Rowland Macy failed to reach his dreams at investment and retail ventures not once but four times.  Most people would have given up, but Macy did not.  In 1858 he sold his Haverhill store and went to New York with a bit of cash from other non-related ventures, and a whole new perspective from which to build his new endeavor.  When Macy opened his New York store in 1858 sales totaled only about $11.00 on his first day.  This first day would discourage most, but Macy was not going to give up on his venture. His determination and leadership skills earned his store $90,000 dollars in gross sales in 1858, the equivalent of millions in today’s dollars.  The store continued to have success year after year. By 1880, the store had expanded down the block and covered ten store fronts. Much of the growth can be attributed to introducing firsts. Macy pioneered the first concept of a department store.  He was the first to hire a woman executive, with the idea that she would know what shoppers wanted. He introduced new advertising and marketing strategies, including newspaper ads and the money-back guarantee.  Building on his Haverhill idea he started his annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Rowland Macy discovered some very important principles from his setbacks that everyone should know and operate by.  First, mistakes are only mistakes if you don’t learn from them, and failure is only failure if you never try again. Macy knew how to keep his dream alive and became skilled at staying the course in spite of obstacles.  He used his past failures to build a better future.  Macy also learned if your business cannot keep up with the times, than it is destined to fail.  He made innovation a major priority.  Think about these lessons that Rowland Hussey Macy learned and turned into great success as you start your days and work on your self and your business today.

About Bud Hart

Work experience prior to starting Hart Group includes PBH Enterprises, employment with the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority. Private sector experience includes 10 years managing operations, finances and property for a prominent Boston-based company, and business and financial operations for a Wellesley, Mass. start-up. I hold a Master’s degree from Boston University with a concentration in urban planning and administration, an undergraduate degree in planning and landscape architecture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Erickson International College Professional Coach Certification program
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