Saturday, August 1, 2009

Retail Showdown at Herald Square

Once upon a time, NYC's Herald Square was a major retail crossroads in one of the world's best shopping cities. During the past 40 years, too many chains and independents went bankrupt or were merged. Now JCPenney has opened a big new store in Herald Square, across the street from Macy's, in a high-stakes retail showdown that will make NYC shoppers the big winners.

Probably this new rivalry will be lower-key than the great Gimbel's vs. Macy's competition that inspired key elements of the plot in The Miracle on 34th Street. No matter what, both retailers need the increased foot traffic that the new store opening will bring to Herald Square.

JCPenney is no stranger to NYC: It has stores elsewhere, and its pop-up temporary shops have attracted considerable attention in recent years. Macy's, which has outlasted all rivals in Herald Square to this point, has an unusually high public profile at this time of year, thanks to its annual July 4th fireworks extravaganza. Let the shopping begin!

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