So next on our wonderful trip to Florida, we hopped back into our amazing Mustang and headed down to Sarasota, to the brand new Mall at University Town Centre (UTC for short). The brand new Macy’s there is utterly fantastic, and very state of the art. We joined store manager Kerry Yelle for a tour of the store. She’s understandably pretty proud of the place and pointed out several really cool features that are unique to this ‘smart store’. The lighting, for example, has been designed to be sustainable and the lamps don’t need replacing, plus the changing rooms have lights that only come on when you enter, to save energy.
There’s creative use of technology everywhere you look: the management team at the store use Surface Pros that are all synced together, so they’re in touch all the time, and there are lots of tablets all around the store. At the Clinique counter, there are diagnostic tablets, and the Chanel station even has a ‘smart mirror’ that can show different lighting moods at the touch of a button!
Kerry also showed us ‘Connect at Macy’s’ – a station quite near the door where customers can view a complete inventory of the store’s stock. Customers can pick up online orders, order from other stores (these items are then shipped direct to the customer), and lovely Thomas, who’s in charge of Connect, will take customers to see specialist staff in any department if they wish to see the item they’ve found on screen, or need any more information. It’s all pretty clever stuff.
And don’t feel left out if you’re a UK customer – you can buy from Macy’s online (there’s currently a really cheap flat rate shipping offer: £7 if you spend over £65 – order before 15th December).
After all this excitement, we headed to Seasons 52 at the UTC mall for some lunch. We’d heard about the concept: delicious seasonal food and – incredibly – nothing on the menu that’s more than 475 calories. I didn’t know this bit on the menu until after we’d eaten and didn’t feel that anything was particulary ‘low calorie’ or ‘diet’. We had a delicious meal, starting with these incredible garlicky shrimp flatbreads:
We also had a rather incredible, velvety bottle of Sonoma County Merlot:
For main course, we both went for the blackened Mahi Mahi soft tacos with pico de gallo, salsa verde and coriander sour cream. Utterly moreish:
The birthday boy even got to choose a special dessert from this little lot:
Suitably refreshed, we spend the afternoon at Macy’s with our ‘MBA’ (Macy’s By Appointment) personal shopper, who was absolutely adorable, endlessly patient, and must spend a lot of time outside changing rooms. Macy’s are trialling the service at the moment but it will be coming soon to their stores. Perfect if you have a special outfit to shop for. We were surprised how adding another person into the mix suggesting items made you consider things you wouldn’t have chosen if you were on your own. Here’s Mr E modelling his new look:
What a top day. For more info, or if you’re planning a trip to the USA and would like to know more about Macy’s, follow #UKdoesMacy’s on Twitter or check out Visit Macy’s USA – you’ll even find me there!