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Macy’s Inc (M) Gets With the Times, Partners With Apple Inc. (AAPL)

A budding association with star brands is just the makeover that Macy's needs

Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) is partnering with star brands in a bid to boost lackluster foot traffic and few names have the cache of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Macy's Inc (M) Gets With the Times, Partners With Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Source: Via Apple

What this ultimately means for M stock is another matter entirely, especially given AAPL’s own recent woes.

The nation’s largest department store operator said Friday it will begin selling Apple Watches and other Apple-branded goods in its department stores. M will also open an Apple Store within its flagship Manhattan location next month.

The store-in-store concept, which has become increasingly popular with retailers, should help the Herald Square location do brisker business during the holiday selling season. That’s the theory anyway. As a key tourist hub, Macy’s flagship store is having a hard time with the stronger dollar. Unfavorable forex is going to extend to anything Apple sells, too.

There’s also the concern that Apple’s underwhelming iPhone 7 and other product refreshes aren’t going to reverse lagging interest in the company’s gadgets.

More than one national retailer said sales last quarter were hurt by a lack of compelling Apple products. It’s very much an open question if the iPhone 7 is going to be a sufficient hit to move the needle on Macy’s traffic.

Brand-Building Is a Welcome Development for Macy’s

That said, kudos to Macy’s for partnering with Apple, and earlier, with Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), to bring those brands into its own stores. The department store chain is in need of its own brand refresh, and any association with AAPL or SBUX sure can’t hurt.

The bottom line is that these are more strategic marketing developments than short-term fundamental ones. Sure, perhaps when the smoke clears after the holidays we’ll learn that the Apple partnership gave an assist to same-store sales.

More likely, any benefits from these sorts of deals will take time to reveal themselves.

Either way, it’s encouraging to see Macy’s get with the times.

As of this writing, Dan Burrows did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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