I'm not sure how to interpret this question: it could mean "Why did Macy's rebrand all of the Marshall Field stores when it bought out the company?" or it could mean, "Why did Macy's turn previously elegant stores with great merchandise, a very old reputation and excellent service into crap?"

Either one is a fair question. The first is a bit hard to answer, given that the response was pretty much universally negative. Chicagoans in particular reacted badly to the rebranding of the flagship State Street store, but either they weren't alone or the impact spread beyond local borders--the issue has arisen again and again at stockholder meetings.

Obviously, rebranding the stores took time and money from the parent company, and there doesn't seem to have been any upside in terms of public response--and that was clear before the actual change got underway. So, turning Marshall Field into Macy's doesn't make a whole lot of sense from an economic or public relations standpoint.

Turning the stores into crap, however, probably makes a lot of financial sense. By filling the shelves with the same merchandise that's being offered all over the country, the chain undoubtedly gets larger discounts on its purchasing. And, since merchandise quality appears to have diminished without any accompanying drop in prices, I'd hazard a guess that profit margins on individual sales are up.

I have to admit that the changes that have taken place in the store itself make me glad (though I was very unhappy when the change was announced) that Macy's decided to rebrand the stores. It was a shame to see Marshall Field die, but it would have been worse to watch it deteriorate. At least this way, it's Macy's that's turned into a seven-story Wal-Mart rather than our beloved Marshall Field.

Each post on the Search Engine Question Pool answers a direct question found in the search statistics for one of my other blogs. This one came from Tiffany Talks