Thursday, August 31, 2006

Macy's shows lack of street sense regarding landmark Field's store

Sandra Jones
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- Signs of Macy's approaching takeover of Marshall Field's on State Street are everywhere. Trouble is, some of them are the wrong signs.

New backlighted directional signs posted throughout the store near escalator banks make it clear that the new owner of Field's doesn't spend much time in Chicago.

The New York department store chain mistakenly labeled Wabash Avenue as "Wabash Street," Randolph Street as "Randolph Avenue" and Washington Street as "Washington Avenue."

The gaffe is striking, given that all Macy's signmakers had to do was to look above the doors on the first floor of the Field's flagship to locate the correct names, inscribed decades ago to help navigate the blockwide store.

Transplanted New Yorker Mike Doyle spotted the snafu walking through the store Wednesday morning and posted it on his Chicago Carless blog that afternoon.

"While that's not a critical faux pas, it's certainly embarrassing and not the best way to try to prove to Chicago locals that the Gotham retailer is taking its move to State Street seriously," Doyle wrote on his blog.

The Field's chain, including the State Street store, officially becomes Macy's on Sept. 9.

Macy's North spokeswoman Jennifer McNamara was unaware of the error when first contacted by the Chicago Tribune. After looking into the matter, she said: "We are addressing the signage. They will be pulled down, and we will be replacing those. Our plan is to get those up as soon as possible."

Macy's isn't the only organization to temporarily lose its way. The Chicago Transit Authority is spending $75,000 to reprint 3,000 maps on its trains after incorrect street names and a wrong phone number were discovered.

And in 2001, when Boeing Co. touted its headquarters move to Chicago with full-page newspaper ads, it inadvertently flipped the photo negative so the John Hancock Center was on the west side of North Michigan Avenue.

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