Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Macy’s at River Park: WTF or FTW?

Last week I had four people tell me they were disappointed in the new Macy’s at River Park. I thought it was strange. Most of us have been to Macy’s and we know what to expect. How could it be disappointing?


So, on Friday, I had the day off and decided to check out the new store. I now get it. The store kind of feels like another department store masquerading as Macy’s. It has new signs and that infamous star, but something feels off.

It might be — as a few of my friends pointed out — that the merchandise is placed in the exact same places (men’s and home good upstairs, ladies downstairs) as it was in the old Gottschalks. But, I noticed a couple other things too:

1. The sale racks in the shoe department were sorted by style and not by size. Every other Macy’s I’ve gone to, in the Bay Area, LA, at Fashion Fair, have the shoes sorted by size. The only department store that I’ve ever seen sort shoes by style was Gottschalks.

2. Karen Kane clothing. A whole section of it. Now I am no Macy’s expert, but I have spent my share of time scouring the racks and I don’t recall ever seeing Karen Kane sold at Macy’s. I did a search of the Macy’s Web site for Karen Kane, and nothing came up for sale. Karen Kane was definitely a brand sold at Gottschalks.

3. There was no Tommy Hilfiger clothing. No Michael Kors clothing. (Aren’t both of those guys in the Macy’s commercials?) And, there was almost no designer clothing. I saw one tiny section — and I mean tiny — dedicated to Calvin Klein, DKNY and Lucky jeans wear. The sales lady said the top designer brands were only at Fashion Fair and might come to River Park soon.

The whole experience was odd. I think I’ll stick to the Macy’s at Fashion Fair. Has anyone else gone to the store? Did you think WTF (What the Fudgesicle, a.k.a. “What were they thinking?”) or FTW (For the win, a.k.a “A victory for people everywhere.”)?

Responses to "Macy’s at River Park: WTF or FTW?"

Heather says:

Macy’s name looks so odd and wrong on the outside that I have no interest in going inside. Maybe because I didn’t care for Gottschalks, those feelings have transferred over.

Sara M. says:

Never been a big fan of Macy’s. I’d go there if I lived on that side of town but I’ll stick to Fashion Fair (and that’s only if I have to go in). Maybe I’d go to Macy’s River Park if the had AWESOME Black Friday deals but it’s still a maaaayybeeeee…

Staci Louise says:

Went in last week and I was REALLY disappointed! Harsh lighting, boring plain white walls, cramped racks of uninteresting clothes and a sad cosmetics area…I just wanted to GET OUT ASAP! I’m sad because I thought Macy’s would be a great fashionable upgrade from Gottschalks, but unfortately it’s the same boring crap, new name.

teresa says:

I’ve been told the River Park store is supposed to be a ‘moderate’ store, meaning that they won’t be selling the same designer merchandise the Fashion Fair store sells. Maybe it’s because they’re trying to pick up Gottschalks’ old customers, or maybe they don’t think two stores with the same merchandise will do well.

Marisa says:

I had someone else tell me the same thing! They said I probably wouldn’t like it and that the shoe department was weird. Also, one of my friends daughters asked where the Impulse (a popular line they carry) section was, and they told her they didn’t have it at that store.

SO, I’m going to try and check it out next week for myself, but boo hoo – it doesn’t sound that great :(

pk says:

Just like when Macy’s took over the Marshall Fields in Chicago…..whoo hoo….now that was really weird…..still is…..

but back to FTW… is because there is something filling that space, employing those people, and sending tax $ back to our community….
personally even when it was Gottschalks it was not a physical store I liked….the layout, the something was off, but will slowly keep trying to shop there as it is the closer location…..

CJ28 says:

Not sure if you ever went to the Gottschalks there, but it always felt different than any of the other Gottschalks stores. For some reason you expect it ot be like all the others but that massive store in Riverpark is just so different. I don’t think it matters what goes in there, it will always be too big.
WTF for the feel of the store. FTW for at least having a store there rather than huge empty space.

Whitney says:

The Macy’s in River Park has a new concept called “My Macy’s”. If they don’t currently carry what you are looking for, ask for it. Request it. Demand it. The more customers that ask for the Impulse section, the more likely they will carry that type of merchandise in the future.

Don’t dismiss the Macy’s in River Park just yet. They have been open less than a month and I truly believe there merchandise will continue to change and begin to fit the clientele of the surrounding area.

Check out the article.

I believe Macy’s in River Park is FTW. Macy’s has hired hundreds of people and is creating revenue for the City of Fresno from sales tax.

Sherry says:

I too was surprised there weren’t more changes from the previous Gottschalks store. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the store manager and almost all dept. managers in that store are from the old Gottschalks River Park store?

Ginger Julian says:

I’m glad the Riverpark Macy will be a moderate store. This IS a recession. I quit shopping at the Fashion Fair store because all their clothes are for teenagers it seems. Perhaps the Riverpark store will remember the rest of us, and since we lost Gottschalk’s in Oakhurst, too, this will be the closest department store for the thousands of us who live up in the beautiful foothills.

mut says:

Macy’s is gross. Should have been a Nordstroms

Tone says:

Should have been a Nordstrom or a Bloomingdales. BOO!

Mark says:

So Whitney what Macy’s payroll are you on?

Mary says:

Whether you want to believe it or not, Whitney is right on the money. Macy’s is here to make money and hopefully, not emulate Gottschalk’s. I shopped Macy’s and Gottschalk’s. Macy’s always responded to my, well, complaints and I guess i was not alone because some changes happened. Dear Gottschalk’s never acknowleged my comments even with a postcard. Not something that happened in the years that it was owned by the family. I guess it lost its way. Go to Riverpark and make your needs known. Go online to Macy’s website. Whining and doing nothing gets you nothing.

Hmm, they had Tommy Hilfiger there on opening day. I remember a table stacked with their sweaters near the east door.

And the part about the shoes confuses me. Discount racks are usually organized by size, but aren’t regular displays always by brand with one shoe available and you ask for your size?

Whitney is right about the My Macy’s. All of the stores have that now and base a percentage of their merchandise on what customers ask for. It’s definitely worth asking about what you want. Being a new store they may need some time to figure that out.

Kathy Mahan says:

I didn’t see the Hilfiger. And when asked about the designer wear, the sales lady said they didn’t carry those brands. On the shoes, yes, most stores usually leave one shoe out and you ask. They are grouped by size but there are a mix of styles and brands to wade through. The River Park Macy’s had them grouped by style, one style placed in a neat rows. Just felt weird to me.

I do agree with the comments that it’s definitely better to have the space filled than to be vacant. But, I still think I will head to Fashion Fair when I want to shop at Macy’s.

Jenifer Casey says:

I was very disappointed. First of all, it’s another Macy’s, which doesn’t add to our shopping diversity or experience in Fresno. Once again, small town mentality. Why doesn’t Nordstrom’s or any other dept. store want to come to Fresno? Are we just that cheap? I still need to go to SF or LA to find real variety and new trends. Even those Macy’s have more selection and better sales! Next, this Macy’s has a much smaller selection in general, and the shoe department seemed completely lacking in styles and higher end brands. I walked around, but was less then impressed. How sad, that I still have to go to Fashion Fair to find what I am looking for when this Macy’s is just down the street.

LC says:

FTW! It could have become a Forever 21 like some of the other Gottschalks, or be vacant like the rest. Let’s count our blessings!

Kassandra says:

I felt the same way! I went in to pay my bill on a lunch hour and just decided to browse the new store. It seemed as though there was no creative effort to define the shopping experience for the customers. It felt and looked boring like the previous tenant. There were brands I had never heard of, and most importantly, the shoe section was horrible. It seemed as though the buyers are for sure trying to appeal to Gottschalks customers only! I shop at Macy’s for shoes and make-up. Both departments were dissapointing. =(

C Bonesteel says:

Okay all you dissatified Macy/Riverpark customers, send the store up to Oakhurst to fill the empty Gottschalks space. We want a department store and don’t care that it is a ‘lesser’ Macys :)

pk says:

Not a surprising comment coming from a person who doesn’t understand the shoppers mentality!…believe it or not, many people (guys and gals) who need their ‘retail therapy’ make it their business to know what stores offer,and when, and are then able to pick up the best the stores have to offer….its only smart! So whether or not Whitney is on their payroll is immaterial …she is responding and educating those of us who do care….the shoppers should stick together! We will all win! FTW!

LauraA says:

Ok everyone – I do in fact work there and I’m here to let you know that after the holidays thing will start to change. Word on the street is that we WILL be getting an impulse section. So you’ll have more access to designer wear. Yes the layout is very similar, but they did that in an attempt to open the store sooner rather than later. Think of all those additional tax dollars that would have disappeared had they been forced to open after the holidays.

I realize its a small store – but the staff is really nice :) Give us a chance!

Kathy Mahan says:

Thanks for filling us in on what’s in the pipeline. I look forward to seeing how the store evolves. And, I agree, the staff is very nice at the store.

Carla says:

I was at Macy’s Riverpark in Fresno, Ca. yesterday. I am writing up a report of the dissatification. I had my reciept and only needed to even exchange a blouse that clearly had a seam manufactor hole. The young gal did not do it and gave me the run around that macys needed tags, even though I provided proof of a recipt. Funny because I was in jeans a a tshirt and dressed very casual with my kids. Next customer in line was an older woman, dressed posh and chic and returning, no reciept and no tags and she did the transacation no problem. Funny, how Macys will cater to you if your dressed to kill. I went in this morning. Same gal working, and kissed my ass! She was embrassed it was me in my work clothes. Ha! She said she didn’t have my shirt for the exchange, yet I found it on my own. The girl apologized to me and than gave me a comment saying, “Oh I thought you were mexican.” What does that mean? I will never be going back to that macys and shopping in the INC departmetn again. Disguised!