Macy’s Wants Guarantees To Keep Former Burdines Open

MIAMI – Macy’s (NYSE: M) is considering revitalizing its important, and historic downtown Miami store. The store is the former flagship Burdines. At right, a vintage photo of their old tea room.

Macy’s Florida President J. David Scheiner said to a meeting of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce that the company would consider the $20 million renovation if the city could prove that the the store can generate that much in additional sales.

”The only way we would do it is if we see the ability to pick up at least $15 million in sales,” Scheiner said, in a Miami Herald story reported by Elaine Walker. “That isn’t going to be done by people coming nine to five. It isn’t going to be done without a whole downtown revitalization.”

The city of Miami has been encouraging Macy’s to invest in the store; Macy’s officials meanwhile have criticized Miami for the ragged condition of Flagler Street, and have threatened to leave downtown. This comes at a time when thousands of new apartments and condos have opened up in downtown Miami.

Nationally, Macy’s is cutting back and recently announced a major reshuffling and the shuttering of its Miami office. In south Florida, Macy’s has won acclaim for its renovation of its South Beach store, and the recent opening of a Todd English restaurant, Figs, at a West Palm Beach store.

The Miami store is one of many downtown stores that are legacies from the many stores merged into Macy’s. Macy’s has renovated some of the stores, including the former Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia and the former Meier and Frank in Portland. Read more about it in our story on Surviving Downtown Department stores.

BrandlandUSA suggested that Macy’s revive the Burdines name as a private label. Perhaps the store could be revived in the manner of Portland, where the store building has been restored as Macy’s at Meier and Frank.

Noted New Urbanist planner Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture, encouraged both the city and the company to work together to save the store. “They can’t do it by themselves.”


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

    View all posts


  1. My employer Darlene Quinn used to work for Bullock’s Wilshire here in LA. She lived through what she calls ‘the greediest time in corporate history – until now’. The corporate raids and hostel take overs of departments stores in the 1980’s have come back to haunt us. When you think back to all the old elegant department stores, and the lovely tearooms we used to enjoy shopping at, it’s sad to see it happening again today.

    Coming from the upstate NY I will always have a soft spot for Macy’s, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas times, but I do understand the dismay of watching so many well known regionally loved store names disappearing and having them replaced with the large red star and the name Macy’s.

    Darlene is also very familiar with the group and has noticed other cities following their lead, demanding the names they recognize and love be returned to their rightful place. It would be kind of Macy’s to leave the name recognition of a regionally love department stores intact – we have already lost too many of them.

    ~Kathy Porter

  2. Burdine’s was a great store. It really was Miami. I don’t think it’s very likely you can get the shoppers around here to shop at Macy’s. It is remarkably bland and cheap.

  3. Golly, would Macy’s guarantee they would not fill the entire store with overpriced, poorly made goods sold in messy stores with non-existent customer service. Opps, that is that they already did. Macy’s wants $15 million more in sales. Good luck. Well, start by changing the store name back to Burdine’s..then restore Marshall Field’s in Chicago…in style, selection and service.

    Want to know how people really feel about Macy’s? Visit

  4. The entire United States seems to be disgruntled with Macy’s habit of buying out traditional department stores and making them over into Macy’s mess. I doubt that any amount of money invested can impress a public that has come to hate anything Macy’s. I think selling some of the stores to an entity that cares and can restore both name and quality is the only thing that can keep many of these stores open.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *