Should I, a self-described, obsessed (well, one of my obsessions, anyway) Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade fan, be worried? Although I try to be an optimist, I take nothing for granted – especially with two news items like these: A possible Macy’s buyout and a decline in American parade attendance.
Last Friday the Associated Press reported that “Shares of Macy’s, Inc. jumped 9 percent Friday amid speculation that the department store operator was being targeted for takeover.” While nothing is definite yet, one can begin to speculate what this could mean for the parade, especially when the article continues to say “[Macy’s, Inc]…has faced investor scrutiny as it struggles to transform its acquired May Department Stores Co. branches to Macy’s brand, resulting in lackluster sales [and]…blamed weak demand for home goods.” Should a buyout occur and inevitable cost-cutting begin, will it start with this 81-year old institution?
In a somewhat-related stretch, an article appeared on the Ventura County Sun’s website about a decline trend in American parade attendance. While the article (“Fourth of July event thriving, but Conejo Valley Parade nearly axed,” by Colleen Cason, Monday, June 25, 2007) focuses on the dwindling attendance and financial loses of small to mid-size parades there’s always the implication that this could be a future indicator for larger-scale events like Macy’s Parade. It was, however, pointed out that Macy’s Parade suffers no such loses similar to those of the Conejo Valley Days Parade and reasons offered for such declines included “multitasking modern families [with]…a host of entertainment options on any given weekend” and failure to employ media technology such as webcasting. Macy’s seemed to have covered this by having NBC’s coverage of the 2006 edition of the parade simulcast on satellite radio.
Anyway, aside from my alarmist news speculations, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is still a little less than five months away. In the meantime there’s still next week’s Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks, which I guess is as certain a sign of Macy’s, Inc’s commitment to its annual events.