CHICAGO CARLESS Tips Citywide Media on Macy’s Blundered Signage


(Photo: Free with every Macy’s purchase…a Chicago street atlas?)

[This post was edited at 10:00 p.m. after an unexpected but satisfying day of hullabaloo.]

Devyn always tells me never to leave the house without my camera. Yesterday proved why. After I discovered, photographed, and posted about wayfinding signs installed by Macy’s in their new digs on State Street that actually list incorrect names for the streets surrounding the store, others found my entry about Macy’s poor proofreading skills hard to resist.

First, Gapers Block linked back to my post yesterday afternoon under the lampooning headline, “Macy’s on State Avenue”. I’m a big fan of Gapers Block, and was gratified by their coverage.

I’m also gratified by their reach. Soon after making it onto GB’s front page, a reporter from the Chicago Tribune contacted me to discuss my blogpost about the errant signage. So today, thanks to GB and, frankly, Federated’s poor quality control, the Tribune wrote an article about my blog post from yesterday (“Macy’s shows lack of street sense regarding landmark Field’s store”) and published it…on the front page of the Business section. The article went on to become the newspaper’s number-one emailed news story of the day.

But the news didn’t end there. By day’s end, the blundered-signage story–with my quote included–was picked up on the UPI newswire and distributed nationally, and independent reports appeared on the local CBS, FOX, and WGN evening news. [Edit: And as the weekend rolled around, I was quoted and three of my pictures were featured in the Business Insider section of the Detroit News, and let me just say Hi, Aretha!] Talk about the power of the blogosphere.

Not that my intent was to bring citywide shame to Federated–they managed that all by themselves (well, maybe with a little help from their graphics department). But when you’re under intense scrutiny from an entire city of your potential customers many of whom have already labeled you callous and capricious when it comes to local culture, it’s really best to dot your “i”s and cross your “t”s. Or at least to show that you know where the store you bought is actually located.

To the women from the Macy’s information desk who, upon my informing them of the erroneous signage, said to me, “Thanks for telling us and not the Tribune”, I have but one thing to say in my defense.


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