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Seeing the large number of white bags with a red star when you exit the subway at West 34th Street will instantly indicate that you’ve arrived at Macy’s - New York’s first ever department store. The 10-storey building covers an entire block: the dream of every shopaholic!
No one could have known in 1858 that the small clothes’ shop on the corner of West 14th Street and 6th Avenue would grow into an American icon. The first day’s turnover was $11.06 and within a year it was nearly $90,000. By 1877, Macy’s had developed into a huge department store that occupied 11 adjoining buildings. Founder R.H. Macy, who clearly had a good eye for business, decided to move the business to West 34th Street and 6 th Avenue in 1902, where it still remains today.
Mr. Macy was a true pioneer and his shop featured many innovations. The building on West 34th Street was the first in the world with an escalator. These wooden escalators have been preserved and can be found between the 8th and 9th floors. Macy’s was also the first to introduce items such as teabags and multi-coloured towels for the general public. And the store’s fame went global in 1947 when the film Miracle on 34th Street suggested that the only true Santa was to be found at Macy’s.
Shopping in Macy’s is quite an experience, and we recommend picking up a floor plan at the entrance. With the countless lifts and escalators connecting the buildings it’s easy to get lost. There are separate sports departments for men and women, and even a special section for gala and party clothes. Have your gifts beautifully wrapped at the gift wrap service, or enjoy a manicure or massage on the second floor. Fun souvenirs with the famous Macy’s star are available in the special shop in the basement.
As shopping makes one hungry, Macy’s offers various catering locations throughout the buildings. The most choice and healthiest food is in the basement, but there are snacks available on almost every floor, including a McDonald’s on the 7th and a Starbucks on the 3rd floor. The delicious aromas of Auntie Annie’s Pretzels can be found on the 4th floor.
One of the most important holidays in the United States is Thanksgiving Day, and one of the best-known events connected to this day is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year, Macy’s organises a colourful parade through the streets of Manhattan. New Yorkers gather along the route to cheer on the parade, and the show is aired on television throughout the country. This iconic event began with the Christmas Parade in 1924 which was designed to attract new customers to the store.