We made the annual trek to Macy's Herald Square to see Santa with much insistence from my 60-something mother. It's the only place where Macy's is like it used to be, claims she who has had a Macy's credit card since 1956. Or is it? She paraded herself proudly at each sales counter waving the 20% Macy's discount card recently mailed to her--Only to be dismayed that the card was not accepted at any of the favored spots that make Macy's feel like the "old days." It's been policy for as long as I can remember that certain discounts are not extended to these leased departments. Yet the prolification of today's leased departments have deconstructed Macy's Herald Square into essentially a mall. So the Macy's my mom thinks is a nod to yesteryear is simply on lease. That makes it impossible for the essence of what was Macy's to ever extend beyond the...(er)...flagship.
But at least we know that the Santa at Macy's is real. According to my five-year-old, he never has to ask her name and he knows that she's grown a lot. That gives Macy's about another five years to grab hold of their brand before this kid hits tweenhood and steps up her retail expectations. As for now, she thinks Macy's is magical--that one brief visit each year holds her imagination for 365 days.