Women Leaders

Molly Langenstein, Macy’s, Inc.

Molly Langenstein

Macy’s Mission

Editors’ Note

Molly Langenstein was promoted to her current role in February 2015 after serving as Executive Vice President for men’s and kids at Macy’s Private Brands since April 2014. Previously, she was Macy’s Executive Vice President for fashion and new business development and General Merchandise Manager for categories appealing to customers in the Millennial generation. Her 30-year merchandising career has included assignments as General Merchandise Manager for men’s and kids at Macy’s Florida (Miami), for Millennial at Macy’s West (San Francisco), and for ready-to-wear at Macy’s North (Minneapolis) since joining Miami-based Burdines in 1985. Langenstein also served briefly as a merchandising executive at May D&F.

Company Brief

Headquartered in New York and Cincinnati, Macy’s, Inc. (macysinc.com) is one of America’s premier omni-channel retailers, operating about 880 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s, Macy’s Backstage, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, and Bluemercury, as well as the macys.com, bloomingdales.com, and bluemercury.com websites.

As someone on the inside, will you talk about what makes Macy’s so special?

I have been here for 30 years and Macy’s has always given me the ability to reinvent myself and be an alien within my own company. I feel as if I’ve worked for many different companies. Part of that is the ever-evolving nature of our business and our company, which has gone from multiple regional operating divisions to a national platform. That transformation has been a wonderful learning journey for leaders within the organization.

Is the strong culture a result of the consistent leadership and how do you maintain culture when you’re bringing in other entities?

It has been about senior leaders making sure we’re staying very connected with new executives in the company and being mentors with an open-door policy for younger people within the company. It keeps us fresh and evolving overall.

We’re bringing in outside talent at higher levels, which historically we have not done. We are seeing that there is an opportunity to bring people in from not only our own industry but from other industries to give us different perspectives.

As we continued our journey of consolidating as a company over the past few years, even with the most recent integration of the dot-com into the merchant world, we mixed the groups together. Even in that internal realigning of the teams, we find that ability to maintain and tweak the culture to move it forward.

We keep evolving, which means we become more current with each company iteration.

Will you talk about the role of Chief Private Brand Officer?

It’s a strategic initiative of ours for the future. Our role, today and for the future, is to create a competitive advantage for the company and offer a unique assortment of products that can only be found at Macy’s.

More broadly, we also play a key role in determining what our industry is going to look like for the future. As a leading retailer, and based upon our size, we have the ability to work with our vendor community in addition to our private label community to figure out how to transform our industry as we move forward. We aim to gain speed in maximizing our inventories and leveraging data science for the future to inform our decisions. That data will become the basis of how we make decisions.