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Dreams of Field’s: Famed Chicago Store Embarks on Overhaul

Marshall Field’s is reinventing its wheel with a three-month renovation of its State Street flagship in Chicago and an expanded vendor leasing program.

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Field’s also is upgrading its sound system to one that can monitor the level of traffic in the store. When more people are shopping and sound levels rise, the music volume will decrease and then conversely increase when traffic is lighter. Music selections will vary by area, based on the targeted demographic.

From a service standpoint, the retailer has introduced Field’s Express, a team of salespeople armed with radios and headsets who can obtain items from various floors for hurried shoppers. The company also plans to begin free package delivery within a five-mile radius.

On its lower level, Field’s is leasing space to Wrigleyville Sports to sell professional-quality apparel for Chicago teams, as well as others with national followings, aptly located by a new “InField’s” sports-theme restaurant.

Sections also are in the works for Sean Conway Gardens; Whittard of Chelsea teas; Australian Homemade, a premium ice cream and chocolate maker; Papyrus/Marcel Schurman paper products, and local favorites The Down Town Dog, featuring high-end pet apparel, and accessories like leather jackets and crystal-studded collars, and Barbara’s Bookstore.

“There are books about every subject and Barbara’s can accessorize areas like ready-to-wear with [related] books,” Jaeger commented.

The candy department, meanwhile, will receive a facelift with wider aisles and brighter space.

On the first floor, Field’s already orchestrated some of its reinvention with its YSL accessories boutique and its remodeled and expanded cosmetics department, which features such lines as Qiora, Nars and Smashbox, and this fall, Fresh.

Additionally, women will be able to get quick nail treatments at a new beauty bar, and men can receive facial treatments in a planned spa area.

Reflect.com cosmetics also will create its first physical presence at Field’s. The company creates custom cosmetics, hair care products and fragrances, as well as personalized packaging.

As part of the renovation, Levenger, an upscale reading and desk accessories company based in Delray Beach, Fla., will lease space near Thomas Pink of similar size.

“You won’t find [Levenger] in any department store, and their demographics in Chicago are fantastic,” Jaeger said.
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