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Will $400 million makeover hurt Macy’s?

Will $400 million makeover hurt Macy’s?

Macy's flagship store in New York City is known for its iconic window displays and historic architecture, but some are concerned that may change after its $400 million makeover is complete, The Associated Press reports.

The department store will undergo a makeover to achieve a "sleek, 21st-century style," the news outlet reports. Macy's spokeswoman Elina Kazan told the news outlet the renovations – which include adding 100,000 square feet to the 1.1 million square feet of retail space that currently exists – will offer a more enjoyable shopping experience.

Macy's will be a "spectacular place to shop at an iconic New York City destination," Kazan said.

However, preservationists are not so sure this design is the right way to go for the Beaux Arts and Art Deco-style landmark, which is home to the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and served as inspiration for the 1947 Christmas film "Miracle on 34th Street."

"Macy's has Apple fever," Theodore Grunewald, a New York preservation activist, told the AP. "Everyone is jealous of Apple, and thinks the secret to the company's success is this beautiful, elegant minimalist design vocabulary they have. But this is about protection of our heritage."

How the renovations will change Macy's visual merchandising plans is yet unclear, and the renovations will be complete in 2015. However, shoppers are already privy to a brand new, gleaming white women's shoe department.

According to its website, Macy's Herald Square, the flagship store, was built in 1902 and was the first building to have a modern day escalator. Now, the store is still known as a trendsetter and as "America's Largest Department Store," covering an entire city block and rising 10 stories.