The Macy’s ‘magic’ is fading. Finally, and likely most importantly, shoppers seem to be growing more ambivalent toward the Macy’s shopping experience – according to the Net Promoter® Score metric of customer loyalty and satisfaction.* Holiday shoppers who indicated that they shopped most often at Macy’s for their holiday gifts this season (an unaided, write-in response) gave the department store a 34.6% NPS. While this figure was in-line with the overall average of 34.9% (side note: is that really a “win” for upscale Macy’s?), it fell 17% from shoppers’ ratings from a year ago (41.9%). Further, rival JCPenney scored a higher NPS among its shoppers (58.4%) this holiday season, representing an astounding 40%+ increase over holiday 2014 (40.9%).

Holiday Net Promoter Score

A quick review of Prosper’s list of 2014 Customer Service Champions reveals an apparent foreshadowing of the department store’s troubles. In our most recent installment, Macy’s finished just out of the top 10 (at #11), dropping two places from the previous year’s rankings. Competitor JCPenney came out ahead here as well, landing within the top 10 (at #7).

While today’s shoppers are still very much attuned to low prices, discounts, and free shipping, what sets one retailer apart – and ahead – from another is the service and experience provided to the shopper in both the physical and digital realms. Perhaps by listening more to what their core shoppers want in their Macy’s experience, the department store may recapture some of that lost magic.

Pam Goodfellow is Principal Analyst/Consumer Insights Director for Prosper Insights & Analytics and editor of the monthly Consumer Snapshot.

*Net Promoter, NPS and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld