by Stephen Garner

For more than a decade, The Workshop at Macy’s, a first-of-its-kind diverse and women-owned vendor development program, has educated and prepared retail businesses for growth. After a year-long pause due to the pandemic, the program resumes today with the 10th Anniversary cohort of 50 participating brands. The diverse and women-owned retail incubator fosters and empowers these up-and-coming businesses to scale at Macy’s and within the retail industry at large.

Since 2011, The Workshop at Macy’s has helped more than 125 graduate enterprises activate the game-changing curriculum to grow their businesses. Following a rigorous selection process, the 50 participating businesses ranging from apparel to beauty and accessories to home brands will join the week-long program virtually this year. The coursework features expert advice and mentoring, workshops focused on several retail-specific challenges at scale, and access to a host of tools and resources that will help participants achieve their business objectives for future growth.

“As we intensify our commitment to the growth and advancement of under-represented suppliers, we are thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Workshop at Macy’s experience, welcoming 50 new businesses to our best-in-class vendor development program,” said Michelle Wang, vice president of retail diversity strategy at Macy’s. “We created The Workshop in 2011 to foster growth among emerging diverse and women-owned brands. Our coursework and mentoring include a priceless curriculum that deconstructs their business operations, removes barriers of entry and gives them tools to grow their businesses at scale. We believe that our commitment to diversity and inclusion must engage our customers, colleagues, and the communities we serve. This program brings together all three as we continue to build the future of representation in retail.”

The 10th-anniversary class features 50 businesses across a host of retail categories including beauty, home, accessories, womenswear, menswear, and more. The menswear brands featured in this anniversary class include Capelle Miami, Cotton The First, and Kynsho, as well as unisex footwear brand PerryCo Shoes.

The one-week intensive program guides participants through master classes including building brand identity, managing business relationships, financial management for sustained growth, high impact business conversations, maximizing assortment planning and production life cycle, and more. The group will learn from a consortium of Macy’s leaders, in addition to retail leaders from Babson College, Facebook, Google, Carol’s Daughter, and more.

At the conclusion of The Workshop, participants will have real-world practice and perspective on how to create effective large-scale retailer relationships. The 2021 program takes place virtually from April 26 to May 7, 2021.