Macy’s NYC Holiday Windows Are a Tribute to Frontline Workers

Macy’s is using its famous windows at its Herald Square flagship store to thank New York City’s frontline workers, who are currently facing a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Macy’s seasonal windows are, of course, iconic. The department store was the first to unveil holiday-themed windows when, in 1874, R.H. Macy (the store’s owner at the time) arranged porcelain dolls in scenes from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in its windows. A tradition was born, and the concept of retailers advertising the holidays from ground-floor windows took off, never to abate.

As delightful as this year’s windows are (and they are very, very fun—there are six interactive displays!), their festive frivolity stands alongside the company’s prominent message of genuine gratitude to the city’s hard-working healthcare and essential workers. Giant lit up thank you’s and New York icons including Big Apples and skyscrapers are featured in several of the intricate tableaus.

Though they’ve been in the works for months, the eye-popping displays couldn’t have debuted at a better time: It was reported Wednesday that New York City’s seven-day COVID-19 infection rate had spiked to 4.8%, and the city recently closed its public schools, dealing a harsh blow to already struggling local families.

“Give, Love, Believe” is Macy’s gentle holiday theme this year, and in a Facebook post, the company wrote, “Our holiday tradition will continue with a heartfelt & joyous ‘Thank You’ to NYC. This year’s holiday windows honor our first responders, essential workers, marchers for equality, and NYers who showed their grit, good humor, and hopeful spirit during this tumultuous year.” 

Macy's holiday 2020
Santa welcomes shoppers to Macy’s Herald Square flagship store

Macy’s has installed social distancing markers in front of its windows to deter crowding. The windows will be on display through Jan. 1. Media outlet 6sqft.com has loads of wonderful photos of the windows (click here to see them).

Top: Macy’s employees erecting a holiday window in November (all photos courtesy of Macy’s)

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JCK Magazine Editor