When the new Macy's opens inside the Mall at University Town Center, it will be unlike any in the region.
The 160,000-square-foot store -- with the state-of-the-art LED lighting and bright counters in the cosmetics and jewelry departments -- is the first new Florida Macy's since the Shops at Wiregrass store opened in 2008 in Wesley Chapel.
Macy's officials will detail on Oct. 9 a slew of new technologies that the new store will offer. A Macy's spokeswoman allowed the Bradenton Herald inside the new store Friday for a sneak peek, but declined interview requests.
While the Mall at UTC Macy's will replace the DeSoto Square Macy's, which will close Sept. 28, do not expect to see any leftovers from the Bradenton store. Every fixture is new from top to bottom, every shirt neatly folded or hung on racks is fresh from a factory's delivery box. Several departments are already in place.
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The men's section already has Nautica, Gordon Ramsay's cookware is ready to be sold on the second floor with Samsonite ready to roll out of the nearby luggage department.
The store has a metropolitan feeling, with touches of luxury throughout. Chandeliers hang throughout the departments, above the Michael Kors shop on the second floor, above the shoe department lounge, and anywhere banks of mannequins can be found. And yes, there are tons of mannequins. Macy's intentionally did this to show more depth of combinations of clothes that can be paired between brands.
This is part of what Macy's officials have incorporated from listening to their shoppers, a spokeswoman said.
Take for instance the cosmetics area: New to Macy's in the region is an impulse cosmetics area soon to be filled with drawers of lipsticks, mascaras and more. The only Bobbi Brown cosmetics shop within a Macy's on Florida's Gulf Coast will be at University Town Center, too.
The same type of merchandise in the new Macy's will be found, according to a company spokeswoman, but the difference is the breadth and the depth of the offerings brought to the larger space and new design.
Even the men get some equal treatment in places that have lacked before: the fitting rooms. The fitting rooms feature motion-sensor lighting beside the mirrors (the women's too) and a stand with a tri-mirror is in place for alterations and hemming.
If you're tagging along with a shopper, the store features a 3,000-square-foot, full-offering Starbucks at the north entrance facing University Parkway. The Starbucks includes a separate outdoor entrance, allowing it to open before the Macy's does.
The store is expecting to employ about 175 people, including some employees transferred from DeSoto Square and other area stores, but both Macy's and the Starbucks are still hiring. Job seekers can visit MacysJobs.com to apply.
While few of the technology secrets will be revealed next month, Macy's is already participating in a few new gadgets at the corporate level.
It is one of several companies to support the new Apple Pay electronic payment system offered on the new iPhone 6. In major metropolitan markets, Macy's is testing same-day delivery for in-store purchases if shoppers don't want to carry bags home. A buy-online pickup in store program is now rolled out at all locations nationwide.
Select stores are testing Macy's Shopkick app, where personalized deals are sent using Apple's iBeacon Bluetooth Low Energy protocol, which allows the store to detect your location and preferences while shopping. Smart shopping rooms in some stores now have tablets to help complete a wardrobe.
And for the old-fashioned shoppers not interested in new-fangled technology to get a deal, there's still an incentive to come to the new Macy's:
The first 400 customers at the store opening on Oct. 16 will each receive a $10 Macy's gift card.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.