Macy’s went all out this year for its 4th of July celebration. There were more than 75,000 firework shells and new special effects including pulsing hearts, swirling water fountains and peacock fans. It was the most dazzling spectacle ever in the 42 years Macy’s (M) has been doing the Independence Day show.
The extravaganza was also a celebration of sorts for the venerable department store chain and its new CEO Jeff Gennette. Ever since he took charge in 2017, he’s been shaking things up–closing stores, boosting online shopping, and luring in customers by creating in store experiences. Those moves are beginning to show up in the numbers. Macy’s has been having a stellar year of strong sales and earnings and a stock that has been rallying.
Speaking with Fortune, Gennette says he’s feeling pretty good about the turnaround, but there’s still more to do.
“We are winning right now, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Gennette says. “For us, the ultimate measure of this, is going to be do we have engaged customers who are spending more with our brand and is our brand attractive that it’s getting new customers.”
One way Gennette is bringing in customers is by revamping the shopping experience and making Macy stores less predictable. That’s the thinking behind two recent small acquisitions, B8ta and Story. These retail startups offer pop-up stores inside of Macy’s that give temporary space to edgy and techie products.
“It gives us the opportunity to bring in fresh content that we don’t already have in the building and doesn’t cannibalize anything else,” explains Gennette. “And that brings a richer experience for the customer.”
And stay tuned for more changes at Macy’s. As Gennette puts it: “I’m open to acquisitions.”
Watch the video above for more from our interview with Gennette.