Ralph Hughes pushes diversity, community support at Macy’s

Since joining the Macy’s department store family, Ralph Hughes has made sure that the company has stayed true to its commitment of community involvement and nurturing home-grown talent. With a high concentration on diversity, in terms of employees a

Since joining the Macy’s department store family, Ralph Hughes has made sure that the company has stayed true to its commitment of community involvement and nurturing homegrown talent.

With a high concentration on diversity, in terms of employees and customers, Hughes said it’s only fitting that his role as Regional Vice President of Corporate Communications is developing a relationship between Macy’s and the communities it serves, and strengthening the store’s presence in the Chicagoland area.

The River Oaks, Water Tower Place and State Street stores are more diverse than the other Chicago area Macy’s locations, said Hughes, who held several management positions for Ohio-based Federated Department Stores Inc., Macy’s parent company, before being tapped for his current post.

“Macy’s believes in giving back to the local community. We have several initiatives that afford us the opportunity to support various causes. We give grants to many non-profit organizations, and we sponsor a ‘give back’ day,” Hughes told the Defender.

Called Macy’s Shop for a Cause Day, the national ‘give back’ day was Sept. 20 and supported many nonprofits in various communities.

Another program Hughes helped the department store spearhead is the Chicago Incubator at Macy’s on State Street.

In partnership with the City of Chicago, Macy’s created the incubator to help foster an intense learning atmosphere for six up-and-coming Designers In Residence–of all ethnicities–and also provide them with mentoring on the business side of fashion.

“We want to empower them with the necessary retail tools so they could succeed in the business of fashion,” Hughes said.

Hughes said Macy’s has only scratched the surface in Chicago in relation to its community involvement.

“There is so much more we want to, and will, do. We are definitely committed,” he said.

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