April 29, 2016
Connect Retail is our weekly column on the sector, authored by veteran CRE writer Ian Ritter.
Just when you thought that every department-store chain had its own separate discount concept, along comes Macy’s Backstage.
And it makes sense.
Nordstrom Rack, Saks OFF 5th and Neiman Marcus Last Call are all doing well, while their flagship department stores have experienced lackluster sales. Bloomingdales (owned by Macy’s) is also rolling out outlet stores.
Macy’s seems to be doing something different with its eponymous brand, though. The handful of Macy’s Backstage units in operation are actually in the department stores, in an effort to attract shoppers looking for deals. This measure is, no doubt, an attempt to pick up traffic at its full-line stores, which have seen better days. For fiscal 2015, Macy’s posted drops in net income and same-store sales. The company announced at the beginning of the year that it is closing 40 stores.
Reports about Macy’s Backstage so far are positive, but the concept is still so new, it’s going to take time before we know how the strategy will play out.
It’s admirable that Macy’s is actively trying to do something to pick up traffic in its full-line locations. Will the strategy draw consumers into its stores to take advantage of these discounts? Or will Macy’s Backstage just get lost within the department store?
What do you think of Macy’s new strategy? Will it help the retailer turn sales around?