Backstage shops star inside Macy’s
Doubters have questioned the strategic branding value of Macy’s placing its Backstage off-price shops in its full-price department stores. Even so, the chain is pushing on with the concept, planning to add 100 more Backstage shops inside of Macy’s to the 55 it already has in operation.
Backstage, which initially began as a standalone concept, was intended as Macy’s off-price response to a wide variety of discounters, including Marshall’s, Nordstrom Rack, Ross Stores and T.J. Maxx.
While some see a branding conflict between Backstage and Macy’s full-line stores, the retailer is adding the shops for a simple reason — they drive sales. Bailey Thomas, a spokesperson for the retailer, told Newsday that the shops increase overall sales by seven percent inside Macy’s stores.
The chain sees the Backstage concept as a way to drive more frequent visits to its full-price stores.
“Backstage’s focus on value and newness guarantees that with each visit, shoppers will find an amazingly-priced assortment of recognizable brands and trends,” Michelle Israel, senior vice president of off price for Macy’s told the Asbury Park Press. “Frequent deliveries ensure there is always a new reason to come in and shop.”
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette sees the success of Backstage as one of the indicators that the retailer is on the rebound. The company posted a same-store sales gain of 1.4 percent during the fourth quarter, the first quarterly gain for the business in three years.
The addition of Backstage shops inside of Macy’s is part of the chain’s plan to increase capital spending by $150 million, even though it has shuttered 125 locations in recent years.
- Macy’s to roll out 100 Backstage outlets, including on LI – Newsday
- Macy’s Backstage bringing discounts to Monmouth Mall, Freehold Raceway Mall – Asbury Park Press
- CEO thinks momentum is on Macy’s side – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are you a fan or a critic of Macy’s opening Backstage shops inside its department stores? Does the apparent success of Backstage inside Macy’s make it more or less likely that the concept will succeed in standalone stores?