Macy’s Backstage seeks starring role in off-price retail
Will being somewhat late to the off-price game work to Macy’s advantage or against it? That is a question that will begin to be answered next fall when the department store operator opens pilot stores of its new Macy’s Backstage concept at four New York locations: Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and New Hyde Park.
The new concept stores will average about 30,000 square feet and offer an assortment of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, accessories and shoes. The stores will also sell home textiles, housewares and jewelry. Each of the stores will come with fitting rooms and have free Wi-Fi.
Merchandise will be a combination of clearance items from Macy’s full-line stores as well as goods purchased specifically for Backstage shoppers. The company is promising savings of between 20 and 80 percent off original prices or comparable prices for similar goods sold elsewhere.
"We believe we can deliver a whole new level of value to customers who appreciate fashion and love to hunt for a bargain," said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief innovation and business development officer. "Macy’s Backstage stores will be designed to surprise and delight customers with continuously updated and fresh merchandise assortments focused on delivering current fashion with incredible prices, day-in and day-out, and enthusiastic sales associates."
Peter Sachse and Karen Hoguet – Photos: Macy’s
Mr. Sachse is not the only Macy’s executive confident about the chain’s ability to succeed in the off-price segment. Back in February, CFO Karen Hoguet said the new concept would stand out in a field that has strong players such as Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack and T.J. Maxx in the space.
"Our team thinks they have the opportunity to compete quite effectively against these players," said Ms. Hoguet (via SeekingAlpha). "Obviously, I’m not going to tell you until we started rolling that. But the team feels very optimistic that we will do well, but again this is one of those ends we will let the customer vote and see what she says."
- Macy’s Off-Price Business to Debut with Four Stores – Macy’s, Inc.
- Macy’s launches discount concept – The Cincinnati Enquirer
- Macy’s Backstage bargain stores coming this fall – CNBC
- Macy’s CFO thinks off-price concept will attract new customers – RetailWire
- Macy’s Management Karen Hoguet on Q4 2014 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – SeekingAlpha
What will Macy’s have to do to differentiate its Backstage off-price concept from others competing in the same space? What do you think Macy’s will be looking to learn before it expands the Backstage concept to other locations?