On Tuesday, Macy's unveiled its plans for Macy's Backstage, an off-price retail business that will stock merchandise for men, women, children and home at a deep discount, in a retail concept similar to Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and Barneys warehouse. Despite selling clearance goods, Macy's says it plans to offer a premium customer experience in Backstage stores, promising that shoppers will have access to Wifi, spacious fitting rooms and on-site cafés.
In a release, Macy's states that this business will be a key element in its growth strategy, which makes sense given current market trends. While Macy's sales have trended upwards over the past five years, it's been a slow incline, and fellow department stores have seen success with their off-site clearance locations. Both Saks and Nordstrom have expanded their outlet businesses since the recession; the latter said in February that in 2016, Rack is expected to grow to 230 storefronts from 140 stores today.
The four "pilot stores," as Macy's calls them, will open this fall in New York — more specifically, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. The retailer will test their resonation with customers before opening more Backstage locations.