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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

Macy's To Open 37 New Backstage Locations By June, Targeting Off-Price Sector

Macy's flagship location in New York City's Herald Square


One of the nation's largest fashion retailers is pressing forward with the rollout of its discount store-within-a-store concept.

Macy's plans to open 37 new Backstage locations starting April 9, the company announced Tuesday. The retailer said the locations would take up 11K to 16K SF within existing stores and would feature "on-trend finds," including apparel but also toys, housewares, beauty products and pet supplies.

Two of the new Backstage locations are planned for flagship Macy's stores. Chicago's State Street store is scheduled to get one April 9, and New York's Herald Square store would get a Backstage sometime in May. The brand has already opened nearly 300 Backstage locations nationwide, according to a press release.

Macy's Backstage concept has been central to the retailer's broader plan for expanding into more discounted goods, a sector it targeted when the company released a three-year turnaround strategy, dubbed Polaris, in 2020. The concept pits Macy's against established brands in the discount sector like T.J. Maxx and Ross.

Updates on Backstage from Macy's Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette since the strategy was released have been largely positive: Gennette said in August 2021 that Backstage locations were outperforming the full-line stores they were in, fueling second-quarter sales that were slightly up from the same quarter in 2019.

The Polaris strategy also included closing 20% of its stores, about 125 locations in total. The effort to rightsize its footprint continues, but in Macy's fourth-quarter 2021 earnings call in February, Gennette said the retailer was delaying most of its closures while it worked to build more off-mall-format stores.

That includes a few standalone Backstage locations and the new Market by Macy's concept, which already has eight total locations in Dallas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The retailer also plans to expand Market by Macy's this year.

Contact Jacob Wallace at jacob.wallace@bisnow.com

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