According to an article on CNBC.com written by Krystina Gustafson today, Macy's plans to roll out another 30 Backstage shops within Macy's stores this year. These will be in addition to the existing 15 stores opened last year. This is a pretty smart and interesting strategic move by Macy's to leverage what might be their best asset, their locations. Mall owners should love this, assuming the stores perform.
Most of the other off-price retailers, like TJ Maxx and Ross are located in open-air shopping centers rather in malls. They have been performing very well since the Great Recession, providing yet another reason for consumers to avoid malls. According to the article, roughly 2/3rds of Macy's customers spend monty at the off-price chains, so these in-store, off-price shops should draw shoppers back into the malls and the stores, specifically.
I have not been in a Backstage store yet. It will be interesting to see what product is sold there. Will it be product that would have otherwise been sent to liquidation--like returned merchandise? Or will it be 'made for the outlet' product like so many outlet stores do today?
Time will tell what impact this has on the opportunity to buy liquidation inventory from Macy's going forward.