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Macy’s to open up to 30 small-format stores as it goes off mall for growth

Macy’s plans to open up to 30 small-format stores. (Photo: Business Wire)
Macy’s plans to open up to 30 small-format stores. (Photo: Business Wire)

Macy’s is ramping up the expansion of its off-mall, downsized store concept.

The department store retailer said it will open up to 30 small-format stores through fall 2025, starting next fall.  The stores are about one-fifth the size of a full-line Macy’s, which average from 180,000 sq. ft. to 200,000 sq. ft.

Macy’s debuted its small-format concept in 2020 and currently operates 11 locations, with recent openings including Highland Grove Shopping Center in Highland, Ind.  The next opening is set for November, at Santee Trolley Square in San Diego, Calif. (Initially, Macy’s smaller stores operated under the “Market by Macy’s banner. But beginning this year, new Macy’s small-format stores operates under the iconic Macy’s nameplate.)

Macy’s smaller-format stores, which are located in off-mall shopping centers, offer a curated and localized mix of products and have a more open and modern look than a traditional mall-based Macy’s.  They also feature flexible fixturing and elevated fitting rooms with larger spaces and lounge areas.

In addition,  the stores collaborate with local businesses to create pop-ups shops and events that cater to the local community.  

In a video posted on the Macy’s web site, CEO Jeff Gennette said the company has seen positive sales growth to date from the smaller-format stores.

“Customers like our curated product offerings and the off-mall locations help us bring the Macy’s brand to a lot more people,” he added.

 In the same video, Macy’s chief stores officer Marc Mastronardi said the smaller stores help the retailer optimize its physical store footprint, bringing the brand closer to its existing and desired customers and also encouraging more frequent visits. 

Mastronardi noted that the smaller-store format plays several roles in Macy’s omnichannel market strategy. This includes expanding the company’s presence in a market, maintaining its presence in a market by replacing an underperforming location or entering an entirely new market.  

“The customer experience scores in these stores are all really high, particularly regarding the physical environment,” he said, adding that customers pointed out the ease of checkout and the helpful and friendly employees.  

Year-to date through spring 2023, Macy’s small-format stores open for more than one fiscal year have achieved positive comparable owned plus licensed sales growth, according to a company statement.

Macy’s is also expanding Bloomie’s, the smaller-store format of its Bloomingdale’s banner, with a location set to open at University Village in Seattle, on Nov.2.  It will be the third Bloomie's location to open, adding to existing stores located in Fairfax, Va. and the Chicagoland area. Bloomingdale’s intends to further expand its small-format store footprint in the future.

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