Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by rwsandiego »

storewanderer wrote: July 27th, 2021, 10:24 pm
rwsandiego wrote: July 27th, 2021, 12:18 am
That would be another good idea, albeit a different concept. Macy's Backstage is clearance merchandise. This concept would focus on current merchandise but mainly Macy's lower-tier brands and lower-end branded merchandise.
Isn't that what the "neighborhood stores" already are? They have pulled most/many brands out of those and focus on the lower priced private label items in those stores...
Right, but they are branded as Macy's and operated as such. I'm suggesting different branding that would pull in a different demographic. Think Food 4 Less vs Ralphs or Mariano's.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by jamcool »

Bring back the regional department store brands?
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by storewanderer »

jamcool wrote: July 30th, 2021, 12:04 am Bring back the regional department store brands?
It has been almost 20 years now since the switch over. I don't think bringing back the regional stores would matter unless they did some sort of a different format in a limited number of stores. Between the number of stores they have closed as well as the ongoing decline in the department store sector as a whole it seems like going back to the regional brands would just confuse things even further.

If they were to, for instance sell off or spin off certain territories, maybe a conversion back to the regional brand would make sense under different ownership.

Aside from Marshall Fields, do you hear people saying they miss Meier and Frank? Robinsons-May? I don't.

I may be biased- I am in a place that has always been Macys. They did buy (and close- did not convert) the Weinstocks Store locally in the 90's.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by storewanderer »

rwsandiego wrote: July 29th, 2021, 11:37 pm
Right, but they are branded as Macy's and operated as such. I'm suggesting different branding that would pull in a different demographic. Think Food 4 Less vs Ralphs or Mariano's.
The initial Backstage Stores were "outside Macy's" and in larger spaces very much like a Ross or similar and that was the idea to pull in a different demographic. I never went to one of the freestanding Backstage locations nor do I know where they are or if they still exist, but I wonder- did it have basics (in the form of those lower cost Macy's private label items) in addition to the Backstage merchandise? It wouldn't have been that hard to do it that way.

I actually kind of like Backstage. I have bought a number of items there across multiple categories. Some items have been clearance items from the normal Macy's.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: July 30th, 2021, 12:30 am
jamcool wrote: July 30th, 2021, 12:04 am Bring back the regional department store brands?
It has been almost 20 years now since the switch over. I don't think bringing back the regional stores would matter unless they did some sort of a different format in a limited number of stores. Between the number of stores they have closed as well as the ongoing decline in the department store sector as a whole it seems like going back to the regional brands would just confuse things even further.

If they were to, for instance sell off or spin off certain territories, maybe a conversion back to the regional brand would make sense under different ownership.

Aside from Marshall Fields, do you hear people saying they miss Meier and Frank? Robinsons-May? I don't.

I may be biased- I am in a place that has always been Macys. They did buy (and close- did not convert) the Weinstocks Store locally in the 90's.
I do occasionally hear people say they miss Meier & Frank and The Bon Marche, and they often say that the old names had more variety. In some regions such as the Pacific Northwest, very few stores actually opened as Macy's.

I think the regional names if anything would be better suited for the smaller market stores, only problem is that most of them have closed as Macy's is focusing more on larger markets. I do wonder though if some of the smaller stores could be reopened as Backstage...the format might work better in some places that are economically challenged.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by veteran+ »

I miss I Magnin and Bullocks/Wilshire and Robinson's and Jordan Marsh and Burdines and even Gimbles (NY).

May D & F was cool but not May Co.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by storewanderer »

veteran+ wrote: July 31st, 2021, 9:12 am I miss I Magnin and Bullocks/Wilshire and Robinson's and Jordan Marsh and Burdines and even Gimbles (NY).

May D & F was cool but not May Co.
It is similar to other industries. When you lose the regional or medium sized chains, you really feel the loss and the stores become quite boring. I guess in some regards we are lucky (?) Kohl's built so many stores in the 90's and 00's because without those stores this industry would really be in a huge void. But with Kohl's looking more and more like Sears with its understocked stores, poor merchandising, and terrible customer service, I am not sure how that will go long term. Kohl's has taken a serious nosedive in its current operation (as I can say from two really bad store visits this week and not looking forward to a third visit to go get another one of their mistakes that I didn't notice fixed today or tomorrow) now vs. even one year ago.

In the department store business, even the medium sized chains that have expanded have done so into new markets using watered down formats- like Nordstrom Rack. And now Macy's playing around with a small format Bloomingdale's which like so many other Macy's initiatives that are no longer with us... oh I won't be negative and I'll just say let's see how it goes.

Then on the other end most of the new stores you see show up tend to be of the "off price" variety.

Luckily in the grocery business in many markets this has not yet taken place. Or new smaller regional/medium sized chains have moved in and filled the void left by the chains that have failed.

I still think there is a place for Macy's- primarily in larger markets, to run great stores with good presentation and strong brands back like they once did. But they seem to have trouble making this happen consistently at this point in time across their large markets. Maybe Macy's will end up being a regional department store chain once again... basically on the two coasts. Dillard's can have the middle of the US.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by architect »

storewanderer wrote: July 30th, 2021, 12:33 am
rwsandiego wrote: July 29th, 2021, 11:37 pm
Right, but they are branded as Macy's and operated as such. I'm suggesting different branding that would pull in a different demographic. Think Food 4 Less vs Ralphs or Mariano's.
The initial Backstage Stores were "outside Macy's" and in larger spaces very much like a Ross or similar and that was the idea to pull in a different demographic. I never went to one of the freestanding Backstage locations nor do I know where they are or if they still exist, but I wonder- did it have basics (in the form of those lower cost Macy's private label items) in addition to the Backstage merchandise? It wouldn't have been that hard to do it that way.

I actually kind of like Backstage. I have bought a number of items there across multiple categories. Some items have been clearance items from the normal Macy's.
Interestingly, a new stand-alone backstage store recently opened in Allen, Texas in half of a former Toys-R-Us/Babies-R-Us space (the other half was filled by Burlington a bit over a year ago). Thus far, this store is far improved over the Backstage departments in area Macy's stores, with an assortment along the lines of a TJMaxx or Marshalls (substantially butter than Ross), and a substantially larger home department. Meanwhile, the Backstage departments which have built within DFW full-line stores over the past couple of years have been mostly disappointing, typically carrying noticeably junkier merchandise that would never be found in a traditional Macy's store. All this to say, Macy's is definitely still committed to the Backstage concept, including in stand-alone locations. Interestingly, in this case, the store is directly across the street from a mediocre full-line Macy's at Fairview Town Center. Although this store is relatively new (opened in 2008), it is part of a lifestyle center which never really took off and is around 75% vacant outside of the anchors, and the store is more sparsely stocked. During my last visit, the store was also in a noticeable state of disrepair, with several entry doors not functional and around 30% of the light fixtures not working (with yellow sticky notes placed on them marking the date which they went out). Even though this store has not appeared on the Neighborhood Stores list, it would not surprise me to see it close over the next couple of years.

Of note, an early stand-along Backstage store in Texas closed last year in San Antonio. However, this store's location likely killed it, as it was located in the back corner of an extremely large big box retail complex (The Rim) and there are Backstage departments at most of the full-line Macy's stores in the area.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by rwsandiego »

All this talk about Backstage reminds me of the old Bargain Basements department stores had. Marshall Field's and Carson, Pirie, Scott had great basements and, of course, Filene's turned into it's own chain.
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Re: Macy's Neighborhood Store Watch

Post by DFWRetaileWatcher »

architect wrote: August 1st, 2021, 12:10 pm
storewanderer wrote: July 30th, 2021, 12:33 am
rwsandiego wrote: July 29th, 2021, 11:37 pm
Right, but they are branded as Macy's and operated as such. I'm suggesting different branding that would pull in a different demographic. Think Food 4 Less vs Ralphs or Mariano's.
The initial Backstage Stores were "outside Macy's" and in larger spaces very much like a Ross or similar and that was the idea to pull in a different demographic. I never went to one of the freestanding Backstage locations nor do I know where they are or if they still exist, but I wonder- did it have basics (in the form of those lower cost Macy's private label items) in addition to the Backstage merchandise? It wouldn't have been that hard to do it that way.

I actually kind of like Backstage. I have bought a number of items there across multiple categories. Some items have been clearance items from the normal Macy's.
Interestingly, a new stand-alone backstage store recently opened in Allen, Texas in half of a former Toys-R-Us/Babies-R-Us space (the other half was filled by Burlington a bit over a year ago). Thus far, this store is far improved over the Backstage departments in area Macy's stores, with an assortment along the lines of a TJMaxx or Marshalls (substantially butter than Ross), and a substantially larger home department. Meanwhile, the Backstage departments which have built within DFW full-line stores over the past couple of years have been mostly disappointing, typically carrying noticeably junkier merchandise that would never be found in a traditional Macy's store. All this to say, Macy's is definitely still committed to the Backstage concept, including in stand-alone locations. Interestingly, in this case, the store is directly across the street from a mediocre full-line Macy's at Fairview Town Center. Although this store is relatively new (opened in 2008), it is part of a lifestyle center which never really took off and is around 75% vacant outside of the anchors, and the store is more sparsely stocked. During my last visit, the store was also in a noticeable state of disrepair, with several entry doors not functional and around 30% of the light fixtures not working (with yellow sticky notes placed on them marking the date which they went out). Even though this store has not appeared on the Neighborhood Stores list, it would not surprise me to see it close over the next couple of years.

Of note, an early stand-along Backstage store in Texas closed last year in San Antonio. However, this store's location likely killed it, as it was located in the back corner of an extremely large big box retail complex (The Rim) and there are Backstage departments at most of the full-line Macy's stores in the area.

I feel like the Fairview Town Center location could be saved with proper TLC. This is one of the wealthiest and fastest growing parts of the rapidly exploding DFW Metroplex, so I don't think demographics are the problem. Plus, the highly successful Allen Premium Outlets are right across the street. Also, I went to the JCP out there back in June and it was quite busy.

Opening a stand-alone backstage store right across the street seems ridiculous to me though, and probably only contributes to cannibalizing the full-line store across the street. I'm not sure whose bright idea was that.
Last edited by DFWRetaileWatcher on August 4th, 2021, 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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