Macy’s debuted its new Backstage concept last fall as a means to better compete with discount brands such as Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.The company has brought the concept to Texas, which is the first state outside of the northeastern United States in which the Backstage brand has opened.
The concept has opened up inside of two of its local Macy’s stores, and a third is on the way this Fall. The new locations are at the Town East Mall in Mesquite, and Fort Worth’s Hulen Mall. This September, a free-standing Backstage store will open in The Rim, an outdoor shopping center in San Antonio.
“When you come to Macy’s you may have a list of things you want to buy, but at Backstage we want you to come in and discover something you want and come out happy,” said Macy’s Vanessa LeFebvre, the company’s senior vice president of the Backstage concept.
Macy’s started exploring the concept for Backstage as it noticed shoppers gravitating to lower priced retailers and outlet centers. Sales and profits for the department store giant have been impacted as a result, and the company hoped to make some headway into that market, similar to the success that Nordstrom’s experienced with its Rack stores.
For the Town East location, Backstage will take up roughly 23,000 square feet of the Macy’s store first-level. “We’re tailoring this for the millennial mom, who might need to get in and out, needs aisles that fit her stroller and is on a budget,” LeFebvre said.
The location features a center stage that will rotate often to feature different areas of focus, and the store offers its own exterior entrance and central checkout station. Phone charging stations are also included near the dressing rooms. The store opened to shoppers before its official grand opening, and initial reviews were positive.
"The outlet malls are too far. I don't want to spend the money on gas. The prices are great," said local resident Emma Ramos.
By the end of this year, there will be 22 Backstage locations open in total, with the next areas of focus for the Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Long Island areas. All told, the company hopes to have 200 Backstage locations in less than five years, and they should be able to expedite the expansion inside of existing Macy’s locations.