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Macy’s Moves Full Speed Ahead With Off-Mall Stores

Macy’s Inc. is betting on a future away from struggling shopping malls.

The retail giant slammed the gas pedal on its new store strategy, announcing four new off-mall, small-format location opening this fall. It’s bringing the revamped footprint to the Market by Macy’s concept as well as the first-ever dual Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage off-price location.

“At Macy’s, we thrive on retail being a dynamic business requiring continuous analysis, reinvention and innovation. As customer preferences and buying behaviors change, we continue to evolve to deliver the experience our customers expect,” Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer at Macy’s, said. “As exciting brand extensions, Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage each offer unique shopping experiences—one celebrates discovery and convenience, while the other appeals to the customer who loves the thrill of the hunt for a great value.”

Macy’s Polaris plan includes a focus on making off-mall stores more profitable.

“Off-mall, small formats play several roles in the company’s Polaris strategy by either expanding its presence in a current market, maintaining market presence by replacing underperforming locations or entering new markets where Macy’s doesn’t have a presence,” Macy’s said.

The first Market store opened in 2020 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at Southlake, followed by four more stores last year—two in the Atlanta metro area in Presidential Markets and South Point, and at WestBend and Highlands at Flower Mound in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Macy’s said it will operate eight Market stores by the end of the year.

Macy’s off-price Backstage concept now includes nine freestanding locations. The newest at Grapevine Mills opened in Spring 2022 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Since 2015, Backstage has expanded to more than 300 Macy’s stores nationwide.

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The new concepts offer similar services that are available at Macy’s full-line locations, including the “At Your Service” desk inside the store where customers can pay bills, pick up orders or facilitate returns. Shoppers can also earn and redeem Star Rewards from the retailers’ loyalty program, as well as use their Macy’s credit cards all the the Market and Backstore doors.

A Market by Macy’s will open in Johns Creek Town Center on Aug. 30 in Suwanee, Ga., followed by another location in the St. Louis Area in Chesterfield Commons. The final location opening this fall in Chicagoland in Evergreen Park, Ill., will feature a Market by Macy’s on the first floor, with a Macy’s Backstage store on the second floor.

The new store in Chesterfield Commons will replace an existing Macy’s store in the area.

“We’re pleased to continue to serve the St. Louis area and look forward to welcoming our customers to Market by Macy’s,” Mastronardi said. “This announcement marks both our first replacement location and, separately, our first, off-mall dual location.”

Macy’s said it will hire a range of staff positions at the new stores.