Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Macy's Bringing Backstage Outlet Store to Buckhead's Lenox Square

Permits filed with the City of Atlanta indicate that Macy's plans to bring their Macy's backstage off-price concept to their existing full-line department store at Lenox Square in Buckhead.  The new store, to be situated on the lower level of the existing Macy's, will occupy space previously home to the store's spa, as well as other floor space.  

Backstage - essentially a Macy's outlet - offers both merchandise purchased specifically for the store, as well as some closeout merchandise from the full-line store.  The concept was piloted in New York in 2015 before being expanded to other markets.  The goal of backstage is twofold: attract new customers to Macy's, where hopefully they purchase something from the full-line [higher priced] store, but also to compete with popular off-price retailers like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Nordstrom rack.  

Locally, Macy's debuted the backstage concept last year with locations within Macy's stores at Cumberland Mall in Smyrna, Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw and Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth.  In the months since, Macy's added backstage stores to Northlake Mall in Tucker, The Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia and Southlake Mall in Morrow. 

Interestingly, in a number of local backstage stores, Macy's existing clearance department, "Last Call," is not only still in the store, but is co-branded with the backstage concept.   

Sources close to the retailer indicate that the addition of the backstage concept is being done in conjunction with a planned $1.6 million renovation of the store's main level.  The Lenox Square store was put on the retailer's short list for capital improvements as part of their "Growth 50" initiative.  

The plan, which the company announced this past February, entails improving the in-store experience as well as the employee experience at 50 "test stores."  Plans call for funds to be spent on everything from new carpets to a bonus pool for store employees.  One area not mentioned is improving service over the phone, an area in which Macy's has gone from bad to worse in recent years.  

The Lenox Square renovation is slated to be completed over the next three months and is only a small portion of Macy's overall $1.05 billion in planned capital expenditures this year.  

Macy's Lenox Square already has a number of  "shop-in-shops": Pinkberry, Starbucks, Finish Line, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, LensCrafters, and Sunglass Hut, and while backstage is a Macy's brand, the addition of other "concession" spaces to the department store are not out of the question as Macy's continues to shake up its stores to attract more shoppers, more often.  

As of May 5, 2018, Macy's operated 652 full-line Macy's department stores.  According to the backstage website, there are currently 93 backstage stores open with another 21 expected to open this coming Saturday, June 16.  

Are you excited for the addition of Macy's backstage to Macy's Lenox Square? Have you ever been to a Macy's backstage store?  If so, what has been your experience with backstage stores?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

I say bring back the Cellar Cafe, TJ Cinnamons and the frozen yogurt to the Macy*s @ Lenox!

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to shop and buy the awful leftovers I would go to Ross or Burlington. I expect better from Macy's and Lennox. They need to ship the stuff out of the store and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

Will check it out at least once. If it isn't at least as good...or better than Marshalls and TJ Maxx....they will not see me again. Why have the hassle of going to Lenox when the access and parking is easier at the other two.

Anonymous said...

It's LENOX (1 "n"), not "Lennox".

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