Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Why Macy’s Is Embracing the Off-Price Treasure Hunt

Shira Petrack
June 1, 2022
Why Macy’s Is Embracing the Off-Price Treasure Hunt

Our latest whitepaper explores five retailers who have stayed relevant over decades of changing shopping habits. The oldest retailer in our report, Macy’s, has consistently kept their finger on the pulse of shifting consumer preferences and adapted their brick and mortar  strategy accordingly. We dove into one of the brand’s latest innovations – the off-price shop-in-shop concept Macy’s Backstage – to understand how incorporating Macy’s Backstage into existing Macy’s locations was boosting visits to the department store. 

Below is a taste of our findings, and the full report can be accessed here

The Secret to Macy’s Longevity 

Macy’s, one of the first department stores in the United States, has been around since the mid-nineteenth century. One of the secrets to Macy’s success has been the brand’s ability to tap into the full potential of its stores. As the rise of ecommerce ate into the “one-stop-shop” value proposition, Macy’s has doubled-down on the department store's role in discovery and focussed on creating an environment where shoppers can easily and efficiently browse for new brands and products. 

Over the past couple of years, Macy’s has opened a variety of shop-in-shops in select stores to give people a reason to visit Macy’s locations and provide consumers with a product-discovery experience they cannot access online. To this end, the department store has implemented partnerships with Pandora, Toys “R” Us, and even Wetzel’s Pretzels. These shop-in-shops have helped bring shoppers back to Macy’s following the pandemic-induced brick and mortar retail lull. 

The Evolution of Macy’s Backstage  

Even before these brand partnerships, Macy’s began experimenting internally with the shop-in-shop concept to give consumers an additional reason to stop by Macy’s locations. In 2015, Macy’s launched its new off-price brand Macy’s Backstage. According to their release, the new brand brings shoppers “the best of the Macy's department store brand mixed with the fun of bargain shopping at an outlet.” 

Although initially established as a stand-alone brand, management quickly shifted to bringing the Backstage brand into existing Macy’s locations. These Backstage shop-in-shops take a page out of the off-price’s playbook, providing customers with a treasure-hunt experience thanks to the constantly changing assortment of products. And following the example of other off-price retailers, Macy’s Backstage products are not available for purchase online – only in-store. 

By early 2019, Macy’s management found that adding Backstage to an existing store provided an average sales lift of 5% – and recent foot traffic data supports this claim. Comparing year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) changes in visits for Macy’s stores with and without Backstage shop-in-shops in the states California and New York show that Macy’s with a Backstage section are seeing a much better COVID recovery trajectory than those without. 

Macy’s Backstage Expands 

Recently, Macy’s announced that it will expand the Backstage brand, with plans to open 37 new Backstage shop-in-shops in existing Macy’s stores. This will bring the off-price concept to nearly 60% of the chain, including the brand’s iconic flagships at Herald Square in New York City and State Street in Chicago, in addition to the nine free-standing Backstage locations that were operating by the end of Q1 2022.

The success of the Backstage concept in drawing more shoppers to Macy’s points to the department store’s continued ability to meet current market demands and answer the needs of today’s consumers. By expanding its Backstage concept, Macy’s is ensuring that its stores offer a unique experience while capitalizing on the growing demand for discount products – especially among high- and mid-income shoppers.

To read about the other legacy brands charting a new course, read the full whitepaper

Over a century and a half has passed since the brand opened its first store in New York City in 1858, and the company is still going strong – in 2021, Macy’s venues nationwide collectively received over 370 million visits. As long as Macy’s continues innovating its in-store offerings to give shoppers a reason to visit, the brand will continue serving customers for many years to come.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024? White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy Mall Index: February 2024 Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024:’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023 Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish