Macy's offers Backstage sneak peek, launches free style service

As Macy's (NYSE:M) prepares to open its new off-price outlets, the retailer provided a sneak peek to media.

The Macy's Backstage store in Elmhurst, Queens is approximately 30,000 sq. ft., roughly the same size as an average T.J. Maxx store, according to the Associated Press. And while it offers many of the same brands as its flagship stores, Backstage is rolling out merchandise from new brand partners including Fila, Reebok and Elf beauty.

"You're going to get a little bit of a different vibe from what I would call our older sister, Macy's," said Vanessa LeFebvre, senior VP of Backstage. "Here, we're trying to attract new and different customers."

Backstage follows the example of fellow retailers' off-price outlets with a no-frills shopping environment complete with shopping carts. Dressing rooms are large and feature cell phone charging stations.

The off-price outlet is a first for Macy's, which is now forced to compete with the likes of Nordstrom's Rack stores, Marshall's and T.J. Maxx.

Macy's plans to open six Backstage stores in the New York market this fall. The locations will serve as a test for the concept, albeit a difficult one. "New Yorkers are tough critics and we're going to learn quickly," LeFebvre said.  

But serving discount shoppers isn't Macy's only strategy heading into the holidays. The new My Stylist@Macy's is a free personal shopper service intended to assist with both personal and gift selections. Stylists will also assist in home decor selection.

The service is now live at 135 locations and shoppers can make an appointment online or by telephone.  

For more:
-See this Chicago Tribune article
-See this Macy's press release

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