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CNBC reports that Macy's has said that "four more stores that look a lot different than its typical giant mall anchors as it tries to refresh a brand that has lost luster with many shoppers.

"The struggling retailer thinks the format is working.  The new shops will open in the fall in Boston, Las Vegas and San Diego, and another debuted this month in suburban Indiana. The locations will be smaller and situated in strip malls. They will host events and frequently swap out merchandise."

CNBC notes that "Macy’s already opened 10 similar stores to test the new concept. It unveiled the first one in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas about three years ago. Some are called Market by Macy’s, a mini version of the Macy’s namesake stores, and others are named Bloomie’s, a smaller version of upscale department store Bloomingdale’s.

"The company has opened the stores to replace a shuttered mall location, to add density to a market with high demand or in some cases, to enter a new area such as Seattle."

According to the story, CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts that "Macy’s smaller stores outperformed the company in the most recent quarter. Those that have been open for more than a year posted sales growth in the three-month period. Across the company overall, comparable sales on an owned-plus-licensed basis dropped 7.3%."

KC's View:

I've always a big fan of this kind of diversification, whether it was what Macy's is doing, what Nordstrom is doing with its Local stores, or what IKEA is doing with urban formats like the one it is opening this week in San Francisco.