Trading on the still-growing consumer appetite for out-of-season retail, US department store chain Macy's has simultaneously debuted three off-price outlet concepts called Backstage in New York's outer boroughs of Brooklyn, Long Island and Queens.
Averaging about 30,000 sq ft, the locations sell a wide range of previous-season products, including apparel, accessories, home decor and beauty, as well as exclusive newer items at up to an 80% discount.
According to Vanessa LeFebvre, senior vice-president and general merchandise manager of Backstage, the new concept was developed to attract the millennial mother, who it hopes will "graduate" to shopping at full-priced Macy's stores as she gains more disposable income. Travel-sized products are used as a form of brand introduction, while the weekly influx of new merchandise encourages repeat visits.
Trading explicitly on the social media savvy of its millennial audience, "pin it, snap it, share it" stickers on store mirrors encourage shoppers to share the "treasure hunt" experience of discount discoveries. Additional amenities for this on-the-move generation include mobile checkout handheld devices for employees, as well as sit-down charging stations dubbed "juice bars" located just outside fitting rooms (see also Commuter Commerce, part of our Roaming Retail Industry Trend).
Social media also heavily influences the visual merchandising of the Backstage stores. Each features a single prominent display known as the "centre stage" which showcases a weekly product trend, such as 'Country Life'. These themes are carried throughout the store on multiple Pinterest-esque product display boards.
Three more Backstage stores are set to open in 2015 in an additional Long Island location, the Bronx and New Jersey.
For more on the outlet retailing boom, see Outlet Retail Explosion: NYC and Outlet Retailing Developments. For more on tapping the grown-up millennial, see Meet the Millennial Parents and the section Millennials: Values of a Maturing Audience in our coverage of the International Retail Design Conference, 2015: Service Design & Sector Innovation.