Whitman Retail Expert Discusses Macy’s Backstage Store
Amanda Nicholson, Professor of Retail Practice at the Whitman School of Management, was quoted in the Tampa Bay Times article “Is the future of department stores off-price? Macy’s Backstage opens in Tampa.”
Macy’s recently took a huge step to fight against online shopping by introducing Macy’s Backstage, a “store inside a store.” Macy’s is still Macy’s, but now it will have an additional store inside that will contain off-priced items such as luxury items, makeup, home items and more.
“Macy’s sits in the muddy middle of retail, which is the hardest place to be right now,” Nicholson said. “Luxury can sustain itself, discount is where the masses of people go because of the price, and J.C. Penney and Macy’s are on the equator and have a numerous number of stores.”
Nicholson said the market for off-price is competitive and ruled by existing relationships that could leave Macy’s buyers at a disadvantage as they grow their inventory to outfit more locations.
“The irony I can see, depending how this plays outs, is that if department stores continue to decline and switch to off-price, who is going to build the brands we are going to know about?” Nicholson asked.