Bloomingdale's to Open New Small Store Concept, Bloomie's
Bloomingdale’s announced this week that it will use the oft-cited nickname Bloomie's for a new location, opening in Fairfax, Virginia, on Aug. 26. The word Bloomie’s has for decades been used as a term of endearment by fans of the original luxury department store chain. The roughly 22,000-square-foot space will be much smaller than a typical Bloomingdale’s location, which can span upward of 200,000 square feet. The store will serve as a hub for experiences, with a focus on fashion, and feature Colada Shop, a restaurant serving coffee, Caribbean-inspired small bites and cocktails into the evening. Bloomies will offer alterations, a drop-box for returns, and appointments with stylists.
Total Retail's Take: Like other department store chains, Bloomingdale's, which is owned by Macy's Inc., is looking to diversify its offerings in an attempt to attract new and younger consumers. A greater emphasis on services, such as in-store returns of items purchased online, product alterations, and the ability to pick up online purchases in-store, is a natural progression for Bloomingdale's following the successful rollout of Nordstrom Local stores, which offer similar services to what Bloomie's will feature. The competition for market share comes as other players in the luxury department sector, including Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus have reduced store counts or liquidated altogether. And if the small format store test proves successful, look for additional Bloomie's locations to open as well as similar offerings from Macy's.
“Bloomingdale’s not only provides us with access to higher price points, but it's a test platform for innovation, sharing and the application of lessons learned across our brands,” Macy's Inc. CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts during an earnings conference call in May.