Industry Eye: Prospecting - Bloomingdale's Turns to Outlet and International Stores to Attract New Customers
To lure value-conscious shoppers away from competitors' outlet stores — such as Nordstrom's Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue's OFF 5th and Neiman Marcus' Last Call — upscale department store Bloomingdale's plans to launch four outlet stores this summer and fall. The upscale outlet stores — which will be located in Paramus, N.J.; Woodbridge, Va.; Sunrise, Fla.; and Miami — will allow Bloomingdale's to remove clearance items from its full-line stores more efficiently. They'll carry women's, men's and children's apparel; women's shoes; fashion accessories; jewelry; handbags; and intimate apparel. Merchandise will be marked down in hopes of attracting a new segment of shoppers to the brand.
"We've been studying the opportunities for entering the off-the-mall outlet business for some time, and the timing now is right given consumers' particular focus on value in addition to fashion and quality," said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy's, the parent company of Bloomingdale's, in a release.
Bloomingdale's outlet stores are "an opportunity to expand our presence in new and existing markets," added Michael Gould, Bloomingdale's chairman and CEO.
In what was a busy couple of weeks for the retailer, Bloomingdale's also announced the opening of its first international store in early February. The Dubai location will put Bloomingdale's main and home stores in the world's largest shopping mall. The stores cater to the preferences of local consumers in this burgeoning Middle Eastern state.
"We recognize Dubai as a location that offers a dynamic and innovative retail environment, and we look forward to adding to the success of our iconic stores in the USA," said Gould in a company release. —Joe Keenan