Testing and Learning

Macy’s continues to test a wide range of concepts and ideas on a limited scale to understand what resonates with shoppers. We learn from our success and our failures, and are quick to roll out what works and adjust or discontinue what does not. Examples include:

  • Macy’s Backstage: We opened our first six Macy’s Backstage off-price stores in metro New York City in fall 2015. In 2016, we will bring the Backstage concept inside about 15 full-line Macy’s stores and open one freestanding store. By the end of 2016, we expect to have approximately 22 Macy’s Backstage locations.
  • Last Act: As an outgrowth of our research behind the pilot of Macy’s Backstage, we also tested a simplified pricing approach for our deep clearance apparel merchandise in Macy’s stores. Last Act was established as separate spaces on our apparel floors, both in the women’s and men’s departments. Based on the successful test, Last Act now has been rolled out to all of Macy’s stores.
  • Jewelry: We tested a new approach to Macy’s jewelry business in stores in southern California in 2015. It involved strengthening associate selling skills, including changes to talent, training and compensation; improved associate availability; increased direct supervision; and a broader and higher-quality product offering. Based on its success, we are rolling out this robust approach to jewelry to 300 Macy’s stores across the country in fall 2016, with the balance of all stores planned for 2017.

China Joint Venture: Macy’s began selling in late 2015 through a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Fung Retailing Limited. The joint venture, which is 65 percent owned by Macy’s and 35 percent owned by Fung Retailing, began with an e-commerce pilot on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global, a premiere market-place that connects overseas branded retailers to Chinese consumers.