Bloomingdale's unveils concept store Bloomie's
As Macy's continues to experiment with store format, location and size, the company on Wednesday announced the Aug. 26 opening of its new Bloomie's concept store, according to a press release. The store will open in Fairfax, Virginia, in the Mosaic District shopping center.
At 22,000 square feet, the store is significantly smaller than traditional Bloomingdale's locations and is described as being "ever-evolving," with a highly curated product collection.
The new store touts a "tech-enabled stylist service model," where in-store stylists can access products from nearby Bloomingdale's stores, the company website and the flagship store in New York. Fitting rooms will have buttons that shoppers can push for assistance.
Bloomie's is not just a nickname anymore.
The affectionate term that loyal customers have used for Bloomingdale's for years has spun off into its very own store, complete with product deliveries multiple times a week and a restaurant.
"Bloomie's has always been a term of affection from our loyal customers. Our new Bloomie's store will deliver everything they love about Bloomingdale's in a highly edited, convenient, and unexpected way," said Bloomingdale's CEO Tony Spring.
The new location offers men's and women's apparel, shoes, accessories, activewear and beauty. Bloomie's will provide centralized services at its front desk, including a returns dropbox, in-store and curbside pickup, and alteration services.
The store will frequently rotate trends, host activations and feature carts throughout the store that prompt product discovery.
Parent company Macy's has been pushing for smaller concept stores as part of its Polaris turnaround strategy. That includes expanding its off-price Backstage banner to include both shop-in-shops and additional stand-alone locations. The retailer is also looking at taking advantage of off-mall locations, including open-air centers.
In a June presentation, Macy's Chief Financial Officer Adrian Mitchell spoke about localized, off-mall stores, saying they "emphasize discovery with a highly curated, under 40 assortment" and that the company is "very excited" about those stores. "We're solving for the optimal size and number of these stores in local markets. But, we're pretty excited about the opportunity it provides us to the demographic of customers that we attract," Mitchell said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
Macy's itself this year also opened its second Market by Macy's location, a 20,000-square-foot store in an off-mall strip center, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Similar to Bloomie's, Market by Macy's features a curated selection of brands, although the company is closing one of those stores in order to refocus, according to a recent report from the Dallas Morning News.
Other traditional retailers are also experimenting with smaller store formats as the relevancy of malls comes into question. Nordstrom opened its merchandise-free Nordstrom Local concept in 2017 and added locations, including two stores in Los Angeles area last fall.
Target announced last year that it was ramping up its small-format store locations, including a 6,000-square-foot concept, which is meant to reach shoppers in urban neighborhoods and college campuses.