Macy’s plans discount store

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Bargain hunters are getting good news. During an earnings report conference call in February 2015, Karen Hoguet, who is the CFO of Macy’s, said the company is working on the development of a retail business that would provide discount prices in the mold of Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. Hoguet said at the time that she couldn’t provide details, because Macy’s strategy is in its early stages. This first was announced in January 2015, when Macy’s said one of its plans for 2015 included the exploration of a Macy’s off-price business.

Joe Jackman, who is the CEO of retail consultancy Jackman Reinvents, believes that Macy’s will follow through on the plan because of the success that its competitors enjoy from these types of businesses, including Nordstrom’s spin-off Nordstrom Rack. (According to Nordstrom’s 2014 annual report, Nordstrom Rack sales increased 17 percent compared with 2013. Additionally, Nordstrom plans to open 27 Nordstrom Racks in 2015 across the United States.)

One expert believes that consumers can expect an off-price Macy’s to sell soft goods, such as bedding, and apparel at a discounted rate of at least 20 percent. Ilana Rosen of retail consulting company The Parker Avery Group leaves open the possibility of merchandise also including other categories that Macy’s namesake stores carry, which include footwear, jewelry, handbags and luggage.

Rosen predicts that customers who have a Macy’s credit card could use it at the new off-price store. She said she bases her prediction on the fact that department stores Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue allow customers to use the store credit card at their discount stores.

—K. Fejklowicz