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Boise Macy’s prepares launch of Nordstrom Rack-like discount store-within-a-store

Shoppers at the Boise Towne Square Macy’s store might have encountered confusion lately. Purses are where the shoes go. Jeans are where the purses go. And so on.

In recent weeks, workers have been rearranging departments and goods, clearing out a significant area on the second level of the long-standing Boise store. The second-floor area that used to house sleepwear and kitchen goods will soon host a store-within-a-store concept akin to Nordstrom Rack, according to workers at the store.

Macy’s Backstage would slot into the second-floor space, bringing a new off-price option to the mall, alongside the traditional Macy’s lineup.

Macy's Backstage
A Macy’s Backstage location in Miami, FL. Photo: Phillip Pessar/CC-By 2.0

The company launched the Backstage brand to compete with outlet store-type retailers, including Nordstrom Rack, Burlington, TJ Maxx, and others. In some markets, Macy’s built standalone stores, but in other markets has revamped space in its traditional department stores for the concept.

Macy’s says the stores carry traditional department store goods like clothing, holiday gifts, home decor, makeup, toys, and pet care – but at lower prices. Closeout and overrun merchandise sit alongside “items specifically made for Macy’s Backstage.” It promises a rapid refresh of inventory with new items arriving frequently.

Macy’s opened the first Backstage concept in 2017, and has since expanded to more than 200 locations across the country.

[Analysis: Boise’s mall area a significant local economic engine, tied to big national retailers]

The department store giant, like many retailers, has looked to transform its business in recent years after nearly two decades of decline in the face of a shift to e-commerce. In addition to Backstage, Macy’s has announced Market by Macy’s, Toys R Us stores, and other concepts.

Macy’s has pared back its number of Idaho stores, cutting locations in Downtown Boise, Nampa, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, and Lewiston. It now only operates Idaho stores in Boise and in Coeur d’Alene.

The company has not yet made an announcement on when the Boise Macy’s Backstage location might open.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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