Macy’s to open Backstage outlet shop inside Parks at Arlington store

Macy’s plans to hire 180 people in North Texas for the holiday season.
Macy’s plans to hire 180 people in North Texas for the holiday season. AP

The Parks at Arlington will be the next location to get a Macy’s Backstage outlet store. It will open in August.

Macy’s said it will carve out 18,600 square feet on the first level of the Arlington department store for the shop it created to compete with outlet malls and off-price chains such as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack.

Macy’s developed the Backstage concept in late 2015, and Texas was the first state outside of the Northeast to get a Backstage store. Last summer, Backstage opened inside stores at Hulen Mall in Fort Worth and Town East Mall in Mesquite. Two others are in San Antonio.

So far, Macy’s has opened 44 Backstage locations in the U.S. The store in Arlington will be one of 30 to open this year.

Backstage is creating some additional same-day sales. The company told analysts in June that about 26 percent of customers are shopping both Backstage and the main store on the same shopping trip.

While there’s no evidence yet that it’s attracting new customers, Macy’s said it hasn’t even started marketing Backstage.

Macy’s CEO Jeffrey Gennette said at the analyst meeting that Backstage is geared toward increasing traffic to Macy’s stores and getting its customers to do more of their shopping with Macy’s.

That’s a goal that all mature retailers have these days, including competitors J.C. Penney and Kohl’s. Macy’s is closing stores and so is J.C. Penney as the department store sector continues to lose market share.

Gennette also noted that 70 percent of all millennials shop off-price, which is another reason for Backstage. Plus, he said, it’s a way to make excess space in many of its stores more productive.