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This Macy's plan to boost sales doesn't have anything to do with clothing

As department store retailer Macy's looks to return to positive comparable sales, executives are looking outside the retail box to juice sales and improve the store experience.

Already, the chain has a partnership with Starbucks in 49 of its locations, including its flagship Herald Square store, which serves alcohol side by side with its lattes and Frappuccinos.

When asked about the chain's food and beverage strategy, Jeffrey Gennette, Macy's president and soon-to-be CEO, indicated at a Goldman Sachs conference on Thursday there could be additional expansion of food and beverage in the future.

Offering food options within locations is one way Macy's is trying to differentiate its store experience and thus drive comparable-store sales growth.


"I think we need more of them in our stores, and we are working hard at that," he said. "So I think as I mentioned, the scalable model to be able to get food and beverage out to more of our doors is what's on our mind."

Any potential move would be part of Macy's quest to improve its in-store experience to adapt to changing consumer preferences.

"They are very focused on figuring out a way to get you to come in the store, hang in the store longer, have a good time and want to come back," said Jan Kniffen, CEO of J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide Enterprises, during a CNBC interview.

The comments come amid a large retrenchment at the company. Last month, Macy's outlined plans to shutter about 100 locations out of 728 total stores.