Macy's is opening its doors to pop-ups in a new marketplace concept called "The Market @ Macy's."
The program gives pods of space to a handful of brands and companies on Macy's ground floor to promote or sell their products. It is aimed at giving Macy's customers more variety to their shopping and the Cincinnati-based retailer insight into what they like. For their branded partners, it bestows an opportunity to have brick-and-mortar presence they may lack.
"Overwhelmingly, what we think makes this so attractive for Macy's and our customers is it continues to drive customers to stores by giving a constant break of discovery," said Marc Mastronardi, EVP of new business development and innovation at Macy's.
"We have not [before] had a model in which we have provided [Macy's retail service] to a really diverse set of categories coming into our space."
Retailers of all sorts have turned to pop-ups and partnerships to create variety in their stores and exposure to new brands. Mall owner Simon Property Group last year rolled out a permanent house for pop-ups in its Roosevelt Field mall.
They are also looking beyond the pop-up: Saks launched "the Wellery," a section of its second floor dedicated to wellness classes and services. Kohl's is looking to partner with a convenience or grocery store.
Macy's distinguishes the Market from traditional pop-ups in that the department store carries the heavy lifting: Sales associates working for the Market will work exclusively to service the brands, an offer of particular use for companies without retail experience. Macy's also offers the potential to scale through its footprint and a flexible approach to timing, allowing pop-ups to stay as little as a month.
Brands pay a one-time fee for the space and retain all their sales.
The program, which formally launches Monday, will initially be tried in 10 cities, including at the Herald Square flagship in New York, Boston, Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
After six months, Macy's will assess the impact on the brand's sales, foot traffic and insights its gleaned as it decides whether and where to further expand the program.