Macy's plans rollout of smaller stores away from malls

Key Points
  • Macy's is planning to test several, smaller Macy's stores outside of shopping malls, as well as a Bloomingdale's store off-mall. 
  • Macy's and Bloomingdale's "have high potential" away from malls and in smaller formats, CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts.
  • In February, Macy's announced plans to shut 125 stores over three years. 
Lights shine near a closed Macy's Herald Square as people remain at home to stop the spread of coronavirus on March 29, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images

Macy's is betting malls will make it, but only the best malls, so it's looking to grow elsewhere. 

"We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive," CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts Wednesday. "However, we also know that Macy's and Bloomingdale's have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats." 

He said the department store chain is planning to test several smaller Macy's stores outside of malls, as well as a Bloomingdale's store off-mall. It is also still looking to grow its off-price business through Macy's Backstage. 

In February, before the pandemic, Macy's announced plans to shut 125 stores over the next three years. Gennette said Wednesday those plans have not changed, but added that Macy's is monitoring its competition closely and may adjust its store closure timeline. 

Macy's ended the second quarter with 771 stores, including Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury. 

Macy's shares gained 3% Wednesday, after the retailer reported a narrower-than-expected loss and stronger sales, thanks to a boost from its online business

CNBC Retail Reporter: America's department stores could be in their 'last stages'