Bloomingdale’s on Expansion Track

The retailer is focusing on smaller full-price stores and outlets.

Bloomingdale’s is back in expansion mode and focusing on smaller full-price stores and outlets.

This story first appeared in the November 11, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A full-line, two-level store in the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif., is set to open in fall 2013, though other sites around the state and country are being eyed, possibly the Pacific Northwest and Texas, where there are currently no Bloomingdale’s.

There’s long been interest in Manhattan’s west side, where Bloomingdale’s rejected a proposal from Hudson Yards in the past. “We’re continuing to look at other spots. I just got out of a real estate meeting with a developer on two potential sites, but it’s not done yet,” said Macy’s Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Terry Lundgren. He also said there was nothing at the moment happening on the west side for Bloomingdale’s, and declined to specify how many outlets would open, on top of the first seven opened in the past year.

“We’re not talking about anything else right now, just Glendale,” added Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairman and ceo. “Glendale will have a SoHo mentality based on its size and architecture, not necessarily the mix of merchandise. It will be less contemporary than Santa Monica, but will fit into a mold combining contemporary and updated traditional.”

The Glendale site, a former Mervyns with 120,000 square feet, is about half the size of a typical Bloomingdale’s, but larger than the 76,000-square-foot Santa Monica unit opened a year ago and considered a test of how well the company could adapt its scaled-down SoHo concept outside of New York. The SoHo unit, with 79,000 square feet, opened in 2004. “Much like Bloomingdale’s stores in SoHo and Santa Monica, we expect our assortment and shopping experience in Glendale will be carefully edited for the community and customer,” said Gould.

Results are fueling the expansion. “We still expect Bloomingdale’s to outperform the overall performance,” said Karen Hoguet, Macy’s Inc.’s chief financial officer, referring to sales trends.