SHEEPSHEAD BAY, N.Y. — Macy’s cut the ribbon on its new off-price retail concept, Backstage, Wednesday morning at simultaneous events in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, N.Y.
Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief innovation and business development officer, was joined by Vanessa LeFebvre, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Backstage, and Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, who represents the Sheepshead Bay district, at the Brooklyn opening.
“Macy’s has been hanging around the New York area for 157 years,” Sachse said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “But today represents a new chapter in our long history.”
Prior to the official event, Sachse told WWD that Macy’s decided to enter the off-price business because of the response of its customers. “We did a lot of research,” he said. “We talked to a lot of customers and have their permission to be in this land. So we’re opening six stores so we can learn what they like and what they don’t like.”
Three additional units will open on Long Island later this month, as well as in the Bronx and West Orange, N.J., in October and November respectively, LeFebvre said.
The Sheepshead Bay store measures 30,000 square feet over two levels, and is a former Loehmann’s location. It carries a wide assortment of women’s, men’s and children’s apparel, footwear and accessories as well housewares and home textiles, toys, and tech gadgets.
Paul Rosengard, chief executive officer of Boston Traders, one of the vendors on-site for the opening, said he especially liked the tongue-in-cheek signs that were installed in the store. “They made it fun,” he said, pointing to signs including: “I have enough clothes said no one ever,” and “Clothes don’t make the man, but they do make him look great.”
LeFebvre said the store had a soft opening six days ago and so far the company is pleased with the response. “It’s been very well received. We found that customers came in and then brought their friends back,” she said, noting that she had worked behind the cash register and in the fitting rooms to gauge the reaction.
At the ribbon-cutting, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said that three years ago, the Sheepshead Bay area had been hard hit by Hurricane Sandy and some of the businesses that had been under water after the storm have not been able to return. “But by you coming here,” he said to the Macy’s team, “it shows your confidence in our community and Brooklyn.”