Bloomingdale’s looks to make more with less
Bloomingdale’s is going small in Seattle.
The department store retailer yesterday said it will open a new Bloomie’s, its small off-mall store concept, this year in University Village in the Ravenna neighborhood, north of the city’s downtown.
“We are thrilled to enter the Seattle market with the opening of our third Bloomie’s location,” Charles Anderson, Bloomingdale’s director of stores, said in a statement. “The new flexible store experience has been well-received in other cities as it remains authentic to the Bloomingdale’s brand yet brings a new and exciting energy to our shoppers. We can’t wait to be a part of the community and for the people of Seattle to be a part of the Bloomie’s story.”
Bloomingdale’s debuted its first Bloomie’s, which brings together top established designer labels from its full-line stores as well as emerging labels in beauty, fashion and accessories, in Fairfax, VA, in 2021. The Fairfax Bloomie’s measures 22,000 square feet.
It opened its second right before Thanksgiving in the Chicagoland market. Macy’s, Inc. CEO Jeff Gennette said on the company’s third quarter earnings call that the 50,000 square-foot Bloomies replaced a full-line Bloomingdale’s that measured 206,000 square feet.
The Bloomie’s locations receive multiple deliveries on a weekly basis to allow them to constantly refresh their selection and offer customers something new every time they walk into the store. The retailer is focused on combining its technological and human resources to deliver the superior service that its customers expect.
Stylists deployed in departments across the store are equipped with digital selling tools to help them find the right items for their customers in-store and elsewhere as needed. Bloomie’s fitting rooms have been set up to enable customers to request the assistance of stylists by pushing a button.
The small stores offer the same services as full-line Bloomingdale’s, including buy online for in-store or curbside pickup and easy returns via a dropbox. The stores provide alteration, customization and personalization services.
Mr. Gennette sees a significant upside for Bloomingdale’s, likely through its small store concept, as the chain currently operates locations in only 13 of the top 50 consumer markets in the U.S. Macy’s, by comparison, is in 49.
Bloomingdale’s posted a 4.1 percent year-over-year gain in same-store sales during the quarter and saw its active customer base grow by nine percent.
- Bloomingdale’s Enters the Seattle Market with New Bloomie’s Concept – Bloomingdale’s/PRNewswire
- Macy’s (M) 3Q 2022 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- New concept promises to deliver the Bloomie’s experience but in a smaller box – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see the Bloomie’s concept as a smart way for Bloomingdale’s to scale its operations to new markets around the U.S.? What will be the keys to the concept’s success as it opens more stores?