Milford mall, others adding Macy’s Backstage

Department store giant Macy’s is adding three locations in the state for its new concept stores, designed to appeal to bargain-hungry Connecticut shoppers.

Macy’s Backstage is opening in Macy’s stores in the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester and the Stamford Town Center, in addition to the existing locations in Waterbury’s Brass Mill Center and Westfield Properties Meriden Square mall.

Backstage in Manchester will open April 8, and the Milford and Stamford shops will open April 15.

“We created Macy’s Backstage for the seasoned outlet shopper who enjoys the excitement of the treasure hunt, but whose time and money is a commodity,” Vanessa LeFebvre, senior vice president/general merchandise manager of Macy’s Backstage stores, said in a statement.

“Our latest Backstage stores are a convenient twist to the traditional outlet store format that we feel Macy’s and mall shoppers will enjoy and embrace.”

LeFebvre described Macy’s Backstage as a cross between a department store and an outlet.

David Cadden, a professor emeritus at Quinnipiac University’s School of Business, said that while the goal of Macy’s Backstage may be to drive traffic to the main department, the retailer’s management team needs to be careful that the new concept “doesn’t cheapen the overall brand.”

“Porsche in the 1980s came out with a less expensive model and it ended up making the brand less desirable for years,” Cadden said. “Macy’s has to be careful this doesn’t happen to them.”

The opening of Macy’s Backstage in the Connecticut Post Mall comes as the mall prepares to say goodbye to J.C. Penney, an anchor store that is scheduled to close by June.

Some Macy’s Backstages are separate from the department stores.

Cadden said removing the Backstage from inside the department stores might be a good way to create a separate image for the new concept store.

“It worked for Filene’s Basement,” he said, referring to the deep discount clothing chain that started out as part of Filene’s department stores.

Filene’s Basement eventually became a separate chain that ultimately ended up going out of business in 2011.

Call Luther Turmelle at 203-680-9388.