While Macy’s has toiled away at a turnaround that in many ways undoes the great expansion it undertook early this century, its smaller Bloomingdale’s banner has yielded stronger and more consistent results. In Q4, comps at the namesake business fell 3.3%, and at Bloomingdale’s rose 0.6%. For the full year, while Macy’s active customers count fell 4% to 42.7 million, at Bloomingdale’s that base expanded by 5% to 4.1 million.
In its release, Bloomingdale’s, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, called itself “America’s only nationwide, full-line, upscale department store,” a description that many would also apply to Nordstrom. In the U.S., Bloomingdale’s operates 34 full-line stores and 20 outlet stores, while Nordstrom runs 94 full-line stores and 241 off-price Rack stores.
Traditionally, the chief executive at Bloomingdale’s has also served as its chief merchant, according to Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Bloomingdale’s may be stepping up its competition against the Seattle-based retailer, he said by email.Retail Dive