Macy's opening new, smaller store in San Diego County

The smaller stores will be roughly one-fifth the size of the retail chain's regular department stores.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Macy's is expanding its small-store format to a dozen locations, including San Diego, in an effort to offer more convenient shopping, increase customer visits and add new shoppers.

The department store chain said Tuesday that it opened a location in Highland, Indiana, in July and plans to open small stores in Boston, Las Vegas and San Diego in the coming months, bringing the total number of its small-format stores to 12. The new stores range in size from 30,000 to 50,000 square feet, roughly one-fifth the size of its regular department stores.

Macy's said the four new stores will bear the iconic brand's nameplate, but the other eight stores will be called Market by Macy's. The department store opened its first small-format store in 2020 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Macy's operates about 500 stores under the namesake brand.

The new Macy’s at Santee Trolley Square, which will be about 30,000 square feet, will be located at 9918 Mission Gorge Road in Santee, a company spokesperson told NBC 7 on Tuesday, and is expected to open in early November.

Nordstrom; Kohl's; Macy's upscale sister; Bloomingdale's; as well as big box stores like Target have been expanding to small formats for several years. But the trend gained momentum after the pandemic shifted more shopping to the suburbs and away from cities.

Macy's smaller department stores are not in traditional malls but rather in strip malls anchored by discount stores. They offer a slimmed-down assortment of trendy and basic fashions, as well as beauty and fragrances, along with services that allow shoppers to pick up online orders at the store.

Macy’s noted that the smaller stores that have been open more than one full fiscal year achieved positive comparable sales including licensed businesses.

The retailer announced plans in February 2020 to close 125 stores over three years and lay off about 2,000 corporate employees. The retailer has closed about 80 Macy's locations and plans to shutter another five this year, a company representative reported in an earnings call in March.

Macy's currently operates eight locations around the county, at the Fashion Valley and Mission Valley malls in Mission Valley; at well as in University Town Center, National City, La Mesa, Chula Vista, Escondido and Carlsbad.

The announcement came as the department store separately reported that it had to heavily discount spring goods to make room for fresh fall and holiday merchandise amid customers’ cautious spending, but adjusted profits and sales for the fiscal second quarter still beat Wall Street expectations. Overall, comparable sales — those from stores and digital channels opened at least a year — were down 7.3% in the quarter. The figure includes licensed owned businesses like cosmetics.

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