Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts that the department store chain will begin opening smaller stores outside of malls over the next two years. The news comes after Macy's announcement in February that it would close underperforming stores in malls. It's a blow to these weaker shopping centers, which depend on their anchor stores to bring in foot traffic. In the U.S., Macy's is the biggest anchor store of them all. Gennette made it clear that Macy's isn't abandoning malls entirely. But the retailer is clearly envisioning a time when its fate is not linked quite so closely to the struggling shopping mall sector.
“We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” he said. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential off-mall and in smaller formats.”