Bloomingdale’s to debut smaller-store concept

Marianne Wilson
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Bloomingdale’s is unveiling a new store concept under its iconic nickname.

The upscale department store retailer will open its first-ever Bloomie’s store on August 26, at the Mosaic District shopping center in Fairfax, Virginia. The 22,000-sq.-ft. store will combine an “approachable mix” of top designers and emerging brands with a new tech-enabled stylist service model and an on-site restaurant. (By comparison, Bloomingdale’s department stores  generally average 150,000 sq. ft. to 250,000 sq. ft.)

“Bloomie’s has always been a term of affection from our loyal customers,” said Tony Spring, CEO, Bloomingdale’s, which is a division of Macy’s. “Our new Bloomie’s store will deliver everything they love about Bloomingdale’s in a highly edited, convenient, and unexpected way.”  

The curated merchandise assortment will cover men’s and women’s apparel (including ready-to-wear, denim, active and intimates), shoes, handbags, beauty, eyewear and fine jewelry. The offering will be updated with fresh deliveries multiple times per week. Rotating carts throughout the space will feature unexpected finds.

The new concept puts service and convenience front and center. A dedicated area, “The Front Desk,” will house a returns drop box (for items bought from any channel) and will also serve as the central point for online order pickup.Other service offerings will include curbside pickup, personalization, customization, alterations and appointments with stylists.

The store features technology-enabled features designed to enhance the customer experience. All the sales associates, who have been trained to act as stylists, are equipped with digital selling capabilities, allowing them to access merchandise for customers outside of Bloomie’s, from nearby Bloomingdale’s stores to the 59th Street flagship in New York.  And customers in the fitting rooms can request assistance with the push of a button.

The store experience interprets the iconic Bloomingdale’s aesthetic in a fresh and unexpected way through innovative new design concepts and a punched-up color palette. The fitting rooms make a design statement, with an impactful monochromatic pale blush coloration and color block stripe. Large windows bring light into the space and connect it to the shopping and dining district outside.

Bloomie’s will house the newest location of DC area restaurant favorite, Colada Shop, which offers Cuban-inspired coffee, food and cocktails. In addition to the indoor restaurant, there is a patio with outdoor seating.  

This is not Bloomingdale’s first downsized format, but it is its smallest to date. The retailer has two stores that come in at around 80,000-sq.-ft., with one in Manhattan’s SoHo district and the other at Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif.

The new Bloomie’s concept is part of Macy’s Inc.’s overall three-year “Polaris” strategy that includes closing about 125 Macy’s stores and expanding its off-price and off-mall retail concepts.

Macy’s currently operates 33 Bloomingdale’s stores and 21 Bloomingdale’s outlet shops in the United States.