Popular culture goes on sale every day at Bloomingdale's. A subsidiary of retail giant Macy's, Bloomingdale's boasts more than 40 upscale department stores and home stores in about a dozen states. The company's flagship store at 59th and Lexington is a Manhattan institution and tourist attraction in its own right. It also operates a growing number of Bloomingdale's Outlet stores (measuring about 25,000 square feet) and bloomingdales.com. Overseas, Bloomingdale's operates under a lease agreement in Dubai. Founded in 1872 by brothers Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale, the store rode the popularity of the hoop skirt to sales success and practically invented the department store concept at the dawn of the 20th Century.
While Macy's doesn't break out sales for Bloomingdale's, the chain contributes about 10% of its total. Macy's, and presumably Bloomingdale's, had a strong fiscal 2012 (ends January), ringing up more than $26 billion (up from $25 billion the previous year). The rebound in demand for luxury goods, following the sharp decline in the depths of the recession, lifted sales at luxury department store chains like Bloomies and rivals Barneysand Neiman Marcus.
Because Bloomingdale's caters to a more upscale clientele than Macy's, it has been insulated from many of the competitive pressures that have hurt mid-market department stores. Also, unperturbed by the downturn in the economy, CEO Michael Gould maintained an aggressive growth strategy and focused on contemporary luxury goods, which served Bloomies well when the recovery began. Apparently that strategy didn't preclude opening off-price outlet locations to attract the more bargain-focused shopper. (Other upscale retailers, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Barneys, have also established outlet stores.) After opening the first four Bloomingdale's Outlet stores in 2010, three more opened last year.
In a first for both Bloomies and Macy's, the first Bloomingdale's store outside the US opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2010. The twin apparel and accessories and home stores anchors The Dubai Mall and serve as a laboratory of sorts for Macy's, which hopes to gain some insight as to how its brands translate internationally. (The stores are managed and operated by Al Tayer Insignia, a company of Al Tayer Group, under a licensing agreement.)
Bloomingdale's direct-to-consumer business is now solely focused on e-commerce (Bloomingdales.com) following the discontinuation of the Bloomingdale's by Mail catalog. – less