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Originally published January 21, 2010 at 6:53 PM | Page modified January 22, 2010 at 7:58 AM

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Retail Report

Macy's giving discount store model a try with Bloomingdale's Outlets

Macy's is following Nordstrom and other upscale retailers into the bargain-priced outlet business. Cincinnati-based Macy's said Thursday it will open its first Bloomingdale's outlet stores this summer, with more to come in 2011. The first four stores, dubbed Bloomingdale's Outlets, will be in New Jersey, South Florida and Virginia.

Seattle Times business reporters

Macy's is following Nordstrom and other upscale retailers into the bargain-priced outlet business.

Cincinnati-based Macy's said Thursday it will open its first Bloomingdale's outlet stores this summer, with more to come in 2011. The first four stores, dubbed Bloomingdale's Outlets, will be in New Jersey, South Florida and Virginia.

Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren said in a statement that while Macy's has been considering getting into the outlet business for a while, now is the right time "given the consumer's particular focus on value in addition to fashion and quality."

The recession has hit upscale department stores such as Bloomingdale's hard. Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth stores have done better, suggesting demand for off-price, brand-name clothing remains solid.

Earlier this month, Nordstrom said sales at Rack stores open at least a year rose 5.2 percent for December. At Macy's, the key measure rose 1 percent, mainly because of a strong showing by its Bloomingdale's division. — AM

Coinstar has tapped J. Scott Di Valerio to take over as chief financial officer March 2. Di Valerio, 47, a former Microsoft accounting executive who previously worked at computer manufacturer Lenovo, joined Coinstar this week to work with CEO Paul Davis for a transition period. Former CFO John Harvey resigned last fall. — AM

The Wax Bar, a locally owned skin-care salon that sells beer along with a facial or body wax, will expand beyond Ballard with a second location set to open March 3 in West Seattle. It's in the so-called Triangle area, at 4450 37th Ave. S.W. — AM

Glassybaby, a Seattle maker of decorative colored glass cups, holds its twice-a-year sale on Saturday in Madrona, at 3406 E. Union St. About 4,000 cups, each with some sort of imperfection, are marked down to $26, compared with a normal price tag of $40. The sale begins at 10 a.m., though hundreds of people are expected to begin lining up at 7 a.m. — AM

Retail Report appears Fridays. Amy Martinez covers goods, services and online retail. She can be reached at 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com. Melissa Allison covers the food and beverage industry. She can be reached at 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com.

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About Retail Report

Retail Report is a look at the trends, issues and people who makeup the dynamic and versatile retail sector throughout the Puget Sound region. Every Friday with Melissa Allison and Amy Martinez. Send tips or comments to mallison@seattletimes.com or amartinez@seattletimes.com.

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