Bloomingdale's has not commented on the matter, but according to a few slightly vague, real estate-based sources, the department store is this close to a deal with Simon Property Group to place 20,000-30,000-square-foot discount centers in either of their Simon Mills or Prime Outlets properties sprinkled across the country.
Although not confirmed, it'd make a lot of sense for Bloomie's to go discount -- second to e-commerce, it's the best-performing sector of the retail industry, with just miniscule declines in sales since 2007. Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus have reported healthy profits from their respective off-price ventures, Off 5th and Last Call, and Nordstrom Rack will be opening its first location in Manhattan this Spring. Lord & Taylor will also be opening an outlet in the mecca of Malls, Elizabeth, NJ next month. So, why not, Bloomingdales?
Between ever-subsiding fears that outlet arms damage the brand of the original store and this little, um, recession we've got beating the retail industry to a pulp, we're thinking it's only a matter of time before Bloomie's joins the deep-discounts bandwagon.