Metro-East Living

Macy’s Backstage, remodeling come to St. Clair store

Macy’s latest redo is a bargain basement store called Backstage, which will take up less than half of the lower level at the St. Clair Square location in Fairview Heights.
Macy’s latest redo is a bargain basement store called Backstage, which will take up less than half of the lower level at the St. Clair Square location in Fairview Heights.

Here’s what happens to me when I’ve been shopping in the same store for a long time: I get cranky when stuff is no longer where it was the last time I was there.

I really dislike it when this happens at my favorite supermarket, because I shop there weekly. But when Macy’s at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights started its latest redo — including adding a bargain basement area called Backstage — I was so here-we-go-again. I tried not to look too confused when I asked a manager what happened to the lower level lingerie section and what did they do with women’s clothing?

Sort of like falling dominoes, lingerie was bumped upstairs (making room for Backstage), which moved the women’s department over to a former location near one of the parking lot entrances. You’ll notice other relocations as well, plus many big new red “Last Act” signs, where you’ll find clearance items. (There’s a theme going on here: Backstage, Last Act ..., I just know it.)

One change I do like — I’m told all will be redone by next week — is the redesign of the women’s shoe department: It will offer boxed shoes sorted by style and size ready for shoppers to browse through and try on. No more waiting for somebody to go in the back and find what you need. I’m all for that.

But the big gorilla in the room — at least as a business venture — is the Macy’s Backstage outlet store-within-a-store, which takes up less than half of the lower level closest to the mall entrance. I’m guessing the retailer is hoping that location will get foot traffic from the mall into the outlet store.

As a veteran observer of retail shopping, it’s pretty obvious TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are part of the stimulus here. You’ll find discounted Macy’s clothing, jewelry and accessories — 20 to 80 percent off, but also home decor and toys, which have always been in scarce supply in the regular store.

Macy’s Backstage also will have its own manager. Macy’s credit cards can be used, but it’s a big no to Macy’s coupons, since the merchandise already is reduced in price.

The area was under construction and being stocked Tuesday when I was there. At the pace I saw, I imagine it will be ready along with the other changes upstairs next week. The grand opening celebration, though, is June 17, with $20 Backstage gift cards to the first 100 customers.

Here are a few shopping niblets from places other than Macy’s:

JC Penney at the mall has men’s and women’s St. Louis Cardinals footwear: Women’s canvas red logo slip-ons and guy’s shower sandals are $30, while flip-flops for both sexes are $16.

Dillard’s at the mall has a nice selection of summer hats for women, with some 40 percent off. I liked the fedora styles, more than a few with wider brims for protection from the sun. Most I saw were in the $20 to $35 range on sale.

It’s still buy three, get three free at Claire’s through Sunday (and probably further) at the mall. Plus, the shop has $5 sterling silver earrings through Monday.

Kirkland’s has some very pretty melamine pedestal cake plates with ruffled rims in four pastel colors for $14.99.

Through Saturday, take an extra 50 percent off already-reduced merchandise at Chico’s at The Shoppes at St. Clair.