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Macy's looking to 'aggressively' roll out its off-price strategy, CEO Gennette says

On the heels of a disappointing earnings report, Macy's saving grace could be a strategy to focus more resources on growing its off-price brand, Macy's Backstage, outside of Macy's full-price department stores.

"We're hoping that by the end of this year, we have a scaleable [off-price] model to aggressively roll out in the future," CEO Jeff Gennette said Thursday on the company's earnings conference call.

Gennette, who succeeded Terry Lundgren as chief executive just last month, has already made clear his plans to end a two-year streak of negative same-store sales for the retailer, and to make Macy's more of a competitor with off-price chains, bringing a model similar to that of Ross Stores or TJ Maxx into malls.

Earlier Thursday, Macy's reported earnings, revenue and comparable store sales — a metric closely monitored for retail stocks by Wall Street — that all fell short of analysts' estimates, sending shares of the stock tumbling more than 13 percent. The results showed further deterioration of the company's performance.

"These are unusual and challenging times for retail, especially formal-based department stores," Gennette...