Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 25.

At long last, Macy's (M) has opened outlet locations in a bid to grab the shoppers typically reserved for the aisles of off-price king TJX Cos.  (TJX) and to make better use of its vast floor space.

The company launched the Backstage off-price concept last fall via six free-standing stores. The store's merchandise, which includes home decor, shoes, sunglasses, baby gear, bedding and packaged snacks, is purchased by a separate "off-price organization," according to Macy's. More recently, the company shifted its focus to opening the Backstage concept inside full-price Macy's stores.

Macy's Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet told analysts on a conference call this month that the company won't be opening anymore free-standing Backstage off-price stores in the near future. Instead, Macy's will open Backstage shops inside of its department stores in order to maximize the store's productivity, said Hoguet. This fall Macy's will open Backstage shops inside 45 of its stores.

TheStreet stumbled upon one of the Backstage locations on the second floor of a Macy's store in Massapequa, N.Y. Suffice it to say, it was a fascinating experience for a writer that grew up only knowing Macy's as a department store. 

TJX s a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells TJX? Learn more now.

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