Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Nov 14, 2018 • 09:30 am ET
to build lifetime value with our existing customers and to bring new customers into the brand. I'm going to give you a brief update on our strategic initiatives. And then Paula will take you through the details of the quarter and then we're going to open up the line for your questions.
So, as we noted on our last call, the third quarter was an important time for us as we were laying the groundwork for our strategic initiatives. That work is complete and we are fully prepared for the critical holiday season ahead. As you know, we have five strategic initiatives in 2018. And let me touch on each of them. Loyalty, we recently marked the one-year anniversary of our new Loyalty program. And I am pleased to say that the program is delivering the results we anticipated. Our platinum customers, who are our best customers are spending more with us and shopping more frequently. They like the simplicity and value of the new program. We've had a great response to the exclusive experiences that we've been able to offer the platinum card holders. Because we have a well-developed entertainment and events business, Macy's has a unique portfolio of experiences to pull from and to offer our platinum card holders. This includes exclusive access to our iconic events like the upcoming Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade like concerts, fashion shows, cooking classes to name a few.
While, the first priority of our loyalty program is to take care of our existing best customers, we've now expanded the program with a new tender-neutral tier, which we launched earlier this year. We call this the bronze program. And the bronze program is showing strong early results and we have added nearly 2 million new members to the loyalty program. So overall, we're very pleased with the loyalty program. It's bringing new customers into the brand and increasing the lifetime value of our best customers. Number two initiative, Backstage. We've added 121 Backstage locations this year including nearly 60 in the third quarter. I'm proud of the work, the team has done to deliver this expansion. It is a testament to the speed and agility that we've emphasized across the company. We now have 166 backstage in store locations. With this scale, we are now dialing up our marketing for Backstage with an emphasis on product that is off-price, on trend and arriving daily. We expect the additional marketing which launched last month will increase awareness of Backstage and bring new customers into the store and importantly, we continue to see a lift in sales across the entire store when we add in Backstage.
Third initiative, Vendor Direct, so to understand the role of Vendor Direct, let's first take a step back to understand how we look at the role of curation.
In our stores, we curate for our customer through a highly edited assortment that is localized to a specific market. Using our enhanced data and analytics, we're able to efficiently influence