• Macy’s has turned two stores — in Dover, Delaware, and Littleton, Colorado — into Omni Service Centers focused on fulfillment and order pickup.
  • A company representative said in a statement to Business Insider that the test is in response to “an increase in demand across the network to get our customers their product when and how they want it.”
  • “Dark stores” — or locations dedicated exclusively to processing online orders — are becoming more common in retail.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Macy’s is running a “dark store” test ahead of the holiday season.

The company has turned two of its department stores into Omni Service Centers focused on pickup services and fulfillment, not in-store shopping.

The stores, located in Dover, Delaware, and Littleton, Colorado, allow for in-store pickup, curbside pickup, returns, and bill pay. The primary purpose of the Omni Service Centers, however, is to fulfill online orders.

The Delaware News Journal was first to report on the news of the Omni Service Centers.

A company representative said in a statement to Business Insider that the test is in response to “an increase in demand across the network to get our customers their product when and how they want it.”

The representative added that workers at the affected stores “will be considered for potential opportunities to continue with Macy’s in new roles at their current location or be placed in open positions at nearby Macy’s stores.”

They continued: “If the colleague isn’t selected to go forward, they may be eligible for severance.”

“Dark stores” — or locations dedicated exclusively to fulfilling online orders — are a growing trend in retail. Whole Foods opened an online-only store in Brooklyn in September, and Kroger recently converted space in two of its grocery stores to serve as kitchens for meal delivery.

Read more: American Eagle Outfitters’ new chief creative officer on why the company still believes in stores and why the fashion industry is poised for a post-pandemic renaissance

Macy’s continues to grow its e-commerce offerings as shoppers have moved online during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, it announced a new partnership with DoorDash to offer same-day and next-day delivery as the holiday shopping season starts earlier than ever. Macy’s is one of a group of retailers that is opting to stay closed on Thanksgiving amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Like many other retailers, Macy’s is already advertising its holiday offerings.

Stores are looking to elongate the holiday shopping season — which traditionally begins Thanksgiving weekend — in order to avoid logistical challenges that could arise with more shoppers looking to make purchases online this year.

Do you work at Macy’s or another department store? Contact this reporter at [email protected] or on the secure messaging app at (646) 889-2143 using a non-work phone.

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