Venerable US department store chain Macy’s is to start 2017 in lean fashion after announcing the closure of 68 stores and the layoff of 10,000 staff in the wake of disappointing sales over the Christmas period.
Over the all-important festive period between November and December sales are believed to have slipped 2.1% versus a year earlier, prompting a hard reappraisal of ‘unproductive’ parts of the business suffering from declining traffic.
Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We continue to experience declining traffic in our stores where the majority of our business is still transacted.
“Our omnichannel strategies continue to evolve based on the changes in our customers' shopping behaviors, including a focus on buy online, pickup in store and mobile-enabled shopping. In addition, we have invested in and enlarged our customer data and analytics team, which will help drive our new marketing strategies for 2017.”
Macy’s hopes to save $550m this year alone by shrinking its physical footprint and will reinvest $250m into expanding its digital footprint and operations to claw back lost ground.
In 2016 Macy's said it would shutter 100 stores by early 2017 in the face of intense competition from Amazon.