Macy’s to Close 14% of Its Stores in 2017

Macy’s to Close 14% of Its Stores in 2017

New York–Macy’s Inc. is continuing to shed stores, announcing Thursday that it will close 100 of its 728 locations early next year, or about 14 percent of its retail fleet.

The 100 stores are all full-line (non-outlet) Macy’s locations and most of them will close in early 2017.

The retailer said the locations of the 100 stores will be announced later, once the company makes final decisions, and that employees at those stores will be notified before the information is released to the public.

Macy’s has struggled in recent quarters, finishing 2015 with a 5 percent drop in same-store sales in November and December and announcing that it would lay off thousands of workers. It also recently closed 41 stores.

Going forward, the retailer wants to position itself as “America’s preferred omnichannel shopping destination,” and said it will sink capital into its digital businesses and best-performing stores while shedding physical locations where sales are lagging.

Part of the plan for improving the in-store shopping experience, Macy’s said, is to accentuate “high-potential businesses, such as fine jewelry.”

The retailer already has begun rolling out renovated fine jewelry departments.

“The announcements we are making today represent an advancement in our thinking on the role of stores, the quality of the shopping experience we will deliver, and how and where we reinvest in our business for growth,” said Macy’s President Jeff Gennette, who will take over for outgoing CEO Terry Lundgren next year.

He also said, “We believe that this reduction of 100 locations in the short term will result in a more appropriate store portfolio for Macy’s in the longer term and help us to accelerate our progress in building a vibrant omnichannel brand experience.”

Over the past six years, Macy’s has opened 19 stores, including six off-price locations, and closed 90, meaning its physical footprint has shrunk by net 71 stores.

Another way to look at it: Back in 2010, Macy’s had 799 stores. By the time the most recent round of closures is complete, it will have 628 stores, a 20 percent reduction in its physical footprint.

Also on Thursday, Macy’s released its results for the quarter ended July 30.

Same-store sales on an owned plus licensed basis fell 2 percent while total sales were down 4 percent, from $6.10 billion to $5.87 billion. The closing of 41 Macy’s stores in fiscal 2015 impacted the company’s total sales results.

Year-to-date, comps are down 4 percent and total sales have slipped 6 percent.

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