Macy's closing 5 stores, laying off over 2K employees

ByNathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, CNNWire
Friday, January 19, 2024
Macy's closing 5 stores, laying off over 2,000 employees
Macy's is laying off about 3.5% of its workforce, or roughly 2,350 employees, and closing five stores.

NEW YORK -- Veteran department-store chain Macy's is laying off about 3.5% of its workforce, or roughly 2,350 employees, and closing five stores as it continues to shrink its massive retail business for the online-shopping era.

"As we prepare to deploy a new strategy to meet the needs of an everchanging consumer and marketplace, we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce by 3.5% to become a more streamlined company," a Macy's spokesperson told CNN.

The five stores to be closed are located in Arlington, Virginia (Ballston); San Leandro, California (Bay Fair); Lihue, Hawaii (Kukui Grove); Simi Valley, California (Simi Valley Town Center); and Tallahassee, Florida (Governor's Square), according to a spokesperson for Macy's Inc.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

Retailers often lay off employees and announce store closures after the holidays, especially if they had a sluggish sales season.

However, Americans spent at a faster clip in December from the month prior, the Commerce Department said this week.

The company opened its first Macy's in 1858 and now operates about 500 Macy's branded stores, as well as 55 of the more upscale Bloomingdale's chain.

Macy's is emblematic of the holiday season, sponsoring both the Thanksgiving Day Parade In New York City that traditionally kicks it off and as the setting for, and employer of, Santa Claus in the 1947 classic film "Miracle on 34th Street."

But it has struggled against rising competition and a migration of shoppers away from department stores.

A group of investors in December reportedly proposed to take Macy's private at a vulnerable moment for the famed company. Macy's has not commented on the activist attempt.

Macy's has attempted numerous strategies in recent years to revitalize business, such as new brands and smaller stores, but the moves have not altered its long-term trajectory.

Macy's stock price has dropped 75% from a peak of $73 a share in 2015. Since then, it has closed nearly 300 stores - almost one third of its stores - and operates about 700 across its brands.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.