Business

Macy’s plans to close 100 stores, boost online investment

In this July 10, 2015, file photo, shoppers walk into a Macy's department store at the Hanover Mall in Hanover, Mass.
In this July 10, 2015, file photo, shoppers walk into a Macy's department store at the Hanover Mall in Hanover, Mass. AP

Macy’s plans to close about 100 stores next year and boost its online investments, the nation’s largest department store chain said Thursday, as it tries to become more nimble in an increasingly fierce market.

The closures represent close to 14 percent of its stores under the Macy’s brand.

The retailer said the locations to close “will be announced at a later date, once the company makes final decisions.” Macy’s currently operates 728 stores, including three in the Charlotte area, according to its website.

The company, which operates Bloomingdale’s stores as well, said it would increase its exclusive products and would prioritize its investments in the stores that offer the highest growth potential.

That follows Macy’s move to shutter 40 stores this spring, and comes as Macy’s reported another quarter of falling profits and sales. But the results were better than analysts feared. Summer weather helped drive sales of clothing, and Macy’s says it’s seeing results from efforts to add sales staff and revamping its fine jewelry area. Its shares rose 17 percent, or $5.80 to $39.80 in midday trading.

“The announcements we are making today represent an advancement in our thinking on the role of the 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 succeed Terry J. Lundgren as CEO early next year.

Macy’s had been a stellar performer since the Great Recession, but in the past year and a half has seen slowing sales as it battles competition on all fronts and changing shopping patterns. People are spending more on home improvement as well as experiences like travel or spas. And when they do buy clothing, they’re going to T.J. Maxx or fast-fashion chains like H&M. They’re also increasingly researching and buying online, and gravitating toward Amazon.com, which is bolstering its store private label fashion brands. Amazon.com is by some forecasts expected to surpass Macy’s as the largest online seller of clothing next year.

The company said it earned $11 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter ended July 30. That compares with $217 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.

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