Macy's planning to close 100 stores

Retailer will focus on top stores, grow online sales

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Chicago Tribune

Macy’s will be closing about 100 stores in an attempt to trim its footprint as more customers shop online, the department store announced Thursday.

“This country is over stored given evolving customer shopping habits,” Macy’s Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet said during a call with analysts discussing the company’s second-quarter financial results.

Sales at Macy’s stores open at least a year were down 2.6 percent compared with the second quarter of 2015, the sixth consecutive quarter in which comparable sales dropped.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many jobs might be cut as Macy’s has not finalized the list of locations that will close, said spokeswoman Andrea Schwartz.

The 100 stores, most of which will close early in 2017, represent about 15 percent of all of Macy’s full-line stores.

They “often don’t represent the customer shopping experience that reflects our aspirations for Macy’s brand,” Hoguet said.

Shutting down less-profitable stores will let Macy’s focus on improving its top stores and growing online sales, she said.

While most of the closing stores are unproductive or in less-desirable locations, a handful will be shut down because they could be more valuable if redeveloped other than as a retail store, Hoguet said.

Macy’s is examining its portfolio of real estate in big cities. The company said in a news release Thursday it is in negotiations to sell its men’s store on Union Square in San Francisco.

A downtown Chicago store on the city’s shop-heavy State Street “still is in the mix of our flagships to lease or sell portions of the building.” Schwartz said in an email.

Last fall, Macy’s said it was looking at how to redevelop underused space in the State Street store but had no plans to leave.

Macy’s still is considering options for the upper floors of the State Street store, Hoguet said.

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