Macy’s announcement that it will be shuttering 100 of its department stores failed to mention one crucial piece of information — which locations will be axed. The major retail chain, which is suffering from declining sales, has 728 stores to choose from.
However, at least two things are known for certain: the stores will close in 2017 and the closings will reportedly result in Macy’s losing about $1 billion in volume.
The retail chain struggled with sales and profit declines in the last several quarters. Women's Wear Daily reported that the company’s net income fell to $9 million from $217 million – largely due to costs surrounding the pending store closings and retirement plan settlement charges.
Much of the brand’s losses have largely been attributed to customers opting to spend online in favor of buying product in-stores.
“We operate in a fast changing world,” Macy’s chairman and chief executive, Terry Lundgren, stated in a press release issued on Thursday. “And our company is moving forward decisively to build further on Macy’s heritage as a preferred shopping destination for fashion, quality, value and convenience. This involves doing things differently and making tough decisions as we position ourselves to serve customers who have high expectations of their favorite stores, online sites and apps.”
Store closings are not an uncommon trend in retail nowadays. Earlier this year in February, CNN reported that sales for major brick-and-mortar stores all fell – this included Goliath retailers like Best Buy’s, Kohl’s and Sear’s. Many have attributed the steady decline to consumers' reigning in their spending and shifting to online shopping.
WWD did also report that Macy’s was strongly encouraged to “monetize its real estate assets,” which might have led it to sell off some of its underperforming store locations.
This likely means that the New York City Herald Square location — which spans a city block and has been a Manhattan institution since it opened in 1902 — will stick around. But only time, and a significant increase in sales, will tell.