Via Huffpost Business:
Macy’s is cutting up to 4,800 jobs and has slashed its profit outlook after a miserable holiday season.
The nation’s largest department store chain, which also operates upscale Bloomingdale’s, said about 2,110 of the job cuts will come from reducing staffing levels at stores, eliminating duplications in back office operations and consolidating regional store groups. The remaining 2,710 job cuts will come from the store closings that Macy’s announced last fall, says Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewski.
As of Wednesday, Macy’s had about 163,000 workers.
The moves, announced Wednesday, are part of Macy’s ongoing campaign to make its operations more nimble to compete in a world where increasingly demanding shoppers are going back and forth between stores and their mobile devices. Analysts expect more retailers to reduce their store count after the holiday season that showed a surge in online spending but lower traffic counts to physical stores.
The Cincinnati-based department store chain says sales at existing stores and excluding licensed departments fell 5.2 percent in November and December. Macy’s said that unseasonably warm weather that extended through December was the biggest culprit and hurt shopper demand for cold-weather items, from boots to coats. That forced Macy’s to step up discounts to clear out mounds of merchandise. Business was also hurt by lower spending by international tourists as a stronger U.S. dollar made handbags and other goods more expensive for tourists who were exchanging foreign currency. But, like other retailers, Macy’s is also contending with broader changes in spending habits.
Macy’s had been a stellar performer since the recession as it localized merchandise, cut costs and developed exclusive brands that set itself apart from others. But increasingly, Amazon.com and other online rivals are becoming a threat. It also has acknowledged that customers are spending more of their money on experiences like eating out and spas, instead of clothing. And when they do buy fashions, they are more likely to buy name brands at fat discounts at such stores like T.J. Maxx.