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Shopping bags outside Macy’s Inc.’s flagship store in Herald Square, New York, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023.
Veteran department store chain Macy’s is cutting about 3.5% of its workforce, or about 2,350 employees, and closing five stores as it continues to shrink its giant retail business for the online shopping era.
“As we prepare to implement a new strategy to meet the needs of the ever-changing consumer and marketplace, we have decided to reduce our workforce by 3.5% to become a more streamlined company,” a Macy’s spokesperson told CNN.
The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Retailers often lay off employees and announce store closings after the holidays, especially if they experience a slow sales season.
However, Americans spent at a faster clip in December than the previous month, the Commerce Department said this week.
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Macy’s flagship department store appears in New York’s Herald Square in 1955.
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The first Macy’s store on Sixth Avenue in New York appears around 1880.
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1890 Macy’s catalog cover.
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Children in New York browse the Christmas display at Macy’s featuring dolls, strollers and miniature furniture.
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Santa Claus rides a team-drawn float in the 1925 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade debuted in 1924.
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Crowds of shoppers buy booze at Macy’s in New York after the 21st Amendment repealed prohibition in 1933.
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Workers sort through packages at Macy’s, circa 1942.
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Women show dolls to children at Macy’s on Christmas Eve in 1942.
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In 1946, shoppers gather at Macy’s in New York.
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People view Macy’s version of actress Rita Hayworth’s 1949 wedding dress.
Macy’s workers strike in New York in 1956.
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In 1958, the New York street sign was changed from Herald Square to Macy’s Square to mark the company’s 100th anniversary.
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The Radio City Rockettes march in the 1966 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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People walk outside Macy’s flagship store in New York in 1974.
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A Snoopy balloon releases steam as workers deflate it after the 1987 Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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Shoppers browse the aisles in New York in 2000.
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After Thanksgiving in 2000, shoppers flock to Macy’s.
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Workers install a Macy’s sign at the site of the former Hecht store at Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2006.
A man dressed as Santa Claus greets a child at the Herald Square Macy’s in New York in 2006.
Shoppers walk outside Macy’s in New York in 2012.
Black Friday shoppers wait to enter Macy’s in New York in 2014.
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The Saxon Middle School choir delivers letters to Santa in 2015 at Macy’s in Bay Shore, New York.
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This Macy’s store in West Palm Beach, Florida, was one of dozens the company announced it would close in 2017.
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The rising sun illuminates the flagship Macy’s in New York in 2023.
The company opened the first Macy’s in 1858 and now operates nearly 500 Macy’s-branded stores, as well as 55 of the higher-end Bloomingdale’s chain.
Macy’s is an icon of the holiday season, both as a sponsor of the traditional New York Thanksgiving Day Parade and as the setting and employer of Santa Claus in the 1947 film classic Miracle on 34th Street.
But it has struggled against increased competition and shoppers moving away from the department store.
In December, a group of investors reportedly offered to buy Macy’s privately held company at a sensitive time for the popular company. Macy’s has not commented on the activist’s attempt.
Macy’s has tried numerous strategies to revive the business in recent years, such as new brands and smaller stores, but those moves have not changed its long-term trajectory.
Macy’s shares are down 75% from their 2015 peak of $73. Since then, it has closed about 300 stores — almost a third of its stores — and operates about 700 under its own brands.