Macy’s to close 100 stores as part of restructuring plan

A shopper passes in front of a Macy's Inc. store in New York.
A shopper passes in front of a Macy's Inc. store in New York. Bloomberg

Department store giant Macy’s said Thursday that it plans to close 100 stores, a dramatic step aimed at better equipping the retailer to survive the rise of online shopping.

Macy’s regularly prunes its store fleet, often announcing the closure of several dozen underperforming stores after the busy holiday season wraps up. But this summertime announcement that it will close 15 percent of its stores suggests that the chain has become more aggressive in girding its ailing business for the digital era.

The company said it would offer a list of the stores that will close at a later date. It was not immediately clear how many jobs might be slashed.

The retailer has six locations in the Kansas City area, where it has had a presence for many years. Macy’s stores anchor some of the area’s largest shopping centers: Oak Park Mall, Town Center Plaza and Independence Center. Macy’s also has stores at Summit Fair in Lee’s Summit and Prairie Village Shopping Center in Prairie Village.

The Macy’s store at Metro North Mall is a major piece of a recently unveiled $187.5 million plan to redevelop the shopping center at Northwest Barry Road and U.S. 169 in the Northland. The plan calls for the 40-year-old mall, closed in 2014, to be demolished, except for the anchor Macy’s store, which will be extensively renovated.

Macy’s has been in a rough patch recently, delivering six consecutive quarters of sales declines at its stores open more than a year. On Thursday, the company said it saw a 2.6 percent drop in comparable sales in the most recent quarter. The retailer’s revenue was $5.87 billion in the quarter, down 3.9 percent from the same period last year.

In some ways, it should not come as a surprise that Macy’s is closing more locations. Terry Lundgren, the retailer’s chief executive, has said that the chain simply had too many stores for an era in which shopping is moving online.

Jeff Gennette, the Macy’s executive who has been appointed to replace Lundgren in 2017, said in a statement that nearly all of the stores it plans to close are ones whose sales volume and profitability have been sliding.

“We recognize that these locations do not yield an adequate return on investment and often do not represent a customer shopping experience that reflects our aspirations for the Macy’s brand,” Gennette said in a statement.

Macy’s said it will “act to remain connected to customers of the stores it will be closing by supplementing merchandise assortments in surrounding locations, as well as through the company’s online site and mobile app.”

The Star staff contributed to this report.