- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2016

Macy’s Inc. said Thursday that it intends to close approximately 100 of its 728 stores “proactively” as it pivots more toward digital shopping.

“We operate in a fast-changing world, 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,” Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement.

Jeff Gennette, who is set to succeed Mr. Lundgren as chief executive officer in the first quarter of 2017, explained further how the company, headquartered in New York and Cincinnati, will shift closer to digital shopping — offering what he calls a “vibrant omnichannel brand experience.”

“Nearly all of the stores to be closed are cash flow positive today, but their volume and profitability in most cases have been declining steadily in recent years. 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,” Mr. Gennette said. “We decided to close a larger number of stores proactively so we can invest in a winning customer experience in our most productive and highest-potential locations, as well as invest in growth sooner and more aggressively in digital and mobile.”

In the statement, Macy’s said that “associates displaced by store closings may be offered positions in nearby stores where possible. Eligible full-time and part-time associates who are laid off due to the store closing will be offered severance benefits.”

The closing of the stores comes on the same day that Macy reported its fiscal second-quarter net income of $11 million, The Associated Press reported.

In a separate statement, Macy said it had a profit of 3 cents per share, totaling 54 cents per share.

“We are encouraged by the distinct improvement in our sales and earnings trend in the second quarter. Over the past few months, we have been saying that a setback is a setup for a comeback, and we now believe we are set up well to proceed to a comeback. Our sales strengthened month-by-month throughout the second quarter. This trend improvement gives us confidence in our plans for the back half of the year, and in our strategic planning for improvements to our business model going forward,” Mr. Lundgren said in the second statement.

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