Posted tagged ‘Macy’s’

Macy’s to Eliminate 7,000 Jobs

February 2, 2009

Macy’s announced Monday that it will cut 7,000 jobs and slash its dividend as the department store chain looks to lower expenses and preserve cash amid a severe pullback in consumer spending.

From the Associated Press:

Cincinnati-based Macy’s said the job cuts, which include some unfilled jobs, will come at offices, stores and other locations. The company currently employs about 180,000 people.

Macy’s had already announced last month that it would close 11 stores, affecting 960 employees, after retailers suffered through the worst holiday season in decades.

Macy’s said it expects the latest job cuts and other actions to lower its selling, general and administrative expenses by about $400 million annually starting in 2010.

The company also slashed its quarterly dividend to 5 cents from 13.25 cents. The dividend will be paid on April 1 to shareholders of record March 13.

Department stores have been especially hard-hit by the poor economy as shoppers turn to discount stores. Last month, department store chain Gottschalks Inc. put itself up for sale and said it had filed to reorganize in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Neiman Marcus Group Inc. said it was cutting about 375 jobs.

Macy’s also announced plans Monday to roll out its strategy to localize merchandising to specific markets on a national scale. It began testing the strategy in 20 regional markets last spring.

As part of the restructuring, the company will begin eliminating its Macy’s division structure and integrating all functions into a single organization. Macy’s central buying, merchandise planning, stores senior management and marketing functions will be located primarily in New York.

Retailers Hope To Attract Shoppers With Huge Discounts

December 22, 2008

Over the last weekend before Christmas, retailers were offering huge discounts. Macy’s sold designer purses for half price, and jewelry was knocked down 40%, while more than a dozen of its stores are staying open around the clock until Christmas Eve. At some Kmart and Sears locations, shoppers lined up in search of deals before the stores opened.

From the New York Times:

The deals were there and, by most accounts, so were the shoppers. But at the close of the final holiday shopping weekend, consumers confessed they were still nervous about buying.

”This is going to be a poor Christmas,” said Dee Dobbins, a 31-year-old from Goldsboro, N.C., who finished her holiday shopping with money she’d received from her recent graduation from North Carolina State University. ”At least I had it, because I don’t know what I would have done.”

From flagship department stores to main street shops, consumers found packed parking lots, massive markdowns and extended hours — in some places, around-the-clock shopping — as merchants hope to salvage one of the worst shopping seasons in decades, brought on by the recession and growing economic uncertainty.

For those willing to spend, the deals abounded.

In Miami, Ana Solis bought T-shirts from the Disney Store featuring Kermit the Frog and Tigger. One shirt — original price $24.99 — was marked down to $7.99 before another 40 percent discount.

At the flagship Macy’s store on 34th Street in New York, shoppers swarmed racks offering 65 percent off women’s clothing. Elsewhere, the store was offering 50 percent off handbags by designers such as Dooney & Bourke and Coach and 40 percent off gold earrings.

Chris Moscardelli snagged a cashmere blanket for more than half off.

”It’s been a great day,” the 38-year-old said.

But not for Ahmad Parpia, the store manager of Marquise Jewelers inside Dallas’ Valley View Mall, who’s seen his most profitable period of the year fizzle out. Few shoppers are coming inside the jeweler’s four stores to buy diamond-encrusted chains, gold watches and jewelry, despite signs advertising: ”Financing available up to $10,000. Will beat any competitive price.”

”It’s almost like 80 percent down over the last two years,” he said. ”I’ve never seen before a Christmas like that, and I’ve been in this business almost 15 years.”

The International Council of Shopping Centers expects established stores to post their worst performance for the holidays since at least 1969, when it began tracking such data. It predicts same-store sales — or sales at stores open at least a year — will fall as much as 1 percent for the November and December period, and fears the decline could even be steeper.

Still, shoppers were out at Kmart and Sears stores this weekend as customers stocked up on last-minute gifts and electronics like Nintendo’s Wii, Blu-ray players, digital cameras and tools. In some cases, shoppers lined up before stores opened for weekend doorbuster deals.

”For the most part, we beat our previous week, which was a great kind of benchmark, because last week was strong for us,” said Tom Aiello, a spokesman for the stores owned by Sears Holdings Corp.

Retailers Catering To Late Night Shoppers

December 22, 2008

Macy’s, Toys R Us and H&M are just a handful of retailers aiming to appeal to night owls during this holiday season. The chains will stay open 24 hours at select locations, hoping to capture last-minute shoppers.

From the Wall Street Journal:

At 4 a.m. Saturday, while most people in the city that never sleeps were nevertheless sleeping, Camille Joseph was wandering the aisles of Toys “R” Us in New York’s Times Square.

Saying she hates crowds, the 37-year-old Ms. Joseph was thrilled to be able to finish her shopping when no one was around. Surrounded by packages filled with a dollhouse, videogames and a robot, she sprawled on the floor next to a cash register. “Could you imagine being able to do this during the day?” said Ms. Joseph, who by day is a manager at Starbucks.

Starting this past Friday and continuing until 8 p.m. Christmas Eve, Toys “R” Us is embracing procrastinators, night owls and curiosity seekers by keeping its New York flagship — billed as the world’s largest toy store — open continuously for 134 hours.

In the final countdown of one of the worst holiday retail seasons in decades, more retailers have extended hours and are staying open for 24-hour periods or more in a last-ditch effort to capture sales. Macy’s Inc., L.L. Bean International, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Hennes & Mauritz AB’s H&M chain added extreme hours at select locations this year, they said, as a way to enhance customer service, reduce congestion and compete for last-minute sales.

“In this kind of environment, you do whatever it takes,” said Michael Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Snowstorms across the country during the last shopping weekend before Christmas are expected to make the already-dismal retail season even worse, some retailers said. Numbers weren’t available Sunday, but ShopperTrak RCT Corp. said that the final weekend before Christmas typically accounts for 11.5% of holiday sales. Last year, Super Saturday brought in $8.7 billion in retail sales. Retail sales for the six weeks to Dec. 13 are down 2% from a year earlier.

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at market researcher NPD Group, has been visiting malls in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia since Friday. He said “traffic was on par with last year,” but noticed fewer purchases per person. “Last year, people couldn’t carry their bags out of stores,” he said. “This year, half the shoppers had one hand free.”

Kathleen Waugh, a spokeswoman for Toys “R” Us, said it was premature to say whether the benefits of keeping the Times Square store open continuously outweighed the costs. “We will evaluate its success once the event is over at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve,” she said.