retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that Macy's, the nation's largest department store chain, plans to close 100 of its stores, representing about 15 percent of its fleet, "saying they were more valuable as real estate properties."

Not all the locations have been identified. There will be job cuts, but the numbers were not announced.

The Los Angeles Times writes that "Macy’s currently operates 675 full-line stores nationwide; including locations such as Macy’s Home stores, it has 728. The ones that will be shut down are full-line stores, and they generate roughly $1 billion in annual sales, or 4% of Macy’s total sales ... Macy's said shutting the stores would enable it to bolster its online presence and 'elevate our total customer experience across all methods of shopping.'."

The closures are in addition to 40 stores that Macy's said earlier this year it would shut down.

The announcement came as Macy's said that its Q2 sales were down four percent from last year, and same-store sales were down two percent. Q2 profit was $11 million - down from $217 million during the same period a year ago.

After the announcement, Macy's stock price went up more than 17 percent.
KC's View:
Reality can be tough ... but somehow the notion that America is over-stored, and that some chains are going to have to shut down parts of their fleet, ought not be surprising. To anyone.

The question is, do traditional retailers continue just building stores? Or look for some new paradigm with which they can build their businesses?