As the Cincinnati-based retailer suggested it would back in September, Macy’s has announced the closure of 40 stores across the US. Citing a series of “cost-efficiency and process improvement measures” to be implemented 1Q 2016, the retailer aims by 2018 to ultimately save $500 million in selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) with the closures. The move will lay off over 2,700 employees by my count and affects 4.4% of the company’s portfolio of stores.
Localism alert: While shopping at the downtown Chicago Macy’s the other week, I noticed a small line of customers queued up in a corner of the store. The line led not to a counter and a salesperson but to an automated kiosk for a skin care product.
Maybe I’m not the most dedicated shopper, but I had never seen anything resembling a large vending machine in a top-end retail store before. I was curious, so I came back to Macy’s a few days later to take another look. Same line – if anything, it was longer. Ladies and men were feeding credit cards into the machine – more like an automated booth – and watching branded video displays on skin care as the machine dispensed packages of product.