These weren't happy holidays for Macy's. CNN reports the department store announced plans Wednesday to close 68 stores and get rid of more than 10,000 jobs. November and December sales at comparable Macy's locations declined 2.1% between 2015 and 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal. Macy's chief executive says the closures will target stores that are "unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations." About 3,900 workers will be laid off when the stores are closed; another 6,200 jobs will be cut. Reuters reports Macy's will save $550 million this year through the store closures. It plans to invest $250 million of that into expanding and improving its digital operations and other areas.
"It's a very hard day for the folks involved obviously, but I would also say it's inevitable," Columbia Business School professor Mark Cohen tells CNN. "And there's definitely more to come." Department stores seem uniquely incapable of capitalizing on the increase in sales seen by many other types of US retailers this year, whether due to the growing popularity of online shopping, the opening of brand-specific stores, or a myriad other reasons. Macy's, Kohl's, JC Penney, and Nordstrom all saw their stocks decline after holiday sales numbers were reported. And Macy's is staring at the likelihood of its eighth quarter of declining sales in a row.