Macy’s has announced it will be cutting 2,350 jobs and closing five stores, relaying the news in a company memo shared with staff on Thursday. As the country’s largest department store operator, Macy’s also owns subsidiaries Bloomingdales and Bluemercury.
Stores are expected to run clearance sales starting in January for 8-12 weeks before closing, Macy’s told Axios. Two stores in California, San Leandro and Simi Valley, will be impacted, along with the Tallahassee store in Florida, the Lihue store in Hawaii, and the Arlington store in Virginia.
According to the memo, the company will be eliminating management roles and implementing more automation services. Macy’s is a publicly traded company and has faced pressure from investors to make its business more profitable as consumer spending on apparel has declined. Between September 2022 and September 2023, Macy’s saw its brick-and-mortar sales decrease by 7%. In December, one investor group proposed a bid to take the company private, valuing the company at $5.8 billion.
The layoffs come as the company prepares for a transition in CEOs. In February, Tony Spring will become the new chief executive as Jeff Gennette, who has been CEO since 2017, steps down.
In an email to TIME, a spokesperson for Macy’s said: “As we prepare to deploy a new strategy to meet the needs of an ever-changing consumer and marketplace, we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce by 3.5% to become a more streamlined company.”
Macy’s union, which has yet to publicly respond to the layoffs, organized a strike in Washington state less than two months ago on Black Friday. “Macy’s CEO gets $11m per year while a lot of his workers rely on food banks, and some can’t even afford to see doctors because of the low wages and the expensive healthcare,” Azia Domingo, an employee who has worked for Macy’s for 21 years, told The Guardian in November.
Macy’s executive compensation included salary, equity, and other benefits which reportedly totaled above 12 million for Gennette in 2021.
TIME has reached the Macy’s Union for comment and further information.