A few major organizations are starting the year with rounds of layoffs.
On Wednesday, Macy’s announced it was closing 68 of its stores and cutting more than 10,000 jobs.
In its press release, the retail chain’s chief executive, Terry J. Lundgren, said the cuts aren’t the only way Macy’s will try to bolster its shrinking market share. The company will also tap into customer data to better cater to their behaviors:
Over the past year, we have been focused and disciplined about making strategic decisions to position us to gain market share and return to growth over time. While we are pleased with the strong performance of our highly developed online business, as well as the progress we have made on selling and visual presentation programs and expense reduction initiatives in 2016, we continue to experience declining traffic in our stores where the majority of our business is still transacted. Given the overall trends challenging us and the broader retail industry, and the time needed to execute new strategies, we expect our 2017 change in comparable sales to be relatively consistent with our November/December sales trend. Our omnichannel strategies continue to evolve based on the changes in our customers’ shopping behaviors, including a focus on buy online, pickup in store and mobile-enabled shopping. In addition, we have invested in and enlarged our customer data and analytics team, which will help drive our new marketing strategies for 2017. Whether it is improving corporate agility, enhancing our customer engagement strategies, or continuing to capitalize on the potential value of our real estate assets, we remain focused on the actions that will ultimately improve our financial results and provide the greatest return for our shareholders.
The announcement was issued alongside an unfavorable earnings report, showing comparable store sales dipped 2.1% last quarter. The news caused its stock to plunge nearly 10% during after-hours trading Wednesday.
The announcement is part of Macy’s previously revealed plan to boost profits.
The chain announced in August 2016 that it planned to close a total of 100 stores (15 percent of its locations). Roughly 3,900 employees are expected to lose their jobs in the closures, and Macy’s announced additional 6,200 jobs will be cut as it slims down its management teams.
Macy’s isn’t the only retail brand facing hard times.
A company that’s been hit even harder by online competition and slowing sales is Sears. The chain will close 150 stores early this year.
The move includes 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears locations, representing 10 percent of its total locations.
In 2011, Sears had 3,500 stores nationwide. Today, that number is under 1,500.
Medium announces closures, layoffs to focus on “new model”
Layoffs are also coming for more than just retail employees.
Medium, the content publishing platform that Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone launched in 2012, will lay off 50 people—one third of its staff.
The platform is closing offices in New York and Washington, D.C., but it will keep the majority of its engineering and product teams.
Medium most recently made headlines in October when the site’s leaders announced that it would offer native ad campaigns and sponsored posts. Williams backed off that announcement, saying in a Medium post, “Upon further reflection, it’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet. It simply doesn’t serve people.”
So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.
Williams said that it’s “too soon” to provide details on what Medium’s new approach will be.