Macy’s closing stores despite upbeat holiday sales numbers

NEW YORK — Macy’s is closing 29 stores in coming weeks despite the company reporting some improvement in comparable-stores sales during the crucial holiday shopping season.

In an email to The Associated Press, the Cincinnati-based retailer said the store closures include 28 Macy’s locations and one Bloomingdale’s store. It was unclear how that would affect employees at those stores.

Macy’s on Wednesday reported that its sales at stores opened at least a year fell 0.6% during the November and December period, which was not as bad as most industry analysts had anticipated. The company’s stock rose more than 2% in afternoon trading Wednesday.

Strong online sales boosted the results.

Like other department stores, Macy’s is struggling to adapt to a shift online by customers amid intense competition from off-price discounters like T.J. Maxx.

Macy’s has pursued a number of strategies as a way to get shoppers back. That includes expanding an off-price concept at its Macy’s stores called Backstage. It also recently teamed up with resale site ThredUp. The company’s Bloomingdale’s division has also launched a clothing rental service.

The company said it will provide an update on its growth strategy and three-year plan at its annual meeting with investors on Feb. 5.

In November, Macy’s cut its annual profit and sales expectations after posting a steeper-than-expected 3.5% drop in same-store sales for the third quarter.

It marked Macy’s first quarterly comparable store sales decline in almost two years.

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