Retail layoffs at Macy’s, Wayfair follow a big holiday season


The holiday rush has turned into the New Year’s bloodletting at a pair of major retailers.

Macy’s and Wayfair have both announced significant staff cuts as they attempt to navigate a challenging retail marketplace.

Macy’s, on Thursday, announced plans to cut 2,350 jobs and close five stores. The cuts work out to 13% of the chain’s corporate staff and 3.5% of its overall workforce (excluding seasonal hirers).

The Wayfair cuts, meanwhile, come weeks after the CEO announced the company had returned to profitability—and encouraged workers to work even harder. On Friday, the online retailer said it has laid off 13% of its workforce, about 1,650 people. That follows 1,700 layoffs last year and 900 in 2022.

Layoffs from retailers in January aren’t unusual following a slow holiday season, but 2023 was a banner year for stores, according to the Commerce Department.

Both companies have had their struggles. Macy’s has seen an increasing number of shoppers wander away from department stores and embrace online shopping. Wayfair has struggled against larger online retailers.

“We went overboard in hiring during a strong economic period and veered away from our core principles, and while we have come quite far back to them, we are not quite there,” Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah wrote in a memo to staff, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

Macy’s, meanwhile, is looking to reduce its management layers and said it plans to outsource some roles. The cutbacks come as the company prepares for a CEO transition, with president Tony Spring set to take over for Jeff Gennette. At the same time, activist investors are attempting a buyout of Macy’s. (the chain has not publicly responded to those efforts.)

The company is closing Macy’s locations in Ballston Quarter, Arlington, Va.; Bayfair Center, San Leandro, Calif.; Kukui Grove Center, Lihue, Hawaii; Simi Valley Town Center, Simi Valley, Calif.; and Governor’s Square, Tallahassee, Fla.

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