Bloomingdale’s didn’t go unscathed in the latest round of Macy’s Inc. cuts.
Sources told WWD that 350 to 400 executives at Bloomingdale’s headquarters and in managerial roles at stores were let go.
Several bloomingdales.com functions are being integrated into macys.com. “Digital teams are being leveraged across the Macy’s Inc. enterprise,” said one source close to Bloomingdale’s. “But site buying and merchandising, marketing, planning, all things customer-facing are still at Bloomingdale’s.”
Bloomingdale’s headcount reductions are part of the 3,900 corporate and management jobs that were cut last week by Macy’s Inc. to save $365 million this year and $630 million in expenses on an annual basis going forward.
In addition, Bloomingdale’s has cut members of its store design, construction and facilities team, with Macy’s slashing its capital expenditure budget.
Separately, it is believed that like other retailers, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s recently let go of many sales associates, possibly hundreds due to the decline in sales volume resulting from the pandemic and the need to curtail store operations in many parts of the country.
One source said that at Bloomingdale’s the total headcount reduction, including sales staff and executives, could be in the 1,500 range, though that could not be verified with the company. Macy’s, in its announcement last week, did not disclose how many sales associates are being laid off.
Macy’s executives are expected to discuss details of its cutbacks and what areas of the business have been impacted during its first-quarter conference call with investors and retail analysts on Wednesday.
The source close to Bloomingdale’s said 10 percent of its executive team was cut, commensurate with the executive cuts at Macy’s.
Last February’s, Macy’s unveiled 2,000 job cuts, 125 store closings and the shuttering of its dot-com headquarters in San Francisco and corporate offices in Cincinnati, which would be consolidated into other facilities. Through those reductions, Macy’s anticipates $1.5 billion in annual savings by 2022.
Macy’s has since acknowledged that more than 125 store closings are likely. It’s not clear whether any Bloomingdale’s or Bluemercury stores would be closed.
According to one retail expert, who requested anonymity, “This dot-com integration will enable them to eliminate redundancies and streamline data across platforms. The downside could be a more homogeneous customer experience — they’ll need to make sure they don’t lose proprietary brand ownership where Bloomies ends up looking just like Macy’s online.”
Given the scope of Macy’s various restructurings, “it’s inevitable that their people are already taking on additional responsibilities, and more will be added while the Bloomingdale’s integration is under way,” the retail expert added. “Some jobs can integrate another business without too much trouble, but front-of-house roles — experience and product — can become problematic if they don’t maintain a ‘brand ownership’ mentality. The newly consolidated roles should eventually regain equilibrium as redundancies are eliminated and people and processes are redefined to streamline operations.
“Functions that are bloated or can be automated by technology are most vulnerable,” the retail expert noted. “This was true before the crisis, and it has accelerated during COVID-19 as retailers learn from the unprecedented experience of shutting down stores and shifting commerce and operations to 100 percent online.”