Jeff Gennette

Macy’s Inc., triggering another round of store closings, will soon shutter 28 Macy locations and one Bloomingdale’s unit.

“We regularly review our store portfolio and are closing 28 Macy’s locations and one Bloomingdale’s store in the coming weeks,” a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Macy’s, long said to be overstored, operates 645 Macy’s department stores and 35 Bloomingdale’s full-line department stores. In the 2016-17 period, Macy’s closed 100 full-line department stores. In 2015, Macy’s closed 41 stores.

The 29 closings coming up will occur in several states across the country including the key states of California and Florida. Bloomingdale’s in The Falls mall just southwest of Miami is said to be among the units that will close. Macy’s did not provide a list of the closures. The spokeswoman said the 29 closings are the result of its regular review of stores.

Macy’s Inc. also operates more than 190 specialty stores, including Bluemercury and Bloomingdale’s the Outlet.

Over the past week, media reports have surfaced indicating impending store closures. On Tuesday, Macy’s confirmed a WWD report of a round of staff cuts at the Bloomingdale’s division. Macy’s Inc. will host an investor day on Feb. 5 at the New York Stock Exchange where management will discuss growth plans, the three-year strategy, and cost reductions, including possibly additional store closures and further personnel cuts.

On the brighter side, Macy’s reported Wednesday that its selling trends improved during the holiday season, though comparable sales were negative, down 0.6 percent for the November-to-December period.

The minus 0.6 percent comparable sales includes owned and licensed sales. On an owned basis only, Macy’s comparable sales for the holiday period slipped 0.7 percent. The numbers did beat expectations.

“Macy’s Inc.’s performance during the holiday season reflected a strong trend improvement from the third quarter,” said Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc., on Wednesday. “Our digital business and Growth 150 stores performed well.” Macy’s Growth 150 stores are those units where the retailer has been investing the most in improving assortment and service to capture greater levels of business.

“Additionally, customers responded to our gifting assortment and marketing strategy, particularly in the 10 days before Christmas,” Gennette added. “The entire organization committed to delivering holiday 2019, and it showed up in our execution.”

Other retailers also expected to report positive holiday sales include Nordstrom Inc., Target Corp., Costco Corp., Best Buy Co. Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Walmart Inc.

Jefferies Research issued a report Wednesday stating, “We believe that fourth quarter to date has been challenging for apparel companies, while footwear companies appear to have fared better. While extensive promos were already anticipated for 4Q, we will be paying close attention to what extent holiday inventory challenges bleed over into 2020.”

Jefferies indicated that a number of companies are slated to report holiday sales over the next week and mall-based apparel retailers are likely to see tougher results.

Shares in Macy’s ticked ahead 2.4 percent to close at $18.10 in trading on Wednesday.

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