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Macy’s to close stores in Brockton, Taunton

Macy’s estimates that 3,900 employees will be affected by the closures nationwide.
Macy’s estimates that 3,900 employees will be affected by the closures nationwide.(Getty Images file/2016)

Macy’s stores anchoring malls in Brockton and Taunton are among 68 nationwide that are scheduled to go dark, eliminating about 160 jobs in the two struggling Southeastern Massachusetts cities.

The closings of Macy’s at Westgate Mall in Brockton and Silver City Galleria in Taunton are part of a major cost-cutting move announced in August by the nation’s largest department store chain. Twenty other Macy’s stores in Massachusetts will remain open. The only other New England location slated to be shuttered is in Bangor, Maine.

Officials from Brockton and Taunton did not respond to requests for comment on the store closings, which were disclosed Wednesday.

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The retailer says it plans to eventually shut 100 underperforming locations — out of more than 700 — and lay off 10,000 employees, or 7 percent of its workforce. It estimates the savings at $550 million, starting next year.

The latest round of store closings comes as Macy’s continues to face slowing sales amid a shift by consumers to online shopping. Disappointing results from the holiday season indicate that the company hasn’t been able to slow the exodus of customers from its stores.

Comparable-store sales declined 2.1 percent from a year earlier in November and December, the Cincinnati-based company said on Wednesday.

Macy’s said it now expects to earn between $2.95 and $3.10 per share on an adjusted basis for its 2016 fiscal year, versus its previous forecast of $3.15 to $3.40 per share. The company is scheduled to report full results in February.

Shares in Macy’s fell more than 10 percent to $32.20 in after-hours trading.

“We had anticipated [holiday] sales would be stronger,” Macy’s chief executive Terry Lundgren said in a statement.

The company said it hopes to use savings from store closings to invest in its e-commerce business, Chinese operations, and other units, such as its Bluemercury makeup division.

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“We have been focused and disciplined about making strategic decisions to position us to gain market share and return to growth over time,” Lundgren said. “We continue to experience declining traffic in our stores, where the majority of our business is still transacted.”

Lundgren, who is stepping down early this year and will be succeeded by Macy’s president Jeff Gennette, said the company is closing stores that are ‘‘unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations’’ as well as selling those with highly valued real estate.

Macy’s has tried new ways to attract shoppers, such as by offering more exclusive products and launching an Apple shop at its flagship New York store in Herald Square.

Of the 68 store closures nationwide, three were completed by the middle of 2016, 63 will close in the spring, and two will be closed by the middle of 2017.

Macy’s is selling or has sold three other locations but is leasing the properties back and will keep operating those stores.

Some employees may be offered positions at nearby stores, but Macy’s estimates that 3,900 employees will be affected by the closures.

Macy’s also said it plans to restructure parts of its business and sell some properties. This will lead to the reduction of 6,200 jobs.


Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.