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Macy's consolidates merchandising ops, cuts 100 jobs


Macy's is streamlining its merchandising operations, expanding its exclusive products and putting increased emphasis on customer insights and data analytics as new CEO Jeff Gennette begins to make his mark on the ailing department store giant.

In a move that will result in a loss of about 100 jobs, Macy's is consolidating three functions – merchandising, planning and private brands – into a single merchandising department organized around five ‘families-of-business’ (ready-to-wear, center core, beauty, men’s and kid’s, and home). It will be led by 35-year Macy's veteran Jeff Kantor, who currently serves as chief stores and human resources officer. Kantor will report to Hal Lawton, the newly announced president of Macy's and a former senior executive of eBay.

The new merchandising structure will be supplemented by strengthened customer insights and data analytics, which the company is expanding to include inventory replenishment and pricing capabilities.

"The changes we are making today maintain our core merchandising skills while massively simplifying our structure and processes for greater speed and flexibility," said Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette. "We are also further strengthening our consumer insights and data analytics capabilities so we can make better decisions faster, balancing the art and science of retail.”

Gennette added that Macy's plans to grow its exclusive merchandise offering to 40% of its business. He called exclusivity a "great customer loyalty tool."

"Having a single lens for each family-of-business will allow us to expedite our strategy of delivering this edited, elevated and exclusive assortment to our best customers," Gennette stated. "To achieve this, we will aggressively grow our private brands while also offering the best national brands."

Macy's estimates it will save approximately $30 million on an annual basis related to the restructuring, some of which may be used for reinvestment in the business. It anticipates one-time costs of approximately $20 million to $25 million associated with this restructuring, to be booked primarily in the third quarter of 2017.

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