Retail layoffs are hitting especially hard recently. Macy’s is laying off about 3.5 percent of its total headcount, which amounts to roughly 2,350 employees, and the iconic department store is closing five locations. Also last week, online furniture seller Wayfair said it is cutting about 1,650 jobs, or 13 percent of its global workforce.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Macy’s layoffs and planned store closures on Jan. 18, citing an internal memo and people familiar with the situation. The layoffs will occur on Jan. 26, according to the outlet. The five stores to be closed are located in Arlington, Virginia (Ballston); San Leandro, California (Bay Fair); Lihue, Hawaii (Kukui Grove); Simi Valley, California (Simi Valley Town Center); and Tallahassee, Florida (Governor’s Square).
Following the layoffs, Macy’s will add automation to its supply chain and outsource some roles, according to a memo viewed by the WSJ.
Wayfair announced its latest job cuts on Jan. 19. The restructuring will reduce team sizes across the company and reduce seniority in certain roles with the company planning to “rebuild with modified leveling” this year, CEO and co-founder Niraj Shah said in a press release. The job cuts are expected to bring annualized cost savings of more than $280 million, Wayfair said.
Shah, in a memo to employees on Jan. 19, said the reason for the cuts is because Wayfair "went overboard in hiring during a strong economic period."
Total Retail's Take: These layoffs come after other leading retailers and brands announced cuts to their workforces last month, as retailers faced slowing demand and an uncertain economy. At the height of the holiday shopping season, for example, Hasbro and Etsy announced staff reductions of 1,100 and 225 workers, respectively. While hearing about these job cuts can cause fear across the retail industry, the reality is that job cuts have taken a toll on workers across various industries — including tech, media and hospitality — recently. In recent months, layoffs have been announced at Google, Amazon.com, LinkedIn, and more.