UPDATE: Oct. 14, 2019: Macy’s changed the effective dates of some of the 78 layoffs at its South Windsor, Connecticut warehouse in a second letter to the Connecticut Department of Labor. Layoffs set to occur before Dec. 13 will instead take place between Dec. 22 and Jan. 4. “The postponement is due to the need to complete work related to the closing of the operational unit,” according to the letter.
- Macy's will lay off 78 workers from its South Windsor, Connecticut warehouse in three stages beginning November 17 and ending February 14, 2020, according to a letter written by Macy's Operations and Logistics to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
- A Macy's spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive the closure of the Connecticut warehouse, which serves Macy's Backstage outlet stores among other stores, is related to a new dedicated warehouse for Backstage opened in Columbus, Ohio earlier this year. According to the letter, the workers may be granted the opportunity to relocate to other Macy's locations.
- The 674,000 square foot Backstage-dedicated facility, the first of its kind in Macy's network, will serve all 200 Backstage locations. It will employ 400 full-time staff along with seasonal workers, according to the spokesperson.
Macy's Backstage is a bright spot for a retailer that has struggled lately. By the end of the year, Macy's off-price arm will have added 50 new stores. The Columbus warehouse is part of the investment the chain sees as warranted in its outlet brand — an investment analysts see as a prudent adjustment to the modern retail landscape.
Off-price retail has been a bright spot in the midst of a trade war. Where inventory management is made more difficult for traditional retailers as the result of fluctuating tariff implementation dates, off-price retailers are able to buy up canceled orders and surplus inventory. Macy's dedicated warehouse suggests that just because off-price is a growth category, doesn't mean the inventory needn't be as finely tuned as the full-price department stores.
"This DC operates on the Google cloud platform, getting us improved efficiency, speed and scale to support the continued growth of our off-price business," said CEO Jeff Gennette on an August earnings call.
The Macy's spokesperson did not respond to questions about further layoffs related to the Ohio warehouse launch.