Macy’s is closing 45 stores in 2021, and some have already started liquidation sales

  • Macy's told employees at 45 stores that the locations would close this year, according to CNBC.
  • The closures are part of a plan to close one-fifth of stores by 2023.
  • Overall sales were down in 2020, partially in response to COVID-19 closures.
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Macy's told employees at 45 locations that their stores would close in 2021, CNBC first reported.

The closures are part of the plan the retailer announced back in February 2020 to close 125 stores by 2023, about one-fifth of total locations. At the time, Macy's also announced that it would cut 2,000 corporate jobs.

Read more: Inside JCPenney's messy 6-month bankruptcy saga: How infighting and egos almost destroyed the company's shot at coming out of bankruptcy alive 

"As previously announced, Macy's, Inc. is committed to rightsizing our store fleet by concentrating our existing retail locations in desirable and well-trafficked A and B malls," a spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement. The letters refer to the mall's ranking by analysts, with "A" being the strongest. "These closures bring us closer to achieving the right mix of mall-based stores."

Macy's says it will provide a list of locations to close on Wednesday.

Last year was disastrous for many retailers, due in part to the coronavirus forcing closures and reduced consumer spending. The first nine months of 2020 had more retail and restaurant chains file for bankruptcy than in all of 2019, including J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, and JC Penney's.

Malls and anchor stores like Macy's were hit hard. Over the summer, retail consultant Jan Kniffen told CNBC this week that he expected one-third of America's roughly 1,000 malls to close by 2021 as a result of the pandemic. Macy's was already struggling before COVID-19 hit, with sales down year over year in Q4 of 2019. In Q3 of 2020, sales were down more than 20% overall, although digital sales did grow.

Liquidation sales have already begun at some closing locations, while others will begin by the end of the month, CNBC reported.

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