Fashion Retail in Crisis: Macy’s Closes its Doors

The most fashionable American warehouses close their doors. And the crisis of fashion, Forever 21, Barneys, Opening Ceremony. And now Macy’s. in New York Fashion Week warms up the engines. Meanwhile, bankruptcy is the new trend launched by American fashion retailers.

The anti-bankruptcy plan
The latest anti-bankruptcy strategy of the department stores founded in 1858 – which also Bloomingdale’s and Backstage belong to – provides for the closure of 125 stores in the next three years in 19 states. Macy’s will also eliminate about 2 thousand job positions, which represent 9% of the company and support staff. According to forecasts, the brand will also close the offices of Cincinnati and San Francisco and a company headquarters, moving all the remaining employees to an office on the top floor of the Manhattan department stores. “Deep cuts, painful but necessary,” said CEO Jeff Gennette. In short, to save the chain it would take a real Miracle – which goes far beyond 34th street.

It was September 2019 when the fast fashion giant for teenagers Forever21 filed for bankruptcy, closing 178 branches in the United States. The same happened for the Barneys luxury fashion store, a milestone of the American Dream. According to legend, Barney Pressman opened the first store in Manhattan in 1923 thanks to the five hundred dollars obtained by selling his wife’s engagement ring. In November 2019, the department store ended up in the hands of Authentic Brands – owner of labels such as Juicy Couture, Nine West and Nautica – for about 271 million dollars. And now Barneys has to settle for occupying the fifth floor of the ever-competing Saks Fifth Avenue. The brand and retailer founded in 2002 by American designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon: Opening Ceremony went worse than after being acquired in January 2020 by New Guards Group – the company in the orbit of Farfetch which includes others Off-White, Palm Angels and Heron Preston – announced the closure of its retail spaces (two stores in New York, one in Los Angeles and one in Tokyo) by the end of the year.

Sad fate or incorrect strategy?

Different fashion retailers united by a single, sad fate. Or perhaps, it would be better to say, an incorrect strategy. Founded mostly when fashion purchases on the web were not yet as widespread as ,they were unable to intercept the change in the habits of new consumers, looking for a quick, connected, dedicated shopping experience. “Everything is now”: what is most easily found in online multibrand, whether it is low cost chains or luxury players. Department stores are unable to face competition from e-commerce, a sales channel that is always more growing. According to the latest report The Age of Digital Darwinism made by McKinsey, the online luxury sales market could be worth 74 billion in 2025.

For many who overseas throw in the towel, there are also those who make it. One above all: Ssense, the online research fashion retailer specializing in niche designers, streetwear and capsule collections, born in Canada in 2003 from the idea of ​​two brothers of Syrian origin and famous throughout the fashion world. The platform, available in 114 countries, recently opened a new store in its hometown of Montreal, designed by architect David Chipperfield. 13,000 square feet in the Old City: a location that aspires to be more than just a luxury boutique. His ambition? The right one: to become the real extension of the virtual presence of Ssense, focusing on the connection between the online store and the physical store. Customers can book clothes and dresses on the site and then show up in the store, to try them on after a few hours.

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Summary

The most fashionable American warehouses close their doors. And the crisis of fashion, Forever 21, Barneys, Opening Ceremony. And now Macy's. in New York Fashion Week warms up the engines. Meanwhile, bankruptcy is the new trend launched by American fashion retailers.

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