By Lenore Fedow
Macy’s store in Herald Square. The retailer is laying off 3,900 employees in an effort to cut costs.
New York—Macy’s Inc plans to lay off 3,900 corporate and management employees, or 3 percent of its workforce, as part of its restructuring plan, the company announced Thursday.

The department store chain is cutting costs after the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on its business, forcing the temporary closure of its stores.

The retailer is expecting a 45 percent drop year-over-year in first-quarter net sales, per its preliminary quarterly results, with an operating loss surpassing $1 billion.

The layoffs are expected to save the company about $365 million in fiscal 2020 and about $630 million on an annualized basis.

The retailer announced its three-year turnaround plan, dubbed “Polaris,” in February, with plans to close stores and reduce its headcount as part of its strategy to promote profitability and growth.

“We know that we will be a smaller company for the foreseeable future, and our cost base will continue to reflect that moving forward,” said CEO Jeff Gennette in a press release.

The retailer closed stores March 18 and gradually began to reopen them May 4 as coronavirus-related restrictions eased.

Approximately 450 stores have reopened as of June 1.

“While the reopening of our stores is going well, we do anticipate a gradual recovery of business, and we are taking action to align our cost base with our anticipated lower sales,” said Gennette.

Macy’s has reduced staffing in its stores as well as through its supply chain and customer support network.

It will begin to bring more staff back to work the first week of July.

The retailer raised $4.5 billion in new financing earlier this month, making it “a more stable, flexible company,” said Gennette.

Macy’s will report its final first-quarter results July 1.

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