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Macy’s To Downsize And Close 150 Stores 

Macy’s is making some major changes to keep their 150+ year brand relevant and alive during a time where retail shopping is constantly changing. For starters, the company will be downsizing and getting a new, smaller, more luxurious look, according to reports

Macy’s will be closing 150 underperforming stores. They’re planning on closing 50 by the end of 2024, and the remaining 100 over the course of the next few years. The ultimate goal is to have just 350 Macy’s stores by 2026. 

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The company will also be focusing more on its brands Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, as both have remained successful and have outperformed the Macy’s brands. They’re planning on opening more, smaller versions of those stores within the next several years. 

The general plan shows that Macy’s is accommodating wealthier shoppers through their more luxurious brands. Consumer trends show that shoppers are choosing smaller stores outside of shopping malls, so Macy’s will also be building 30 smaller stores within the next two years that won’t be inside of malls. 

Macy’s stock price has dropped 75% since its peak of $73 a share back in 2015. Since that point they’ve closed around 300 stores, which is almost a third of its locations. They still operate around 700 stores across all of their brands. 

With the downsizing, Macy’s also announced that it was laying off around 2,350 employees; about 3.5% of its total workforce.  

“We believe paring down the Macy’s store base to a more manageable (and profitable) size is prudent given the general structural shift towards online spending” and the shift away from department stores,” Dana Telsey, a retail analyst, said. 

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New Macy’s CEO Tony Spring, who was previously the CEO of Bloomingdale’s, said in a statement that this will be a “bold new chapter” for the brand, and was developed through extensive market research to “reinvigorate” the Macy’s brand.  

“We are making the necessary moves to reinvigorate relationships with our customers through improved shopping experiences, relevant assortments and compelling value,” Spring said in a statement, explaining that Macy’s will also be improving their digital marketplace.

They’ll also be downsizing the products sold in store as a means of focusing on brands and items that customers actually want. 

“That should lead to sustained profit growth over time,” Spring stated.

Over the next three years, Macy’s said it will open 15 new Bloomingdale’s stores and 30 new Bluemercury stores, with other plans to remodel 30 existing Bluemercury stores. 

“The Bloomingdale’s expansion can work as there are several strong luxury markets where the chain is not represented,” Neil Saunders, an analyst at GlobalData Retail, said.

Couple Moving In Home

What Home Buyers Looking To Downsize Should Keep In Mind

There’s a multitude of reasons why one would want to downsize their home. Maybe you’re a senior citizen who’s ready for retiring into the simple life, or maybe you’re adopting a more minimalist and less cluttered lifestyle, or maybe the reasons are purely financial. Regardless of reason, when it comes to downsizing your home, you’re also downsizing your life, which tends to sound like a bad thing when it’s really the opposite. 

Moving on and into a smaller space forces you to minimize both your possessions and your desire to acquire more useless junk, because you simply don’t have the space for it. So before you make the big, or should I say downsized, move there’s a few preliminary steps you should go through to ensure your entering into this new chapter the most organized and clear-headed as possible.

First, take a look around your current space and take inventory of all the spaces and things in the house that are purely there just to take up room and fill an otherwise empty area of your home. This way, when packing you can get rid of a majority of the things that just sit around your home, never admired by you or anyone else, and also make a list of things that you won’t be looking for in your next space.

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For example, if you mark down that you have a guest room/office space that never gets used, as well as a couple of book shelves that you’ve just been using as a replacement for storage of even more useless things, then you know you don’t need any of that in your next place. This will make the search process much easier. 

“When downsizing, it’s important to get rid of big items you aren’t planning on using before you move. If you wait, you may waste hundreds of dollars paying to move these items and storing them, especially if you don’t have space in your new home,” said Fred McGill, a Forbes Real Estate Council Member.

Once you begin the process of actually looking for your next property, make sure you always are being open and clear with your real estate agent about the specifics of what you’re looking for. It seems like that should go without saying, however, different people have different definitions of what it means to downsize. 

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Share the inventory list you made with your agent so that you’re not only telling them what you’re looking for, but the aspects of your current living situation that you’d like to avoid. Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re adopting a totally minimalist style of living now, however, it does literally mean your moving into a place that’s smaller and simpler than wherever you currently are. Explain to your agent why it is you want to simplify your home life, by giving them that insight they’ll know more of what you personally are trying to gain, and lose. 

When looking at new places, keep monthly costs in mind. When looking at a space that’s smaller than your current home, it most likely is going to be much cheaper at face value. However, just because a property’s initial cost is less than what you previously paid, that doesn’t mean that the monthly costs won’t even out. This is especially important if you’re looking to downsize for financial reasons.

Obviously you will be discussing all of the financial specifics with your agent, however, it’s also important to take note of areas in your new potential home that look like they might turn into a project in the future. If you’re looking to downsize, you’re looking to simplify, so buying a home with an extensive list of projects that will need to get done, isn’t simplifying anything, it’s just adding more expenses to the matter. 

Finally, make sure you’re still thinking of the future. Will you still want a one-bedroom, single-level home in 10 years? If not, do you think you’ll have the financial means to change your situation if it comes to that? Planning for the future is always daunting, but when it comes to the place you’ll be calling home, it’s important. So as you begin to simplify, downsize, and de-clutter, take a moment to look at your current situation and map out what you want the next five years to look like in terms of property and life goals. Those ideas will give you all the confidence you need to make your move.

Rent Apartment

Why “Lifestyle Renting” is the Latest Trend in The Property Market

In a country where owning your own home has always been seen as something of a status symbol it is a change to the norm that many residents are now preferring the option to “lifestyle rent” rather than invest in their own bricks and mortar.

The recent trend of renting as a choice has grown throughout the 2010s and it seems that it is destined to continue to grow throughout the 2020s, with many Americans choosing to rent closer to their work, saving themselves quality time that they would otherwise be spending commuting from their affordable house further out of town.

Research analyst for RENTCafe Michaela Buzec believes that lifestyle renting “offers flexibility and freedom to move around and change neighborhoods or cities. It’s also a matter of affordability, since home prices in big, desirable cities increased significantly. This trend is scattered throughout the country, but it’s most evident in the expensive markets.”

America currently has a housing affordability issue with house prices increasing quicker than income in the majority of the US market so there are also those who could not afford to purchase their own home even if they chose to.

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But it is not just those that are fresh out of college that are opting for renting. Many empty nesters are downsizing and heading to areas that they may not necessarily have been able to afford. There is also the understanding that if you move to an area that you do not like, it is far easier to move from rented accommodation than having to sell your home. It is also a fantastic way to get around some of the high house prices that have appeared over the last decade.

Research also shows that many families are getting swallowed up by debt once they own their own home, with mortgage repayments just the beginning of the costs that owning your own home brings. So although many rental properties have one significantly higher bill – many lease agreements cost more than the average mortgage repayment – many of the other bills such as commuting, repairs and maintenance are either reduced or removed completely. Landlords have a duty of care to provide a home for their tenants that is safe and secure and any issues you have should be taken care of as part of your rental agreement, meaning the money home owners are putting aside each month can be put towards the rent instead.

Another great savings is the amount of money renters would not have to pay in property taxes which vary between states. And although many landlords request a security deposit, this is small compared to the down payment that is required when purchasing your own home, with many mortgage providers requesting around 20% of the property’s price.

Renting in the 2010s saw a huge increase in the percentage of renters with 74 percent more renters in 2019 than there were in the 1960s. Currently over 100 million Americans are living in rental properties thanks to the number of renters increasing far quicker than those purchasing their own homes.

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And it is not just financially that renting can benefit you but it can help you in a health capacity too. By moving closer to work it is more convenient to walk, or even cycle, not just to work but also to any entertainment or retail locations you may want to visit. This also reduces the costs of the wear and tear on your vehicle as well as the money you would have spent on gas and parking.

A recent study of why people chose to rent in the last ten years saw that the reasons were varied, with some stating their financial requirements – such as high student loans as well as the increase in the housing market prices. However others felt the need to rent due to the ever-changing job market with long-term job security no longer an option for many American workers.

Although in the past it was easier to have job security, many employees find they have to move regularly for work meaning owning their property is not always the best option. This is clearly evident in cities where there used to be a homeowner majority such as Memphis, Tennessee; Detroit, Michigan or Stockton in California, who have all seen their renter majority increase over the past decade although Springfield in Missouri is one of the top ten cheapest cities to rent.

As Buzec confirms:

“Perhaps the most surprising aspect is to see cohorts traditionally oriented towards homeownership give up this status and willingly start renting. These include seniors and high-earning Americans, who see renting as the better option for their situations. This fact supports the most prominent trend of the decade, that of renting as a choice, more than simply a solution.”