Macy’s CEO Tony Spring will officially grab the reins on Sunday as the storied retailer faces slowing sales growth and takeover threats.
Spring, 58, who has climbed the ladder at high-end sister company Bloomingdales, has been Macy’s CEO-elect since last March — when Jeff Gennette announced plans to retire.
“I am excited to take on the role of CEO of Macy’s, Inc. and to apply my over three decades of experience with our nameplates to build on this strong foundation and lead our company forward,” Spring said in a statement.
He is stepping up at a critical time. The company announced plans to slash 2,300 corporate jobs, or 13% of its corporate workforce, and will close five mall-based anchor stores – out of 722 in the US – as sales growth and customer traffic both drop off.
More concerning are recent overtures from two sizeable investors, Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management, who made a $5.8 billion bid to take Macy’s private last December.
Macy’s rejected the offer last month.
Another private equity firm, Sycamore Partners, is exploring a possible acquisition of the New York-based company, as The Post reported.
Macy’s declined to comment, as did Sycamore, which owns numerous apparel brands including The Limited, Talbots, Ann Taylor and the southern department store chain Belk.
Macy’s valuable real estate, which includes its massive flagship store in Herald Square, has ignited several other takeover attempts in recent years, including from Hudson’s Bay Co., which owns rival Saks Fifth Avenue.
Real estate investors, Arkhouse and Brigade have threatened to take their offer directly to shareholders.
One of Gennette’s last tasks was to tell tell Arkhouse and Brigade that Macy’s board has concerns about their ability to come up with the cash to finance the deal.
Gennette, 62, spent seven years at the helm and four decades at the company.
In the last quarter, Macy’s sales dropped 7.1% to $4.9 billion compared to a year ago, and comparable store sales fell 6.7%. At Bloomingdale’s, comparable store sales declined 4.4% in the quarter and the company’s digital sales fell by 7%.