US department store chain to cut 7,000 jobs

February 3rd, 2009 - 9:02 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Feb 3 (DPA) US department store chain Macy’s said Monday it will eliminate about 7,000 positions as part of a restructuring effort designed to save money as consumers have scaled back their spending.The jobs amount to about 4 percent of the second-largest US department store’s workforce of 180,000 and come amid tens of thousands lay-offs at US companies in recent weeks.

Macy’s also said it would cut its dividend to 5 cents per quarter from 13.26 cents and buy back $950 million in bonds.

The actions would save the company $250 million for the rest of the year and a further $400 million in 2010, it said.

The job cuts include 5,100 positions at stores and distribution centres nationwide, amounting to five to six employees per store. The rest will come from executive and management positions, even as Macy’s also creates new management positions as it realigns its operations to focus on regional efforts.

US consumer spending dropped 1 percent in December, a record sixth straight monthly decline and rounding out the country’s worst year for consumers since 1961, the Commerce Department said Monday.

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