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Opinion
Sarah Halzack

Macy’s Is a Case Study in Covid Retail Pain

The retailer is on the losing end of almost every shift in spending caused by the pandemic.

Macy’s flagship urban stores are ghost towns as tourism has evaporated and workers have been slow to return to their offices.

Macy’s flagship urban stores are ghost towns as tourism has evaporated and workers have been slow to return to their offices.

Photographer: Scott Heins/Getty Images North America

The pandemic has roiled the entire retail industry. Macy’s Inc. is getting hit from all sides.

The storied department store chain gets a major share of its sales from clothing, a category where demand has been decimated. It counts urban flagship stores among its crown jewels, but those locations are ghost towns as tourism has evaporated and workers have been slow to return to downtown offices. And while big-box stores were able to get an instant pandemic bump from the curbside pickup programs that they had been fine-tuning for years and are now in such demand, Macy's had to scramble to roll out its own.