Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are getting out of the fur business.
Both chains, part of the $25 billion a year retailer Macy’s Inc, will stop selling any products with fur by the end of its fiscal year 2020, meaning by late January 2021 or so, the parent company said on Monday.
The company, whose store brands are already fur free, will close Macy’s 34 Fur Vault and Bloomingdale’s 22 Maximilian shops within its stores by that time and will also phase out the chains’ fur storage services.
While Macy’s is often thought of a mid-tier department store, it does sell some pricey fur items: its Fur Vault is currently offering a $7,995 striped mink jacket and a $3,500 fox fur trim rabbit jacket. The more upscale Bloomingdale’s is selling a Chinchilla hooded jacket marked down recently from $20,000 to $14,000. The chain also sells coats from vendors such as Canada Goose, whose garments have coyote fur trims.
Macy’s says the move simply reflects the changing attitudes among its consumers and the rising popularity of substitutes. “Our customer is migrating away from natural fur and we are aligning with this trend,” Macy’s wrote in a blog post. “With the rise of new fabric technology, alternatives like faux fur and other fabric innovations make this a seamless transition for our customers.”
Still, for Bloomingdale’s, this could be a disadvantage: its main luxury department store peers, Hudson’s Bay Co’s Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, all sell fur products.
Both chains however will continue to sell products with ethically sourced sheep fur products such as shearling and cowhide.
The state of California recently banned the sale and manufacturing of fur products starting in 2023, reflecting the changing attitudes toward fur.
Macy’s said the decision was reached after long consultations with various groups including employees and the Humane Society of the United States, which had long pressed the retailer to do so, and which sees this as a big step that could pressure other major store chains to follow suit.
“With so many designers, major cities and now a state taking a stand against the sale of fur, we’re that much closer to ending this unnecessary and inhumane practice,” said Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society.
Gucci, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Tommy Hilfiger are among the growing ranks of fashion brands going fur free.
As for Macy’s, it doesn’t anticipate much of a hit. It told the New York Times that its fur business is not a”material” part of its sales.
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