Macy's Announces 7,000 Job Cuts

The crumbling economy has taken its toll on one of the largest department store chains. Macy's announced today that it will cut 7,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its work force.

The company's cost-cutting measures include restructuring its retail divisions and reducing planned expenses. Macy's Inc. operates more than 840 department stores -- under Macy's and Bloomingdale's -- across the nation, with corporate offices located in New York and Cincinnati.

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Additionally, financial giants Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs said they are considering a second round of layoffs. Morgan Stanley plans to slash around 1,800 positions, up to 5 percent of its 47,000 employees, in the coming weeks -- after cutting 7,000 employees last year -- according to The Associated Press.

Major companies announced massive layoffs last week, blaming the weak economy. The year is off to a somber start for many workers, with news of more job cuts coming amid tough times generally.

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AOL and Starbucks

AOL Inc. chief executive Randy Falco sent an internal memo to employees about plans to cut about 700 jobs, 10 percent of its work force. AOL, a division of Time Warner Inc., is an Internet services and media company. But with the recession, many online marketers are tightening advertising budgets. Other cost-cutting measures include freezing salary increases.

Starbucks has announced plans to slash as many as 6,000 jobs and close 300 stores this year. The Seattle-based coffee giant reported a 69 percent drop in profit for the fiscal first quarter. In the summer, the company announced it would close 600 stores, laying off 1,000 employees.

Discount Retailer Target

Target Corp., the popular discount retailer, has also announced major layoffs. Target plans to reduce staff at its Minnesota headquarters, including about 600 employees and 400 open positions, primarily in the Twin Cities area. Later in the year, the company plans to close its Little Rock, Ark., distribution center, which staffs 500 employees.

In a statement to Reuters, the company cited the economy as the main reason for cutting jobs.

Stores have struggled financially because of poor retail sales in December and throughout the holidays. Other moves by the company include suspending senior salary increases, operating expenses and holding off on new store openings.

Besides general merchandise, the discounter also sells food and operates a co-branded credit card partnership with Visa. According to the company's October 2008 corporate report, Target maintains about 1,685 stores across 48 states.

Several major U.S. and foreign companies have announced thousands of new layoffs in the last few weeks as they work to adjust to new economic realities.

Home Depot, Sprint and Caterpillar

Sprint Nextel, the nation's third largest wireless carrier, was one of at least four large U.S.-based companies announcing large-scale job cuts. Pfizer, which is buying rival pharmaceutical giant Wyeth for $68 billion, is planning to cut 8,000 jobs by the end of March, about 13 percent of its work force.

"Labor reductions are always the most difficult action to take, but many companies are finding it necessary in this environment," Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.

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