Macy’s is quitting fur.
The retailer said on Monday that its namesake chain and Bloomingdale’s department stores would stop selling fur products by early 2021, after the company conducted two years of research into alternatives and consumer views on the matter. The shift will mean the closure of 34 Fur Vaults at Macy’s and 22 Maximilian salons at Bloomingdale’s, the company said in an email.
The declaration from Macy’s, which operates more than 600 department stores, follows a string of similar announcements from brands like Michael Kors and Gucci and even the state of California in recent years. The retailer, which is based in New York, announced the change in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States, which said it had been pressing Macy’s on fur sales for more than a decade.
“It’s just a changing tide,” said P.J. Smith, director of fashion policy at the Humane Society, which is based in Washington. “Consumers care about animal welfare more and more, and the idea of luxury is changing, where it’s more about who’s the most socially responsible and the most innovative.”
Macy’s, which reported about US$25 billion in annual sales in 2018, said that the namesake chain’s private brands were already fur-free, and that fur was not a “material” part of its business. The company said that its new policy, which was in line with guidelines from animal rights organizations, would allow for ethically sourced sheep and cattle fur products including “shearling,” “sheepskin,” “calf hair” and “cowhide” goods.
“Our customer is migrating away from natural fur and we are aligning with this trend,” Macy’s said on a new webpage about the policy. “With the rise of new fabric technology, alternatives like faux fur and other fabric innovations make this a seamless transition for our customers.”
On Monday, examples of Macy’s fur products for sale online included a US$4,000 fox-fur trim cape and a US$8,000 striped mink-fur jacket, while Bloomingdale’s was selling a chinchilla jacket for US$14,000.
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Minks, foxes and rabbits are among the animals most commonly subject to cruelty in the quest for fur, according to Smith, who said that they were often killed through gassing and electrocution.
Smith said that Macy’s was the first major American department store to make such an announcement and that he hoped other retailers would follow suit.
“Now that so many brands that are sold at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are going fur-free, it’s becoming easier for these stores,” he said. “It’s a really good opportunity for them to reach that younger generation of consumers that are going to have the buying power in the very near future.”
The New York Times