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Amid Flagging Sales, Macy’s to Shutter 100 Stores

The R.H. Macy and Co. is seen over the logo for Macy's department store at the flagship store in New York
The R.H. Macy and Co. is seen over the logo for Macy's department store at the flagship store in midtown Manhattan in New York City November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Macy's will close 100 of its 728 stores by early 2017 in a bid to focus on improving its high-volume locations and boosting online sales, the retailer announced on Thursday.

Markets responded favorably to the announcement, with shares up 14 percent in early trading.

"We operate in a fast-changing world, and our company is moving forward decisively to build further on Macy's heritage as a preferred shopping destination for fashion, quality, value and convenience," said Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren in a press release announcing the new strategy.

"This involves doing things differently and making tough decisions as we position ourselves to serve customers who have high expectations of their favorite stores, online sites and apps," he wrote.

The department store chain has seen six straight quarters of declining sales, reporting a loss of 4 percent in the second quarter.

Read More: Is the Heyday of Malls Past as More Department Stores Close?

The new initiative also detailed "capitalizing on opportunities within the company's real estate assets," which includes selling its San Francisco Macy's Men's Store on Union Square, with men's merchandise relocated within the main Macy's store.

Lundgren also detailed the company's online plans, which involve improving site search tools and page load times, easier ways to place orders, and an upgrade to its "Buy Online, Pickup in Store" service.

"You can look forward to a company that expedites decision-making, moves faster, and is bolder in its approach to the customer," said Jeff Gennette, who will replace Lundgren as CEO in early 2017.

Read More: In a Move to Regain Prestige, Coach Pulls Out of Some Department Stores