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By Jacob Pramuk, CNBC

Department store Macy's announced Wednesday it will cut thousands of jobs and close some stores as part of restructuring to trim costs and reverse what it called "disappointing 2015 sales and earnings."

With the overhaul, Macy's expects to reduce expenses by about $400 million annually, starting this year. It will cut about 3,000 associate jobs and more back-office and call center positions, as well as create a "voluntary separation opportunity" for 165 senior executives. Some of those employees will be moved to other jobs.

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The company will take $200 million in charges related to restructuring, including store closings, in the fourth quarter. Macy's expects fourth-quarter earnings of $2.18 to $2.23 per diluted share, excluding those charges, versus a consensus forecast of $2.53 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Shoppers and pedestrians cross 34th Street outside of Macy's Herald Square department store during the Christmas shopping season.Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Macy's said that comparable sales fell by 4.7 percent in November and December combined on an owned plus licensed basis. The same metric fell by 5.2 percent on an owned basis.

The company reiterated that it plans to close 36 stores this spring. Four other locations were already closed last year.

Macy's shares fell as much as 4 percent in extended trading before reversing and rising 2 percent. The stock suffered through a rough 2015 and has fallen more than 40 percent in the last 12 months. Macy's has faced significant pressure from activist shareholders.

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