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Macy's Stores Dump Gift-Wrapping

The last few years have been brutal to large department stores like Macy's.  Of course like all businesses, Macy's is always looking for ways to cut corners and improve the bottom line. That's the way businesses survive.

Macy's recently announced they were dumping all of their famous gift wrapping counters where customers could pay a human to wrap a gift they had purchased from the store.

(Gift wrapped box - Courtesy HAAP Media, Inc - All Rights Reserved)

Reps for Macy's have said "customers are OK with plopping their gifts into a glossy, store-bought bag" rather than an ornately wrapped box.

The Cincinnati-based retailer claims that their dismantling of gift-wrapping departments, which has been happening in stages for the past three years, is in response to customer tastes and needs rather than a response to sluggish sales.

Not only are customers apparently fine with using a glossy store-bought re-usable bag, a new awareness of the need to protect the environment makes wasting gift wrapping less desirable.

Macy spokesman Jim Sluzewski said "Demand for gift-wrapping is not what it once was," he said. "There was a time not long ago when you never heard about gifts in bags. Now, in fact, gift bags are the primary vehicle."

Sluzewski did not know how many Macy's workers were impacted by the closing of all gift wrapping departments but he notes some departments employ one or two people, while others simply rely on nearby salespeople to help as needed.

(Gift bag - Courtesy of HAAP Media Ltd - All Rights Reserved)

Macy's was recently charging $5.95 to wrap a small box, or $10.95 for a large box.  Cost-conscious customers definitely might see gift wrapping as an unnecessary and added expense. Experts disagree about Macy's decision to eliminate the gift wrapping services.

Some experts believe gift-wrapping counters offer a difference that makes people still want to go into a department store and receiving human service rather than going online and interfacing with your computer.

Some gift wrapping experts agree with Macy's decision citing the fact that during a difficult economy customers will cut corners in every way possible.  The Do It Yourself (DIY) moment has swept the country as the economy worsened and many previous paid services such as gift wrapping were lost.

Macy's is not getting completely out of the gift dressing business.  The stores still sells greeting cards, wrapping paper - "and gift bags, for that matter," Sluzewski said. "In fact, we've expanded that assortment."

Good to know.

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