February 19, 2009

News Update: Macy's

Yesterday, I asked for examples of companies that are making changes to their CSR programs in light of the recession. Today, the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate.com website posted this article about the changes Macy's is making to its community involvement activities in that city. These changes come in the wake of news that it will close its Macy's West division this spring, shrinking from 1,400 to 125 headquarters employees in San Francisco. (Here's an article from SFGate that gives some background on the cuts Macy's is making.)

According to the article, the company expects to maintain its commitment to "several high-profile community events", like the annual Passport fashion show, which raises funds to fight HIV/AIDS; the remaining San Francisco employees will also continue to run cause marketing initiatives. On the other hand, thanks to the steep staff reduction, local nonprofits are likely to see a major decrease in employee giving and volunteer hours.

I find it really interesting that the company isn't explicitly making cuts to its community involvement programs, but that such a decrease will be a byproduct of staffing cuts. I imagine this is true in any community that has seen significant layoffs - and as a result, the communities that are hardest hit by this downturn may also be those with the biggest reduction in capacity to deal with it.

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