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Macy's announces it will stop selling fur by end of 2020 fiscal year

Macy's to end fur sales by 2021

Less than two weeks after California became the first state to ban the the sale of new fur products, retail giant Macy's, Inc. announced in a Monday press release it will stop selling fur by the end of the 2020 fiscal year. The company said its customer base is "migrating away from natural fur" and Macy's is following the trend.

Macy's and Bloomingdale's will stop selling the animal product by the end of the 2020 fiscal year, including its "off-price" stores" — Macy's Backstage and Bloomingdale's The Outlet. The decision also includes all Macy's and Bloomingdale's private brands, including products sold from its brand partners.

The company will shutter its Fur Vaults and salons — which offered storage, repairs and restyling of furs, among other services. 

The new fur-free policy does have exceptions, however. Ethically sourced sheep fur — known as shearling or sheepskin — as well as cattle fur — referred to as calf hair and cowhide — are permitted. The exceptions are in alignment with the Fur Free Alliance's guidelines, which permit the "use of fur that is a by-product of domestic farming to feed our society," according Macy's website.

"Over the past two years, we have been closely following consumer and brand trends, listening to our customers and researching alternatives to fur," said Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc. "Macy's private brands are already fur free so expanding this practice across all Macy's, Inc. is the natural next step."

Gennette added that the company has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States in its "commitment to ending the sale of fur." Macy's and Bloomingdale's will continue to sell faux fur clothing and accessories.

Kitty Block, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said the nonprofit applauds the company's "forward-thinking and principled decision."

"This announcement is consistent with the views of countless consumers in the marketplace, and other retailers should follow," Block said. "With so many designers, major cities and now a state taking a stand against the sale of fur, we're that much closer to ending this unnecessary and inhumane practice."

The fur industry contributes to the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals worldwide every year, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

California's Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill prohibiting the sale and manufacture of new fur products earlier this month. The law won't take effect until January 2023. Hawaii and New York have introduced similar legislation, and may soon follow Newsom's lead.

Brands including Versace, Gucci, Michael Kors and Burberry have also adopted or plan to adopt fur-free policies of their own in recent years, signifying an industry shift away from the material.

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