PhotoMacy’s, once famous for its mink coats, has become the nation’s largest retailer to announce it will stop selling fur.

The company said it will end fur sales at all of its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores at the end of fiscal year 2020. At the same time, the company said it will be closing its fur vaults and salons. Macy’s chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette says the decision is based, in part, on dramatic shifts in consumer preferences.

“Over the past two years, we have been closely following consumer and brand trends, listening to our customers and researching alternatives to fur,” Gennette said. “We’ve listened to our colleagues, including direct feedback from our Go Green Employee Resource Group, and we have met regularly on this topic with the Humane Society of the United States and other NGOs.”

Praise from animal rights group

The move won immediate praise from the Humane Society. The group’s CEO Kitty Block said it was a 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.”

In fact, Macy’s has been inching closer to this position over the years. The company says its private brands are already fur-free, so extending the policy was a natural next step. 

‘Fashionable faux fur’

A number of other brands, including Prada, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Burberry have already stopped selling real fur. Retailers JC Penney and Sears previously removed fur products from their shelves.

“We are proud to partner with the Humane Society of the United States in our commitment to ending the sale of fur,” Gennette said. “We remain committed to providing great fashion and value to our customers, and we will continue to offer high-quality and fashionable faux fur alternatives.”

Man has been wearing animal pelts for thousands of years as a way to fight off winter’s frigid temperatures. In more recent times, however, fur has been associated with high fashion and affluence. 

Groups like the Humane Society have campaigned against the use of fashion fur for decades, saying there are plenty of other materials to keep people warm in the winter.

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