At some point over the past year or two, seemingly everyone has decided to go fur-free, from heavyweights like Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu, Margiela, and Michael Kors to the entire state of California, as of just last week. Still, Macy’s Inc.’s announcement on Monday that it plans to stop selling fur by September of 2020 stands apart. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, which also falls under the Macy’s Inc. parent company, won’t just be the first major U.S. department stores to ban fur; they’ll also be some of the first in the fashion industry to bridge the fur-free movement from luxury fashion to retail.
Nearly a year from now may seem a while off, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s practically lightning speed. The last major fur-free retail move was a full decade ago, when JCPenney became the first traditional department chain to stop selling fur in 2009. But even JCPenney was behind the times: At that point, Selfridge’s, which closed its fur department in 1990 had already been fur-free since 2005. (Earlier this year, the British luxury retail giant announced that it was taking things up a notch by also banning the sale of exotic skins.)
If all goes according to plan, by this time next year, there will be no more in-store salons and “Fur Vaults” in Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s, not to mention no fur at all in the company’s 680 department stores and nearly 200 additional “specialty” shops like Bloomingdale’s outlets. Naturally, the company isn’t about to let that newfound space go to waste. According to a statement by CEO and chairman Jeff Gennette, Macy’s Inc. has spent more than two years researching the most “high-quality and fashionable” faux fur replacements.