WAYNE — Brick-and-mortar retail continues to struggle as New Jersey-based Toys "R" Us and Macy's announce layoffs and closures.

NorthJersey.com reported that the toy chain laid off up to 250 employees from its Wayne headquarters following a "disappointing" holiday season, a move designed to make the company run more seamlessly.

"We, like many other retailers, must continually look for opportunities to work more efficiently and effectively, particularly as customer shopping patterns are evolving," company spokeswoman Amy von Walter said in a statement, according to the report.

The company reported a 3.4 percent decrease in holiday sales and called the 2016 holiday season "unusual and challenging," especially in its baby and entertainment categories.

"We are disappointed, but remain firmly committed to take aggressive action as we enter 2017," said CEO Dave Brandon in a statement in January, hinting at "important initiatives" in 2017.

Toys "R" Us has 32 stores throughout New Jersey, including clearance and outlet centers as well as Babies "R" Us stores.

Macy's, meanwhile, announced it will close another 34 stores in 2017, in addition to 66 stores it previously said would close, including locations in Moorestown, Voorhees, and the Preakness Shopping Center in Wayne. It has not identified the new locations that will close.

Fourth quarter sales were down 4 percent, according to a statement from the retailer, but the company remained confident that initiatives started in 2017 would meet intended goals, including improvement on its digital platform, a "new approach" to fine jewelry and women's shoes, and a "refinement" of clearance and off-price strategies.

There are 30 Macy's stores and six Bloomingdale's stores and outlet stores in New Jersey.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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