Metro Atlanta spared in latest round of closures.
Cincinnati,OH based Macy's today confirmed another 59 stores it plans to close in the coming months. Today's news comes on the heels of an earlier announcement of nine other stores it had either already closed or was about to liquidate. While retail observers speculated that Macy's stores in Savannah's Oglethorpe Mall and Peachtree Mall in Columbus were "most likely to close," neither was included in this round of closures. (Last year's announcement was for "100 store closures," and with this recent news bringing the confirmed count to 68, there could still be more closures to come.)
The only Georgia store slated for closure is at Georgia Square Mall in Athens. Opened in 1981, the 121,000 square foot two level Macy's store was included in a list of "Year-End Closings." Although no closure timeline was provided, a store employee with whom I spoke indicated that the store will be closed by early March. Georgia Square Mall is owned and operated by Atlanta based Hendon Properties, which until 2014 owned North DeKalb Mall in Atlanta, where Macy's closed its store early last year.
In addition to the Savannah and Columbus stores, there was speculation that Macy's stores at Gwinnett Place Mall, Northlake Mall, Arbor Place, South DeKalb Mall and Greenbriar Mall could be included in the closure announcement but all seem to have survived...for now.
One curious inclusion in the list of closures was the 188,000 square foot Macy's in Kenner, LA at The Esplanade. The Kenner store, located in the greater New Orleans area, first opened in 1986, but closed in 2005 after suffering severe damage from Hurricane Katrina. The mall also suffered damage but reopened a few months after Katrina, in late 2005. Macy's reportedly went back and forth on its plans to reopen at the mall before officially making its announcement in 2007 and reopening in 2008. “Returning to the New Orleans market has been a top priority for us,” said Ed Holman, chairman and CEO of Macy’s South at the time of the announcement. Clearly things have changed.
The two oldest stores on the closure list are the the downtown Minneapolis store which first opened as Dayton's in 1902, and Eastland Center in Harper Woods, MI, which opened in 1957 as Hudson's.
The newest stores on the closure list are the Macy's at Nampa Gateway Center in Nampa, ID, which opened in 2009, and the Kenner store which (re)opened in 2008.
In addition to the downtown Minneapolis store which Macy's sold for over $40 million, the company is also closing its downtown Portland, OR store, which opened in 2007. The Macy's on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, originally Davison's, closed in 2003.
The retail giant said it will also be cutting "layers of management'' at its central operations, and paring down the number of managers at individual stores, leading to a loss of roughly 6,200 more jobs.
"We continue to experience declining traffic in our stores where the majority of our business is still transacted,'' Terry Lundgren, Macy's CEO said in a statement. With regard to the store closings he added, "we are closing locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape...These are never easy decisions.''
Lundgren, who has been at the company's helm since 2003, will step down as CEO next year. Jeff Gennette, 55, who was elected president of Macy's in 2014, will assume the CEO position during the first quarter. Lundgren, 64, will continue as executive chairman and work alongside Gennette for an undetermined amount of time.
The complete announcement from Macy's can be found here.
In other retail news, Hoffman Estates, Illinois based Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart and Sears, also announced plans to close 150 stores (108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears) by April. In the case of Sears and Kmart, metro Atlanta was again spared from the closure list but Savannah and Columbus were not so lucky.
Kmart stores at 33 W. Montgomery Cross Road in Savannah, 3200 Macon Road in Columbus, 365 Habersham Village Circle in Cornelia and 1601 Highway 40 East in Kingsland are all slated to close. In addition, Sears stores at Albany Mall in Albany and Columbus Park Crossing in Columbus are expected to close.
This latest round of closures will bring the total number of stores that Sears Holdings has closed this fiscal year to more than 200. These moves will leave the company with fewer than 1,500 stores by mid 2017, down nearly 60% from 2011, when Sears [Holdings] had more than 3,500 stores.
Business Insider's report including the full list of store closures can be found here.