Tuesday, January 7, 2020

[CLOSURE ALERT] The Magic of Macy's to Vanish From Two Georgia Malls

Macy's announced Monday that it plans to close at least fifteen stores this year including two in Georgia.  The stores at The Gallery at South DeKalb in DeKalb County and at Macon Mall in Bibb County, are both expected to close this spring.  Macy's currently operates about 640 full-line department stores under its namesake brand.  The company will also close its Bloomingdale's store in Miami at the outdoor lifestyle center, The Falls.  (Macy's previously closed its Bloomingdale's at Perimeter Mall, then one of two Atlanta area stores.)  
The closure of the Macy's at The Gallery at South DeKalb (formerly South DeKalb Mall) will leave the struggling mall with no clear anchor.  Built in 1968, the mall was once home to both JCPenney and Rich's (which later became Macy's).  JCPenney left the mall in 2001 to open at The Mall at Stonecrest in nearby Lithonia.  South DeKalb was also home to one of the first few Chick-fil-A restaurants, but the Atlanta-based chicken chain shuttered its food court location in 2012.  A movie theater that originally opened at the mall in 1971 and was expanded, sold and abandoned at various times, closed in 2017 and remains vacant today.  

In Bibb County, Macon Mall has suffered a similar reduction in foot traffic and occupancy.  Macy's closure at Macon Mall will leave the property with just one anchor: Burlington [Coat Factory].  

Built in 1975 and spanning more than 1 million square feet, Macon Mall was originally anchored by Davison's, Belk, JCPenney, and Sears. The mall underwent a huge renovation and expansion in 1997 that added Dillard's and Parisian as anchors, among other additions.  Parisian, which was purchased by Belk in 2006, shut its store at the mall in 2007 followed by Dillard's decision to "move" to the new Shoppes at River Crossing lifestyle center in 2008.  Among a wave of store closures nationwide, Sears closed its store in the mall in the spring of 2012 followed by Belk's closure at the mall later that fall.  Burlington opened a new store at the mall in 2015, occupying the upper level of the former Sears store.  The JCPenney store at the mall was one of 138 stores the company closed in 2017. 

Macy's closed its store, another Rich's legacy store, at North DeKalb Mall in early 2016 to make way for what developers hoped would be a new Costco.  Years later, the Costco is still not open (or even confirmed) and there is now talk that the mall's owner - Sterling Organization - may want to sell the mall.  Additionally, Decaturish reported January 2 that the City of Clarkston is looking to annex the mall in a bid to both grow its tax base and revive the redevelopment.  

Elsewhere in DeKalb County, Northlake [Mall] remains open with anchors JCPenney and Macy's. Mall owner ATR Corinth confirmed last Fall that they lured Emory Healthcare to the former Sears space for administrative offices.  

Given their high vacancy rates and changes in shopping habits, both The Gallery at South DeKalb and Macon Mall seem destined for redevelopment.  It remains to be seen however, who, if anyone, would have immediate interest in redeveloping either mall.  The Gallery at South DeKalb sits on nearly 75 acres and is located on Candler Road between I-20 and I-285, whereas Macon Mall, once one of Georgia's biggest malls, occupies about 97 acres on Eisenhower Parkway between I-75 and I-475.  

It would be easier (and less expensive) to just replace the soon to be shuttered Macy's with another anchor or anchors, but the fact that both malls are likely seen by many as "dead," will likely make backfill opportunities scarce.  

Several Macy's stores remain open in metro Atlanta in so-called "dead malls" including those at Greenbriar Mall, Gwinnett Place Mall Southlake Mall and Northlake (Mall).  

Elsewhere in town, the company also operates full-line stores at Cumberland Mall near Smyrna, The Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, Mall of Georgia in Buford, Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw, and a regional "flagship" at Lenox Square in Buckhead, among others.  

Are you surprised by Macy's decision to close its stores at The Gallery at South DeKalb and Macon Mall?  What is your favorite department store?  What would you like to see open in place of the two soon to close Macy's stores?

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

The weird thing about Macon Mall is that the 90's addition was tacked onto the other side of the JCPenney, you had to go through the JCP to get there. It was stylistically dissimilar from the rest of the mall, and mostly empty.

Anonymous said...

Retail stores closing in ghetto areas. Shocker. If the areas gentrify then people will complain about prices going up. If they don't, people will complain about crime and lack of services. Can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

As a person from the South DeKalb area,I don't appreciate being called ghetto and if you want to go there with crime check Midtown ( e.g. remember the Kroger was called " Murder Kroger " before the new concept was built), students at Georgia Tech has been robbed and murdered our there and let's not forgot about what happened with Lenox Square during the X mad holidays.

No I don't want my community gentrified because I've learned,such building has brought in MORE crime because of naive attitudes and more valuable stores.Do you really think that most of these rouges target empty stores ?OMFG!! Don't get me wrong I want my community to be revitalized but not to the point where people are being unjustly evicted from their long time residences.No you can have that.

You also think that if they bright in other not so known shops that everything well be great..WRONG! have of these
" trendy" shopping/ eateries don't even last 5 years.Just read about them on there. They seem to disappear more than the old eateries. BTW Macy's isn't closing because of crime,they're closing because of them wanting as mentioned on here possible online and other sale ideas.

Anonymous said...

The Bloomingdale's that is closing in Miami appears not be closing because the mall is totally dying and the area it is in struggling. This looks like a high end transformation in a mall that is not attracting shoppers to multiple large anchors like it used to.


Anonymous said...

Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if Macy*s hadn’t let these stores get into the disgraceful condition they are in now. Dick Rich would turn over in his grave. They took the well-kept, well-merchandised and well-run Rich’s locations and let them turn into dumps. Who would want to shop in old, filthy, smelly buildings filled with junk. Shame on Macy’s.

Cody Cargle said...

Honestly Anonymous on January 8, 2020 at 9:16 pm I agree with your comment, I used to live in Metro Atlanta, my family and I love Rich’s the same way we today love Dillard’s and Belk honestly hands down, my mom and grandpa used to work at the former Cobb Center and the what is now Macy’s at Cumberland location as well, and since I unfortunately never been in Davison’s, I will say Macy’s back before 2003 was already a dump, they were worse then, but now it’s really bad to the point like Sears and Walmart both merged into one building, and JCPenney’s is barely hanging on thanks to Kohl’s still doing well still despite it also struggling now as well, but anyways I loved the way Rich’s was colored too, my favorite color of course it reminded me how for an example Publix Supermarkets was before they got too big like Macy’s, but anyways never been to Rich’s locations at the former North Dekalb, South Dekalb, Greenbriar, Gwinnett Place, North Point, Northlake, Southlake, Augusta, Macon, Peachtree Mall, Georgia Square, Alabama, South Carolina, and of course Knoxville was short lived, but either way the ones I have been to of course were not former Davison’s as well unlike Athens, Tucker, and Macon, but are the following: Lenox Square, Cumberland, Town Center at Cobb, Mall of Georgia, Arbor Place, Oglethorpe don’t remember going into it but might have not sure, Perimeter, and the former Cobb Center one because the Belvedere Plaza was gone before I was born along with Downtown, which anyways were all nice, but the best Rich’s I’ve been to to this day is: Lenox Square and Cumberland, why because the Pink Pig and the tree and the other one was very unique in general, Town Center had the best kids department including Arbor Place, but unfortunately I was grown up when I had to buy men’s clothes and grown out of toys of course which is what made Rich’s great of course, but however though the best Macy’s now to this day goes to these four locations: Cumberland, Town Center, Arbor Place, and Lenox Square, because Mall of Georgia is just a clone to the Douglasville location except slightly bigger, Lenox just is awesome, Town Center has a very nice men’s store and the women’s store still has the unique Rich’s feel still, Cumberland is all modern but still has the Rich’s feel all cleaned up and renovated, and Arbor Place is just a hybrid of both stores in general, so yess Rich’s you will be the greatest department store of the South and of all time next to Dillard’s and Belk. 😁

Anonymous said...

The weird thing about Macon Mall is that the 90's addition was tacked onto the other side of the JCPenney, you had to go through the JCP to get there. It was stylistically dissimilar from the rest of the mall, and mostly empty.

Crazy! JCP has the exact same setup at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem NC. They are also loosing Macy's and are predicted to loose their JCP.

Anonymous said...

Just put a Super Dollar Tree in its place please.

Cody Cargle said...

Anonymous on January 11,2020 at 4:26 pm I think Macon Mall, North Dekalb Mall, and the Gallery at South Dekalb will all three be gone no later than this upcoming Christmas season due to the performance being similar to the former Panama City Mall where I currently live now even though Pier Park is near my house now, but Gwinnett Place is going to be gone soon as well, Shannon Mall only been to once at Macy’s the former Davison’s that was closing down at that time have very little memory of that place but it is of course gone along with the whole mall now, plus Perimeter Mall and Phipps Plaza might be gone soon if Macy’s and Nordstrom’s ever do leave either one of those malls one day, because the former Rich’s at Perimeter was not renovated the last time I went there, the Dillard’s there was a lot nicer so was Nordstrom’s, JCPenney’s left that mall long time ago, my family has better memory of that one than I do, but Von Maur is what keeping that mall alive besides Dillard’s and Nordstrom’s along with the other small tenants including the restaurants ranging from fast food to fast casual and non fast food/fast casual, so however though Phipps Plaza is trying to bring a hotel to replace Belks, but I’m afraid Saks Fifth Avenue May leave Atlanta one day because of Bloomingdales, Nordstrom’s, and Von Maur all three offer better prices for high end merchandise that you cannot get at Macy’s who owns Bloomingdales, Dillard’s, JCPenney’s, Sears, Belk, and Kohl’s, plus Neiman Marcus has a food shop at the Lenox Square still the last time I was there not sure if that still exists at Neiman Marcus, but Nordstrom’s is what making Phipps Plaza still decent of course, but time will tell, either Perimeter or Phipps will be the first luxury mall to leave Georgia or Atlanta for good one day, but Macy’s will definitely stay at Arbor Place, Town Center at Cobb, Cumberland, Lenox Square, Mall of Georgia, North Point, Augusta Mall, Oglethorpe Malls for sure, but Northlake Mall will go if JCPenney’s don’t leave first, I’m surprised that mall kept those two lol! �� But Southlake Mall will definitely leave eventually, Greenbriar will definitely go just because Arbor Place makes more business in general, Gwinnett Place will close exactly like Shannon mark my words if it don’t because of Mall of Georgia and Sugarloaf Mills do more business, Mall at Stonecrest mostly because Dillard’s does more business in general, but JCPenney’s might leave there possibly as well, but time will tell, then I think Peachtree Mall in Columbus will go just because Phenix City, Alabama being so bad in every category in general and the fact it’s next door to that town, plus Dillard’s does well just about everywhere it exists, but JCPenney’s might leave Columbus as well, but this all my theory on how Macy’s will survive in general, but in all honesty Rich’s would have fixed up all these locations by now if it wasn’t for the merger, and I think the only Rich’s that would have been gone probably be Greenbriar and possibly North Dekalb if I had to guess on all of this, and maybe South Dekalb just because of Arbor Place, Mall at Stonecrest being nicer locations in general, and I think Rich’s would try Hiram, Georgia, Newnan, Georgia, new locations in Augusta and Macon if these malls were planned differently, or atleast shopping center containing Rich’s that is something they would do to stay relevant to Dillard’s, Belks, JCPenney’s, and Kohl’s

Cody Cargle said...

Anonymous on January 12, 2020 at 4:41 pm You are crazy a Dollar Tree, if you only knew nobody likes or shops at Dollar Tree like they used to, they are extremely overrated and very junky now, Dollar General and Five Below is where it is at now! 🤣 That’s just like saying Parisians should have merged with Kohl’s lol! 😂 I mean all honesty Parisians had nice stores and locations but good god those high prices are what Bloomingdales, Nordstrom’s, Von Maur, and Lord and Taylor offered smh! 🤦🏻‍♂️ I mean Dillard’s and Rich’s were so much better than that, I’m glad Belks bought them, so I’m sorry your idea of Dollar Tree is ridiculous no offense, Gallery at South Dekalb and Macon Mall need to be turned into a shopping center to support that kind of a place, because otherwise the place is two stories for what it serves in it now, a Dollar Tree would be unprofitable being that huge they would have to do something like Sears is doing with the former Cumberland and Mall at Stonecrest locations for an example, so anyways have a good night, when you have a much better idea what can replace it let me know! 😈

Anonymous said...

you don't even live here

Unknown said...

I think they should close Macy's at stonecrest the customer service there is terrible store manager no personality

Anonymous said...

Rich's was the bomb back in the 80's and beyond for many years! It had committed workers who were extremely knowledgeable. The store was kept meticulously, at all times! Those glory days stay in my mind if only a memory!

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