Macy’s To Permanently Close Its Stores

Macy's will permanently close stores in California, Colorado, Maryland, and Hawaii as part of its strategic restructuring plan.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

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Macy’s will be permanently shuttering several stores in 2023 as part of its Polaris transformation strategy which aims to optimize and reposition its mall and off-mall locations. The first batch of closures will take place in Los Angeles, Colorado, Maryland, and Hawaii. A clearance sale, which will run for approximately eight to 12 weeks, is set to begin this January.

In a statement to Axios, Macy’s said it was committed to offering employees generous severance packages or alternate jobs in nearby locations. In February 2020, the department store chain, which includes Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, announced its intention to shutter a fifth of its locations (or 125 stores) as part of a three-year plan. This was followed by several rounds of closures from 2020 to 2022.

Managing Director of Global Data, Neil Saunders, addressed the Macy’s store closures, saying most of the heavy lifting has been completed. He also told Axios that much of the “dead wood” has been cut out. “What we are seeing now is more an opportunistic and gentle pruning,” he explained. He added that more shuttering is likely to follow as the retailer has many sub-optimal stores that will probably perform poorly in the struggling economy.

However, the high-end department store chain has opened quite a few new locations in 2022. This includes smaller format and new off-mall stores, as well as four Market by Macy’s outlets. Bloomingdale’s is also set to open its third Bloomies in Seattle later this year, after successfully opening the same mini stores in Chicago and Virginia.

Tiny Toys R Us stores also began operating inside all Macy’s stores in 2022. The toy shops, which range from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet, feature hands-on demonstration tables for kids to try out various products. There is also a “Geoffrey on a Bench” giraffe photo spot in each store, Axios previously reported. The toy giant’s comeback is also expected to boost nostalgia-driven sales.

But it’s not just Macy’s shutting store doors. Sears will also permanently shutter 115 stores across the United States. The move follows a bankruptcy protection filing which resulted in a series of liquidation sales at the department store chain. According to Best Life, the closures will affect shoppers in 30 states and Puerto Rico. A dozen outlets in Arkansas, six in California, and eight in Texas will also cease operations after slashing prices by 40 percent.

Much like Macy’s, the owner of a Sears Wisconsin outlet Dave Dittbrender told the Superior Telegram that the sales probably won’t last beyond January. He also explained how his store suffered due to the pandemic, declining sales, and rising costs. “Covid was tough,” he told the publication. “You had to stick money into the store just to stay open so debt went up a little bit.”

Addressing the closures of stores like Macy’s and Sears, the attorney for the latter, Mark Minuti, told Bloomberg that the bankruptcy filings are “a sad day for the country.” Meanwhile, the liquidation sales present an opportunity for shoppers looking for a good bargain after the festive season.