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Macy's to close Northgate Mall location this spring

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 19:49:41-05

Macy’s Northgate Mall location will close in early spring, the company announced Monday, joining a fleet of other brick-and-mortar casualties in the company's battle with a rapidly changing retail industry.

“The decision to close a store is always a difficult one, but Macy’s is proud to have served our customers in the Cincinnati community at Macy’s Northgate over the past 27 years, and we look forward to continuing to do so at nearby Macy’s stores,” a company spokesperson wrote in a statement.

The Northgate location will begin selling inventory at a discount this month and continue for up to four months before closing permanently.

Some employees (the spokesperson did not specify how many) will be transferred to other Macy’s stores in the Cincinnati area. The rest will receive severance packages.

The company will continue to operate stores at Macy’s Tri-County Mall, Macy’s Kenwood Towne Centre, Macy’s Florence Mall and Macy’s Anderson Towne Center.

Macy's declined to confirm other store closures, but local media outlets in seven other cities published reports today about closures in six states. Macy's told the Cafaro Company it will close about 20 stores this year, according to spokesman Joe Bell. Cafaro's location at Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville was among the closures.

"It was the only Macy's location between Columbus and Pittsburgh," Bell said.

Macy’s, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, closed its iconic Fountain Place department store in March 2018. That closure was one of 100 across the company, which CEO Jeffrey Gennette said he hoped would make the business leaner and allow reinvestment in other areas. That September, he told analysts he anticipated entering 2019 with an eye on rebuilding the business in other forms: Discount stores and pop-ups, among other options, instead of traditional department stores.

By late November 2019, the company was in trouble again. Macy’s posted earnings of around $2 million — a penny per share — and cut its profit and sales expectations for the year, partially blaming weak mall traffic and website problems.

“We’ve been investing in malls where developers are investing," Macy's President Hal Lawton told investors in November. "Those stores continue to outpace the rest of our fleet."

But Lawton also hinted that store closures might be coming in malls that haven't seen major upgrades in recent years.

"We’ve been watching the trend across our malls for quite some time, specifically in the C and D malls, which are our neighborhood doors," he said. "And we did see a steeper decline that we’d anticipated in the quarter."