Four Philly-Area Macy’s to Close in Early Spring

The closures are a part of Macy's nationwide plan to cut 100 stores by fall 2017.

It’s official: Four regional Macy’s stores will shut their doors for good this spring. On the chopping block are the stores at Plymouth Meeting Mall, Moorestown Mall, Bensalem’s Neshaminy Mall, and Voorhees Town Center. A total of 347 employees will lose their jobs.

The chain reported poor sales this season as consumers opted to shop on their smartphones and tablets. For November and December, the retail giant’s sales fell about 2 percent on a comparable store basis from 2015. Retailers like Amazon, with its Prime delivery and expansive warehouses, continue to eat away at Macy’s market share.

“We are closing down locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape, as well as monetizing locations with highly valued real estate,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a release.

Other experts cite an overcrowded retail landscape as a factor in Macy’s store closures. The CEO of one retail consulting firm told Business Insider that as retail patterns have changed, there are just too many shops, with some in the wrong place and of the wrong size or configuration. With malls, one store’s demise can mean lackluster performance for the entire complex as owners scramble to fill vacant anchor space and bolster foot traffic.

But this might not be a problem for the Plymouth Meeting and Moorestown malls, both owned by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT).

PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino told the Inquirer that the Macy’s announcement was a relief. “It’s something we have been working on for some time, and we’re looking forward to really repopulating these Macy’s stores as they close with exciting new retailers,” he said.

No leases to replace the two Macy’s have been signed, but he cited a “Whole Foods–like” concept to potentially fill the vacancy at Plymouth Meeting Mall, adding, “We felt that this was a real opportunity to right-size the Macy’s store count in Philadelphia. This is a win-win for ourselves and for the consumer in the Philadelphia market.”

As Dan McQuade surmised when we first caught wind of Macy’s planned closures last August, the Center City location, despite being surrounded by Century 21, Nordstrom Rack, and Marshall’s, was spared. And it survived minus the talking mannequins he suggested.

Across Pennsylvania, three more Macy’s stores are scheduled to close in the early spring, too: one at Lycoming Mall in central Pennsylvania and two stores outside Pittsburgh in Shenango Valley and Beaver Valley, the latter also owned by PREIT.

In total, the company announced that 68 of 730 Macy’s would close through the fall, with 3,900 employees to be displaced.

While Macy’s isn’t alone in the retail fight to stay afloat — Sears, Kohl’s, Men’s Warehouse, The Children’s Place, American Eagle, Aeropostale, and CVS have all announced plans to close stores — its announcement is a grand opening act for what experts predict will be a long, brutal year of store closures.

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