In yet another sign of the challenges facing brick-and-mortar retail, Macy’s is closing its stores in Federal Way and Spokane, along with dozens of other sites nationwide.
The closures — at The Commons at Federal Way (formerly SeaTac Mall) and NorthTown Mall in Spokane — were confirmed Wednesday by the New York City-based retailer. The two stores are among 37 sites Macy’s will shutter this year, according to CNBC.
The closures will affect 100 workers at the Federal Way site, which opened 43 years ago as The Bon Marché, and 69 workers at the 27-year-old Spokane store, the company said.
Macy’s said the latest closures were part of a plan, announced last February, to shutter 125 locations over several years. The company, which has struggled with sagging sales and stiff competition from online retailers, has closed several dozen stores, including its downtown Seattle flagship as well as locations in Burlington and Walla Walla.
“The latest store closures continue the process of streamlining the business by getting rid of unprofitable and unproductive locations,” said Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst with GlobalData.
“The decision to close a store is always a difficult one,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement Wednesday. She said nonseasonal workers from the Federal Way and Spokane stores that could not be placed at nearby Macy’s locations “will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources.”
Macy’s Federal Way customers can shop at Macy’s stores at Puyallup South Hill, Southcenter and Tacoma, while customers in Spokane can shop at the nearby Spokane Valley store, the company said.
The latest closures follow months of dismal sales for many brick-and-mortar retailers as the pandemic has led many consumers to shop more online. In November, Macy’s reported same-store sales in the most recent quarter were down 20% compared with a year earlier.
Analysts say Macy’s has expanded its online sales but hasn’t been able to revive its brick-and-mortar business at a time when many consumers worry about COVID-19.
The latest closures reflect “Macy’s inability to make many of its locations interesting and engaging for customers,” said Saunders. “Macy’s talks about a lot of things, but it never seems to make tangible changes on the ground. If they don’t take action, the slide will continue.”
Macy’s operates 544 of its namesake department stores, 34 Bloomingdale’s locations, 19 Bloomingdale’s outlets and 166 Bluemercury shops, according to the company’s website.