The Macy's in downtown St. Louis is shutting its doors.
The company announced this morning that the outlet, which opened in 1924 in the Railway Exchange building, will be closing with a final clearance starting in the beginning of June and continuing for about ten weeks. The 189,000-square-foot space has a workforce of 94 associates, the company says in its announcement of the closure.
Macy's has eight other stores in the metro area and will now have a total of about 3,000 associates locally. The company may offer some affected employees positions in nearby stores and facilities "where possible," Macy's says. Others will face layoffs.
Here's the official statement of Peter Sachse, Macy's chief stores officer, who gives a nod to St. Louis mayor Francis Slay:
We deeply appreciate the loyalty of our downtown store customers, the diligence of our associates, and the concern and support of Mayor Slay and his administration over the years. We have worked hard to reinvigorate our downtown business, including remodeling, downsizing and re-focusing the store in 2011. But unfortunately, the level of customer activity we see no longer justifies keeping the store open.
We respect the rich history of this store and the historic significance of the Railway Exchange Building. We are committed to working closely with RNY-LLC, the building's owner, on an orderly transition of our space to a new use.
The company says that about 100 associates currently located in various corporate and district offices of the ninth and tenth floors of the Railway Exchange building at 601 Olive Street will be relocated to Earth City facilities.
And Slay just posted on Facebook:
Fifteen years ago, an announcement that Macy's department store downtown would close would have been tragic. Today, it is merely sad and inevitable as retail changes and people shop differently. The building, which is owned by a good developer, is more than a million square feet. What should be in there next?
Here's the full announcement:
Macy's Downtown St. Louis Store to Close
CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 20, 2013-- Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M) today announced it will close its downtown St. Louis store in the Railway Exchange Building at 601 Olive St. A final clearance sale will begin on Sunday, June 2, and is expected to run for approximately 10 weeks.
The store, opened in 1924, currently includes about 189,000 square feet of space with a workforce of 94 associates. The company is committed to treating these affected associates with respect and openness. Associates displaced by the closings may be offered positions in nearby stores and facilities where possible. Eligible full-time and part-time associates who are laid off due to the store closing will be offered severance benefits.
Macy's looks forward to continuing to serve customers at its eight other stores in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
In addition, about 100 Macy's associates who work in various corporate and district offices on the ninth and 10th floors of the Railway Exchange Building will be relocated to space in existing Macy's office facilities in Earth City in St. Louis County. The planning for that move will begin as the store is closed.
Going forward, Macy's workforce in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area will include about 3,000 associates in the stores, offices, a distribution center and the credit and customer services hub.
"We deeply appreciate the loyalty of our downtown store customers, the diligence of our associates, and the concern and support of Mayor Slay and his administration over the years," said Peter Sachse, Macy's chief stores officer. "We have worked hard to reinvigorate our downtown business, including remodeling, downsizing and re-focusing the store in 2011. But unfortunately, the level of customer activity we see no longer justifies keeping the store open.
"We respect the rich history of this store and the historic significance of the Railway Exchange Building. We are committed to working closely with RNY-LLC, the building's owner, on an orderly transition of our space to a new use," Sachse said.
Macy's, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation's premier retailers, with fiscal 2012 sales of $27.7 billion. The company operates about 840 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy's and Bloomingdale's, as well as the macys.com and bloomingdales.com websites. The company also operates 12 Bloomingdale's Outlet stores. Bloomingdale's in Dubai is operated by Al Tayer Group LLC under a license agreement.
All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Macy's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this release because of a variety of factors, including variability in the costs of providing healthcare and retirement benefits to current or former employees, conditions to, or changes in the timing of, proposed transactions, prevailing interest rates and non-recurring charges, competitive pressures from specialty stores, general merchandise stores, off-price and discount stores, manufacturers' outlets, the Internet, mail-order catalogs and television shopping and general consumer spending levels, including the impact of the availability and level of consumer debt, the effect of weather and other factors identified in documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.