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Macy’s announces Charleston store closure

January 22, 2019

CHARLESTON - Macy’s, one of the two remaining anchor stores at the Charleston Town Center mall, will close its doors later this year.

In a statement Monday afternoon, a spokeswoman said the store would close “in early 2019,” with a clearance sale starting at the beginning of February and continuing for 8 to 12 weeks.

“Macy’s previously shared this information with our valued colleagues.

“Regular, non-seasonal employees who we are unable to place at nearby Macy’s stores will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources,” the company said in a statement.

“The decision to close a store is always a difficult one, but Macy’s is delighted to have served the Charleston community over the past 36 years, and we look forward to continuing to do so at Macy’s in Barboursville, West Virginia and online at macys.com.”

Last week, Macy’s reported weak sales for the 2018 holiday season and downgraded its earnings projections for investors.

Employees at the store Monday said they’d been told about the closure in a meeting earlier that day. They declined to comment further, saying they’d been told not to talk to news media.

Macy’s first opened its store in the Town Center in 2006, when the department store chain bought out the parent company of Kaufmann’s, one of the original anchor stores when the mall opened in 1983.

The mall lost its first anchor store when Montgomery Ward closed in 2001. After several years of trying to get stores including Belk and Dillard’s to occupy the space, BrickStreet Insurance took over that space in 2007.

In 2017, Sears closed its store at the mall. The Macy’s closure means J.C. Penney will be the mall’s only remaining anchor store.

Lisa McCracken, the Town Center’ marking director, said the mall didn’t have anything to add to the Macy’s statement on Monday.

The mall has been in receivership since January 2018, after a lawsuit was filed against the mall’s owners for breaching contract by defaulting on a multimillion-dollar loan. The complaint says the owners defaulted on a $100 million loan issued in 2007 that reached maturity in September 2017.

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said an email statement Monday night that “mall officials have not received official notice from Macy’s regarding their future in the Charleston Town Center.”

Goodwin said she had spoken with mall officials and U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, as well as the state Department of Commerce and Workforce West Virginia to see what help could be provided to employees who lose their jobs.

Macy’s said in its statement that the company “has been reviewing its real estate portfolio across the country to see if there are opportunities to improve the use of our assets.”

Once the Charleston store closes, the Macy’s at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville will be the last one in West Virginia, according to the company’s website.

Staff writer Lori Kersey contributed to this report.

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