SPOKANE, Wash—Downtown Spokane is losing one their main department stores as Macy's announced the closing of dozens of stores across the U.S.
The Downtown Spokane store and the Moscow, Idaho location will start preparing to close in January with sales. Final clearance sales at the following Macy's stores closing in early 2016 will begin on Monday, Jan. 11 and run for between eight to 12 weeks before shutting their doors for good.
The customers and the employees seemed to be shocked by the news.
"I think it's a vital thing it has all the different types of shops," said LeAuna Christian, who has lived in Spokane for 61 years. "I think it will be a loss to downtown for sure."
The Macy's in Spokane employees about 94 people and opened in 1974. According to Macy's, the location now employees 96 associates that may be transferred to Spokane's other locations. The store, which is about 374,000 square feet, was previously home to the Bon Marche.
The president of the Spokane Business partnership said the loss of such a huge landmark will be a blow to the community but he is optimistic for change ahead of the closing. He said they can now look for new retail, entertainment or residential units to fill the space.
The Moscow location has about 47 associates working there currently.
On Tuesday, Macy's announced a series of what they described as "cost-efficiency and process improvement measures.
"In light of our disappointing 2015 sales and earnings performance, we are making adjustments to become more efficient and productive in our operations," stated the press release.
"Moreover, we believe we can operate more effectively with an organization that is flatter and more agile so we can pursue growth and regain market share in our core Macy's and Bloomingdale's omnichannel businesses faster and with more intensity. We will continue to invest in strategic initiatives that anticipate emerging customer needs and create shareholder value," said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc.
Macy's will close 47 stores in five regions starting in early 2016 which will impact about 3,000 associates nationwide.