Macy’s closes Puente Hills Mall store in City of Industry – San Gabriel Valley Tribune


Macy’s is preparing to close its longtime Puente Hills Mall store in the city of industry – a move that will lead to 117 layoffs.

The retailer did not provide a specific date for the closure. But in a notice sent to the state Department of Employment Development last month, the chain said the job cuts would take place between March 18 and March 31.

Macy’s spokeswoman Julianne Olivo said a clearance sale began earlier this month and will run until closing.

The industry location at 1600 S. Azusa Ave. has been open for 48 years. It is one of six Macy’s stores in the United States set to close in the coming months as part of a restructuring as the company grapples with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The other closings will take place in Colorado (two stores), Alabama, Missouri and Texas. A company-owned Bloomingdale’s Outlet Store in Florida will also close.

“The decision to close a store is always difficult,” Olivo said via email. “Regular, non-seasonal colleagues who we are unable to place at a nearby Macy’s store will be eligible for severance pay, including outplacement resources.”

Macy’s has other locations in the Brea, Montclair, Montebello, West Covina and Downey area.

The industry shutdown will impact a variety of jobs, including 36 retail positions, 13 sales and fulfillment positions, 11 background support positions and six cosmetics counter positions, among other roles.

Macy’s isn’t the only retailer with stores on the chopping block.

Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close 37 stores in 19 states, according to USA Today, with most closings taking place this month. Five California locations are on the list, including three stores in Orange County.

The company did not provide a closing date for the Tustin, Laguna Niguel and Rancho Santa Margarita locations, but a Tustin store employee said the closure would occur in late February. It is not known how many workers will be affected.

Restructuring plan

Adrian Mitchell, Macy’s chief financial officer, outlined his company’s plans during a conference call with investors in November.

Mitchell said the company was “again reviewing when we close the approximately 60 remaining stores (of the 125) that we previously planned to close” as part of the company’s ongoing business strategy.

Some of the closings have been delayed, he said, and Macy’s continues to open more of its smaller, off-mall stores.

Macy’s announced its restructuring plan in February 2020, saying it would close 125 locations – about a fifth of its store count – over the next five years. It also cut 2,000 corporate jobs.

Bob Phibbs, CEO of The Retail Doctor, a New York-based retail consulting firm, said Macy’s is feeling pressure from investors to shrink its portfolio of physical locations. But too big a cut, he said, would be counterproductive.

“Most retailers want to keep them open as much as possible as they relate to their online operations,” he said. “When you close stores, online sales drop about 25 percent.”

Phibbs said retailers are also struggling to recruit and retain enough workers, a trend that has been seen across several industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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