Columbia Macy's store to close as part of nationwide restructuring

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COLUMBIA - Macy's announced Wednesday it would be closing 40 retail stores nationwide. Among the 36 stores set to close early this year is the Columbia store, which opened in 2003 at the Shoppes at Stadium. Four other stores closed in late 2015.

The 140,000 square foot store, which serves as a cornerstone of the shopping center employs 81 associates. As part of the nationwide restructuring, the retail giant is also set to open several stores.

"It's also gonna affect Columbia as a whole," Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick said. "From the jobs that are lost to the sales tax revenue that is lost, the vacancy of the location and so it's definetly a loss to our community."

In a news release Wednesday, Macy's chairman and chief executive officer Terry Lundgren, said, "In light of our disappointing 2015 sales and earnings performance, we are making adjustments to become more efficient and productive in our operations. 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."

The closures are set to begin Jan. 11 and take place over an 8 to 12 week period. 

Macy's announced the following changes being implemented as part of the restructuring:

  • Consolidating the grouping of existing Macy’s stores into five regions and 47 local districts (down from the current structure of seven regions and 58 local districts), as well as other field support functions. This reflects a smaller portfolio of stores and new technologies and techniques for managing the store business and tailoring assortments to local customer preferences.
  • Adjusting staffing levels at each Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s store in line with current sales volume to increase productivity and improve efficiency. An average of three to four positions will be affected in each of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s approximately 770 going-forward stores (out of an average workforce of approximately 150 associates in each store), for a total of about 3,000 affected associates nationwide. Roughly 50 percent of affected store associates are expected to be placed in other positions.
  • Implementing a voluntary separation opportunity for about 165 senior executives in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s central stores, office and support functions who meet certain age and service requirements and chose to leave the company beginning in spring 2016. Approximately 35 percent of these executive positions will not be replaced.
  • Reducing an additional 600 positions in back-office organizations by eliminating tasks, simplifying processes and combining positions, with about 150 of these associates reassigned to other positions.