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Macy’s To Close 3 Tampa Bay Area Stores

Jan 5, 2017

Three Macy’s stores in the Tampa Bay area are scheduled to close in 2017.

Macy's said Wednesday that it is moving forward with 68 store closures, which are part of the 100 closings it announced in August.

The company will close stores at University Square in Tampa, Sarasota Square in Sarasota and  Lakeland Square in Lakeland.

Macy's says it is eliminating more than 10,000 jobs and plans to move forward with store closures after a disappointing holiday shopping season. The department store chain also lowered its full-year earnings forecast.

The retailer said Wednesday that sales at its established stores fell 2.1 percent in November and December, compared to the same period last year. Macy's Inc. pointed to changing consumer behavior and said its performance reflects the challenges that are facing much of the retail industry.

Macy's said the 68 store closures, which span the nation, are part of the 100 closings it announced in August. Of the 68, three were closed by the middle of 2016, 63 will close in the spring and two will be closed by the middle of 2017.

Some employees may be offered positions at nearby stores, but Macy's estimates that 3,900 employees will be affected by the closures.

Macy's also said it plans to restructure parts of its business and sell some properties. This will lead to the reduction of 6,200 jobs. The moves are estimated to save $550 million annually.

Longtime CEO Terry Lundgren, who is stepping down early this year and will be succeeded by Macy's President Jeff Gennette, said in a statement the company is closing stores that are "unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations" as well as selling those with highly valued real estate.

Macy's has seen sales growth slow as it and other traditional department store chains face competition from online and off-price rivals. It has tried new ways to attract shoppers, such as by offering more exclusive products, designating areas featuring "smart watches" and launching an Apple shop at its flagship New York store in Herald Square.

The company said Wednesday it plans to invest some of its savings in growing its digital business.