Macy’s, the last remaining department store at Portland’s Lloyd Center, is closing after 54 years. More than 80 sales staff, security guards, tailors and administrators will lose their jobs.
The company wrote to Oregon’s ‘Dislocated Worker Unit’ Monday to say the entire store will close by the end of January.
The closure of Macy’s is a big loss for the Lloyd Center Mall, which has seen anchor stores like Nordstrom, Sears and Marshalls leave over recent years.
Joan Portman went to the Lloyd Center Macy’s Tuesday for some festive earrings, “I’ve seen this store kind of decline as far as the amount of merchandise,” she said.
“But I still like to shop here. It’s close to home. I’ve built some relationship with some of the employees. So I’m sad to hear that it’s closing.”
Portman said she’ll now drive to Macy’s at either the Clackamas Town Center or Washington Square mall to shop.
Macy’s has struggled as consumers have gone online for convenience and better prices. The coronavirus pandemic has also reduced customer numbers. Financial analysts say Macy’s is also burdened with heavy debts. This spring it announced the end of 2,000 jobs and that it would be closing 125 stores across the country over the next three years.
Eight other Macy’s stores remain open in Oregon, but none in Portland.
Nicole Onder, a commercial retail expert with real estate company Melvin Mark, said shoppers have been moving from malls to urban shopping experiences for years and the pandemic has also played a role, “I mean it’s been over several years we’ve been seeing the shift from big box to the desire to shop more locally, especially in Portland. I think that’s something that’s really important,” said Onder.
She said some malls are changing their business models, reopening as mega-churches, housing or lifestyle centers, with lots of restaurants and open space.
Emily Anderer, a market analyst with the commercial real estate company CoStar, said the Lloyd Center mall has a lot to offer, like being close to Portland’s downtown core, near a convention center hotel and new apartment complexes. But it continues to struggle.
“It’s quite a difficult moment for department stores and for malls,” said Anderer.
CoStar estimates Macy’s storeup about 6% of mall space in the United States experiential events. It signed leases with the concert venue Live Nation and with a 14 screen luxury movie theater. But then came COVID-19.
“The pandemic has implications for mall space, for concert venues and also movie theaters. This is not really a great time for any of those three models,” said Anderer.
CoStar estimates Macy’s stores take up about 6% of mall space in the United States.
JCPenney takes up about the same amount of space. Penney’s filed for bankruptcy this spring saying it would close about 240 stores.