Macy’s closing Cincinnati headquarters, 125 stores nationwide

Pictured is Macy's national headquarters, located in downtown Cincinnati. (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer via WXIX)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Macy’s is closing its national headquarters located in Downtown Cincinnati.

According to a source, the closing will impact 500 jobs. The company says some of those jobs will be relocated to Mason and Springdale.

Macy’s is the city’s 10th largest employer according to the Ohio Development Services agency.

City of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley released the following statement about the headquarters closure:

“We appreciate the hard work Macy’s local employees have put in over the last several years and hope those employees will stay in our community. Our City’s renaissance has persisted and continues today with our metro leading the state in job gains over the last decade and adding 24,000 jobs in 2019—more than any other Ohio metro. Functionally, Macy’s stopped using Cincinnati as their headquarters ten years ago. This departure, while disappointing, is indicative of a changing retail industry and how they must adapt. It will not stop our City’s continued growth.”

Early Tuesday evening, Macy’s issued a press release detailing a three-year strategy to “stabilize profitability and position the company for growth.” The structural changes, according to the release, are intended to lower costs, reduce duplicate work and focus resources on the company’s healthy sectors.

The so-called “Polaris” strategy focuses on the company’s Star Rewards Loyalty program, its high-margin private brands fashion business, digital growth, its high-performing stores (while closing 125 under-performing stores) and a corporate reorganization that includes “campus consolidation” of corporate functions to New York City.

In addition to Cincinnati losing Macy’s downtown offices, the company says it is also relocating its digital headquarters from San Fransisco to New York to be near “the heart of the fashion industry."

The press release does say it will be increasing “colleague populations" in its Mason office location and its Progress Place facility in Springdale.

It anticipates this restructuring—the “Polaris” strategy—to generate annual gross savings of approximately $1.5 billion by the end of 2022.

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman estimates the yearly impact to the city budget from lost payroll taxes to be $500,000.

“We will all work to not allow basic services to be impacted,” Smitherman said. “However, I have all the confidence that our vibrant downtown will attract another corporate partner to replace Macy’s."

Cincinnati’s Fountain Place Macy’s store, just blocks away from the retailer’s national headquarters, closed its doors two years ago.

Last month, Macy’s announced that its department store at Northgate Mall is closing. The retailer has not released a date when the store will close.

Macy’s was the last major anchor store open at the Colerain Township mall.

The department store chain will have four remaining locations in the Cincinnati region: Kenwood, Anderson Township, Tri-County and Florence, plus a furniture store in Kenwood.

This timeline explains how Macy’s became headquartered in Cincinnati:

  • 1851: R.H. Macy creates “Macy’s” in New York City as a dry goods store. The store’s original trademark emblem was a rooster, but Macy replaced it with a red star.

  • 1929: A company called “Federated” is founded by Xavier Warren in Columbus, Ohio as a department store holding company for Lazarus, Shillito’s, Abraham & Straus, and William Filene’s Sons of Boston.

  • 1945: Federated moves its corporate headquarters to Cincinnati.

  • 1992: Macy’s declares bankruptcy.

  • 1994: Federated buys Macy’s. Federated, which operated hundreds of stores across 37 states, becomes the largest department store retailer in America.

  • 2007: Federated changes its corporate name to Macy’s, Inc.
    Macy’s announced it would shutter 100 stores in August of 2016. A large number of those stores closed in 2017.

The department store has struggled in recent years as many consumers have shifted their shopping online to retail giant Amazon.

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