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Another 600 new jobs will be added to a Macy’s call center in at 9111 Duke Blvd. in Warren County’s Deerfield Twp. as a result of Macy’s closing its Tempe, Arizona customer contact center.
“We are always disappointed to hear of any business closing in the Cincinnati region and feel for the employees and communities affected by the changes being made both in Cincinnati and beyond,” said James Flick, Deerfield’s director of economic development. “We will work with our regional partners and Macy’s to assist in this process in any way that we can and ensure that any new employees to the Deerfield Township location enjoy everything Deerfield has to offer and feel welcomed.”
Macy’s is one of Deerfield’s largest employers already and the addition of 600 workers will likely bring them to the top of that list, Flick said. Other top employers in Deerfield include Anthem, Eversana and Apex, he said.
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Macy’s, which has about 3,000 employees in the region, did not say which stores will close, but did confirm it will shut down 125 of its “least productive” stores nationwide over the next three years, including about 30 stores that are in the process of closing right now.
The only store in Southwest Ohio on the closure list so far is the Macy’s at Northgate Mall, which is expected to close by the end of March, eliminating 139 jobs. The other two Ohio locations set to close are in St. Clairsville and Stow.
Doug Sesler, senior vice president of Macy’s real estate, said while speaking at Investor Day on Wednesday that he wouldn’t have taken his job four years ago if he thought malls were dead.
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“Whenever I’m at a cocktail party and someone asks me that questions I say ‘look you cannot treat them all alike.’ … There’s 300 that are dead men walking but there’s a whole lot of other ones that are clearly viable,” Sesler said. “I will say I absolutely believe that the mall is here to stay. It’s going to morph. It’s going to shrink in terms of number. But it is a viable place.”
Macy’s most productive 250 stores represent 78% of sales by 2021, according to the company.
The company had a preliminary $24.5 billion in net sales in 2019, down 0.7% but still higher than their guidance, said CFO Paula Price.
Going forward, CEO Jeff Gennette said they are focusing staff on fine jewelry and big ticket sales staff while looking at using technology to lower staffing such as at check out.
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Macy’s has been shrinking its commitment to Cincinnati gradually in the last several years, according to news partner WCPO. Its downtown store at Fountain Place closed in 2018.
Established in 1858, Macy’s has has about 130,000 employees and is in 43 states at more than 740 stores, including those anchoring at Kenwood Towne Center, Northgate Mall, Anderson Town Center, the Dayton Mall, the Mall at Fairfield Commons and Florence Mall.
“Over the past three years, we have shown we can grow the top-line; however, we have significant work to do to improve the bottom-line,” Gennette said in a release. “We are confident the strategy we are announcing today will allow us to stabilize margin in 2020 and set the foundation for sustainable, profitable growth.”
Macy’s also will continue its “growth treatment” to the remaining store portfolio, including upgrading an additional 100 stores this year, which includes boosts like renovations, new tech, and local marketing.
Cincinnati Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman estimated the Macy’s headquarters loss will cost the city about $50,000 in annual earnings tax revenue, based on his assumption that its 500 downtown jobs come with an annual payroll between $4 million and $5 million. He said he plans to ask City Manager Patrick Duhaney to prepare a more detailed estimate.
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“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,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Tuesday in a statement. “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.”
Cranley said that “functionally, Macy’s stopped using Cincinnati as their headquarters 10 years ago.”
“This departure, while disappointing, is indicative of a changing retail industry and how they must adapt,” he said. “It will not stop our city’s continued growth.”
Macy’s is the second Fortune 500 company to announce recently it was moving it corporate headquarters from the region. West Chester Twp.-based AK Steel was acquired by Cleveland-Cliffs in December.