Retail giant Macy's announced that it will be selling its landmark building in downtown Seattle and closing the store as of February 2020. Its employees were informed of the decision on Friday. The company continues to struggle, as consumers increasingly shop online without going into traditional brick-and-mortar department stores.
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Macy's has had its name on the Seattle store -- which takes up an entire city block and is located at 300 Pine Street -- since 2003.
“After careful consideration, Macy’s, Inc. has decided to sell the Downtown Seattle Macy’s building,” Blair Rosenberg, director of corporate communications for Macy's, told the Seattle Times. “The decision to close a store is always difficult, and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers at nearby Macy’s Bellevue Square, Alderwood, Southcenter, and the Redmond Furniture Gallery, and online at macys.com.”
Starwood Capital Group bought four floors in the eight-story building for $65 million in 2015 and added two other floors in 2017, leaving Macy's the two bottom floors and the basement. Two years ago, Amazon said it was leasing the top six floors of the building. The leased space is enough to hold about 1,500 employees. Macy's still has a presence in a south Seattle mall and malls in surrounding suburbs.
The disclosure was followed by another retail bankruptcy, Forever 21 which announced plans late Sunday to file Chapter 11 capping a long list of retailers that have made that choice, along with those closing stores.
Several Macy's shoppers spoke with The Seattle Times about their feelings on the store's imminent closing: "I come in (to Macy’s) when I get prompted, like when there’s a gift with purchasing makeup,” Laura Heydrich said. “The homeless people outside deter you from coming in. I feel safer at home (shopping online).” May Gerstle added: “They’re being put out of business by Amazon. It’s sad. Too bad.”
The company said that, despite the bad news, it still intends to go forward with its traditional Macy's Holiday Parade and fireworks show in Seattle on Nov. 29 for the twenty-ninth year.
A Macy's spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on this report.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.