On Jan. 6, Macy’s announced that its anchor store at the Berkshire Mall will close in early spring, along with 35 other store locations, in a move to promote cost efficiency.
“In today’s rapidly evolving retail environment, it is essential that we maintain a portfolio of the right stores in the right places,” Macy’s Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren said in a release. “So we will continue to add stores selectively while also being disciplined about closing stores that are unproductive or no longer robust shopping destinations because of changes in the local retail shopping landscape.”
The announcement follows a previous release, in which Lundgren stated that between 35 and 40 of its 770 stores would close in early 2016. This statement did not specify which stores would close. Since then, four stores have closed, while the remaining 36 will close following a clearance sale that began on Jan. 11 and will run for between eight and 12 weeks. Other store locations to close include the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Mass. and Enfield, Conn.
Macy’s had been an anchor tenant at the Berkshire Mall since 2006, according to iBerkshires. Best Buy, another anchor tenant at the mall, closed on Oct. 31, and Radio Shack also closed its store at the mall last year. Now, the only major stores remaining are J.C. Penney, Sears and Target. J.C. Penney and Sears have both announced their intentions to close stores nationwide as well, but none of the stores that will close are located in the Berkshires.
When Best Buy closed, Jonathan Butler, president and CEO of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, expressed confidence in the economic health of the region, due to increasing growth in downtown areas, even though this growth may come at the expense of the mall (see “Best Buy pulls out of local mall,” Sept. 30, 2015). Even with the closing of Macy’s, Butler is still “encouraged” by recent economic developments in the area.
“[The Chamber of Commerce] is disappointed to see Macy’s closing, as we were with Best Buy,” Butler said. “However, our opinion about the economic health of the region hasn’t changed as a result of Macy’s recent announcement.”
According to the release from Macy’s, employees from stores that close may receive offers to work at nearby locations, and eligible employees who have been laid off will receive severance benefits. According to the Berkshire Eagle, the Berkshire Mall location has 58 employees.