CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Macy’s is closing its store at Charleston Town Center Mall.
A corporate spokesperson confirmed the move to MetroNews Monday afternoon.
The following statement was released:
“Macy’s, Inc. has been reviewing its real estate portfolio across the country to see if there are opportunities to improve the use of our assets. After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to close its Charleston, West Virginia store in early 2019. A clearance sale will begin in the beginning of February and run for 8-12 weeks.
Macy’s previously shared this information with our valued colleagues. Regular, non-seasonal employees who we are unable to place at nearby Macy’s stores will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources.
The decision to close a store is always a difficult one, but Macy’s is delighted to have served the Charleston community over the past 36 years, and we look forward to continuing to do so at Macy’s in Barboursville, West Virginia and online at macys.com.”
Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin released a statement Monday evening:
“While there have been media reports, mall officials have not received official notice from Macy’s regarding their future in the Charleston Town Center. I have spoken with mall officials, Senator Manchin and Senator Capito’s office about this issue.
I am also reaching out to the West Virginia Department of Commerce and Workforce West Virginia to see what assistance can be provided to employees that may lose their jobs.
I will continue to update the public when I receive more concrete information.”
Statement from Mayor Goodwin regarding Macy’s: pic.twitter.com/nrS10RuGGS
— City of Charleston (@charlestoncity) January 21, 2019
The move will leave Town Center with only one anchor store, JC Penney.
“It’s kind of an anchor store for the mall and usually when you lose your anchors it flattens your mall,” Mona Painter, a shopper at Macy’s said on Monday.
Some shoppers at the mall on Monday were shocked and saddened to hear the news of Macy’s announced closure.
“It’s just a reflection of what is happening in our community all around,” Cheryl Workman, a Madison native said. “It’s a sad thing. It’s nice to see these mom and pop shops opening around but it is also sad that we are losing these anchor stores.”
Artie Henry had just finished purchasing new clothes during a sale.
“I’m sad, it’s my favorite Macy’s,” he said. “I have three bags right now. It breaks my heart.
“They have all of my favorite clothes in there like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Calvin Klein, all of that. They are always having good deals too.”
The mall, which is scheduled for public auction Jan. 24 on the steps of the Kanawha County Courthouse, has been in receivership for nearly a year after its former owners defaulted on a $100 million loan.
Former Charleston Mayor Danny Jones predicted earlier this month that Macy’s would soon close. Jones said Macy’s currently does not pay rent at the mall, dating back to a deal struck between former mall owner Forest City Enterprises to keep the retailer there.
“All the leases in the mall are affected because there will only be one anchor,” Jones said at the time. “In these leases, there is a clause that says there has to be two anchors. There is a lot of pressure on a lot of people.”
Forest City currently owns the property which further complicates the mall’s receivership and approaching auction.
Jones said the mall has lost 40 percent of its tenants in recent years.
The mall owners received a $100 million loan given by the U.S. Bank Association. The mall since defaulted on the loan, owing $93 million of it, forcing the U.S. Bank National Association to file a lawsuit against Charleston Town Center SPE Inc. in November 2017.
Town Center opened in 1983 with four anchors including Sears, JC Penney, Montgomery Ward’s and Kaufmann’s, which became Macy’s in 2006. Montgomery Ward’s closed in 2000 and Sears in 2017.
MetroNews reporter Jake Flatley contributed to this story.