• Rosemarie Bingham '18

Goodbye Macy's

Downtown Cincinnati is home to three professional sports teams, possibly Amazon’s soon-to-be second headquarters, and designer stores like Tiffany & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue. However, it will no longer house the Macy’s that has been there for decades. While its economic state is not doing horribly, the company is taking a substantial hit, especially after experiencing a stock fall of 17% and not reaching their estimated revenues, as reported in 2017. Along with the location in Downtown Cincinnati, there are a total of 100 out of 728 Macy’s stores closing nationwide, as a means to open up real estate that is more valuable than the business of that individual location. Macy’s is committed to keeping their employees with the company, and is placing the workers at the Downtown location across their six other Cincinnati locations, which remain in Anderson Towne Center, Kenwood Towne Center, Northgate Mall, Florence Mall, Kenwood Furniture, and Tri-County Mall.

The Macy’s closings are not necessarily a reflection of the company itself, but rather a representation of the crisis many Downtown department stores are facing nowadays. What used to be a location known for flourishing stores and sales is now crumbling, as more families are moving to the suburbs, which are becoming increasingly industrialized. Another thing that has affected the profits of physical individual locations is that many people, teenagers especially, have become more accustomed to online shopping. The convenience of online shopping has drawn away from the glamour of sifting through items in a physical store. All it takes is typing in a word or two in a search bar, scrolling through a couple pages of items, and clicking a shopping bag item in the corner. With express shipping, you can get an item faster than waiting until your next free moment to go to the store.

With the advantage of six other Macy’s locations in Cincinnati, the majority of them within malls, the downtown location is also not ideal for a quick and easy stop. Retail is changing today. People would rather take the chance of buying an item they have not seen or touched before if it means they can get the item quicker or do not have to go out of their way to get it.

Macy’s is not the only company that is fearing the future of their free-standing stores. Several Cincinnati workers were interviewed by various local news sources, and the majority agreed that Saks could face a similar outcome within the next couple of years.

As long as modern consumers continue to cut back on going to malls or brick-and-mortar stores, the future is not looking good for big name corporations and their physical shopping locations. We will have to see what happens, but right now it is looking like technology is getting ready to overtake the retail industry for good.


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