Macy's, one of nine Fortune 500 companies based in Cincinnati, will shutter its corporate headquarters in Downtown later this year, WVXU has confirmed.
In a news release, the company said it is "streamlining its organization with a net reduction in its corporate and support function headcount of 9%, approximately 2,000 positions." Roughly 500 people work at 7 West Seventh Street.
The company is also closing 125 stores nationwide, including 30 that are already in the process of shutting down. Some stores that remain open may see their staffing numbers reduced. The San Francisco headquarters of Macys.com will also relocate to New York City while expanding some operations in Atlanta.
Macy's has maintained dual headquarters in New York and Cincinnati since 1994 and New York will become the company's sole corporate headquarters, the release states.
Macy's corporate presence here won't be gone entirely. The release says it will maintain its customer service facility in Mason and will increase its headcount there, as well as at its "Progress Place" facility in Springdale.
For some time now, the retailer has been shrinking its presence downtown. It closed its store at Fountain Place in 2018 and, in 2019, the company announced a restructuring plan that reduced annual expenses by $100 million. That included the elimination of 100 vice president positions.
Mayor John Cranley recognized that pull back in his statement following Tuesday's headquarter news:
"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. 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. 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. It will not stop our City's continued growth."
In general, the retailer has long faced sluggish sales in its stores in the age of e-commerce sites like Amazon. But Poonam Goyal, a senior U.S. retail industry analyst with Bloomberg, told Cincinnati Edition on Tuesday before the news broke that that doesn't mean Macy's stores are going away.
"I think stores have a place in the U.S. - I do believe there are too many of them," she told host Michael Monks. "That doesn't mean we go to zero necessarily. With over 500 Macy's branded department stores, and of them they've really highlighted 150 - the growth 150 - (that) are doing particularly well, it would be a little too far-fetched to say we are going to zero."