Macy’s closing Cincinnati headquarters Downtown, adding jobs to Mason, Springdale

Macy's headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.
Macy's headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.(Cincinnati Enquirer)
Updated: Feb. 5, 2020 at 3:13 AM CST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Macy’s is closing its national headquarters located in Downtown Cincinnati.

According to a source, the closing will impact 500 jobs.

Company officials said in a statement Tuesday some of those jobs will be relocated to Mason and Springdale.

Macy’s is the city’s 10th largest employer according to the Ohio Development Services agency.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley released the following statement about the headquarters closure:

“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 ten 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.”

Early Tuesday evening, Macy’s issued a news release detailing a three-year strategy to “stabilize profitability and position the company for growth.” The structural changes, according to the release, are intended to lower costs, reduce duplicate work and focus resources on the company’s healthy sectors.

The so-called “Polaris” strategy focuses on the company’s Star Rewards Loyalty program, its high-margin private brands fashion business, digital growth, its high-performing stores (while closing 125 under-performing stores) and a corporate reorganization that includes “campus consolidation” of corporate functions to New York City.

In addition to Cincinnati losing Macy’s Downtown offices, the company says it is also relocating its digital headquarters from San Francisco to New York to be near “the heart of the fashion industry."

The company will be increasing “colleague populations" in its Mason office location and its Progress Place facility in Springdale, according to the release.

Macy’s officials said they anticipate this restructuring—the “Polaris” strategy—to generate annual gross savings of approximately $1.5 billion by the end of 2022.

Cincinnati leaders expressed disappointment to see Macy’s headquarters pull out of the city.

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman estimates the yearly impact to the city budget from lost payroll taxes to be $500,000.

“We will all work to not allow basic services to be impacted,” Smitherman said. “However, I have all the confidence that our vibrant downtown will attract another corporate partner to replace Macy’s."

Macy’s store on Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, just blocks away from the retailer’s national headquarters, shutter its doors in March 2018.

Last month, Macy’s announced that its department store at Northgate Mall is closing. The retailer has not released a date when the store will shut down.

Macy’s was the last major anchor store open at the Colerain Township mall.

The department store chain will have four remaining locations in the Cincinnati region: Kenwood Towne Centre in Sycamore Township, Anderson Towne Center in Anderson Township, Tri-County Mall in Springdale and Florence Mall in northern Kentucky, plus a furniture store in Kenwood.

“It is very disappointing for the City of Cincinnati,” Council Member Amy Murray said. “Macy’s has been a good corporate partner through the years, and though we understand their decision, obviously (we) wish that they were staying here for the long term.”

This timeline explains how Macy’s became headquartered in Cincinnati:

  • 1851: R.H. Macy creates “Macy’s” in New York City as a dry goods store. The store’s original trademark emblem was a rooster, but Macy replaced it with a red star.
  • 1929: A company called “Federated” is founded by Xavier Warren in Columbus, Ohio as a department store holding company for Lazarus, Shillito’s, Abraham & Straus, and William Filene’s Sons of Boston.
  • 1945: Federated moves its corporate headquarters to Cincinnati.
  • 1992: Macy’s declares bankruptcy.
  • 1994: Federated buys Macy’s. Federated, which operated hundreds of stores across 37 states, becomes the largest department store retailer in America.
  • 2007: Federated changes its corporate name to Macy’s, Inc.

Macy’s announced it would shutter 100 stores in August of 2016. A large number of those stores closed in 2017.

The department store has struggled in recent years as many consumers have shifted their shopping online to retail giant Amazon.

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