South Lake Avenue – Good For Business!

By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times, 1/4/12 – Macy’s to close six stores nationwide, including one in Pasadena.

The store on Colorado Boulevard will be closed but another Macy’s on Lake Avenue will remain open. Other stores are being closed in Las Vegas, Houston and Honolulu.

Retail giant Macy’s Inc. said it would close a store on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena as part of plans to shut down six “underperforming” stores nationwide.

The closings will make way for the retailer to open nine new locations, including a Bloomingdale’s department store at the Glendale Galleria mall this fall. Another Macy’s in Pasadena on Lake Avenue will remain open.

The 158,000-square-foot store being closed in Pasadena is at the Paseo Colorado shopping mall. It is slated to be shut in early spring. Final clearance sales will start Monday and run for seven to 11 weeks. Other locations being closed include stores in Las Vegas, Houston and Honolulu.

The Colorado Boulevard store began life in 1980 as the Broadway, part of a chain of department stores headquartered in Los Angeles that dominated the Southland and Southwest for much of the 20th century. It was later acquired by Federated Department Stores and converted into a Macy’s in 1996, company spokeswoman Raegan Gall said.

But the store was long overshadowed by the more polished Macy’s nearby on Lake Avenue, which enjoyed a major face-lift in 2008 and was always more of a draw for shoppers, said Ron Friedman, a retail expert at advisory and accounting firm Marcum in Los Angeles.

“Lake Avenue is a great location, and if you had the option of where to be, you would want to be on Lake Avenue,” he said. “It’s great for shopping and for restaurants. It’s just good for business.”

The closings are just a routine part of doing business, he said. “They look at their stores. You keep your A and B stores, and close down your C’s.”

Gall, the Macy’s spokeswoman, said the 116 workers at the Colorado Boulevard store may be given jobs at nearby stores. Otherwise, eligible full-time and part-time employees who are laid off will be offered severance benefits.

Karen Hoguet, Macy’s chief financial offer, said in a statement that the retailer closes “underperforming stores that no longer meet our performance requirements or where leases are not being renewed.”

Macy’s also plans to open nine new stores, she said. That would include new and replacement Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s locations, including the Bloomingdale’s in Glendale.

Paseo Colorado’s owners and city officials tried to persuade Bloomingdale’s to take over the struggling Macy’s site, but Bloomingdale’s opted for the Glendale location instead, real estate broker Steve Nelson of CBRE Group Inc. said.

The former Macy’s is likely to be taken over by another big-box retailer instead of being broken into smaller spaces, he said.

“Pasadena has a very healthy, robust retail market,” Nelson said. “It’s slow and steady.”

But Macy’s, like much of the retail industry, is also coming off a disappointing holiday season.

Macy’s reported a healthy 4.1% jump in same-store sales in December, the second half of the crucial holiday season. But the retailer lowered its fourth-quarter guidance after the holiday season fell below its expectations.

“Macy’s like everyone else is going to have poorer results than expected,” Friedman said. “Overall Macy’s really did have a really good year, but all retailers are going to be off projections in the fourth quarter as they got stuck with inventory they hoped to sell.” staff writer Roger Vincent contributed to this report.