The 7th and Fig location, otherwise known as Ernst & Young Plaza, will be one of 11 underperforming stores to be shuttered by the department store giant. Clearance sales begin next week. Macy's reported this morning that its December same-store sales fell 4 percent - bad, though not as bad as some analysts were expecting. The downtown location opened in 1986 and has 136 employees. The closure becomes an instant headache for retail brokers who as it is have been struggling to find national chains interested in opening downtown. (AP)
*Reader correctly points out that the 7th and Fig location was one of the former Robinsons May stores that Macy's inherited when Federated acquired May Co. This meant that downtown L.A. had two Macy's within a block of each other (the other location being at Macy's Plaza). Back in 2006, Eric Richardson at Blogdowntown questioned how exactly that would work (obviously not well). He also provided some backstory on the downtown department store scene.
As recently as the late 1980s Downtown had four large department stores: Robinson’s, Bullock’s, Broadway and May Co. By this point they had moved away from Broadway and were all on 7th between the 110 and Grand. Then came the mergers, a trend that’s continued into last year’s purchase of Robinson’s May by Federated, Macy’s corporate parent. And somehow in the course of a decade Macy’s ended up with double stores, twice… The Downtown department stores of the late 1980s were much smaller than the glory days mid-century. Both Bullock’s and May Co. moved their Downtown locations to the “Seventh Market Place” (now 7+Fig) when it opened in 1986. The new store were in the 125,000 to 200,000 sq. ft. range, far smaller than the old million sq. ft. buildings they had once occupied.