The Macy’s department store at the Redmond Town Center will be shutting down next year amid a wave of similar chain closures nationwide.
The Redmond location is an anchor tenant at the town center, occupying a separate building connected to the center by a skywalk. Jessica Morgan, marketing director for JSH Properties, INC., which owns the properties, confirmed the retailer would be leaving during the first quarter of 2019 after she said Macy’s declined to renew its lease. Representatives from the Redmond Macy’s branch have not responded to an interview request.
According to a press release on the company’s website, Macy’s announced in February it would be closing the RTC location. Macy’s said in 2016 it would be closing about 100 locations. With the closure of the Redmond location, it will bring the total number shut down to 83.
News of the shuttering comes even as Macy’s, Inc. reported positive fourth-quarter earning in 2017. Sales were up 1.8 percent in 2017 when compared year-over-year to 2016 but an extra week was included in this year’s quarter. However, this bump was not enough to offset a lower yearly sales total with the company bringing in nearly $1 billion less in revenue in 2017 than the previous year.
Macy’s said last year they would be opening 36 Bluemercury stores, two Macy’s stores and 30 discount Backstage locations in existing Macy’s locations across the country.
The closing of major retailers across the United States has largely been attributed to the rise in e-commerce, and specifically Amazon, which has forced brick-and-mortar companies to push toward Internet-based shopping.
In addition to retail at RTC, six office buildings owned by Shorenstein were put up for sale in late February at the town center, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. These buildings are separately owned from the retail portions of the center.
Four of these buildings are leased to Microsoft and the remaining two are occupied by AT&T. The sale is expected to bring in around $270 million for the 610,000 square feet of office space. Eastdil Secured listed the property and declined to comment for this article. Calls to Shorenstein have not been returned by the company.
It is unclear what this will mean for the town center and other major retail anchors including Bed Bath & Beyond, Ducati and Pier 1 Imports. Borders was a major anchor that opened with the center in 1997 and closed in 2011. Its 25,500 square-foot retail space sat empty until Ducati motorcycles took over the first floor of the two-story space in 2016.
OneRedmond CEO Bart Phillips said Macy’s is the only big box retail store in the city’s downtown.
“I think from a community standpoint it’s disappointing,” he said. “It just reduces local shopping options that much more.”
JSH is looking for ways to change the center’s appeal to both customers and retailers. Morgan said they are trying to bring in more service, restaurant and experience-based businesses. Around 10 new merchants are scheduled to move in this spring.
“I think retail will always be a part of what happens here,” she said.
Tenant departures are nothing new for the mall, which the Seattle Times reported in 2008 lost seven retailers, including Limited Too, Nine West and Abercrombie & Fitch after their 10-year leases expired. A real estate broker at the time speculated this was due to both sales not being high enough and new developments in the city luring shoppers away.
Current business owners have said rents at the RTC continue to increase while lease terms are reduced. Turnover at the center is relatively high, owners say.