ONTARIO ─ The community was sad but not surprised that Macy’s at the Richland Mall is closing.
A rumor about the department store’s closure went viral on Tuesday evening. Macy’s Inc. confirmed it the next day.
“After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to close our Richland Mall location. This closure is part of the company’s strategy announced in early 2020,” Carolyn Ng Cohen, director of media relations, said in an email to Richland Source.
The company announced in February that it will close roughly 125 locations within three years. Together with the Richland Mall location, Macy’s at Great Lakes Mall and Tri-County Mall in Ohio are also going to be closed. According to the company, there were 21 stores in the state as of the end of October 2020.
Chrissy Plaster went to Macy’s with her daughter and grandson on Wednesday. She said she used to shop there with her mother and grandmother on weekends when she was a little girl.
“It's kind of sad to see it go. And I really feel sorry for the employees, for sure. That hurts,” Plaster said.
Joni Roberts said she went to Macy’s on Wednesday because she learned the closure online. She got a couple of good deals for her grandchildren and great grandchildren’s clothes but the store “doesn’t have much left already.”
She said she was not surprised at the closure and figured Avital Health System would purchase the space. The hospital bought the former Sears property at the Richland Mall at $2.75 million.
The mall will become a hospital before long, Roberts said of her speculation. And it made her sad.
“It shows the economy isn't as good as it could be,” she said.
Richland Mall opened in 1969 with Lazarus, Sears and O’Neil’s as its anchor stores. O’Neil’s was operated on Macy’s location today.
Ontario Mayor Randy Hutchinson said dropping a community partner like Macy’s is a big loss to the city. He has shopped at the store for years.
“The decision to close a store is always a difficult one, but Macy’s Richland Mall is honored to have served our customers and the community over the past 51 years, and we look forward to continuing to do so at Macy’s Polaris Fashion Place, online at macys.com or on the Macy’s app,” Cohen said.
She also said a clearance sale will begin sometime this month and run for approximately eight to 12 weeks.
Many workers at the location just learned the news on Tuesday. Cohen said there are about 60 regular, non-seasonal employees. Those the company is unable to place at a nearby Macy’s store will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources.