Macy's at the Berkshire Mall to close


LANESBOROUGH — Macy's — an anchor tenant of the Berkshire Mall since 1994 — will be closing, the company announced on Wednesday.

The Berkshire Mall Macy's is among 40 stores nationwide that will close in the coming months, according to the national department store retailer. The company operates 770 stores.

The local store's 58 employees were informed of the company's decision on Wednesday.

In September, Macy's announced that it planned to close "underperforming" stores in early 2016. Four of those stores located in Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have already closed. The remaining 36 will start clearance sales on Monday, Jan. 11, that will run for the next eight to 12 weeks.

Macy's is the second of the Berkshire Mall's anchor stores to close in the past four months. Best Buy closed on Oct. 31 after the company declined to renew its lease with the mall's management company.

The Berkshire Mall Macy's contains 110,000 square feet of space.

The mall's management company, Dallas-based real estate holding company COMM 2005FL10 Berkshire Mall LLC, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

In a statement, Macy's said the nationwide store closings are part of a series of cost-efficiency and process measures to be implemented early this year that will reduce SG&A expenses by $400 million, while still investing in growth strategies, particularly in omnichannel capabilities at Macy's and Bloomingdales.

SG&A is an accounting term that refers to selling, general and administrative cost, a major nonproduction cost that is presented in an income statement, according to a business website.

"In light of our disappointing 2015 sales and earnings performance, we are making adjustments to become more efficient and productive in our operations," said Macy's Chairman and CEO Terry J. Lundgren.

"Moreover, we believe we can operate more effectively with an organization that is flatter and more agile so we can pursue growth and regain market share in our core Macy's and Bloomingdale's omnichannel businesses faster and with more intensity," he said.

In a separate announcement, Macy's stated that comparable sales on an own plus licensed basis declined by 4.7 percent in November and December, compared to the same time period in 2014.

About 80 percent of the company's year-to-year decline in comparable sales was attributed to shortfalls in cold-weather goods such as coats, sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves, Lundgren said.

"The holiday selling season was challenging, as experienced throughout 2015 by much of the retailing industry," Lundgren said. "In the November/December period we were particularly disadvantaged by the historically warm weather in north climate zones where Macy's and Bloomingdale's are well represented."

Regionally, Macy's is also closing its store at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, and a main store, and two stores in Enfield, Conn.

Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413-496-6224.


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