CINCINNATI (FOX19) - With Macy’s announcing plans Tuesday to close its headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, city leaders are speaking out about the impact this will have and the future for the city.
Macy’s, originally known as Federated Department Stores, has operated their corporate offices in Cincinnati since 1945.
The impending closure of the headquarters is a definite blow for city leaders.
“Obviously it’s the end of an era, because to have the world-wide headquarters of Macy’s is a big deal,” said City of Cincinnati Council Member David Mann.
It’s big deal for sure, but Mann said it’s not a huge surprise.
“Obviously, if you look at how Macy’s has been closing stores or if you look also at the fact that a big part of the headquarters has been in New York for a while, it’s not a surprising change," Mann said.
The Macy’s store on Fountain Square closed nearly two years ago, in March 2018.
Last month, the store in Northgate announced it was shuttering.
The company announced 125 additional stores will close within the next three years as it pursues a corporate restructuring intended to cut costs and boost profits.
Although 500 local jobs are at risk, Macy’s said some employees will be moved to the company’s locations in Mason in Warren County and Springdale in Hamilton County.
"We have to work harder to find other sectors that will provide jobs, and obviously the retail sector is transforming dramatically all the time,” Mann said.
The city, he added, already is in talks to fill the empty Macy’s on Fountain Square.
The city will bounce back, he vowed.
“We’ll get past this," he said, "and there are a lot of good things happening in the tech industry and other things that we can be confident in.”
Mayor John Cranley released the following statement about the headquarters closure:
“We appreciate the hard work Macy’s local employees have put in over the last several years and hope those employees will stay in our community. Our City’s renaissance has persisted and continues today with our metro leading the state in job gains over the last decade and adding 24,000 jobs in 2019—more than any other Ohio metro. Functionally, Macy’s stopped using Cincinnati as their headquarters ten years ago. This departure, while disappointing, is indicative of a changing retail industry and how they must adapt. It will not stop our City’s continued growth.”
Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman estimates the yearly impact to the city budget from lost payroll taxes to be $500,000.
“We will all work to not allow basic services to be impacted,” Smitherman said. “However, I have all the confidence that our vibrant downtown will attract another corporate partner to replace Macy’s."
“It is very disappointing for the City of Cincinnati,” said Council Member Amy Murray. “Macy’s has been a good corporate partner through the years, and though we understand their decision, obviously (we) wish that they were staying here for the long term.”
Eric Kearney, president and CEO of The Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce, also released a statement on the closure:
“The African American Chamber recognizes Macy’s for its partnership in helping to grow minority businesses in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. We look forward to continued commitment from local business leaders who realize an investment in minority businesses is an investment in our region, and we welcome this tremendous opportunity for the African American Chamber, elected officials and local leaders to collaborate in bringing new businesses to an innovative and inclusive Cincinnati region."