Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Sears and Macy's Closing in North Dakota
This week the collapse of department stores in the United States hit North Dakota hard. It was announced that Macy's in Columbia Mall was closing and it was announced that Sears in West Acres was closing.
Macy's has been at Columbia at Grand Forks since 2006. Prior to that it was sister store Marshal Fields and before that originally in 1978 a Dayton's. The mall also heard the news that long term tenant Zales Jewelry was closing as well. A huge hole of over 100,000 square combined feet and just under 75 employees have lost their jobs. The last time they had so much space is when Target closed and moved across the street and it took many, many years to bring Scheels Sports in to replace it.
Meanwhile in Fargo at West Acres Mall, the Sear store is slated to close as well. The store has been an anchor at the mall since 1972 and employs just over 50 people. This comes on the heels of the K-Mart closure in October at Moorhead, Fargo's counterpart across the state line in Minnesota.
Sears and K-Mart have the same owner in the U.S. and have been struggling both in the U.S. and Canada. Sears in the U.S. sold off the bulk of their interests in Canada just a few years ago. Macy's is part of a large department store group and has been closing stores for the last years.
Most of the trouble is being placed at the hands of online shopping and particularly Amazon. However, Sears and K-Mart were losing customers for several years even before Amazon took off. Macy's could be a victim more of changing tastes.
For Winnipegers, it will be a bit shocking not seeing stores they have known for decades. For North Dakota, it will be devastating in terms of the jobs and overall success of these malls.