Macy’s closing

Final clearance sale at Macy’s at Stonestown reminds me of this student’s work last fall, before official closure date was determined:

By Maci Lee Martell

While brick-and-mortar retail outlets may be struggling for business in the wake of convenient online retailers, such as Amazon, movie theaters around the Bay Area seem to be holding their own against streaming sites like Netflix.

            According to market statistics from the Motion Picture Association of America, “Cinema screens increased by 8 percent worldwide in 2016, to nearly 164,000.” That year also saw an increase in the number of frequent moviegoers, who accounted for 48 percent of all tickets sold in the U.S. and Canada.

            General Growth Properties, a retail real estate company which owns and operates San Francisco’s popular Stonestown Galleria, is taking advantage of this trend of moviegoing as it seeks to remove the Macy’s department store from the mall and replace it with a movie theater, restaurants and other retail stores.

            Daniel Sider, senior adviser for special projects at the San Francisco Planning Department, said GGP completed a Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA), which they submitted on June 16 and is still under review. “It’s the first step in obtaining the authorizations they need to construct,” he said. “They haven’t yet filed a formal development application.”

            The PPA description stated the scope of the work is to remove and reconfigure 267,788 square feet of Macy’s retail into shops, a grocery store and a movie theater, which would have approximately 10 to 12 screens and 1,400 seats.

            Darren Iverson, GGP’s senior general manager for Stonestown Galleria, said in an email that there is no further information regarding the project thus far.

            According to a Macy’s Inc. press release from January, Macy’s planned to close 68 stores in 2017, yet Stonestown Galleria’s store was not among their list of year-end closings. Instead, Stonestown’s Macy’s was listed as a store to be sold and leased, which it was to GGP for $41 million earlier this year.

            Monica Gubrud, Macy’s manager of media relations, said Macy’s was unable to comment at this time regarding why the Stonestown store will now be closing and how many jobs will be lost. The January press release stated the 204 jobs at the Stonestown location made up the cuts. Furthermore, the company estimates the store closures will result in the displacement of 3,900 associates altogether.

            Macy’s employees and managers of local movie theaters near Stonestown said they were unable to comment on the proposed project.

            “We’ve certainly seen seismic shifts in retailing,” Sider said regarding the future of retail in San Francisco. “Personally, I’m loathe to speculate as to whether this is the tip of the iceberg or a more isolated recalibration.”

           

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