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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 3:55 AM
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Yup, were losing our downtown Macys but the 1948 building its in is absolutely hideous, its a brick 7 story monolith that covers an entire block. I hear a high rise is going to take its place so at least something will come of the lot. Plus, even though the giant Macys is closing, the mayor and the downtown development league want to open up a smaller location downtown for Macys however soon. So, I guess we'll see what comes of it all. Our downtown just doesnt have enough residents at all to support a massive Macys or any retail really at all unfortunately. But slowly thats changing as more people move downtown and more apartment/condo building are built.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 3:59 AM
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I never understood why Macy's Paseo was such a dump (or rather, not nearly as nice as the one on Lake) considering the prime location. It always seemed like a wasted opportunity to me. This news reaffirms that. Really, it's a shame.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 4:10 AM
Inkoumori Inkoumori is offline
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"Back in the Day", up to the late 50's I suppose, Sixth Avenue in Manhattan south of 23rd was called "Ladies' Mile" (now it's a historic district). All those big department stores migrated uptown to Fifth Avenue but the buildings remain and many are still vertical malls- though not as upscale as before.

Lord & Taylor, Sacs, Bloomingdale's, Barney's and Bergdorf are still alive and well uptown.

Macy's is a vampire being run from Cincinnati.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 4:16 AM
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yeah i sort of hate macys and the fact that they eviscerated a lot of the last of the local downtown department stores in lots of cities and that little bit of local culture, if you could call it that, like the department store restaurants...the french onion soup at famous barr was the local downtown department store thang into the 2000s. macys trashed that.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 4:21 AM
Inkoumori Inkoumori is offline
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Welcome to the world of (formerly Federated Department Stores, Inc.) Macy's.

Must feed the shareholders by eating and digesting all competitors. Walmart doctrine?
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 4:27 AM
J. Will J. Will is offline
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yeah i sort of hate macys and the fact that they eviscerated a lot of the last of the local downtown department stores in lots of cities and that little bit of local culture, if you could call it that, like the department store restaurants...the french onion soup at famous barr was the local downtown department store thang into the 2000s. macys trashed that.
Why would you blame the last dept. store to leave? Wouldn't it make more sense to blame all those stores that left previously? At least Macy's lasted this long.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 4:47 AM
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Why would you blame the last dept. store to leave? Wouldn't it make more sense to blame all those stores that left previously? At least Macy's lasted this long.
oh i just said i had a little hate, not blaming.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 4:51 AM
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Here's the downtown Houston Macy's (the orangish building on the left). I feel very nostalgic about this, because when it was Foley's, my grandmother would take me there on Saturdays during the 60s, when downtown was jammed with thousands of pedestrians. It was a huge store, full of cool things, including a toy department like you wouldn't believe. That's where we went to have photos taken of us with Santa Claus. Foley's also had an outstanding formal restaurant where people dressed up to dine. I think it was called the Venetian Room or something like that. I don't know when Macy's took over.

Anyone else have nostalgic stories about this store?


(from Google Earth)
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 5:01 AM
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Why would you blame the last dept. store to leave? Wouldn't it make more sense to blame all those stores that left previously? At least Macy's lasted this long.
For a very good reason. Macy's was part of Federated Department Stores, which bought up and and regionalized practically every major chain in the U.S. As part of this buyout, one of the first orders of business across the country was to routinely close down the beloved flagship stores in scores of Downtowns from coast to coast. Later, with very few exceptions all old-line regional Department Store groups simply vanished. To this day, it has left a very bad taste in the mouths of many that aren't too young to remember.

Frankly, it's an American thing. We used to have scores of unique regional Department Stores that were basically the heart and soul of our Downtowns. As a Canadian, it would be hard to understand this as all you guys ever really had were Eaton's, Simpsons & The Bay.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 5:13 AM
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Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
Yup, were losing our downtown Macys but the 1948 building its in is absolutely hideous, its a brick 7 story monolith that covers an entire block. I hear a high rise is going to take its place so at least something will come of the lot. Plus, even though the giant Macys is closing, the mayor and the downtown development league want to open up a smaller location downtown for Macys however soon. So, I guess we'll see what comes of it all. Our downtown just doesnt have enough residents at all to support a massive Macys or any retail really at all unfortunately. But slowly thats changing as more people move downtown and more apartment/condo building are built.
If you add 20,000 residents within walking distance it's still a fraction of what's needed to support a real department store. You need to draw from an area of hundreds of thousands. Hotels can provide a major customer base and reduce dependence on locals; Houston's unusually small number of downtown rooms is a problem. But its downtown office workforce is unusually large, which can be a sizeable part of the customer pie if they're close enough and find the options attractive enough.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 5:19 AM
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As a Canadian, it would be hard to understand this as all you guys ever really had were Eaton's, Simpsons & The Bay.
Yes, I used to live in the United States, but clearly it would be hard for me to understand because I wasn't born there.

And there were plenty of U.S. dept. stores that abandoned the downtowns long before Macy's started buying up the competition.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 5:35 AM
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Yes, I used to live in the United States, but clearly it would be hard for me to understand because I wasn't born there.

And there were plenty of U.S. dept. stores that abandoned the downtowns long before Macy's started buying up the competition.
Not really. Prior to the Macy's/Federated buyout a very, very small fraction left their respective Downtowns for greener mall pastures. I would go so far as to say an extremely small amount compared to what eventually happened.

I don't think you really understand what Federated did. I'm talking way before everything was replated as Macy's. They took different chains from around the country, eliminated certain names and then merged them into cities that had never had that particular brand. This entire process spanned about a decade or so. It completely erased regional identities that had existed for over 100+ years in multiple examples, Nationwide.

Last edited by atlantaguy; Jan 6, 2013 at 6:04 AM.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 5:49 AM
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I don't think you really understand what Federated did.
You think wrong. I know as well as anyone what happened.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 5:52 AM
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You think wrong. I know as well as anyone what happened.
I seriously doubt that by your responses so far. I'm sure you'll eventually get it though. Macy's probably has their sights on The Bay, just like Sears had on Eaton's. And at least you'll soon have an alternative to Holt Renfrew with the impending arrival of the vastly superior Nordstrom.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 5:57 AM
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You think wrong. I know as well as anyone what happened.
is that your line? youre making me nervous.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 7:08 AM
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Originally Posted by atlantaguy View Post
I seriously doubt that by your responses so far. I'm sure you'll eventually get it though. Macy's probably has their sights on The Bay, just like Sears had on Eaton's. And at least you'll soon have an alternative to Holt Renfrew with the impending arrival of the vastly superior Nordstrom.
You also said that all Canada had was Eaton's, Simpsons, and The Bay. That is not true. Canada had other dept. store chains that are no longer around.

Yes, it sucks that Macy's is leaving so many medium to large sized American metros without any downtown dept. stores, but they are not the bad guys just because they are the last holdouts to abandon downtowns.

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is that your line? youre making me nervous.
Huh?
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 10:00 AM
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You've obviously never been in Holt Renfrew if you think that Nordstrom's is superior.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 10:38 AM
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I know it goes against the conventional wisdom here on SSP, but downtowns still have many challenges, and downtown retail is still generally in decline in the U.S. (yes, there are many notable exceptions).

Macys, BTW, is a very healthy company, with extremely robust sales, and is generally in expansion mode. This is a locational issue, not a corporate one.

And these new urban WalMarts are hardly replacements. First, they aren't conventional WalMarts. They're mini, limited-selection retail outlets, more like large drug stores than small department store. You would need 10 of these urban WalMarts to equal a conventional department stores. And WalMart absolutely sucks.
Admitedly I don't know the hard statistics of this but two things about what you said. #1: The recession means retail has been in decline everywhere and it is only logical this would happen even in the downtowns of major cities. #2: It might depend on what cities you define in downtown retail. For instance downtown retail may be having problems in Toledo, OH but in cities like NYC, LA and Chicago it is more successful at least relatively. Yes all urban downtowns face challenges of some kind but unfortunately it is the smaller cities that have far worse problems where there is no critical mass to counteract the deeply intrenched suburban mentality.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 3:46 PM
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You've obviously never been in Holt Renfrew if you think that Nordstrom's is superior.
Then you would be mistaken. I have been in Holt Renfrew on Bloor in Toronto. While the merchandise was impressive, the downright icy to totally absent customer service negated it. Nordstrom has perfected customer service to an art form in comparison. Anyone who's been to both can tell you the same thing.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 3:48 PM
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If you add 20,000 residents within walking distance it's still a fraction of what's needed to support a real department store. You need to draw from an area of hundreds of thousands. Hotels can provide a major customer base and reduce dependence on locals; Houston's unusually small number of downtown rooms is a problem. But its downtown office workforce is unusually large, which can be a sizeable part of the customer pie if they're close enough and find the options attractive enough.
Maybe one of the "retail components" of one of the new buildings around the new convention center hotel can house a Macy's or a Target. There would appear to be plenty of foot traffic in that part of downtown and they may make it work there by using the new downtown residents (one park place, new ball park apartments, etc.), the tourists/conventioneers (hotels), and Houston area residents coming to downtown for the park, a concert, a convention, or a ball game.
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