Macy's Inc. has announced that its store in Honey Creek Mall will close in mid-March as part of a continuation of closures announced last summer.
The Macy's store has been a Terre Haute fixture for more than 46 years under multiple owners but is the only one in Indiana or Illinois to be included in the latest round of closures, according to spokeswoman Carolyn Ng.
The store's 61 employees received the news Wednesday morning, Ng said.
“Macy’s shared this information with store associates today … because they are important to our organization and we wanted to make sure they heard about this change from the company,” Ng said. “Regular, non-seasonal employees who we are unable to place will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources.”
Ng said Macy's has been reviewing its locations across the country “to see if there are opportunities to improve the use of our assets.” The closure is part of a planned closure of 100 stores announced in August, she said.
“While closing a store is always a difficult decision because of the impact on our customers, our associates and the community, Macy’s is delighted to have served this community over the years,” Ng said in an emailed statement.
Mayor Duke Bennett said, “It is obviously very disappointing news, but the retail industry continues to change and the larger 'big box' clothing stores are not doing as well in the traditional marketplace. My hope is that all the affected employees can find new employment very quickly and that the Honey Creek Mall can find a new tenant(s) for the large space.”
Kim Ingalsbe, the mall's general manager, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
The Macy's closure “is anything but surprising,” said Robert Guell, professor of economics at Indiana State University. “I can't imagine that Sears is far behind. The loss of both would be devastating to Honey Creek Mall. There are very few brick and mortar retailers that are thriving in this environment.”
While the overall economy is doing quite well, the shakeout in the retail sector is “unstoppable,” Guell said, noting that Terre Haute once had one of the most significant per capita retail sectors in the country.
“Twenty years ago a strong mall and Columbia House combined to generate tremendous retail sales and significant area employment; no longer,” he said. “We need to adapt to the new reality. We need to take advantage of our significant logistical advantages and learn to provide service to the e-retailers.”