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Macy's to close five stores; no California locations are affected

January 5, 2010 | 11:34 am

Department store giant Macy’s Inc. said today that it would shutter five underperforming stores this year. No California locations are scheduled to close.

The affected stores are in Boise, Idaho; Waterford, Mich.; St. Ann, Mo.; Missoula, Mont.; and Burlington, N.J. Final clearance sales will begin Sunday and run for about two months, the company said.

The closures will leave Macy’s with 809 namesake locations and 40 Bloomingdale’s stores.

“The decision to close stores is difficult, and often occurs when the market changes, new competing shopping centers are opened nearby to existing older ones, or when customers change shopping habits,” Chief Executive Terry J. Lundgren said.

More than 300 employees will be affected by the closures. Those associates may be offered positions in nearby stores where possible, the Cincinnati-based chain said.

Macy’s has been trying to reverse the decades-long decline in the department store business model that has seen many mall-weary consumers shifting their shopping habits to big-box discounters, free-standing stores and the Internet.

But the recession, the reshaping of the company and the competition have kept Macy’s financial results volatile.

The company lost $35 million for the three months ended Oct. 31, even after slashing 7,000 jobs and closing about a dozen stores, including a downtown Los Angeles location, last year. Over the last eight quarters, its earnings have seesawed, swinging as high as $750 million in profits to a low of $4.77 billion in losses, a result of a write-down in assets.

Its shares were down 12 cents, or 0.7%, to $16.94, in trading this morning. Macy’s is scheduled to release December sales results on Thursday.

-- Andrea Chang