New Hampshire to lose a Macy’s

There will be one less Macy’s department store in New Hampshire.

Company officials announced Oct. 25 that the Macy’s store at the Rockingham Park Mall in Salem is among the six stores across the nation identified for divestiture as a result of the company’s merger with May Department Stores last March. As a result of the $11 billion deal, three Granite State malls currently house two department stores that would bear the Macy’s nameplate following expected post-holiday changes. Among May’s holdings were Filene’s department stores, which had locations in four of New Hampshire’s shopping malls.

“We’ve been studying all the mall locations where we have duplicate stores, looking at the local demands and how much space we need to provide for our customers,” Federated Department Store spokesman Jim Sluzewski told NHBR Daily. “Having done that we’ve determined only one location is needed at the Rockingham Mall and will be divesting the Macy’s location and changing the Filenes’s nameplate to Macy’s.”

The pending closure of the Macy’s at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua was announced in July. A “Going Out of Business” sale is scheduled to begin on Jan. 29, 2006, at that store. The Pheasant Lane Mall also housed both a Macy’s and a Filenes’s.

There are two Federated-owned stores at the Fox Run Mall in Newington also, but neither has been identified for closure at this time, Sluzewski said. The same is true for the Filenes’s currently operating at the Mall of New Hampshire and the Macy’s less than three miles away on South River Road in Bedford.

“There is no duplication at the Mall of New Hampshire so there are no plans to close the Filenes’s store there or the Macy’s in Bedford,” Sluzewski said, adding that it is unlikely the Bedford location will become a Bloomingdale’s.

Opened in 1994, the Rockingham Park Mall Macy’s is 159,000 square feet and currently employs 134 people.

Stores in Kentucky, Arizona, Indiana and California also were added to the divestiture list, bringing the total number of stores identified for closing to 82, with total 2004 sales of $2.2 billion.

Federated also announced going-out-of-business sales like the one scheduled at the Pheasant Lane Mall Macy’s are to be held at 31 other duplicate stores across the country beginning on Jan. 29. Of these, three — including the Filenes’s at Chestnut Hill in Newton, Mass. — will reopen as a Bloomingdale’s sore after being closed and renovated. – TRACIE STONE

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