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Macy's will close Hagerstown store

Macy's said Wednesday it's closing its Hagerstown department store, one of 36 U.S. locations the retailer will shed early this spring because of weak sales.
The Macy's in Valley Mall in the western Maryland town opened in 1999 and employs 59 people. A Macy's in Owings Mills Mall was among four other stores that closed last year.
"In light of our disappointing 2015 sales and earnings performance, we are making adjustments to become more efficient and productive in our operations," Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and  CEO  of Macy’s Inc., said in an announcement.
The retailer said Wednesday sales fell 4.7 percent during the crucial holiday shopping period in November and December.
Macy's expects to cut $400 million in expenses by closing the stores and taking other steps such as cutting staff in stores and  back offices and offering buyouts to executives.
An average of three jobs will be cut at each of Macy's and Bloomindale's 770 stores, or a total of about 3,000 employees. About half will be placed in other jobs.
The chain had first announced in September plans to close up to 40 stores but had not disclosed locations.
Clearance sales will start Monday at the Hagerstown store and others to be closed.
"In today’s rapidly evolving retail environment, it is essential that we maintain a portfolio of the right stores in the right places," Lundgren said. "So we will continue to add stores selectively while also being disciplined about closing stores that are unproductive or no longer robust shopping destinations because of changes in the local retail shopping landscape."
The company said it plans to open about 50 Macy's Backstage off-price stores in the next two years, mostly inside existing Macy's stores, as well as about 40 freestanding Bluemercury beauty specialty stores.

 lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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