Iconic SF Union Square Macy's to close amid mass shuttering of locations, supervisor says

ByABC7 Bay Area Digital Staff and Suzanne Phan KGO logo
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Macy's to close iconic SF Union Square location, supervisor says
Macy's will close its flagship San Francisco Union Square location, according to Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Macy's will close its San Francisco Union Square location, according to Supervisor Aaron Peskin, as the company announces the closure of more than 150 stores.

Peskin says the flagship store will stay open until they sell the property. In a statement, business management group the Union Square Alliance says that the location "could still be open for years to come," and "in all likelihood, there will be a Holiday shopping season and Macy's great tree in 2024."

RELATED: Macy's to close 150 stores as sales slip as it pivots to luxury at Bloomingdale's and Blue Mercury

On Tuesday, Macy's said the 150 stores would close over the next three years, 50 of which will be closed by the end of 2024.

At least 400 employees at the Union Square Location are impacted, according to the UFCW Local 5, which represents workers there.

"We've seen this past holiday season and the end of the year, between November 20 and end of the year, we've seen a significant decline in crime," Mayor Breed told ABC7. "We know this has nothing to do with that decision, this is part of a larger decision that Macy's has made," she said.

Macy's says the closures are due to sluggish sales and they're hoping to fend off a pending takeover bid.

The company plans to open more small versions of Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury stores, which are owned by Macy's.

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It is not clear if any other Bay Area Macy's stores are on the list of closures.

This is the latest in a list of iconic Union Square and downtown retail stores to close, including Nordstroms and the Westfield Mall.

MAP: Macy's, Nordstrom among notable SF Union Square area store closures

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement

"Macy's has decided to close 150 stores nationwide over the next few years, and sell property, including closing 50 stores this year. While San Francisco's Macy's is not part of this first wave of 50 closures, I've been informed that Macy's is looking to sell their Union Square property. The process to undergo the sale of their building to a new owner with their own vision for this site will take time, and Macy's will stay open for the foreseeable future and people will remain employed at the store. Macy's has expressed to me their commitment to remaining a part of Union Square and our City while they undergo this transition.

The City will continue to work closely with Macy's and any potential new owner to ensure this iconic location continues to serve San Francisco for decades to come. I'm also continuing to talk to leaders in retail, business, and real estate about how we can continue to focus on the long-term success of this site and others. There is tremendous opportunity at this site, and I know this City will continue to draw new investments and ideas. I appreciate Macy's partnership and their commitment to working with us.

That being said, as someone who grew up in San Francisco, Macy's has always meant a lot to the people of this city. It's where families came to shop for the holidays. It's where many people from my community got their first jobs, or even held jobs for decades. It's hard to think of Macy's not being part of our city anymore.

Change is happening in San Francisco, and that change can be positive if we channel it to the benefit of San Franciscans. This is why it's so important we continue to make law changes at local and state levels, and that we reform our tax laws to recruit and retain businesses. It's why we need to provide incentives for residential conversion, like my transfer tax measure. It's why we keep recruiting new types of businesses, making it easier to open and operate small businesses, and working to bring more arts and entertainment to Downtown. It's why we are pursuing big, transformative ideas like bringing new universities to our City. We will keep our focus on moving this City forward and creating opportunities for growth."

Macy's CEO Tony Spring released a statement writing

"A Bold New Chapter serves as a strong call to action. It challenges the status quo to create a more modern Macy's, Inc. We are making the necessary moves to reinvigorate relationships with our customers through improved shopping experiences, relevant assortments and compelling value," said Tony Spring, chief executive officer, Macy's, Inc. "Our teams are energized by the work ahead as we accelerate our path to market share gains, sustainable, profitable growth and value creation for our shareholders."

This is the full statement from Union Square Alliance CEO Marisa Rodriguez

"Macy's at Union Square is not closing their store until a buyer can be found for their building. Macy's will remain open and could still be open for years to come. In all likelihood, there will be a Holiday shopping season and Macy's great tree in 2024. Having said that, the situation is fluid and there is no getting around the fact that this announcement hurts. For generations, Macy's has been synonymous with Union Square. I believe that we should work toward a solution that allows Macy's to keep this iconic store open. However, if that does not come to pass, our expectation is that a new owner for this iconic site will come forward to continue a fresh and vibrant vision at this critical location. Macy's has long been a strong partner for the Union Square Alliance, and the Alliance will be here for Macy's during this challenging period."

Jim Araby,the Strategic Campaigns Director at UFCW Local 5

"They got the word of the Union Square store closure this morning. It will impact about 400 workers at Macy's Union Square. They have not gotten any word that the store in Pleasanton will be closed. The union says they are working with the city to help Macy's workers to transition to other jobs. And the union says that if Macy's opens up other smaller stores in the city, it will work with Macy's to get workers jobs at those new stores."

Aaron Peskin - SF Board of Supervisors President

"I was devastated by this morning's phone call from Macy's corporate leadership confirming their national plan to downsize by 150 locations, including the Union Square location, and invest in a small-format model," said Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin. "Macy's was one of the last holdouts against the national trend of retail closures and consolidations, but as with every seeming blow to our downtown recovery, I see a potential opportunity. This site is an opportunity development site, with potential for mixed-use, food & beverage and residential on the upper floors, even before the pandemic. Macy's has confirmed that the building will remain open until the end of the year, and it will be put up for sale.'"

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