Report: Macy's Midwest could see most closings

Macy's storefront facing a shopping mall
Image: Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Macy's is closing roughly 100 stores nationwide but has yet to identify the locations. A new report from 1010data examines trip frequency and market share to reveal which areas are most likely to lose stores.

The data analysis company identified regions where Macy's lost the most market share from 2014 to 2015 compared to Dillard’s, Nordstrom, and Lord and Taylor. "Although we still don’t know exactly where Macy’s will close its stores, 1010data’s Local Market Intelligence tool helped us dig into key metrics, like basket size, trip frequency and market share, to identify potential areas and uncover some that don’t seem to be obvious at first glance."

Some of the biggest market losses were in several large cities in the Midwest, including Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

Macy's saw market share drop nearly 14 percent in that time, according to 1010data. Pittsburgh fell 12 percent, Hartford, Connecticut dropped 9.4 percent and Philadelphia declined 9.1 percent.

Detroit rounded out the top five with an 8.2 percent loss in marketshare.

Cincinnati; Daytona Beach, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; Columbus and Cleveland made it to the top 10 stores experiencing declines.

"This ranking gives us a good starting point for identifying the markets where closures might occur," according to an emailed report. "As we dug deeper into the data, we found evidence that the challenge faced by Macy’s, and perhaps many traditional retailers, is quite complex."

In Pittsburgh for example, Macy's has nine stores – with one split between to locations in the same mall. Nordstrom has just one store in that market, yet has 44 percent of the marketshare.  

Shopping trips are down 37 percent year over year in Pittsburgh as fewer customers visit stores. But basket size is up, indicating shoppers are spending more on each store visit while Nordstrom shoppers there are spending less per visit than they used to.

Even stores with growing basket sizes could be contenders for store closings. The Portland market is a good example of this, according to 1010data. Macy's operates seven of the 10 department stores there, but has just 36 percent market share. Trips are increasing but basket size is shrinking, and Macy's could benefit from fewer locations.

It's a complicated analysis, and Macy's is currently identifying locations and rationalizing its store base.

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