‘We need Macy’s’

LIHUE — Barbara Shiba of Kalaheo said she hopes Macy’s will continue to be a mainstay on the island next year.

“There’s not a lot of shopping places on Kauai, so we need Macy’s here,” Shiba said.

Though most island residents shop at the retail location in Lihue, the company recently announced plans to close about 100 stores nationwide next year. The closure represents close to 14 percent of its stores under the Macy’s brand.

As part of the closure, Macy’s officials said it plans to boost its online investments.

Shiba, who shops at Macy’s about once every two months, said she understands why consumers buy online but said there’s still a need for brick-and-mortar locations.

“It’s still nice to have some retail stores,” she said. “Sometimes you still have to try things on and not have to run to the post office and exchange it.”

Macy’s has not released a list of which stores it plans to close.

Wade Lord, Kukui Grove Center general manager, said Macy’s Kauai continues to be a strong performer.

“It’s our hope that the Kauai store will not be affected by this round of closures,” Lord said. “However, the list has not been made public yet. We’ll know more in the coming days.”

The Kauai stores has more than 100 employees.

The move follows an announcement in January, when Macy’s announced closures to 36 stores nationwide, including one location in Kailua on Oahu.

After reading about the nationwide closures, Kelley Phillips of Lawai said the situation for Macy’s was “kind of sad and disappointing.”

“There’s less and less opportunities for consumers on Kauai and it’s difficult to shop online for clothes and things like that,” Phillips said.

Macy’s had been a stellar performer since the Great Recession, but in the past year and a half has seen slowing sales as it battles competition on all fronts and changing shopping patterns.

Amazon.com is by some forecasts expected to surpass Macy’s as the largest online seller of clothing next year.

With the store closures, Macy’s will have 666 stores including 38 Bloomingdale’s locations.

That’s down about 23 percent from a peak in January 2007 of 868 stores including Bloomingdale’s.

Annual net sales at the stores Macy’s plans to shutter were estimated at about $1 billion. Many of the stores will close in early 2017, with the balance closing as leases or other agreements expire or are amended.

Richard Coon of Lihue primarily shops at Macy’s for kitchenware. He thinks the possibility of Macy’s closing on Kauai is plausible.

“You never know. Sports Authority closed, so it’s possible,” Coon said. “It would not be a good thing. This must be their anchor store.”

The number of Macy’s transactions was down 5 percent compared to last year but that was an improvement from the prior quarter.

The company said it was sticking to its outlook. Macy’s had said in May that it expects revenue at stores, open at least a year to be down 3 percent to 4 percent. Macy’s also said it still expects earnings to be in the range of $3.15 to $3.40 for the year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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