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Monday, November 13, 2006

Downtown Portland ex-M&F store to close for remodeling

Looks like Macy's plans to tough it out in downtown Portland only until December 30. Then it's going to close that historic store until the remodel is finished -- supposedly in "late 2007," but you know how that goes. The official line is that they're discovering that the re-do is more complicated than they first thought, but the mayhem going on outside with the Transit Mall rip-out is surely an additional factor.

It seems a little odd to me that they would close on December 30. The post-Christmas returns are still at full steam at that point, and they'll have only five days available for post-Christmas store-closing clearance sales. Hard to believe they'll keep their usual level of inventory in that store right up until Christmas, when it's all got to go by the 30th. Anyway, some day a much nicer, albeit smaller, store should emerge, and the process of rebuilding a customer base can begin.

Comments (16)

A bad December will make it easier for the NW regional manager to sell his "permanent closing idea" to the folks back in Wydenville (NYC).

Doubtful they will reopen.

It is not uncommon for businesses to pull the plug on under-performing stores... especially after a merger.

Downtown is dead.

It is probably dead, but it will rise again in a few years.

And I don't think Macy's is going to pull out for good. But I wouldn't be surprised if the public has not yet seen the real deal behind the luxury hotel. That's a City of Portland development scene, thus implying backroom dealings and massive private enrichment at great publc expense.

Dowtown is certainly dying. It's final words will be cribbed from Oscar Wilde: Either those parking meters go or I do.

I learned from one of M&F's former merchandising mangers that the downtown Portland store was their very worst in terms of performance.

The main reason: bums and panhandlers.

Chris: Rudely put and an over-generalization, but with more than a kernel of truth.

Which goes back to lack of funds for public safety and mental health treatment, which in turn goes back to shiny transit toys and play spaces for California retirees. Portland's becoming the place where you can take a lovely streetcar and aerial tram ride, through high-rise condo tower jungles, to a place where you'll be stabbed or hassled by a person who is insane, homeless, newly matrixed out of our jails, or all of the above. Then watch one of our men in blue literally kick the daylights of him and leave him on the sidewalk to die while the cops stand around drinking coffee. Finally, head on over and watch the "vision quest" play at the Armory Theater. Thanks, but I think I'll enjoy shopping on line and the free parking at the suburban mall.

Closing on December 30 would sure save them a bunch of return hassles. (Forcing people to return at Clackamas or Wash Square). And as Jack said also a surprise in terms of clearance sales. The store must REALLY have been a bad one. Too bad Katz' utopian dream for downtown hasn't "panned" out. (Except for "pan" handlers!).

Returns could also go to Lloyd (bang bang) Center.

From what I read Macy's management was on the fence about closing completely because of the time delays during the construction process if they kept the place open during the remodel. It sounded like a contractor preference issue more than anything else. The store was probably underperforming on a square footage basis versus the suburban malls because it was in serious need of a makeover, and it would probably do even worse if it looked like a construction zone for several months during the remodel. Nordstoms is also going to do a major makeover at its downtown store. Clackamas Town Center is currently doing a major makeover and Washington Square recently completed it's refurbishment. In today's retail market a fresh updated look is important for sucess because shoppers don't enjoy a shabby worn out environment when they shop. I see this move to get the remodeling over with as quickly as possible as a short term business decsion. The downtown is not dead because all the high income folks in the Pearl and SoWhat and the new condos scattered here and there won't want to go to the burbs or Lloyd Center to do their shopping.

Macy's will never get my business; they've angered me too much by hijacking our annual Thanksgiving parade. I know at least two local groups who have marched in the parade for years, who are now no longer welcome because Macy's is bringing in their fancy New York parade planners to tell us celebration of our local community is not entertaining enough, or not Macy's-branded enough, or I don't know what.

Meier and Frank downtown was the tallest building in Portland when I was a kid, until they built the Hilton. They still had elevator operators back then. They'd clack their castinets to alert you they were about to shut the door and then zoom those cars up and down announcing "third floor, sporting goods" or "tenth floor, bedding and linens".

I spent many a Saturday afternoon in that store browsing books or looking at stamps and coins after having visited their lunch counter. Great memories.

The downtown store lossed its soul when they ripped out Santaland and the monorail. I still remember how special I felt when my mom took me out of school one day just to go Christmas shopping and to visit Santaland.

I bought some shirts at the store this weekend. It's a complete mess. Rat mazes, pipes and wires running all over. It's not an appealing shopping environment. Macys would be sending the wrong message if it closed the store after putting its loyal downtown customers through a horrible Christmas shopping experience.

The skids are greased on this project ... think The Round in Beaverton.

M&F has propped up The O's sagging ad business for years. If Macy's doesn't keep up to level while it's flagship Portland store is shuttered, pink slips will be flying off the shelves this X-Mas!

Could it be that out-of-state money telling us what to buy and turning Oregon into a shopping lab experiment is actually ... good for us?

I spent many a Saturday afternoon in that store browsing books or looking at stamps and coins after having visited their lunch counter. Great memories.

It was my Mom's favorite place to have lunch, Dave. What's funny, though, is that I grew up with my Mom and I going to Macy's --in New York's Herald Square-- on Saturday afternoons while my Dad was spending Saturdays getting his doctorate from NYU.

I'm probably in the downtown store at least once a week, and I'll miss it while the remodeling gets done. It's been a nightmare for the employees...noise, smells, the poor guy trying to run the "parcel pick up" around construction workers and their junk.

A saleswoman told me today that one of the remodeled floors looks amazing...

I've been there several times on various aspects of that job - all I could say was OMG, and they were actually trying to keep the store open too?

I've disliked downtown for quite some time, the more I work down there and see what's going on the less I like it.

Downtown - it's projects keep putting money in my pocket but it's concepts keeps me away from it any other time.

Hello all I've worked at Santaland now for 8 years ...
Yes it's a little different this year we are on the first floor and it is just a visit and a picture , also digital printed right on the spot ... But remember Santaland Will be back next year in full force ... We will be one floor down from the ground floor and the monorail will be on the ground for the kids to take pictures on ...
Also everyone give thier best wishes to Santa Don who had a stoke and is not with us this year either , he has been with us many years and hopefully will be returning next year....

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