Downtown Macy’s To Downsize Space

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – First built in 1887 and expanded in 1913 as Kaufmann’s, the downtown building now known as Macy’s hasn’t changed much until now.

“What we’re doing is reorganizing the merchandise and departments in that store in a way a more concise physical space so that it’s easier to shop for the customer and easier to find merchandise,” Macy’s senior vice president Jim Sluzewski told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano.

Nine floors of shopping will become six – still double the size of the suburban Macy’s.

“I don’t think it will have any effect, if they still have the same selection,” says Macy’s shopper Rachel Hawili of Hampton. “I’ll still shop here.”

Macy’s officials say the store will be more user-friendly.

“If you want to look at furniture, you don’t have to take the escalators or the elevators all the way up to the 8th floor or the 10th floor,” Sluzewski says. “That merchandise will now largely be on five and six, for example.”

“You’ll be able to find more stuff because you won’t have to climb so high,” says Harriet Jordan of Sharpsburg who likes the consolidation.

“This is actually my favorite Macy’s location. The service is really stellar here,” adds Lynn Hyde of Uptown.

Although it turns a profit, Macy’s Sluzewski says right-sizing is key to keeping the store downtown.

“We really want to be part of that community going forward, but in order to do that most effectively we really need a store that has the right amount of space.”

As for future uses of the upper floors, Macy’s is open to ideas.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has one, notes Jerry Waldrup, the new CEO of the Partnership.

“The residential market here in downtown Pittsburgh has doubled over the last 10 years,” says Waldrup. “As a newcomer to downtown Pittsburgh, trying to find a rental apartment here downtown is quite difficult.”

None of the 363 employees at the downtown Macy’s will be laid off as a result of this change.

The changes, which have begun now, should be completed in October, just in time for the Christmas shopping season.


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  • Just Saying...

    Isn’t anyone going to start blaming the parking situation…

    • Marybird

      I grew up, went to school, and worked for several years in Pittsburgh. I haven’t been back to visit since 1992, but when I lived there the public transportation was excellent. I used to take that when I went downtown. Has public transportation gone downhill since then?

      • BobG

        Yes. Over paid employees and outrageous pensions have cause them to make significant cut backs to transit into the city. Its a shame because a lot of working people (as well as the poor) take public transportation into the city due to the topography, limited roadways and tunnels. The city is broke thanks to corrupt politics and over spending. Shocking huh?

      • TruePittsburgher

        Yes, Republican state and county legislators turning their backs on taxpaying urban residents, and a reluctance to tax suburban commuters for their fair share of upkeep of the community that supports their jobs, has led to the decline. Still, Pittsburgh is one of the nation’s largest users of public transportation, except now it’s just more crowded and less convenient.


    The leaders in this town are not trying to lobby state and federal goverment for funds to help build and grow this city into the great place we all know that it could be. They are letting the state Goverment take away much needed funding and services and shrinking our city into a small 2nd class city. The once most livable city in America will soon be the least livable if they continue to cut services such as mass transit, public parking and letting all our buisnesses downsize and close up. With no new plans or upgrades and no innovative thinking by any of our leaders pittsburgh will just be another small empty insignificant city with nothing to write home about. With our assets like the North Shore, Southside and Oakland. We could be an awsome power house if we had the right leadership that was aggressive and put fourth some plans on how to tie it all together and make it the total package. I think that an important start would be to elect Rich Fitzgerald as County Executive this November. He is a buisness man who knows this area well and has some good plans and ideas he wants to put in place to make this area great again.

    • Rusty

      Dumbest comment ever…, congrats.

    • Bill

      Why should I (who live in California, formerly from PIT) pay for you to revitalize your downtown anymore than you should pay for California to build a rail line from LA to San Francisco?

      This has got to stop, asking someone else to pay for the things that we want. If it’s something that is worthwhile, the City will fund it and prioritize it more than something else. If not, then don’t try to shove the funding off to others in the country.

    • Wack Job

      When the man going to come and fix it?
      Sounds like New Orleans!

    • LeeB

      From Forrester To Mayor Murphy one catastrophe after the next for Allegheny County and Pittsburgh. They took a great city and threw it down a flight of stairs. Who would want to give that gang of miscreant politicians a pile of money? Why not just take the money and burn it?

    • Derek W. West

      You sir are a colossal jewel of ignorance. Rich Fitzgerald sounds like a real red-doper-diaper baby. I am voting for Raja. Someone with some real idea’s to move the county forward. Not backwards into more Soviet-Style Central planning.

    • Rickmon

      We need another Democrat like Rich Fitzgerald running Allegheny County about as much as an alcoholic needs another bottle of booze! Democrats destroyed Pittsburgh and you want more of the same?

    • Mad Hatter

      Ahhhh, I think the $600 MILLION that we wasted on that ridiclous tunnel (THAT IS STILL NOT DONE) was our big chance….

  • Jeff0

    Well glad to hear at least some companies are trying to downsize than just, go right for a closing.
    We need more companies to fight through theses hard times, not just close up the minute, earnings don’t come in as strong

    • voxanator

      “Fight through these hard times” is the American way. Unfortunately, we are turning into a nation of wussies. The failure of American leadership in business, politics and religion is to blame. When the “big” people concern themselves only with personal gratification, the :”little” guy foots the bill. We need to take it to the streets in order to get the respect of the people who make the decisions.

  • Nobammy

    Impeach obammy – vote for a REAL person, one who would actually be able to run the country, not a used up hippie.
    Vote for Rick Santorum!

    • rootvg

      I like him as well but he doesn’t have a chance. He and the party are in different places. It’s really too bad.

      • Al

        I thought this was about Macy’s? When did it become a teabag party?

      • nopcspokenhere

        Al you are filthy just like that little filthy person who coined this filthy phrase, and from all reports he should know. Hey Macy’s, since buffet owes back taxes of over 1M (his company does) and GE paid NO US taxes, and bummer gave 532 billion to Solyndra, our tax money, that went bankrupt and it’s execs are taking the 5th! in front of Congress, go ask barry for some of his STASH! Or Al people, thinking people try to connect the dots and they all go back to 1600 where I hope they are starting to pack their bags, or maybe this will convince you that it is all related: from Reuters: “Moody’s Investors Service lowered debt ratings for Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and Wells Fargo & Co on Wednesday”–like Rush said in Jan. 2009, ‘I hope he fails’. Now I hope he leaves. Or google this story : 1740 Tavern Marlborough, Ct. Tavern to close on Saturday.

      • nopcspokenhere

        You are filthy, just like that filthy little man who coined this filthy phrase, and from all reports actually knows what it means. Hey Macy’s since GE paid no taxes, Buffet’s company owes 1M in BACK taxes, and barry’s friends at Solyndra were given 532 Million of our tax $ and now take the 5th before Congress because they are bankrupt -go ask for some of barry’s “STASH” to help fill the other 6 floors. Or how about this “1740 Tavern Becomes Victim of Recession Marlborough, CT, Tavern to close on Saturday.” We can connect the dots. If what he told Joe the Plumber didn’t tell you he was ‘RED’ nothing will. “I just want to level the playing field’. Well he sure did, Macy’s he brought you down to size, at least by half, 12 to 6, just like he is doing to our whole country. His policies are even being called laughable, lies, by his OWN bought media. Hope the rest of the country is waking up like Tea Pary people.

      • TheRealKingMax

        Why do you ask, Al?

        Are you a gay basher? Sounds like it.

        Please refrain from making such insulting comments, and stay on the subject.

  • MrHappyMan

    This isn’t a commentary as to an effect on the recession – note that no employees will lose their jobs. Instead, it is a commentary as to the cause of the recession, and why it will last some time. Like almost all other stores, Macys doesn’t need all the space it needed formerly – because it doesn’t need to store as much inventory. So it will cut its store in half. And because it doesn’t need as much inventory, it cut back on its ordering. Ie, rather than 100 shirts, it maybe orders 20. And this means that, on the back end, there are less employees in factories making stuff. This is the effect of some of the unsung reasons for the recession, just-in-time inventory.

    • rootvg

      I’m thinking their cutting back also has to do with a drop in the region’s population.

      • st junk

        @SimplyDudgeful: this is a CBS article. What’s Drudge have to do with it?

    • Jack White

      Yea right nobody will lose their job. You have to be a mental midget to believe that one.

      • SimplyDudgeful

        I agree Jack. You’d have to be a mental midget to believe anything you read through Drudge.

  • Beach Luigi

    I moved away from Pittsburgh when I graduated from college 42 years ago and never regretted it! Until the people that live in Western PA realize they are living in the past, the population will continue to shrink and you will only be left with the retired mill workers and welfare recipients. The last time I drove to towns like Coraopolis & Blawnox and saw these once thriving towns turn into unpainted and unkempt ghettos, I got depressed.

    Western PA has a great opportunity to revitalize with the new natural gas industry, but the politicians, union thugs, and environmentalists will do their best to kill that, too! Get rid of the union thugs by becoming a right to work state, elect some pro business Republicans, sell the State Stores to private industries, get the state pension plans under control, and stop trying to tax every new industry, and maybe Western PA can thrive again.

    Florida may have its problems, but they don’t compare to PA!

    • buceye

      How about everybody that has moved away from pittsburgh, just move back

      • Steve-oh

        How about everyone that runs Pittsburgh leave and have those who can take a risk run the show? A century ago, Pittsburgh was one of the most high tech / entrepreneurial cities in the country. The first “high tech boom” was happening with George Westinghouse marketing some of Tesla’s inventions. The steel-smiths run out of Birmingham and Scotland in England was smelting mixes that were not financed in England. Richard Mellon and others were financing them and a fancy idea called long distance telephone was switching called between New York and Chicago. Pittsburgh needs real innovation and leadership not in fear of someone making more money than they have. This “post doc” high tech that doesn’t make any mass produced products are for the birds!

    • Derek W. West

      We thought we elected a governor and reps to do that last november, but so far they have done nothing of significance. Color me disappointed.

    • rootvg

      I grew up in suburban Akron, and NE Ohio has the same problems you list above. It’s about negative demographics, seriously out of date physical infrastructure, (yes) the unions and but also a seriously compliant political class that knows perfectly well who puts it in office and caters to that lowest common denominator.

      Guess what? You can’t fix it. They don’t want to fix it, just as people in the northern UK have a very similar situation and they don’t want to fix theirs either.

      My wife and I moved to Dallas after college and then California eight years later. Yes, Cali has its problems but we’ve always worked here and we’ve always made money. It’s crowded and expensive and nuts…but increasingly, it’s more of a home to us than the Rust Belt ever was.

  • Jack Kennedy

    thanks, obama

    • rootvg

      You said it, brother. The damage Obama is doing to the Democratic party right now is unimaginable. It’s unthinkable.

      If we go into 2013 with a Republican Congress and President, BIG things are going to happen in Washington. If the economy also turns around at the same time, it will be DECADES before we see liberals once again elected to positions of power and we will likely NEVER see another black President of the United States in our lifetime.

      We also might very well have that race war my late father in law was always talking about in the years before he died.

      • Neo Noircat

        If the Republicans take control it will be a race–toward prosperity. The Democrats are idiots, witness the situation in Pittsburgh, where Dems have had control for fifty years.

      • Matt G

        Hey rootvg, what does it matter what color skin the president has? Ideas and values are what shape any human being. I don’t understand what you’re going for with that thought.

  • Jack White

    How’s that Hope and Change treating you Macy’s employees who voted for Obama?

    • You'reNoJayLeno

      Jack, read the article. No one is losing their job at Macy. Clever attempt at a “Hope and Change” joke though.

  • gbd

    guess that whole embrace of communism with your shiny red star isn’t working out. You deserve it for so arrogantly displaying that filth in this country

  • Bob

    Blawnox a ghetto? Seriously dude. I drive through there pretty regularly and it is no where near looking like the Upper Hill District. You’re spot on with the rest of your comment though.

  • nopcspokenhere

    The top 6 floors -bring back my Kaufmann’s! I am tired of the cheap clothing for the most part in women’s. There is too much catering to the size 0’s. Many of the brands carried by Kaufmann’s had been eliminated. It is just not the same and I steer away from Macy’s as much as I can. Makes no difference to me if they closed the whole place. Then again I miss Joe Horne’s too. There is no comparison to the the true ‘department’ stores of old.

    • JOE

      Try loosing some weight!

    • Al

      Exactly right. I kept trying to patronize the place after they bought out Kaufamnns but the quality and selection of men’s clothes went way down. No wonder they need less space. Macy’s is at least 2 steps down from Kaufmanns.

    • Drew

      AMEN! macy*s carries much lower quality, discount store merchandise at high prices. No wonder their business has dropped so much and they have to downsize their store. Martha Stewart? Not exactly top quality. There is no reason to go to any of their stores because they are nothing special. Less merchandise, fewer services, why bother?

    • Jenn


  • AtlasObjectivist

    Does Macy’s take the EBT card?

  • atilla_the_hunney

    The arab spring and the tsunami are to blame for this… and Bush.

  • Neo Noircat

    Wow, such optimism. With this moron in the White House, there isn’t going to BE a Christmas shopping season.

  • laurac68

    Hey Y’all…take a look down south at Virginia! Our economy is booming. We were smart enough to get rid of a democratic gov. who was too busy running the DNC to govern the state and we elected a successful businessman and former atty gen. who knows how to GROW an economy, not ENTITLE one. All you dems in PA better wake up…ya can’t borrow your way out of debt. The handout days are over. There’s nothing left to hand out….Seriously…theres no reason PA can’t do what VA has done but is starts with the voters…and that’s probably your biggest obstacle. Good luck.

    • VirginiaEconomist

      Unbelievable, y’all. The VA economy is booming because of all of the jobs created there by the federal government, from the DoD on down to the EPA and all the other federal agencies that keep the country running. Even if the job is in the “private” sector, there’s a little thing called government contracts that those “private” companies grovel on the floor of the U.S. Capitol to secure from public servants. Clearly, willful ignorance is coin of the realm for conservative Republican teabaggers.

      • st. junk

        Nice try. While the government does spend way too much and employs far too many people, most of the economy and the vast majority of jobs still have nothing to do with the government. Most jobs are created by small businesses that are not government contractors. Take your talking points somewhere else.

      • VirginiaEconomist

        Yes, most jobs in the country, but not in Virginia. Please do your research before repeating your Fox drivel.

  • phyllisjean

    my husband and I moved away from PA for that reason, Laura. You are correct. We came to VA to find work and opportunities and we found Virginia to be the ‘land of plenty”. We moved to the Charlottesville area and fell in love with ithat beautiful valley. My husband is in the IT business and owns his own company. VA is VERY business friendly all the way around. Great people, well educated, and southern hospitality still thrives. Moving to VA was the best economic decision we could’ve made for ourselves and our kids.

  • penn_fan

    What ya really need is a couple of wayward jets, and the subsidies that follow.

  • The Cryptojournalist

    I smell a new squatter village

    Right after the local Borders fills up. With homeless.

  • Scott Snoopy-Smith

    I grew up and still in SW PA, and am fortunate to travel for business; and you can see how the “burgh” , PA for that matter/The state is dominated by the union/democrat machine.We have been saddled with paying for six all important stadiums, poor roads, the highest parking in the country save for NYC/DC, the cities are vacant after business hours; and the solution of the mayors, raise taxes.Personally I avoid going in town because it just costs too much to park and you have to walk forever to get to the attractions.

    It is time these cities and the unions they pander to realize that the mills are not coming back, change is on going and you can’t deny these facts or you lose residents and tax base.People can and will not continue to fund the bloated local govts and the cost drive folks out.

  • FritZ Von

    Obama strikes again.

  • FactsLiberalBiasGoFitz

    Did anybody actually read the article? No jobs are being lost. Inventory is just being consolidated–to six floors from nine, not 12, despite what the Drudge teaser said. Similarly, for you reading comprehension challenged Drudgesters, the other supposed economic downturn story, about the Connecticut colonial tavern closing, actually talks at length about it closing and reopening repeatedly during its long history. In fact, the last time it experienced a long closing was in Reagan’s first term. Thanks for the economic downturn, St. Ronnie!

  • Betsy

    May I have the wooden escalator? Love it!!!

  • Hotel

    Keep voting for democrats. Resession time again.

  • EJO

    “If you want to look at furniture, you don’t have to take the escalators or the elevators all the way up to the 8th floor or the 10th floor,” Sluzewski says.
    “You’ll be able to find more stuff because you won’t have to climb so high,” says Harriet Jordan.
    This is an excellent idea!

    Because everybody knows how extremely difficult, and horrible, and time consuming it is to take the ELEVATOR to those extra floors.

  • Burghnerdman

    My grandfather was one of the first drivers for Kaufmann’s Dept. Store. I remember going there with my dad to see him sometimes. The downsizing of this store is however a sign of the times. I knew that when Macy’s took over, that something like this was going too happen. Mr. Kaufmann is turning in his grave. It is soo sad to see big money see it nothing more than profit margins lost.

    • Bill

      Ahem…. the purpose of a business is to what? Make profits. If tehre are no profits, there is no business. That is unless you are the government, which can run a loss for years ,and just borrow or print more.

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