HOMESTEAD (KDKA) — The Macy’s department store at The Waterfront will close now that the building has been purchased by the shopping center’s parent companies.
A clearance sale will start on Sunday, Feb. 11 and run for about 8-12 weeks. An official closing date has not yet been announced.
Reactions from shoppers were mixed Thursday.
“I think it’s every disheartening. It seems like more and more stores are closing,” Michele Jewell, of Dravosburg, said.
Jewell said she shops there about once a month, but the Macy’s closure won’t stop her from shopping at the Waterfront.
“Not at all. I love the Waterfront. It’s an excellent place to come shop,” she said.
“If you’re going to close the downtown store, I figure it’s only a time before they close other independent stores,” April Bauknight, of Pittsburgh, said. “I think it’s kind of sad. We don’t have many department stores around here any more.”
For Mamie Podolsky, of McKeesport, the closure is a major inconvenience for her; she’s in a wheelchair, and the Waterfront location is closer to her home.
“This is going leave the people in this area stranded. They’re going to have to find another Macy’s to go to,” she said. “I get a lot of things at Macy’s. I could go to Monroeville but this one is closer.”
Sixty-six store associates will be affected by the closure.
“I’m shocked. We were busy. We ranked up there with all the sales [at other stores],” former Macy’s employee Pat Doctorich said.
Doctorich worked for Macy’s for 11 years. She worked at Century III Mall for 8 years, then worked at the Waterfront location for two years. She just retired in December.
“It’s a sad day. I came down to see my employees who are still here,” she said.
Macy’s officials say regular, non-seasonal employees who are unable to be placed at other Macy’s locations will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources.
M&J Wilkow and BIG Shopping Centers say they are “exploring several options for this building,” including new restaurants and residential units.
M&J Wilkow Senior Vice President Marty Sweeney told the Post-Gazette that the department store “really hasn’t added very much to the experience and shopping mix for a number of years,” and customer surveys have shown that shoppers are interested in more entertainment and food and beverage options at The Waterfront.
“I guess they’re telling us something. They don’t want brick and mortar. We have very few places to shop other than online,” Sharon Sherman, of West Mifflin, said. “I’ll still come to the Waterfront but where I’ll go for my department store needs, I haven’t figured that out yet.”
Uliana Kozhevnikova, of Pittsburgh, doesn’t shop at Macy’s much, but does like the Waterfront.
“I wonder what’s going to happen with the space. It’s a huge space. I hope they will come up with something really nice,” Kozhevnikova said.
Sweeney believes new stores and “more relevant concepts” will make The Waterfront a more active area than it currently is.