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Macy's meant more than just retail in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The writing's been on the wall for quite some time. Macy’s is associated with New York and all the company executives work there. Two years after the company closed its Fountain Square location, it announced it will close its downtown headquarters too, cutting 500 jobs and moving some employees to Springdale and Mason.

”It’s a bit of a blow to the image of Cincinnati,” said the executive director of the University of Cincinnati's Economic Center, Dr. Julie Heath.

The company has a huge footprint in the community and it’s still unclear what the financial ramifications will be to the charities and events it has supported and sponsored over the years.

Since 1994, Macy’s and the city of Cincinnati have enjoyed a charitable marriage. In a press release Thursday, Macy's says it will continue to support organizations in Cincinnati but did not elaborate further.

Dr. Heath says she doesn’t see the departure of 500 jobs as a crushing blow to the economy.

"In terms of widespread economic impact, I think we’re very lucky this happened in a tight labor market because the impact will be much less than if there had been already been a lot of slack and unemployed people,” said Dr. Heath.

There’s also a nostalgic connection. For Cincinnati City Councilmember Greg Landsman’s family, it goes backs generations.

"My grandfather came here as a young person and helped build out Federated Department Stores with Fred and Ralph Lazarus. To see Macy's go is terribly sad, personally,” said Landsman.

It’s unclear what will happen to the building built just for Macy’s. The people working in it will head to Springdale, Mason or get a severance package.

Macy’s says it still plans to be an active member in Cincinnati and employee more than 3,000 in the area. The company plans to hire 600 new employees at a call center in Mason as a result of the closure of a facility in Arizona.

Macy's still has stores open in Kenwood, Anderson Township, Tri-County and Florence.


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