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WATCH NOW: Macy's closing 45 more stores, including at Water Tower Place and College Mall in Bloomington
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WATCH NOW: Macy's closing 45 more stores, including at Water Tower Place and College Mall in Bloomington

From the ICYMI: Here are the most-read stories from the past week series

Macy's announced it is closing 45 more department stores nationally in 2021, including at Water Tower Place in Chicago and College Mall in Bloomington, as part of a previously announced cost-cutting measure.

But the New York City-based retailer's local stores at Southlake Mall in Hobart and River Oaks Center in Calumet City appear to have survived the latest round of closings.

"We have no announcements to make regarding Macy’s Southlake Mall, Macy’s River Oaks Center or our other Macy’s locations within the states of Illinois and Indiana," spokeswoman Julianne Olivo said. 

She said a full list of store closures would be available on the company's website Wednesday.

Ascena Retail Group filed for bankruptcy and will close some Region stores in a move that could deal blows to the Southlake Mall in Hobart and the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan City, as well as other shopping centers throughout Northwest Indiana.

Macy's, which has been the largest department store chain left standing in the country since 2015, did confirm it was closing its Water Tower Place store on the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago and its store in Bloomington.

"Macy’s Water Tower Place has been honored to serve its customers on the Magnificent Mile for 45 years," Olivo said. "Macy’s is committed to the greater Chicago community. We will continue to serve our customers at Macy’s on State Street as well as in a number of suburban locations, online at macys.com and the Macy’s app."

Ascena Retail Group filed for bankruptcy and will close some Region stores in a move that could deal blows to the Southlake Mall in Hobart and the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan City, as well as other shopping centers throughout Northwest Indiana.

Macy's, which has struggled because of increased competition from ecommerce and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, also will shut down the store it's run in Bloomington near Indiana University's main campus for the last 38 years.

"After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to close our College Mall location in Bloomington. This closure is part of the company’s strategy announced in early 2020," Olivo said. 

She said news of the closures was shared with employees at impacted stores.

"Regular, non-seasonal colleagues who we are unable to place at a nearby Macy’s store will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources," she said.

 Clearance sales will begin this month and run for eight to 12 weeks.

The department store chain, which sells women's and men's clothing as well as home goods and furnishings, still operates more than 540 stores nationwide.

Region stores that closed in 2020

Region stores that closed in 2020

The brick-and-mortar retail sector has been struggling because of competition with e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, Chewy and Zappos. But 2020 presented unprecedented challenges because of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns and restrictions. Here's a look at stores in the Region that closed, announced they would close, filed for bankruptcy or were saved from closure in 2020:

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JC Penney, which already had filed for bankruptcy and announced it was shuttering 230 stores nationwide, said it would close its Calumet City department store at 200 River Oaks Drive. The troubled retailer is shuttering 154 stores this summer and plans to announce another wave of closures in the next few weeks.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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