There is not that much good news coming out of Macy’s today. Macy’s Midwest, a St. Louis-based division of Macy’s that included stores from the former Famous-Barr division of Federated Department Stores, is going to be folded into another central office. (Divisions based in Seattle and Minneapolis are also going to be "folded.") Eight hundred fifty positions currently in St. Louis will be eliminated. According to Macy’s, executives in those jobs will be considered for other jobs here, or in other parts of the company. All current Macy’s stores, including the Downtown flagship, will remain in place.
Department stores operate in a very competitive market. Figuring out how to compete in that market is a full time job — one, ironically, that will be held at Macy’s by William McNamara, who has been Macy’s Midwest chairman and CEO. We wish him good luck, because we value the Macy’s downtown department store.
We have been through all this before. And we are better prepared for it today than we were even five years ago. We have learned that the best way to cushion ourselves against these shocks is to support a widely diversified economy. Since Macy’s is cutting, not moving, jobs, local companies will have a great opportunity to identify new senior and mid-level employees. I know that several companies are already shopping. And I know that SLATE will be ready to speak to those displaced from their jobs.