Macy’s Closing Two Stores in Eastern Massachusetts

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Macy’s plans to close stores in Brockton and Taunton later this year, cutting 161 jobs.

The two Massachusetts stores are among 68 the department store company is closing nationwide in a cost-cutting measure designed to save about $550 million a year.

The Brockton store is in the Westgate Mall. The 144,000-square-foot store, which employs 79 people, opened in 2003, according to a Macy’s press release issued Wednesday, January 4.

The Taunton store is in the Silver City Galleria. The 152,000-square-foot store, which employs 82 people, opened in 1992.

One other store in New England is closing, in Bangor, Maine. That store covers 143,000 square feet and employs 65 people. It opened in 1998.

Macy’s plans to focus on online sales and two niche stores, discount-price Macy’s Backstage and a beauty specialty store called Bluemercury.

While online sales are strong, “… we continue to experience declining traffic in our stores where the majority of our business is still transacted,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc., in a written statement.

“We are closing locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape, as well as monetizing locations with highly valued real estate,” Lundgren said.

Eligible employees will be offered severance packages, he said.

Macy’s Inc., which has corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York City, currently operates about 880 stores nationwide under the names Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Macy’s Backstage, and Bluemercury.

Overseas, the company plans to open stores in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.