Photo by Eric Stauffer
Originally opening as Famous-Barr in the late 1970s, an era of tradition in retail ended Tuesday as the Macy’s store at Alton Square Mall closed its doors for the last time.
The last day of normal operations for the store was Sunday, although most of the merchandise and fixtures were already gone. Crews were removing exterior signage from the mall property on Monday, and cleanup inside would be completed throughout the week as well.
Some of the store’s employees received severance pay, with others being offered employment at other area Macy’s locations. Mayor Brant Walker said his office is working with Madison County Employment and Training to provide assistance to displaced workers.
“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the employees and their families who were affected by this,” Walker said.
He emphasized that the store was profitable, and said the city’s overall retail revenue is as strong as ever.
“Alton’s retail dollars were up nearly $35 million between 2013 and 2015,” he said.
Walker noted this closure is not indicative of the retail health of the city as a whole.
As the latest of the mall’s original three anchors closes, only JCPenney remains. The first anchor to leave the mall, years ago, was Sears. With nationwide announcements recently regarding the closure of JCPenney stores around the country, the Alton location’s future remains uncertain as JCPenney’s corporate office has yet to identify which store locations will close.