According to the AP , the Macy's store in downtown New Orleans will not reopen, and the reopening of the store at The Esplanade mall has been pushed back to possibly 2008, pending a "total redesign."
From what I've heard , the New Orleans Centre Macy's was not profitable in the first place, so its closing doesn't come as much of a surprise. But the suburban store being closed indefinitely got me to thinking. Is Macy's serious about this national branding plan they have repeatedly touted?
It would make sense symbolically to premiere this new strategy in an area that's under intense media coverage like New Orleans in an upscale mall like The Esplanade, even if it meant speeding up the construction schedule a bit. But instead they keep delaying it, and seem likely to just close the store, thereby leaving the southern Louisiana market, save for a couple of stores towards Baton Rouge.
If New Orleans is on the hot seat as far as Macy's is concerned, what does this bode for the smaller markets? Even with New Orleans being a less than affluent city overall, the market is still large and rich enough that Saks Fifth Avenue and Dillard's are rebuilding. Could this be the start of the elimination of Macy's stores in less-affluent markets? Or is this just an isolated incident that doesn't need analysis.