Disappearing Department Stores: MA Edition
The great department store contraction of 2017 is playing out in Massachusetts, too. Of the 150 stores that Sears Holdings Co is closing nationwide — 108 Kmarts and 42 Sears — three will be in the Bay State. They include a Kmart at 9 Plaza Way in Fairhaven; a Kmart at 1130 Newport Ave in South Attleboro; and a Sears at 262 Swansea Mall Drive in Swansea.
As for Macy's, out of its 68 store closures nationwide, two will be in Massachusetts: one store in Brockton at the Westgate Mall, and another location in Taunton at the Silver City Galleria.
A number of factors are conspiring to put pressure on department stores, but the metaphorical bottom line is their literal bottom lines are suffering. Sales have consistently dropped in department stores for a number of years. The latest retail sales report by the Census Bureau (November 2016) said that department store sales were down 6.4% compared with a year earlier, a fairly typical number lately.