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In A Sign Department Stores Aren't Dead, Macy's To Open 2-Story Location In South Suburbs

A former Carson’s in Evergreen Plaza, a shopping center in south suburban Evergreen Park, is slated to become a two-story Macy’s, containing both the department store chain’s newer and smaller-format stores.


The 120K SF space will include a Market by Macy’s, a smaller version of the department store and the first Chicago-area location, and a Macy’s Backstage, the retailer’s off-price chain launched in 2015. The former Carson’s store closed in 2020 and has been vacant since.

The lease deal comes amid a larger trend of department store closings that was made worse by the pandemic. Macy's has been closing stores in droves since early 2016, but it has shown some signs of improvement in recent weeks. The retailer reported earnings ahead of projections in its latest earnings report last month.

Suburban Chicago shopping centers like The Evergreen Plaza have especially felt the pain of department store closures. The first regional mall in the country, Evergreen Plaza struggled to stay afloat in the 1980s, was mostly vacant by 2013, and was replaced by the current, smaller shopping center in 2015. 

The site was attractive to Macy's, however, as it fights to remain relevant in a struggling market for department stores and reimagines its retail outlets. The company is touting its smaller-format Market by Macy’s stores as more convenient shopping venues than traditional stores, placing them where malls once were or in communities without access to mall locations.

Macy’s Backstage, usually situated within existing Macy’s department stores, is the retail brand’s discount store. The Evergreen Plaza location would be the ninth small-format store of its kind coming to the Chicago area. 

Chicago-area mall department stores have been shuttering their stores for decades, with many being redeveloped into walkable, mixed-use projects containing apartments, retail and restaurants.

Related Topics: Macy's, Carson's, Evergreen Plaza