Macy's closing its downtown Cincinnati store

Shoppers carry bags as they cross a pedestrian walkway in November near Macy’s in Herald Square in New York. Associated Press files

Investors reacted to the news by driving Macy's stock price down by more than 5 percent to $23.44 in the first hour of trading.

Macy's said its same-store sales rose 1% in November and December from a year earlier, while Penney reported a 3.4% increase. Nor will it keep the company from closing more stores and cutting more jobs to save an additional $300 million in annual operating expenses. The two Florida stores are among 11 that will be shuttered in 2018.

The company announced that the following stores will close: Novato (Furniture), Novato, CA; The Oaks, Gainesville, FL; Miami (Downtown), Miami, FL; Honey Creek Mall, Terre Haute, IN; Birchwood Mall, Fort Gratiot Township, MI; Fountain Place, Cincinnati, OH and Burlington Town Center, Burlington, VT. The company's stock fell anyway and shares are now down about 3 percent.

Macy's made the announcement on Thursday, saying it had been reviewing its real estate portfolio across the country. "While closing a store is always a hard decision because of the impact on our customers, our associates and the community, we deeply appreciate the loyalty of our customers and associates".

City Manager Harry Black called the store closing unfortunate, but said the city still benefits from having the Macy's corporate headquarters downtown.

Management updated analysts and investors this past November, saying Macy's would continue to explore opportunities with Brookfield Asset Management on about 50 properties, including the department store chain's flagship Herald Square location in NY.

Macy's says it enjoyed sales growth during the holiday season, but the improvement wasn't enough to offset a tough year.

Shares of the department store chain have fallen more than 25 percent over the past 12 months. The closings are part of a plan announced in 2016 to close 100 stores. He said those conversations had already begun prior to Wednesday's announcement by the company.

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