Why is the second floor of CityPlace Macy’s always so empty?


After Macy’s said Thursday it would close 100 of its 728 stores amid the ongoing turmoil in shopping, I headed to the retailer’s West Palm Beach location to ponder one of the enduring mysteries of Palm Beach County commerce: Why is the second story of the CityPlace Macy’s always so devoid of customers?

I spotted one shopper browsing T-shirts, but, as usual, store employees outnumbered patrons. One possible reason for the emptiness: The men’s department inventory isn’t terrible, but the markdowns pale in comparison to the discounts available a few miles away at the Palm Beach Outlets.

On the first floor of Macy’s, which always seems far busier than the empty second floor, Kim Hill of Boca Raton browsed in the shoe department with her daughters. They left empty-handed, although they planned to return to pick up a pair of back-to-school Nikes.

“Every once in a while, you want a department store,” Hill said. “But it’s really not a place I go very often.”

Hill said she normally shops online, and she prefers Nordstrom to the middle-brow Macy’s. Her daughters seemed far more excited about a trip to Charming Charlie, the purveyor of purses and jewelry that has a location at CityPlace.

Hill didn’t have anything bad to say about Macy’s, but she did offer an inadvertantly devastating commentary: She was shopping for Nikes at Macy’s because Sports Authority is no more. Playing second fiddle to a failed merchandiser doesn’t sound like a sustainable strategy.

Macy’s didn’t say which stores it would close or if any of its five Palm Beach County locations would be affected.




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