The Macy's Inc. store in Joplin's Northpark Mall will close in a few weeks, a company spokesman told the Globe on Wednesday.
"After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to close our Northpark Mall location," said Julianne Olivo, a Chicago media relations representative of the company, in response to a Globe email seeking information about the plan. "This closure is part of the company’s strategy announced in early 2020."
She said Macy’s had previously told employees of the decision, adding that workers who are not able to obtain jobs at nearby Macy’s stores will be eligible for severance, including "outplacement resources."
Before the store closes, a clearance sale will begin this month and run for approximately eight to 12 weeks, Olivo said.
"The decision to close a store is always a difficult one, but Macy’s Northpark Mall is honored to have served our customers and the community over the past 33 years, and we look forward to continuing to do so at Macy’s Battlefield (in Springfield), online at macys.com or on the Macy’s app," Olivo said.
Macy's had operated in downtown Joplin for years before coming back as a Northpark Mall anchor.
In 1954, Macy's of Kansas City took up operations of what had been the longstanding Christman's department store that was at 501-503 S. Main St. After two years, Macy's bought the building and put its brand on the store where it operated until Jan. 8, 1976.
That location was designated as the Fifth and Main Historic District and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The building that formerly served as Christman's and Macy's is now the Main Street Place Lofts.
Macy's returned to Joplin in 2006 to open in its current location at the mall, which formerly served as a Famous-Barr store. At that time, Macy's had expanded into a nationwide chain with 800 stores in 45 states.
Shuttering the Joplin store is part of a three-year plan to close one-fifth of the chain's stores, about 125, that was announced nearly a year ago. Those plans could be adjusted this year as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and the marketplace is assessed, Macy's chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said in September.
Macy's has been one of three major anchors of Northpark Mall and joins one of the others, Sears, to exit as online selling diminishes business for brick-and-mortar retailers. Sears closed here Feb. 16 last year after several weeks of clearance sales. The third major chain anchor, JC Penney, remains.
Northpark Mall's owner, CBL, filed for bankruptcy protection in November, citing the impact of the pandemic.
CBL is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It operates 107 malls across the country and said at the time of its filing that it was hurt by more than 30 of its tenants that filed for bankruptcy protection or shut down locations.