Department stores must close 800 mall locations: Green Street

Sales per square foot numbers have fallen sharply since 2006

The Macy's store in Herald Square
The Macy's store in Herald Square

Major department store chains might soon be closing hundreds of locations at malls across the country, if they follow the advice of Green Street Advisors.

Retailers must close about 800 locations in total — about a fifth of all anchor spaces at U.S. malls — if they want to restore the sales-per-square-foot productivity of the mid-2000s, a study by the analytics firm said.

Sears Holdings alone would have to close about 300 stores, or roughly 43 percent of its locations nationwide to regain productivity levels, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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“Department stores used to be a great catchall for different brands,” Green Street’s DJ Busch told the Journal, “but today many of the brands have stores of their own, and shoppers can also find them online.”

Sears and other retailers have already cut hundreds of stores in recent years, in the face of competition from discount retailers and online platforms such as But cuts haven’t been deep enough, according to Green Street.

Macy’s has sought to sell many of its prime real estate properties in recent months as well, including equity stakes in its flagship Herald Square location. [WSJ]Ariel Stulberg