Robinsons-May to be shut down by fall next year
Robinsons-May, arguably the Glendale Galleria’s most prominent anchor
department store, will shut down by fall of 2006, as part of an
$11-billion merger with Federated Department Stores Inc., the parent
company of Macy’s.
The Galleria is one of about 68 locations nationwide that house
both department stores, which will result in Robinsons-May’s
closures. Robinsons-May employees will be absorbed by the adjacent
Macy’s, according to a statement released Thursday by Federated.
Hundreds of May Department stores will convert their nameplates to
Macy’s in the merger, adding about 330 locations to the high-end
Glendale’s Robinsons-May occupies 179,000 square feet at the
mall’s southwest corner and is the first department store that comes
into view for drivers coming from the Golden State (5) Freeway and
along Central Avenue from Los Angeles. The store opened in 1993 and
employs 283 people, officials said. When Robinsons-May is closed,
Federated expects to transfer most of the stores employees to Macy’s
and no layoffs are anticipated, Federated spokeswoman Carol Sanger
“There will be some overstaffing, but given the turnover and
attrition rate in retail, we believe by end of next year we will be
at the appropriate staffing levels,” Sanger said.
The decision was made to shut down Glendale’s Robinsons-May
because of many factors, including location, traffic patterns and
current and future prospects of the location, she said. Glendale’s
Macy’s space is 191,000 square feet and is located on the mall’s west
The location was owned by the May company, Sanger said, so
Federated will sell the location to another retailer or developer so
it continues as an ongoing business.
The decision to shut down Robinsons-May was a shock for shoppers
like Rie Rother of Tujunga, who shops at the Glendale store often for
baby clothes, linens and her husband’s polo shirts.
“Oh my goodness,” Rother said. “I wish the Macy’s would close --
it’s not organized. I like Robinsons-May better because it’s so neat
and everything is in its place. This is our favorite Robinsons-May.”
Silvia Shapagatyan of Glendale, who was rushing into the store
Thursday with her two daughters, will miss Robinsons-May because the
department store is more affordable, she said. But her 15-year-old
daughter, Taguhi unequivocally deemed Macy’s the better store.
“They have all the brands, all the new styles and models,” Taguhi
Federated estimates that the merger of the stores nationwide will
eventually save the corporation about $175 million in 2006 and $450
million 2007, from reducing real estate, marketing and overhead
Besides Robinsons-May in Southern California, the company will
also rename stores like Filene’s along the East Coast, Foley’s in the
south and southwest and Hecht’s in the north and northeast. The
company anticipates that consumers will be disturbed by the loss of
longtime retailers like Robinsons-May, but will eventually see the
value in the merger.
“This is something we’ve dealt with before,” Sanger said. “There’s
a sense of nostalgic attachment. Federated is comprised of companies
with strong regional nameplates, but we’ve found that the positives
outweigh negatives in customer’s minds. It becomes less important
what is on name plate than what is in the store.”
What do you think of Federated Department Store’s plan to absorb
and shut down Robinsons-May? E-mail email@example.com or write to
News-Press and Leader Community Forum, 111 W. Wilson Ave. Suite 200,
Glendale, CA 91203. Please include your name and tell us your
hometown and phone number for verification purposes only.
* DARLEENE BARRIENTOS covers education. She may be reached at
(818) 637-3215 or by e-mail at darleene.barrientoslatimes.com.