El Paso

Macy's and Kmart closing locations in El Paso

Macy's and Kmart stores closing in El...

El PASO, Texas - The Macy's at Sunland Park Mall is set to close in early 2017, according to Macy's website.

The site further states Macy's is eliminating more than 10,000 jobs and closing nearly 100 stores nationwide.

According to Macy's, the Sunland Park store opened in 2004 and 71 employees will be affected by the closure.

"Sunland Park Mall continues to evolve by providing shoppers with the brands they seek," said Mary Castillo, general manager of Sunland Park Mall. "We look forward to continuing to expand our retail mix with exciting new additions in the future."

Sunland Park Mall shopper Beth McDonough was surprised by the Macy's closure.

"I think it's great to have a lot of shopping opportunity in El Paso and I'm always sad to see stores go," McDonough said.
 
Fernando Vazquez was also surprised to see on of the mall's biggest tenets closing its doors.

"It is very unexpected. It's usually the department store that is the most full of people during the holiday shopping season and even when it is not the season to be shopping. And I've always shopped there. So, that's definitely a disappointment," Vazquez said.

The closing clearance sales begin Monday at Macy's and will last an estimated 8-12 weeks. The Macy's at Cielo Vista is not on the list of closures.

According to Business Insider, Kmart has also announced that it is closing two stores in El Paso: the McRae location in east El Paso and the store located on Dyer in northeast El Paso. Both stores will be closing by April.

According to Business Insider, the El Paso closures are part of  the 108 Kmart stores closing nationwide.

While shopping malls offer a variety of stores, economic experts say online shopping is proving to be a fierce competitor.

"The inconvenience of having to travel to these areas often outweighs the benefits. And that is why we've seen the shift in favor of growing volumes of online sales in recent years," said Tom Fullerton, an economic professor at UTEP.

The news of three large retail stores, a Macy's and two Kmarts closing in El Paso activated the rapid response team at Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the state's employment agency.

Oscar Licon, the Business Service Manager for Workforce Solutions Borderplex, said the agency will be reaching out to people who will lose their jobs as early as Thursday.
 
"We try to go out on the front end to try and help all these employees. At Macy's they have 71 (employees). So, a lot of them have probably worked there for a long time. it might be their only job for years. Some might be seasonal. We'll go and take our services to them," Licon said.

According to Workforce Solutions Borderplex, El Paso's retail economy is strong but evolving. Experts agree, stores will have to keep up with the changes in order to survive.

"One thing that is going to affect malls in the future is the development on drone deliveries.  A lot of marketing analysts anticipate that that is going to change mall traffic again just like online sales," Fullerton said.

That leaves three Kmart stores in El Paso: in west El Paso at Sunland Park, in central El Paso on Montana, and on Zaragoza in the Lower Valley.


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