Businesses experts expect Macy's void to fill quickly - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Businesses experts expect Macy's void to fill quickly

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Vicki Markussen Vicki Markussen
Anne Hlavacka Anne Hlavacka
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Macy's traces its roots in Valley View Mall back to 1980, it began as a Dayton's Store then became Marshall Fields before being re-branded in 2006.

SEE: Macy's Valley View Mall store closing

"We all hear of our brick and mortar stores that struggle, not just department stores but a lot of our retail stores. And so it's a reality check," said Vicki Markussen, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in La Crosse.

Anne Hlavacka, Director of Wisconsin's Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse said there's definitely a trend of retail going on in society.

"I think it has become increasingly a challenge for many retailer operations to try and figure out where the right mix is between trying to attract the right consumer that's going to purchase items and get them to purchase them at the store," expressed Hlavacka.

With more people using stores as a showroom to see items, perhaps try them on and then go find deals online.

Macy's Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Terry Lundgren stated, "We continue to experience declining traffic in our stores where the majority of our business is still transacted."

"It's a challenge because the cost of having a brick in mortar store is very high, especially if you don't have the sales coming in," added Markussen.

Valley View Mall in La Crosse draws from a 50 mile area, containing a strong line-up of national tenants. Occupying a space within the mall costs $400 per square foot as of September 30, 2016. 

"I think it's important that we not look at this as a lose for La Crosse. Certainly we feel for those employees, I have confidence that they're going to get absorbed in our area. I fully believe that there are a lot of businesses that are actually looking to have presence in La Crosse and this is an opportunity for them," said Markussen.

That's precisely what the company that currently owns the mall, Preit's CEO, Joseph Coradino stated, "We are in advanced discussions with a traditional department store."

And while it's uncertain right now what will fill that void, something is likely to fill the space sooner or later. 



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