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Macy's to close 30 locations in early 2020; REITs have limited exposure

While Macy's Inc. has not publicly reported on the matter, USA Today and several other news outlets published a list of 30 locations slated for closure in early 2020, citing local media reports as the underlying sources. Macy's confirmed the list of closing locations in an email statement to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Of the 30 locations, five are at properties owned by real estate investment trusts.

Washington Prime Group Inc. owns two properties on the list — Seminole Towne Center in Sanford, Fla., and Muncie Mall in Muncie, Ind. CBL Properties owns Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, N.C., while Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield owns Westfield Meriden in Meriden, Conn.

Simon Property Group Inc. owns The Falls in Miami where Macy's plans to close its Bloomingdale's store.

Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee, Ill., and The Centre at Salisbury in Salisbury, Md., are also on the list, both of which were acquired by an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. through its privatization of Rouse Properties Inc. in 2016.

Macy's investor day is scheduled for Feb. 5, and its management team will give an update on its growth strategy and three-year plan, including its future store footprint.

On Nov. 21, 2019, Macy's reported weaker-than-expected sales in its third fiscal quarter and lowered its guidance for fiscal 2019, citing weak performance from its locations at lower-tier malls as a contributing factor.

The retailer's holiday sales, however, were better than anticipated, with its comparable sales on an owned and licensed basis down only 0.6% year over year in November and December 2019. Consensus S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates showed analysts predicted a same-store sales decline of 2.7% for Macy's fiscal fourth quarter, which includes the holiday months as well as January 2020, prior to the company's holiday sales release. Following the release, Macy's fourth-quarter consensus same-store sales growth estimate currently sits at negative 0.9%.

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