Macy's Is Closing In Burlington. What Will That Mean For Downtown Retail?

Jan 5, 2018

This week, Macy’s announced it will close its downtown Burlington store in March. It’s one of 100 locations the department store chain plans to close around the country.

Sixty-five Macy’s employees in Burlington will be placed at other locations or offered severance pay, according to a company spokesperson.

This comes as the broader retail landscape continues to transform, particularly with the rise of online shopping.

Meanwhile Burlington is also pursuing a downtown redevelopment project, which will bring a mix of housing, office and retail space to the city. Kelly Devine, executive director of the Burlington Business Association, says more mixed-use development is a possible use for the Macy's space.

"Mixed-use development is the future, I think," Devine says. "And Burlington desperately needs housing. ... Of course, you have to be mindful the building is less than 20 years old, so, you know, is there an adaptive re-use?"

Other parts of the region will also see retail closings in the near future. Sears announced this week it’s closing about 100 stores, including Kmart stores (which Sears owns) in Plattsburgh, New York and Rutland, Vermont.

VPR's Henry Epp spoke with Kelly Devine of the Burlington Business Association about the local retail environment. Listen to the full interview above.