Life after Macy's: Some Stonestown Galleria shops struggling after anchor tenant's closure

Photos: Jennifer Shields/Hoodline

Back in March, Macy's closed its Stonestown Galleria location as part of a massive restructuring. The department store, struggling with the increasing shift away from traditional retail and towards online shopping, plans to close 100 stores in total between now and the end of the decade.

But while Macy's popularity has been on the decline, its absence has still left a hole at Stonestown, where the department store has served as an anchor tenant since it took over for the Emporium in 1996.

The mall's owner, General Growth Properties, purchased the Macy's building from the retailer for $41 million in early 2017. It has already signed on to plans to transform portions of the former Macy's store into a Whole Foods, a new location of local athletic retailer Sports Basement, and a Regal Cinemas multiplex.

According to the SF Business Times, the three new arrivals are expected to open in late 2019 or early 2020. But until then, other retailers at the mall must continue on without Macy's to draw in shoppers.

An employee of cosmetics shop Candy Doll Beauty, who requested anonymity, said business has been dramatically affected -- in a negative way -- since Macy's closed.

A sales associate at hat retailer Lids, located a couple stores down from the old Macy's location, also said business has been down.

"Since Macy's moved out, I'd say there's been a slight decrease," said employee Nic Aronc.

However, not every mall employee expressed concern about Macy's closure. An employee of athletic store Champs said business hasn't been affected at all.

If the Galleria's existing stores can survive the construction period, more new stores should be on the way to join them as well.

In addition to Whole Foods, the movie theater and Sports Basement, General Growth Properties has another 40,000 square feet of remaining Macy's real estate that it plans to fill with other small shops, as well as a few restaurants.

General Growth told the Business Times that it's in talks with a large-format bookstore, a cosmetics retailer, and a kids' entertainment company, among other potential tenants, and hopes to have signed leases on the remainder of the Macy's space by the end of 2018.

Aronc expressed particular excitement about the coming movie theater. "Personally, I think that would bring in a lot more traffic to our store, because of people browsing and waiting for their movie," he said.
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