Downtown Macy's store closes for last time

Downtown Macy's store closes for last time

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There has been a retail store on the block bordered by Nuuanu, King and Fort Streets for more than 160 years. That string ended Saturday when the downtown Macy's closed its doors for the last time.

The only thing left in the windows were signs that advertised that it was the last day of sales. A few people walked in through the doors, and then walked right back out without buying anything. There was hardly anything left to sell.

"It's pretty depressing because you can see where people used to work and everything, and now it's just empty shelves and dust," said Erik Clemson, who added that it was his first and last visit to the location.

If you were interested, the shelves were on sale, and there were some buyers.

Myrna Cabrera came looking for details and walked out with a circular rack, which she'll use to hang clothes.

"It's only ten dollars, which is a good deal, which is why I bought it," said Cabrera.

The New York-based Developers Lexington Realty Trust bought the building six years ago for $35 million. What will happen with the two stories of retail space and 450 parking stalls?

"It will probably sit fallow for a few years, or there will be somebody temporary, but the highest and best use is to build up," said retail consultant Stephany Sofos. "And the highest and best use, in my opinion in today's world, is residential.

Macy's said it was closing the store because it was underperforming. Sofos said downtown is no longer the right place for a retailer like Macy's, in part because people no longer see it as a convenient location to shop.

Some shoppers admitted as much, saying they wouldn't miss the downtown Macy's. "Not really, because I have Ala Moana," said Cabrera. "I usually go to Ala Moana Macy's. I hardly come here."

At Ala Moana Center, Sears will be closing later this year. "One of the interesting things I would love to see is Sears going back to Macy's because then it will have gone full circle because that's where all retail started in Hawaii," said Sofos.

But at least for now, it's ending for Macy's.

Related stories:

Macy's to close downtown Honolulu store

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.