LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) - Macy's, one of the main anchors at the Lakeland Square Mall, is jumping ship.
"At a time when Lakeland is taking so many steps forward, this is definitely not something you want to hear," Mayor Howard Wiggs told News Channel 8.
The closure leaves two big holes at the Lakeland Square Mall, with the recent closure of Sports Authority, while, major retailer H&M set up shop in a 20,000 square foot space in the mall located on Highway 98 North.
Macy's announced Wednesday it is closing 68 stores, including multiple Tampa Bay area locations. The three Tampa Bay area stores are slated to close by year's end. The local closing will affect 227 employees.
- Lakeland Square in Lakeland
- Sarasota Square in Sarasota
- University Square in Tampa
The company said it estimates 6,200 people will be laid off across the country.
"We are closing locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape," Macy's CEO Terry J. Lundgren said in a press release. "These are never easy decisions, and we are committed to treating associates affected by these closings with respect and transparency."
CNBC reports, "Macy's shares tumbled more than 9 percent after the market's close Wednesday after it posted disappointing holiday sales and released the locations of 68 of the 100 stores it plans to close as it looks to turn around its performance. Macy's comparable sales fell 2.1 percent in November and December, which was at the low-end of its previous guidance. It maintained its 2016 comparable sales guidance of a 2.5 percent to 3 percent decline, but expects full-year diluted earnings to be in a range of $2.95 to $3.10. It had previously been expecting $3.15 to $3.40."
Macy's stores that remain open will be restructured.
Macy's joins a growing list of major retailers shuttering locations.
The Sears store at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales will be closing. Polk's remaining Sears location is at Lakeland Square Mall, while the county's lone Kmart is at 4717 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland.