It was once the flagship Burdines store. Now the Macy’s in downtown Miami is closing

Macy's in downtown Miami is closing and will begin clearance sales Jan. 8.

In a sign of the challenges facing brick-and-mortar retail, Macy’s announced Thursday morning that its downtown Miami store will close.

The downtown store, at 22 East Flagler St., is one of 11 stores around the nation that Macy’s said would be getting the ax. The others are in California, Indiana, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio and Vermont. In Florida, the Macy’s story in Oaks Mall in Gainesville will also be closed.

The stores will begin clearance sales on Jan. 8 that will run for eight to 12 weeks. Macy’s did not set an exact closing date for the Miami location.

Long-time Miamians first knew the store as the flagship for home-grown retailer Burdines, which opened its first downtown store in 1898. In 1956, Burdines joined the Federated Department Stores group; its name changed to Burdines-Macy’s in 2004 and shortened to Macys a year later.

The downtown Miami Burdines store is shown on January 1, 1954 in this Miami Herald file photo.

The closure of the downtown store and 10 others is part of Macy’s “growth strategy,” the store said via a release. With the new closures, the company will have completed 81 of the 100 planned store closures that were initially announced in August 2016. Another 19 stores will be closed as leases or operating covenants expires, or as sale transactions are completed.

Macy’s called the closures a “multi-year effort by the company to ensure the optimal mix of brick & mortar stores and digital footprint.”

Including the 11 stores announced today, Macy’s has now closed 124 stores since 2015.

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