Concerns and frustrations over Macy’s closing in Southland Mall

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mayor A C Wharton is concerned sales tax revenue will take a hit now that Macy's department store announced it's leaving Southland Mall in Spring 2015.

The company is closing 14 stores across the county as part of a restructuring plan.

City leaders said the closure came as a huge surprise.

Macy's has yet to give an exact reason, but said this is part of a greater plan to streamline in-store and online shopping.

Mayor Wharton admits this is a blow to Whitehaven, and is worried about the 112 people losing jobs, and shoppers leaving the city.

"Absolutely, I am concerned about the loss of sales tax revenue. I'm also concerned about the quality of life," he said.

Southland Mall is the oldest in the city, and Macy's has been there a decade.

Once it shuts down, the only department store left is Sears.

"If they would have told us what they need to maintain their operation, I'm sure they would have had one advocate for them and that's me," Councilman Harold Collins said.

Collins is frustrated, because he had no idea this was coming. He said he's first going to see if it's worth talking to Macy's to see if it will reconsider, and then he'll sit down with the mall's owners and create a plan even if that means offering tax incentives.

He wants to make sure the closure doesn't have a domino effect.

"We have a never quit attitude out here. We never give up," Collins said.

WREG is told the 112 employees will be offered jobs in other nearby locations or severance packages.

The final clearance will start Monday, January 12.

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