NANUET, NY-One of the three major anchor stores at the Nanuet Mall in Rockland County will close in early 2001. Federated Department Stores Inc. of Cincinnati will close its Stern’s department store at the complex in March.

Federated also reports that it will close the Stern’s store at 33rd St. in Manhattan next March as well. Both Stern’s locations were former Abraham & Strauss stores. The store at the Nanuet Mall totals 180,000 sf and serves as the third anchor of the Simon Property-owned facility. Other anchors at the mall located on Route 59 are Macy’s, which is also owned by Federated Department Stores, and Sears.

“With the closing of the 33rd St. and Nanuet stores next year, we will complete our long-term objective of eliminating the under-performing locations Stern’s inherited in the Macy’s/A&S merger in 1995,” James M. Zimmerman, Federated’s chairman and chief executive officer, says. “The remaining locations that converted from A&S to Stern’s, namely Monmouth in New Jersey, and Smith Haven and Massapequa on Long Island, are doing well and are profitable–a status the two stores we are closing could not manage to achieve despite the best efforts of Stern’s management.”

James N. Andress, Stern’s president, adds that although sales have improved at the 33rd St. and Nanuet stores, the chain was unable to offset what he termed “the high occupancy and operating expenses associated with these locations.”

There are approximately 340 Stern’s employees at the 33rd Street location and 126 in Nanuet. Some employees will be given severance packages and priority in hiring at other Stern’s locations, company officials note.

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