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CINCINNATI-After weak comp-store sales in 2007, Macy’s Inc. will close nine underperforming Macy’s stores in the Midwest, Southwest and Rockies. Final clearance sales will begin in the next few weeks.

The stores are located in Washington Square, Indianapolis, IN; Prien Lake Mall, Lake Charles, LA; Rolling Acres Mall, Akron, OH; Canton Centre, Canton, OH; Randall Park Mall, North Randall, OH; Crossroads Mall, Oklahoma City, OK; Valley View Center, Dallas, TX; Sharpstown Center, Houston; and Family Center at Riverdale, Riverdale, UT.

“While the decision to close stores is difficult, it is necessary that we do so selectively in locations with declining sales and where we have been unable to identify sufficient growth opportunities,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman, president and CEO in a statement announcing the closings. “At the same time, we continue to open new Macy’s store locations in communities where we believe we can operate successfully.”

The company opened 10 new stores and one furniture gallery in 2007. In 2008, the company expects to open five stores, with an additional six to eight new locations planned for 2009.

The closures come in the wake of slow comp store sales results. Through the first three quarters of 2007, the company posted a 0.7% same-store sales increase. Though the early Thanksgiving helped boost November comps to a 13.4% increase, the calendar shift also was expected to result in a 3% to 7% comp-sales decline in December.

Macy’s (formerly Federated Department Stores) operates more than 850 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.

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