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Macy's Hilltop Mall Store In Richmond To Close In March

RICHMOND (CBS SF) -- The Macy's store at the ailing Hilltop Mall in Richmond will close in March, the chain said Monday in a letter to city and county officials.

The closure, which follows the loss of the JC Penney and Sears stores, leaves Walmart as the lone major tenant at the 45-year-old shopping center.

Macy's said the closure would happen between March 14-27, and some 133 employees would be laid off, according to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt.

Many in Richmond blame the decision to approve the mall, which opened in September 1976 on land owned by the Chevron refinery at the city's northern end for the decline of downtown, including the relocation of Macy's and JC Penney, which were joined at the new center by an Emporium-Capwell store.

"A feasibility study showed that a more urban style mall could succeed in downtown, but the City Council rejected that economic development strategy in favor of Chevron and Hilltop," Butt wrote in an email message about the closure.

Hilltop nonetheless thrived for many years, but was hurt as large retail chains closed locations nationwide. Butt noted that malls in general have been in decline in the United States.

A new owner of Hilltop announced plans to makeover the mall as a themed shopping option, "But then COVID-19 hit, and that was the end," Butt wrote.

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