Downsizing strikes three longtime national companies with local ties, closings possible

FLINT TWP. — Three established area businesses announced store closings and a bankruptcy last week.

Macy’s department store and Ruby Tuesday restaurant announced store closings and Logan’s Roadhouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and announced store closings.

Logan’s and Macy’s both have locations at Genesee Valley Center mall. Ruby Tuesday closed its Genesee Valley location several years ago but still had a Genesee County restaurant on Silver Parkway in Fenton. Logan’s announced plans to close 21 restaurants nationwide; Macy’s said it will shutter 100 stores and Ruby Tuesday will close 95 underperforming restaurants. So far Macy’s and Ruby Tuesday have not announced the location of closing stores. But an online search indicated that the Fenton Ruby Tuesday location has closed. An online search of the Ruby Tuesday website no longer lists the Fenton location, no one is answering the phone there and corporate is not responding to requests for information.

A closing list for Logan’s circulated Monday indicated that only its Shelby Township will close in Michigan which means that the Genesee Valley store is safe.

Logan’s filed for bankruptcy protection on August 8, aimed at financial restructuring to provide capital needed to turnaround operations, according to a public statement. As part of the restructuring, CEO Sam Borgese is leaving the company. The statement also said that the company has a plan is in place to assist employees at closing restaurants by reassigning employees to other Logan’s restaurants or providing them with outplacement services and assistance with applying for jobs.

Macy’s has not released its latest store closing list so the fate of the Macy’s store at Genesee Valley Center mall is unknown at this time. It is one of 19 locations in Michigan including two in Troy and others in Lansing, Okemos, Saginaw, Novi, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Sterling Heights, Battle Creek, Ft. Gratiot, Grandville. Portage, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Westland, Kentwood, Harper Woods and Traverse City.

In a press statement, Macy’s announced plans to close “approximately 100 Macy’s full-line stores of 728 stores. Most of these stores will close early in 2017 while the rest will close with the expiration, amendment or waiver of leases and other arrangements.

““Nearly all of the stores to be closed are cash flow positive today, but their volume and profitability in most cases have been declining steadily in recent years,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s, Inc. president, who is slated to become its chief executive officer in the first quarter of 2017, according to the press release.

“We recognize that these locations do not yield an adequate return on investment and often do not represent a customer shopping experience that reflects our aspirations for the Macy’s brand. We decided to close a larger number of stores proactively so we can invest in a winning customer experience in our most productive and highest-potential locations, as well as invest in growth sooner and more aggressively in digital and mobile,” Gennette said.

Employees at affected stores will be notified directly before the closing list is publicly announced, the statement said. It also said that some displaced associates may be offered positions at nearby stores, if possible. Eligible fulltime and part-time associates who are laid off will be offered severance benefits.

Ruby Tuesday has not yet announced which of its approximate 724 nationwide locations will be closing but said they will cease operations by September. National media has announced several closures in the last few days including three in Maine, three in Missouri and eight n Virginia.

If the Fenton store is permanently closed, the closest Ruby Tuesday now serving Genesee County diners is in Clarkston at 6898 Sashabaw Road.

The company did not respond to a request for confirmation but issued a general statement stating “We will be sharing the information on specific restaurant closures in the coming days.”

JJ Buettgen, Ruby Tuesday Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, said remaining restaurants will implement a Fresh Start Initiative “designed to streamline our organization through asset rationalization, improve financial profitability, and ultimately create long-term value for shareholders. Our Fresh New Menu, Fresh New Garden Bar, and Fresh Experience initiatives will position us to accelerate traffic and will be supported by better in-restaurant execution.”

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