Macy’s: Why they are closing

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Bloomington Macy’s store is closing while the Champaign store isn’t.  The Internet is NOT the reason.

If the Bloomington store was profitable, it wouldn’t be closing.

Champaign is a lot like Bloomington (Champaign is a little bigger), but they don’t have a zoo, 3 golf courses, a Coliseum, a Pepsi Ice Center, a Creativity Center, a BCPA, dozens and dozens of parks, and a Council that has no problem forcing you to pay for it all.

The bottom line is Bloomington steals too much money from citizens which leaves them with less money to spend!

Let’s look at what Tari Renner and most of the current Council have done to taxes since he became mayor.  This story has a great graphic of projected Revenue by the City of Bloomington from 2013 and 2017.  All the new and increased taxes are noted:  See it HERE

Does anybody think Bloomington is growing – except with subsidized development?  At least one major employer fired well paid employees and replaced them with foreign labor.  Mitsubishi closed along with Cub Foods, etc, etc, etc..  AFNI is hiring but those jobs mean living with mom and dad or bunking with a couple of friends to share the rent.

According to the chart, the City budgeted for a $19.5 MILLION increase in revenue. (Add the fund balance transfer back)  Since growth is almost non-existent unless subsidized, where is the money coming from?


According to David Hales’ November City Manager report, Bloomington picks up garbage from 24,500 residences:  PDF page 8

$19,500,000 divided by 24,500 if roughly $796 every household doesn’t have to spend that they did have in 2013.

The roads are only marginally better, so what did citizens get for paying more taxes?



You will hear Renner and other candidates claim “we have to keep making progress”.

Ask them what they are making progress to?

Bankrupting citizens?

Complete government domination of the economy as they pick winners and losers?

This is simple economics.  When government takes money from citizens, citizens have less money to spend.

Macy’s is a victim of Tari Renner and every Council member who voted for the massive tax increases.

Brief recap of the major increases:   Source story

4% Amusement tax – $1,000,000 a year

.04 a gallon gas tax – $1,000,000 a year

Utilities tax increase – $2,700,000 a year

1/4% Home rule Sale tax extended – $2,500,000

1% Sales tax increase – $9,600,000

Video Gaming – $700,000

Garbage fees – undetermined

There will be more information on Renner’s destruction of the local economy.  Let’s see him defend what he’s done.

I bet this is why the tax receipts chart is no longer published by David Hales in his City Manager’s report.

Hiding information makes it easier to fool people into voting for you.

22 thoughts on “Macy’s: Why they are closing

  1. What is the one percent tax increase? A 1.00 drink at McDonald’s now is taxed at 11 percent.

    Is there a county tax on top of this too? Or is this all bloomington raiding our billfolds ….

    Any city that is homerule….is a progressives money dump into their ideological dream utopia while the households are bankrupted into oblivion

    Most do not know what home rule is. Please sometime do an article to refresh memories how homerule affects them and their lives in those towns. Your audience is growing.

    Happy new year , and as always god bless u and your typewriter. Angela.

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. There is a food and beverage tax on all prepared food and drinks at all restaurants. I don’t remember the percentage but the receipt should show two taxes if there is both sales in addition to food and beverage tax.


  2. AFNI is NOT a good work place. Kid across the street (just graduated from Central Catholic) just QUIT there, -says too much work, poor morale and bad pay. He’s got a better job with better pay already.
    As for Renner, I don’t know WHAT his legacy in this town will be, except the economic destruction of a ONCE viable city, now I see people leaving, factories closing (MMMA) and stores (Cub, Macys) closing. And as for garbage, we take the SMALL can out MAYBE once every couple months, the rest gets composted or recycled-THAT’S sustainability, not TAX and SPEND! GET IT TARI???


    1. How can that be? Isn’t councilman Scott Black work in Human Resources at AFNI? I mean, shouldn’t it be a progressive utopia with Scotty (mentored by Renner) in HR? OMG!


  3. Diane, I thought you had done a piece on all the taxes that the professor had increased since taking office? I searched and couldn’t find it. Trying to educate people to the lies and fake news out there….


  4. When Macy’s was built I am 95% sure that the City of Bloomington gave them incentives. Mayor Judy was in office. Most city governments count on large retail sales tax receipts. That is changing. Internet shopping has totally changed retail.


  5. Do a search on the Internet and they will tell you that much of it has to do with consumer shopping patterns. Ever hear of online shopping? If taxes and fees were lower, I think Amazon would be the beneficiary not brick and mortar stores. Malls have to be much more than shopping to survive. You have to be like Mall of America or Watertower Place. You have to have restaurants and entertainment to go with it.

    It’s tempting to blame Renner and the council every time a business closes or leaves. However, the consumers determine where to spend their money. You are making shaky assumptions that if people had more money than they would have shopped at Macy’s in the first place. Meijers, Sam’s Club or Walmart wouldn’t get that money?


      1. They are also sitting on high value real estate and investors want them to sell those properties to drive up the share price. The Bloomington store could have still been profitable but maybe didn’t fit into their consolidation plans. Maybe rent was higher per square foot at Eastland compared to the Campaign mall. Point is, consumer buying power will only get you so far. You don’t have the location, brands or prices, you will have a hard time. Their online sales increased by double digits in percent so they putting more emphasis on improving their online brand. The professor could have given them a tax break and it would not have made any difference.


      2. A lot of good the tax break did. You either figure out how to get people in your store or you are out of business. The fact that some retail stores are holding on is good news, but some are reducing their footprint–smaller stores, stores specializing in selling overstock, etc. Amazon is looking at grocery delivery. I wonder how long it will take grocery stores to feel the pinch on that. RadioShack is now closing at Eastland. It’s hard to change consumer behavior even when you can compete on price.


    1. A corrupt government and out of touch of reality that the overall economy sucks (due to corrupt government) is the problem.


    2. The discount big box stores–another shopping pattern–also have an affect on the bottom line at Macy’s. A shopper needs to have significant disposable (key word) income to shop at Macy’s. Renner likes to take all of the credit for Kroger and Dicks moving to Bloomington when in fact it was an internal business decision by the company to expand. Renner just gave them subsidies using tax dollars. If Renner wants credit then he can take the blame. Most retailer who are losing money blame shopping patterns. The same google search will also tell you the company is “restructuring”–code for avoiding bankruptcy.


      1. Code for bankruptcy? I’ll believe it when I see it. Not when they have high value real estate waiting to be sold. Your disposable income shouldn’t determine if you shop at Macy’s when you need it to pay your necessary expenses. You are probably thinking of discretionary income. Which is what truly is your play money. You also have to attract people’s discretionary income. I am not going to spend money at Macy’s unless they have something I want. Chances are, if they do, Amazon has it for less, which even if I had tons of money, I still would buy from Amazon. The only way I would buy it from
        Macy’s is if Amazon did not have it.


      2. Mr. X. The poor shop at WalMart. They don’t have discrsionary income. They buy their necessities at discount stores.


  6. The sales tax rate in Urbana and Champaign is 9% compared to 8.75 in both Normal and Bloomington. So, I’m not sure it computes as to why that store is staying open and Bloomington is closing. What I think this closing does show is that future economic growth in this community or any other in America is not going to be retail. Especially when I can go online and be charged 7.75% tax. This summer I bought a push lawn mower from Sears online. I got charged charged 7.75% in tax and got free delivery and never entered the mall. I think Bloomington has saturated the retail market. There’s a limit to how many consumers can support the number of retail establishments we have. When one opens up another is going to close. I fully expect to see Sonic close when Portillos comes to town. By the way, the food and beverage tax in Normal Bloomington is 2% on top of the 8.75% sales tax for a total of 10.75% on my Chick fil ‘A order.


  7. I saw a few comments on Facebook yesterday evening. One person was claiming that the local taxes played a part in management’s decision on keeping a store open. This isn’t just Macy’s owners but other store owners too. How true that is I don’t know. It seems quite possible. If store A can sell items with less sales tax then they can compete with internet sellers better. Likewise store B in a place that has a high sales tax can’t compete with internet sellers. So given a choice of walking into Macy’s at Bloomington where I would have to pay a high sales tax I’ll shop the internet. Driving to Champaign or anywhere else isn’t in my best interest also. I wouldn’t be saving much for the expense of driving there. Now if I lived at Champaign with a lower tax I might consider buying local verses going to the internet.

    Where stores like Macy’s have messed up on also is their branding. Meaning they should have items that you can only buy at Macy’s brick and mortar and the internet. An example would be Hermes. I can only buy that Hermes scarf at a Hermes store or on the internet Hermes site or they could limit certain items to a store only in hopes of luring you in to buy other items. Another example is the Alexander McQueen parfum in the black bottle. There are only 2 places I can get that. Saks Fifth Ave. or Alexander’s website. Higher end stores use this method to stay in business.


  8. From a “trenches” perspective:

    Top-heavy corporate structure;
    Buyers who don’t respond appropriately to market demands;
    Point-of-Sale system that frustrates the sale for both consumer and worker. For instance, it takes at least 7 computer system strokes to “make a sale.” Only about 3 to process a refund/return.
    Point-of-Sale system built on software platform circa 2000 w/innumerable, insufferably slow ‘add-on’ patches.
    Point-of-Sale system that allows employees to discount soft-lines, for any amount, that the ‘customer’ demands.
    ‘Customers’ that are not consumers, but parasites. From such behaviors as ‘wardrobing,’ perpetrating rebate fraud, insisting on redemption of phony offers, Macy’s house charge card fraud . . . and just out-right, in-person, retail theft.
    “Customers” with fraudelent returns. Laundering counterfeit products for authentic items.
    A iternant, transient, fluid, minimally paid work force. That has the unchecked ability to change prices. Sweethearting. But, also, genuine loss due to the strong-arm, bullying techniques of the professional ‘customer.’ a/k/a career criminal larencist.
    High turnover of “Risk-Management” staff.
    Crooks/thieves well versed in arrest/criminal charge avoidance. In other words, they know just where the line is and how not to cross it.
    ‘Customers’ that come in, not to buy, but to “see how much they can get away with.” Be it in cash-money merchandise, or harrassment (sexual, verbal, racial) of store staff.

    I’ll stop here. There are more. Basically, retail is not the fun experience it once was. It is not therapeutic (at least at big-box . . . and Macy’s is ‘big-box.’ (Or, more actually, it lacks a cohesive identity due to the fact that it’s parent company Federated bought up so many disparate small chains to incorporate into its current behometh size of about 900 stores nationwide. One could argue that this was part of the plan. Who can’t think of other industries where the big-dog swallowed all the little-dogs just to stanch out competitition.


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