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Casper resident Billie Wellman said she loves to shop at Macy’s, which is why she was dismayed to learn the chain’s only branch in Wyoming will be closing its doors in the coming months.

“I hate that it’s closing,” said Wellman, who was browsing the department store for new sheets on Thursday morning. “I think it’s going to kill the mall.”

Macy’s, which is located in Eastridge Mall in Casper, is expected to shut down in March, according to general manager Carrie Allen.

“This store is closing here in Casper,” Allen said. “Not all Macy’s (stores).”

Allen, who could not confirm the number of employees who work at the store, said she was unable to comment further at this time.

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In an email to the Star-Tribune, Emily Goldberg, the manager of corporate communications at Macy’s headquarters in New York, said that the decision to close the Casper branch was made after Macy’s Inc. reviewed its real estate portfolio across the country.

“Macy’s previously shared this information with our valued colleagues,” she wrote. “Regular, non-seasonal employees who we are unable to place at nearby Macy’s stores will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources. ... The decision to close a store is always a difficult one, but Macy’s is delighted to have served the Casper community over the past 35 years, and we look forward to continuing to do so online.”

Goldberg said a clearance sale will begin in mid-January and run for 8-12 weeks.

The Casper location is the only Macy’s in Wyoming, according to the department store’s website.

Macy’s is not the only department store in the mall set to close. In October, the Sears in Eastridge Mall was included among the 142 Sears Holdings stores slated to close nationally.

Rhett Robison, the mall’s general manager, said Thursday that he is unsure what businesses will take the place of Sears and Macy’s.

“There are a lot of discussions,” he said. “We look forward to new developments.”

Explaining that the number of mall shoppers has always ebbed and flowed, Robison said he doesn’t think there’s been a significant decline in the number of mall visitors in recent years.

“I don’t know that shopping patterns (in Casper) have changed all that much,” he said, adding that about 80 percent of the mall’s closures in recent years were due to chains facing national bankruptcies.

While some businesses at the mall are shutting down, there have also been some new additions in the last two years. Robison said the Shoe Department opened a branch at the mall and Rue 21, a clothing store, expanded.

Some of the mall’s other larger stores include J.C. Penney, Target and Ross Dress for Less.

Casper residents Tonie Rios and Amber Niendorf, who were browsing the mall together Thursday, said they both hope the mall will stay afloat without Macy’s and Sears.

Both women said they prefer to shop at physical stores, instead of online.

“I think it’s sad,” said Niendorf, adding that Macy’s and Sears were two of her favorite stores in the mall.

Although it’s unfortunate that the two stores are closing, said Desiree Laman, a manager at Bath and Body Works at Eastridge Mall, Laman said she’s confident Bath and Body Works will continue to bring in shoppers.

“Our customers love our products, and it brings them back,” she said. “But it is sad they’re closing.”

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Local Government Reporter

Katie King joined the Star-Tribune in 2017 and primarily covers issues related to local government. She previously worked as a crime reporter in the British Virgin Islands. Originally from Virginia, Katie is a graduate of James Madison University.

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