Monday, March 1, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Corrected version

I. Magnin To Close -- Seattle Store To Shut Its Doors June 30

R.H. Macy & Co. Inc. will close its I. Magnin store in downtown Seattle at 601 Pine St. June 30, becoming the second major retailer to shut down a downtown store in less than a year.

Macy's announced the closing today as part of a five-year plan to emerge from bankrutpcy. The plan includes closing 11 poorly performing I. Magnin, Macy's and Bullock's stores nationwide and reshaping the focus of 13 remaining I. Magnin stores.

The Seattle I. Magnin store, which employs 90, has long been a key retail site. Its closing is expected to hurt the already ailing downtown core, where only Nordstrom and The Bon Marche remain as large retailers.

"This is part of the domino effect of the closure of Frederick & Nelson," says Dick Outcalt of Outcalt & Johnson, a local retail consulting firm.

Outcalt said I. Magnin is located in what was a prime retail location but that downtown Seattle is being taken over by offices.

I. Magnin has been in Seattle since 1926 and at its current location, diagonally across the street from the closed Frederick & Nelson store, since 1953.

The F&N store has been empty since late May, when the bankrupt, 102-year-old department-store chain shut its doors following a liquidation sale. So far, no tenant has been found for the 700,000-square-foot 10-story building.

Klopfenstein's, a specialty retailer, formerly located across from I. Magnin at Sixth Avenue and Pine Street, moved to Rainier Square in the summer of 1989 and then closed its doors for good last summer.

Magnin's upscale image has attracted a prosperous clientele who patronized the store's exclusive Hermes, Guerlain and Louis Vuitton boutiques and flocked to the "Divas and Diamonds" charity fashion show and luncheon the store has sponsored for more than 25 years.

Yet sales suffered as it failed to keep up with the times and continued catering to the dying carriage trade.

Store officials said today they will hold "charity shopping days" at the four-story, 80,000-square-foot store March 7-13 with a percentage of sales to benefit five local charities.

As of March 16 until the time it closes, the Seattle store will become a clearance center for the I. Magnin chain.

"The decision to close these stores was based on a variety of factors, including unsatisfactory profitability and productivity, a declining sales trend, a lack of growth potential in the market, and, in most cases, the need for significant capital improvements," said Mark Handler and Myron Ullman, Macy's co-chairmen and co-chief executive officers, in a prepared statement.

Some real-estate sources have said the I. Magnin site could attract retailers such as Nike or Crate and Barrel, possibly even an off-price retailer such as Loehmann's.

Published Correction Date: 03/02/93 - Klopfenstein's Moved To Two Union Square In 1989 Before Going Out Of Business Last Summer. This Article Gave An Incorrect Location.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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