The downtown Bon Marché is closing

Sunday, September 29, 2019

By Diane Hettrick

The Seattle Times broke the news on Saturday.

Macy's landmark store at Third and Pine streets in downtown Seattle will close in February of next year, the company confirmed Saturday, ending a long history of retail and holiday tradition as its online rival Amazon has continued to grow under its own roof.

Here's the story

Life as we know it will cease to exist. What about the Thanksgiving parade? What will happen to the Frangos?

That store was the first place I ever saw an escalator. When I was a young teen, I would ride the escalator to the sixth floor and back down again, sometimes twice.

I had a job with Allied Stores and our offices were on the sixth floor. Because we worked for the parent company, not the store, we had a suite of offices with windows and high ceilings.

I used to love coming into the building in the morning when the store was dark. They would leave a few spotlights shining on small round tables with special displays of jewelry. It was spooky and mysterious and beautiful all at the same time.

When there was a sale, it was a little terrifying to see the shoppers on the sky bridge, pressed up against the glass doors waiting for the store to open. One time I didn't make it to the office before the doors opened. It was like the movie scenes where the hero is in the middle of a cattle stampede.

There are two floors below the "basement" where all the office staff worked. It was a whole different world from the shoppers above. The elevators that went to those floors were in the employee hallway where shoppers never went. I felt like I knew the secret passageway through the castle.

I thought it would be claustrophobic in the office floors, but it was just a normal large office with lots of desks and bright lights. Underground two floors.

The store still plans to “ring in” the season on Nov. 29 with the 29th annual Macy’s Holiday Parade and fireworks show.
The downtown store will continue to operate through the 2019 holiday season, Rosenberg said. However, this year the 161-foot high Macy’s star that is lit annually to mark the start of the holidays in Seattle will not shine.

Apparently the store had shrunk to two floors and the sixth floor I remember so fondly now is occupied by Amazon.

Amazon is being blamed for the store's closing. I think it was the beginning of the end when it stopped being The Bon Marché.

And what about the Frangos?


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