Department store closings, a big part of changes in buying by consumers, hit stores where Amy and I used to shop.

Embattled retailer Macy’s took over the retail chain where Amy worked as a buyer in the 1990s in the Washington, DC, area, and is closing their Landmark Mall store in Alexandria and the anchor store in Alton Square in Illinois where we lived for 12 years in the late 1960s through the early 80s/

As a reporter for The Telegraph in Alton, I covered the opening of what was then the Famous-Barr Department store and Alton Square in 1978.  I proposed to her over lunch at that Famous Barr, which later became Macy’s.

Macy’s is shutting down at least 100 stores in the country in 2017.  In Virginia, besides the store in Alexandria, Lynchburg will lose a Macy’s at River Ridge.  The Landmark store in Alexandria opened in 1965, the Lynchburg location in 1980.

The Alton Square mall was the city’s first enclosed shopping mall that has fallen on hard times. Sears closed there in 2012 and the loss of Macy’s will leave only troubled J.C. Penney as the only department store in the mall where many of the stores are being covered in drywall and left much of the second level empty.

Landmark Mall in Alexandria opened in 1965 but has been in decline in recent year and the closing of Macy’s is considered a major blow to the center’s attempt to revitalize.

in the New River/Roanoke Valley areas, closings have hit the other end of the retail spectrum with the closing of the Christiansburg K-Mart last year and the closing of Sears at New River Valley Mall a year or so earlier.  Other KMart stores have announced closings and special shopping stores are cutting back or shutting down completely.

Changes in shopping habits are cited as a key reason.  Increases in online shopping is a big part. Sales at Amazon and other online giants report record earning sales.