Macy’s came to Santa Rosa during the height of 1980s shopping mall culture


The two Macy’s department stores in Santa Rosa originated at the height of the shopping mall culture of the 1980s, a decade when consumerism and materialism were celebrated.

The construction and opening of the two Macy’s stores received extensive coverage in local media, especially the Plaza location, which radically transformed the downtown area.

Macy’s sells everything from housewares and electronics to clothing, jewelry and accessories. Its first location in Santa Rosa opened downtown at Santa Rosa Plaza in 1981. A second location opened in 1984 at Coddingtown Mall. Both stores are still in operation.

When the downtown location opened in 1981, there were seating areas for customers to take breaks from shopping, and terracotta tiles were laid in the jewelry department as a relaxing aesthetic. The company had a fashion bureau that noted that suede and leather were all the rage that year, along with “metallic shoes, belts and handbags.”

It was a 190,000-square-foot, three-story store, and it was on the same block where the old California Theater was located before it was demolished in the late 1970s.

Macy’s in Santa Rosa Plaza generates around $ 30 million in sales per year, developer Hugh Codding told The Press Democrat in 1984.

“With a second Macy’s here it will be a healthy situation,” Codding said.

The Coddingtown Mall location opened in 1984, initially selling only clothing. It took over the old Liberty House, a former Hawaii-based department store chain.

Macy’s was established in 1858 and, despite the decline of American malls, currently operates 740 stores across the country, according to its website. She planned to close 45 stores this year.

See the gallery above for photos of Macy’s store openings in Santa Rosa in the 1980s.


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