Downtown Columbus Lazarus to close

A Columbus landmark will close its doors in about 10 months. Federated Department Stores announced Friday it will close the downtown Lazarus store next August. The news stunned workers and shoppers at the City Center Mall.

The High Street Lazarus store has stood on high street for 93 years. The news comes after two other anchor stores, Jacobsons and Marshall Fields, pulled out of the City Center Mall. City Center bounced back when Kaufmann’s replaced Marshall Fields but the Lazarus departure stings.

Federated Dpartment stores says sales at the downtown store have fallen 60% in the last 8 years. The company says most of the 200 people who work downtown will be offered jobs at other Lazarus stores in the area.

Officials at City Center declined to be interviewed. General Manager Peter Cooper issued a statement saying Federated has committments to the mall until 2009 and the mall expects the company to adhere to them.

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