Macy's, Inc. on Friday announced the closing of nine underperforming Macy's stores, affecting 899 employees in Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

While the decision to close stores is difficult, it is necessary that we do so selectively in locations with declining sales and where we have been unable to identify sufficient growth opportunities, said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc.

The company said to continually open new Macy's store locations in communities, which the employees affected by the closure will be offered positions in nearby stores.

Final clearance sales will begin at the stores over the next several weeks.

Cincinnati and New York-based Macy's, Inc., is one of the nation's premier retailers, with fiscal 2006 sales of $27 billion, and operates more than 850 department stores in 45 states, rose 22 cents to $25.25 during afternoon trading.