Bloomingdale's is closing its store at Perimeter Mall, one of four the department store chain will be shutting down nationally.
The move will put 96 full-time and 32 part-time employees out of work, though Bloomingdale's spokeswoman Anne Keating said some workers would be moved to the company's store at Lenox Square mall, which will remain open.
The Perimeter store was underperforming, Keating said, with sales not meeting expectations. She declined to elaborate on sales figures.
Bloomingdale's sells to a high-end, fashionable customer, and it is likely fewer fashion customers were shopping at Perimeter Mall than at Lenox, said Jim Bieri, a principal with Stokas Bieri Real Estate advisory in Michigan.
"The Bloomingdale's customer is a pretty rarefied customer," he said. "It probably wasn't producing a great kind of volume."
Dennis Kemp, manager of Perimeter Mall, said the company's decision to leave did not come as a surprise and is not a reflection of Perimeter's performance. He said Perimeter will be making an announcement soon about what will take Bloomingdale's place.
"It's going to be a positive for the mall in the long run," Kemp said.
Because Atlanta's luxury market is focused at Lenox and Phipps Plaza, Bieri said, having a Bloomingdale's elsewhere may have stretched a luxury shopper too far. He said it isn't unusual for Bloomingdale's to close a store but stay in the market for some time.
While having a store like Bloomingdale's leave can be a public relations hit for a mall, Bieri said some possible replacements -- like Von Maur, an Iowa chain that opened its first Atlanta outpost at North Point Mall in Alpharetta in November -- would enable Perimeter not to lose a step.
Still, even with a good replacement the loss will be noticed.
"When a name like Bloomingdale's leaves a center, it's like losing your all-star third baseman to free agency," Bieri said. "It leaves a hole."
But Randy Stuart, an assistant marketing professor at Kennesaw State University, said the loss to the community likely would be minimal. She noted Bloomingdale's footprint is small, and shoppers there have the opportunity to go to Buckhead to find the items they want.
The Bloomingdale's at Perimeter opened in 2003, when it was converted from a Macy's store.
The other Bloomingdale's stores closing are in Oak Brook, Ill.; North Bethesda, Md.; and at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
The company is opening five stores, in Livermore, Calif.; Merrimack, N.H.; Westbury, N.Y.; and Dallas and Grand Prairie, Texas.
The going-out-of-business sale at the Perimeter location will begin Sunday, and is expected to last for 10 weeks.