Online auction firm gives Macy's building 'second chance'

Rick Shrum

Attention, local shoppers ... you may find deals, maybe steals, at the old Macy’s department store at Washington Crown Center.

Only it is no longer a Macy’s store, which the big-box chain shuttered in 2018. M@C Discount, an online bidding auction company, moved into the space in January – relocating from South College Street in Washington.

The company is storing and displaying “second-chance” merchandise at the former Macy’s, and at six other locations.

The available items, generally, have been returned to big-box stores and to Amazon, and include exercise equipment, lawn mowers, furniture, sporting goods, clothing, mattresses ... anything but a caveman’s club. There also are pallets of general merchandise.

Would-be customers visit to see what is available at those sites, bid on products by a specified date and time, and pick up if they “win.”

“You can get 70 to 80% off retail,” said Kellen Campbell, who launched the company in 2018 with co-owner Shawn Allen. “We have to process fast, market fast and sell fast.”

At about 150,000 square feet, the Crown Center facility is the company’s second most spacious, behind Pittsburgh Mills Circle in the Allegheny Valley (160,000). Each location has a company-high 85 employees.

The other sites are in Beaver Falls, Butler, McKees Rocks, Boardman, Ohio, and Spartanburg, S.C. – all of which are operating under five-year leases. M@C also plans to launch a location in Monroeville.

Companywide, M@C Discount has 440 employees and more than 700,000 square feet of usable space.