Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

wnetmacman
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by wnetmacman »

Louisiana has really only one or two malls remaining that aren't on life support. I'll go geographically, from the North:

Shreveport/Bossier City had three traditional malls, plus a 60,000 sq.ft. mall wannabe.

Pierremont Mall was the wannabe. It was built so Shreveport-based Selber Brothers could expand to the southern part of town. Selber was replaced by Stein Mart after their closure, and is vacant, much like most of the remaining space.

South Park Mall was built along LA3132 in the south part of town in 1974-75. Anchored by Wards, JCPenney and then new to town Dillard's, this always seemed like a second tier mall. Brought down by economic conditions in that part of town and by a loss of anchors (Wards 1999, JCP 2000, Dillards not long after), it is now owned by Summer Grove Baptist Church. They remodeled the JCP anchor into their sanctuary. Burlington still operates a store in the mall.

Mall St. Vincent was built in 1978 as a mall addition to the St. Vincent Ave Sears that was opened in 1956. Initially, only Sears and Alexandria-based Wellans were anchors. Wellans went out of business in 1987, and the space was eventually filled by a Dillards store. Sears left in 2016. The mall is small and dwindling.

Pierre Bossier boasted Sears, JCP, Dillards, Wilsons and Beall-Ladymon upon its opening in the early 80s. It was always fairly successful, even after the loss of Sears a few years ago.

Monroe had two malls.

Mid City Mall was an old 60's mall with Wards and a bunch of smaller stores. Ward's held on to the end, and was subdivided. Not much remains of the mall corridor.

Pecanland Mall had Sears, McRae's, Dillard's and JCPenney at its opening. McRae's became Belk, and Sears is gone. The retail area of Monroe grew out to this mall slowly, and it is not full at all.

Alexandria had two malls as well.

Metrocenter was a 1970 mall initially made of three retailers: Wards, Woolco and DHHolmes, though Holmes may have been a later addition. Woolco became Walmart in 1983, then Walmart left in 1991. Holmes closed when Dillards bought the chain, having already added a store in Alexandria (see the next one). Wards held until the end. The Walmart space was initially filled by Hobby Lobby and Office Depot. HL left for greener pastures closer to the other retail area, The Holmes store was occupied by a local department store (Gus Kaplan) for a few years, and is now a call center. The rest of the center is subdivided.

Alexandria Mall lured Sears and Penney's from downtown in 1973. They also brought locals Wellan's and Weiss and Goldring. The mall added a huge food court, Dillards and Mervyns in 1986. Wellans left when the chain folded. Mervyn's left in 2003. Weiss and Goldring moved out to the JCP Auto Center in the mid 2010s. Sears left in 2018. A large portion of the mall is empty.

Lake Charles has Prien Lake Mall. Built for JCPenney and Ward's, it also initially included Beaumont-based (and later Dunlaps-owned) White House. The mall was massively expanded in 1997 to include Sears and Dillards. Sears took a building that had been a theatre, and the White House store became the theatre. Wards closed at the end, and it initially became Macy's, but the store only lasted a few years; it is now Kohl's. Sears closed a few years ago. The JCP store was originally one of the experimental stores with groceries. It exceeded 100,000 sq.ft. on a single level. Last year, it was downsized and a TJMaxx store moved in.

Lafayette had two malls.

Northgate Mall was built in 1968 with Wards and JCPenney. It would be expanded with Wilson's and Beall Ladymon in 1978 when the competition opened. Southern migration hit this one hard. JCP moved to Acadiana Mall in 1989. Its massive store was demolished in favor of Albertsons in 1996. Service Merchandise took over Wilson's and B-L became Stage. Both closed prior to each chain. Wards closed with the chain, and the store was demolished in favor of a Home Depot. Albertsons closed in 2012. Most of the mall are local merchants.

Acadiana Mall was opened in 1978 by Homart for Sears, DHHolmes' massive three story store, and a single story Goudchaux. Each anchor underwent transformations. In 1989, Holmes became Dillards. The store was expanded in 2014. Goudchaux would expand to a second story before a sale to Mercantile stores and become Maison Blanche. When Dillards bought Mercantile, they passed on this one, which then became Parisian. 6 Parisian stores were then sold to May in 2004, and this one became Foley's. May sold to Macy's, which the store remains today, but only operates on the first floor. JCP would move here in 1989 and almost closed, but received a reprieve in 2020. Sears left in 2016.

Southland Mall in Houma was anchored by Holmes, Sears and JCP. Holmes became Dillards in 1989. Sears left a few years ago.

I will continue with malls east of the MS (Baton Rouge, Hammond, Slidell and New Orleans) in another post.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by wnetmacman »

Part 2: Louisiana East of the Mississippi River

Baton Rouge has had 3 malls through the years

Bon Marche Mall was built early on in the 60s with Godchaux, Wards and JCPenney, plus a bevy of other retailers. Penneys would bail for Cortana Mall in 1976. Godchaux would become several other stores, until it just became abandoned. Wards made it to the end, and is now the Baton Rouge Cox Communications headquarters. The entire complex is now known as the Bon Carre Business Center, and is no longer a retail establishment.

Cortana Mall was built in 1976 with JCPenney, Sears, Dillard's, Wilson's and Maison Blanche. JCP, Sears and MB had auto centers. Dillard's became McRae's, which became Parisian, and was one of the 6 sold to May to become Foley's. When May sold to Macy's, the name was changed again. Dillard's would purchase Mercantile and convert MB to Dillard's. A Mervyn's would be added in 1986; it would be the first anchor vacant. Service Merchandise bought Wilson's, and closed with that chain. Macy's left next, followed by JCP and Sears. The final anchor, closing in early May, is the Dillard's, which is now a clearance center. The entire mall is being razed in favor of the state's largest Amazon DC.

Mall of Louisiana opened in 1997 to much fanfare. Anchored by Maison Blanche, JCPenney, McRae's, Dillard's, and Sears, it still is one of the busiest two malls in the state. It is a 2 level mall, one of only two in the state. Changes included MB becoming Parisian, then Macy's. Dillard's would execute a power play when Belk purchased McRae's. Dillard's includes terms in most mall leases to take over an anchor should its original occupant close. Belk could not take the building and it is now Dillard's Men & Home. Sears is slated to close in May 2021, the last in the state. A lifestyle center was built in the parking lot off the food court in the mid 2010's.

Hammond had the Hammond Square Mall, with Penney's, Sears, and DHHolmes was the other two level mall. Dillard's would again take over Holmes in 1989. The mall was de-malled in 2007, with Penney's moving to a new building. Target and Home Depot were added in. Sears closed after.

Slidell's Northshore Square was an interesting mall in its day. Built with Sears, JCPenney, Mervyn's and DHHolmes, it would add Maison Blanche a year after opening. Dillard's would take both the DHH and MB anchors upon acquisition. It would be short lived, as the stores fell quickly after. Mervyn's went first, followed by Sears and JCP. The Dillard's went to one anchor as a Clearance Center when a newer store opened south of town. Sears is now At Home, but the area is fading fast.

There have been many malls in the New Orleans market.

Plaza East is gone entirely. Built in NO East, it included Sears, MB and DHH, plus a later added Mervyn's. Sears closed in the 90's, and Dillards left the DHH anchor for MB. By Katrina in 2005, the mall had closed, and the damage was too much; the mall was razed soon after.

The Westbank of NO had two malls. Belle Promenade was built at Lapalco and Barataria Blvd. It was successful with DHHolmes and JCPenney, but the area turned, and the mall failed, though its theatre remained open for some time. The mall, save for the vacant JCPenney anchor was razed before 2005. A Walmart sits on the site. The vacant anchor was razed later and that site houses Lowe's.

The other Westbank mall is Oakwood. With Sears and DHHolmes, it was a formidable center. Later, Maison Blanche and Mervyn's were added and a new Holmes store was built during the 80s. MB didn't become Dillard's, it became JCPenney. Sears closed in 2016ish.

Back on the eastbank, there are 4 more malls. New Orleans Centre was a Macy's anchored mall by the Superdome. It no longer stands and is the location of Champions Square.

The Esplanade is a center in Kenner built with Dillard's, Macy's and Mervyn's. Macy's closed, then reopened, then closed again between 1995-2010. Mervyn's closed in 2006, but since Target owned Mervyn's they also owned that parcel, and so Target operates there now. Dillard's has become a Clearance Center.

At Veterans and Clearview is Clearview Center, which was built with Sears and Maison Blanche. MB became Dillard's, which closed. The store was remodeled into Target, the only multi-level location in the state. Sears closed around 2017; the last in the area.

Lakeside Mall has an interesting history. Built in the 60s with DHHolmes, Godchaux and a small JCPenney. Originally open air, the center was converted after Oakwood and Clearview came online. Penney's later built a massive store there, and DHHolmes became Dillard's. Space for Godchaux was reconfigured after that chain's demise. A large expansion made way for a massive Macy's addition in 2008.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by pseudo3d »

If I recall, Hammond Square lost its JCPenney around 2000, it "returned" with the de-mall (I believe JCPenney was also added a few years after the fact in the original mall). The Labelscar post made the mall look very interesting...the big mezzanine that was cantilevered over the basement, a second floor that actually didn't connect to any anchors (just had escalators at the end), and a last-ditch remodel that added colorful banners and purple walls.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by Romr123 »

(Yes, JCPenney at one point was more like Sears and Montgomery Ward in their offerings, but discontinued most of their hard lines in the early 1980s. I think their transition to more hard lines started around the beginning of the "Funky P" era. A 200,000 square foot store can work with more variety, but without hard lines some of those huge old stores really don't need that much space.)

JCP started adding hardlines right after they bought General Merchandise, which was also the start of their catalogue business. They saw the success of Sears in the second half of the 50s (moving into the first-gen malls aggressively) and the contrast with Wards (which I recall seeing actually shrank their store base in the 50s due to the weird ownership/management). I think there's a Harvard Business School case out their on JCP's strategic analysis and work in 1958-1960 to figure out "what to do". As I recall, it included setting up a credit system (they'd been cash only before that), moving into enclosed malls (they had been placing some smallish shopping center in-line dry-goods stores through the 50s--like Hampton Village, MO) moving into hardlines, and potentially adding catalog (which General Mdse got them). There are some copies out on the internet of their first JCPenney catalogue in 1963...it seems like a relatively "slipcovered" version of General's catalogue; including hardlines which seem pretty associated with General (two years later the catalogue is much more integrated). The "fine print" in 1963 says that regular JCP stores can't handle catalogue returns/adjustments, and they differentiate things like credit programs, General catalogue stores versus JCP retail stores, etc.

Their retail advertising throughout the 1960s/1970s differentiated hardlines as only being available in larger stores (generally specifying what was available where). They had hardlines in stores as small as roughly 100k sqft (Palm Springs, CA, for instance) but seemed to not add them in downtown stores (moving them out to malls let them kill two birds with one stone)
The '70s led them to do some acquisitions (Thrift Drug, Treasury, Supermarkets Interstate) but didn't sustainably diversify them.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by wnetmacman »

pseudo3d wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:46 am If I recall, Hammond Square lost its JCPenney around 2000, it "returned" with the de-mall (I believe JCPenney was also added a few years after the fact in the original mall). The Labelscar post made the mall look very interesting...the big mezzanine that was cantilevered over the basement, a second floor that actually didn't connect to any anchors (just had escalators at the end), and a last-ditch remodel that added colorful banners and purple walls.
JCP Hammond Square closed in 2004, in anticipation of two things: the mall modifications and the opening of the Covington store 17 miles down I-12. When the mall was demolished, JCP rebuilt just northwest of its original location.

The mall's 2 level design was unique in that nothing above ground level connected to any anchor; all three were single level stores. Even the K&B Drug/Rite Aid had a second level left after the remodel.
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