Beloved Mall Chains Including Dillard's Are Closing Stores, Starting Dec. 31
Popular retailers are shuttering select locations in the coming months.
Malls used to be the destination for shoppers across the U.S.—not to mention a favorite place to hang out. But these consumer meccas have been declining for decades now, and some of their most omnipresent stores have disappeared with them. Some mall-centric companies, like Macy's, have started working on new store concepts outside of these shopping centers in order to keep their business strong. Other retailers, however, are reducing their retail footprint. Now, multiple beloved mall chains, including Dillard's, are closing locations in the coming months. Read on to find out more about these shuttering stores.
Malls have been struggling for a long time now.
Malls have been disappearing since their heyday in the 1980s, and the future does not look bright. Nick Egelanian, president of retail consulting firm SiteWorks, told The Wall Street Journal in October that 10 years from now, it's estimated that there will only be around 150 malls left in the U.S. In comparison, there were roughly 2,500 mall locations standing strong in the '80s, and there are around 700 left today.
There are a combination of factors behind this massive decline. According to Egelanian, the department stores that anchored malls have been struggling since the '80s due to the rise of lower-cost discount stores. Foot traffic in malls has also taken a hit from the migration to online shopping, which has forced many of these stores to close entirely—and for malls to find new tenants.
"Sears, Macy's and JCPenney were closing stores. All of a sudden, you have to get more creative," Ethan Chernofsky, vice president of marketing at Placer.ai, told ModernRetail in November. "The old playbook is being thrown out the window."
Now, more mall standbys are getting rid of certain locations.
More popular mall stores are gearing up to close.
While it may not have the footprint of Macy's or JCPenney, Dick's Sporting Goods is a well-known fixture at malls across the country. Now, the retailer will permanently shutter its location at a retail development in Jefferson City, Missouri, later this month, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported on Dec. 11. According to the newspaper, a notice posted inside the Dick's Sporting Goods store says that its last day of operation will be Dec. 31.
The Jefferson City location has been in business for a decade, per the News Tribune.
Best Life has reached out to Dick's Sporting Goods for information about the closure, and to see if any other closures are planned, but has not yet heard back.
Dillard's is also planning a closure.
Following the closure of Dick's Sporting Goods in Jefferson City, Dillard's will also be making a cut.
The department store is set to shutter its location at the Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther, Florida, Get the Coast reported on Nov. 29. According to the news outlet, Radiant Partners, owners of the mall, confirmed they are entering into a deal to acquire the Dillard's store and close it as part of a redevelopment plan for the mall.
"Dillard's has long been a valued partner for the Santa Rosa Mall," David Schonberger, managing partner of Radiant Partners LLC, told Get the Coast. "The decisions to close the store and transfer ownership of the land were mutual decisions that allow both parties to pursue our strategic visions."
According to the news outlet, the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. The Dillard's store is also expected to continue operations into the second quarter of the year, but an exact date for its closure has not yet been announced.
Best Life reached out to Dillard's for more information on the closure, but has not yet heard back.
An iconic mall chain may go out of business completely next year.
While Dick's and Dillard's are just closing one location each, one popular mall chain may be eliminating its retail footprint entirely.
According to CNN, there are just 15 Sears left throughout the entire U.S. now. The company has been steadily declining for years, even after American businessman Eddie Lampert brought the business out of bankruptcy in early 2019. At that time, there were over 200 Sears stores still open, but by this time last year, just 23 were left.
"Sears has been going down the drain for a very long time. There's no chance of it being revitalized," Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, told CNN. "No one apart from Eddie Lampert knows why he's keeping these remaining stores open. You can't make the economics work with that volume of stores."
One of the final remaining Sears stores is also set to close soon. The retailer's store at the Valley Mall in Union Gap, Washington, will close its doors for good this month, local CBS-affiliate KIMA reported in November. The location is set to shutter on Dec. 18, after its closure was pushed back a month from its original date of Nov. 20. But according to the news outlet, "even with less than a month until the store actually closes, there is still little merchandise left as the store sits nearly empty."