More shuttered storefronts at the mall
A year ago I wrote about the Gap being 'gone' in the Janesville Mall. Today, that spot still sits vacant. I made an unplanned trip to the mall on Wednesday night and found a few more lights out and another store closing early.
I wandered through Boston Store and came into center court. Sears was dark. I asked around and I guess they are closing early these days. Looking at their financials and assortment I can see why. There's no softer side, hard side or any other side that I find appealing about Sears. Apparently, my opinion is the majority.
I headed toward Kohls (former home of Montgomery Wards -- another lost retailer) and women's clothier Christopher & Banks was gone. Across the way, hair product retailer Trade Secret quietly exited the mall as well. A few steps later, what used to be the busiest place in the mall, the AT&T Store, closed and bolted for the high visibility of Milton Avenue and Highway 14.
Now I look at the mall and wonder what's next? I've always enjoyed shopping at Boston Store but the fixtures and foundation are looking tired. Corporately, JC Pennys is attempting a makeover on everyday low price. I'm interested to see how this plan works -- especially as we head toward the fourth quarter and holiday shopping. If it doesn't work what will that mean for Janesville?
Frankly, the only two stores that look fresh and friendly in the mall are Kohl's and Justice. Really, that leaves only one store for me. Justice is a clothier for teens and it's just a neat, bright and vibrant looking store. Kohl's is still freshly remodeled and their merchandise assortment continues to remain relevant to me.
While folks are always concerned about the downtown I wonder if there are more open for business storefronts (percentage) in downtown Janesville versus the current mix at the Janesville Mall?
The lighting has always been dim in the mall. Removing a few more stores really makes it dark. I enjoy shopping, but on Wednesday night I really didn't enjoy shopping at the Janesville Mall. That bugged me.
I wonder what CBL has in store for our mall in Janesville? I think they need to bring back Bishops Buffet and the fountain in center court. OK, maybe not…but that's when the mall was the MALL.
Steve Knox was born, raised and landed back in Janesville. He encourages you to participate as he writes on Janesville and beyond as this Generation X guy supports his Janesville mission, global vision. Steve is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.