FIVE chain stores have suddenly closed in a shopping center.
The landlord is calling for stores to reopen as malls across the country struggle to attract shoppers.
Five different chain stores have abruptly closed at Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The following shutters are all closed:
- American eagle
- Michael Kors
- Black market in the White House
Chico’s, Soma and White House Black Market are all under the Chico’s brand.
But mall operator Spinoso Real Estate Group is not happy with the departures.
Spinoso has filed a lawsuit against all five stores, claiming they terminated their leases early.
The lawsuit alleges that the mall sent a notice to all stores on June 6 asking them to open.
Northlake fears these closures could lead to a decline in customer traffic at its other stores.
“A national retailer vacating a mall tends to provoke other national and local retailers to vacate the mall,” attorneys representing the mall wrote in a letter to Soma.
“Tenant’s decision to cease or completely abandon operations at substantially all of the premises is detrimental to Landlord, regardless of whether Tenant continues to pay rent and other fees due under the lease.”
Mall be damned
None of the abandoned stores have yet given a reason for their withdrawal from the mall.
But Northlake has lost other well-known brands in recent months, including Apple and Buckle.
Dick’s Sporting Goods left the company in February 2021.
The mall went bankrupt a few months later and the court-appointed Spinoso Real Estate Group took over as receiver.
But Northlake is far from the only mall in the U.S. struggling.
These indoor shopping environments are struggling as more Americans turn to the convenience of online retail.
In San Francisco, Westfield has decided to close its 170-store mall.
The decision came after Nordstrom closed its flagship department store at the mall.
Another major U.S. mall closed in April after its upper floors turned into a “ghost town.”