MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Even though the High Point Shopping Center opened almost two years ago, the "new" still hasn't worn off.
"We were surprised more stores haven't opened up," said shoppers like Charlie Bell.
Right now, the empty stores actually outnumber the occupied businesses that overlook Cobbs Ford Road.
The existing business owners say anchor stores Belk, J.C Penny and Bass Pro are their saving grace.
Avon store owner Pam Marchant agrees. "A lot of people that go to Bass Pro say they saw my sign from the road."
Marchant opened her first store in Birmingham at the Galleria, and felt like High Point would be the next best thing.
So far, Marchant says it's lived up to her expectations despite the lack of new stores opening at the shopping center. "I think my business will grow when they get full, I'm not going anywhere," she said.
Blush co-owner Jo Rickman thinks, "Everyone's been a little afraid of the economy." The retail shells didn't scare away Rickman though, who is celebrating her first day of business at High Point. "The location we were in - we had outgrown, we needed more space for more employees and we liked the view."
Rickman says she was drawn to High Point's parking, and the ability to centrally serve customers in Prattville, Montgomery and Millbrook.