More bad news for Montgomery Mall. Yet another department store is on the way out. WSFA has learned that J.C. Penney is moving across town to Eastdale Mall, further strengthening that shopping center.
J.C. Penney is spending thousands of dollars to build a brand new store. It will be built right in front of Eastdale (in the existing food court parking lot). The store will be the mall's fourth major department store after Dillard's, Sears, and Parisian.
But with the expansion of one mall comes the shrinking of another. Some wonder if it will even survive. "Montgomery mall is dead, really dead," said one shopper.
J.C. Penney is the second department store to pull out of Montgomery Mall. Dillard's announced it would close next month. "Now that they're losing two stores, I don't think it will be competition between Eastdale and Montgomery anymore," a shopper told WSFA. "I think they're going to go out of business now."
It's disheartening news to city councilman Glenn Pruitt, whose district includes Montgomery Mall. He says he hopes the city council and the chamber of commerce can help the redevelop the mall and attract new tenants. In the meantime, he urged residents to show they appreciate the mall by shopping there.
WSFA talked with Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright about this move over the phone Wednesday. "I have known about the change for weeks," he said. "Montgomery Mall is going to have to rethink and remarket its marketing philosophy or it will continue to go down. We need that mall to stay there because it services a major part of the Montgomery population."
No one from Montgomery Mall could be reached for comment Wednesday night. Eastdale mall made its announcement through Aronov Realty. According to Aronov, construction on the new J.C. Penney store will begin next month, with a completion date of spring 2005.