I’m not surprised anymore when I hear of a store closing at the Santa Rosa Mall. It’s sad, but I’m not surprised.
I’ve mentioned in the newsletter before that I used to work at the mall during college and that I helped my former boss close his retail store. It’s not a fun thing!
According to the Northwest Florida Daily News
, Friday will be the last chance to purchase jewelry from Zales Jewelers at the mall. After that, you will need to go to their outlet store in Miramar Beach.
Our mall made some grave mistakes back in 2005-2006. They had a chance to bring in some really unique restaurants to the very front entrance with outside seating and the opportunity to try what Cordova was starting to do.
Instead, the owners decided to sell off parcels all around the mall and continue to charge OTA for rent! (You should see what they charge kiosks to setup!) At monthly tenant meetings held at the Food Court, owners would complain that the mall really wasn’t adapting with the times and all they said was, “We hear you!”.
I think malls still serve their purpose and people still need to buy things. Sure, online shopping is (and will) continue to dominate and chip away at brick and mortar retail, but there is still a demand. I think our mall failed to respond quick enough and try to keep the mall a destination spot. Newer, shinier retail like the Destin Commons took over and the actual brick and mortar retail went to Destin.
At this point, I don’t know what the mall can or should do to remain open. It seems like they are just coasting until the last tenant decides it’s time to close shop.
Over to you! What do you think of our mall? What should they do? Hit the reply button and let me know :)