Sears has announced it is closing its store at SouthPark Mall in mid-October. The loss of the anchor store is the latest blow to the mall, after Old Navy shut its doors in May.
Shoppers said they were not surprised by the announcement.
“Someone actually came into where I work and randomly said, ‘SouthPark Mall is closing down.’ Yeah, it’s crazy,” said Doug Carleton.
And while there are no actual plans to close SouthPark, many are skeptical about its future.
“If I do go shopping, I usually go to NorthPark like pretty much everybody else does,” said Matt Bohler.
“I used to like it a lot when I was younger, but they’re starting to close down a lot of the stores, and I’m really not liking that,” added Darin Baughn.
Monday, News Eight counted 23 empty storefronts inside SouthPark. Sears will join that list in October when it ends its 24-year run as an anchor store.
The city, though, says a potential $30 to $40 million redevelopment of the mall is in the works. The SouthPark Mall Task Force is also in talks with the Illinois Department of Transportation to create new access to the mall by adding an intersection off John Deere Road between 16th Street and I-74.
“That way, we can take advantage fully of the major crossroads of Interstate 74 and John Deere Road, which is the highest traffic pattern in all of the Quad Cities Area,” task force member Paul Rumler told News Eight.
Area shoppers, though, said it will take more stores inside the mall to get them to stop by.
“I’d like to see another toy store there, and more electronics stores; I’m really into electronics. And music stores, too, that would be nice,” said Baughn.
“My family, we like to go to Barnes and Noble, so if we had something like that on this side of the river, that would bring us in,” said Bohler.
A final plan for SouthPark’s redevelopment is expected in the coming months.