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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : business : business November 26, 2015

1/5/2013 10:00:00 PM
Gateway Mall loses more stores
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily CourierA for-lease sign hangs in one of the empty storefronts at the Prescott Gateway Mall Friday.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
A for-lease sign hangs in one of the empty storefronts at the Prescott Gateway Mall Friday.
Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - More stores are fleeing the Prescott Gateway Mall, adding to vacant space at a mall that already displays at least eight "for lease" signs.

Fred Meyer Jewelers, Pacific Sunware (PacSun) and the Flaming Wok (in the food court) closed within the past week at the mall, located off Gateway Boulevard and Highway 69 here.

Mall Marketing Manager Sue Marceau reported the corporate offices of Fred Meyer and PacSun decided to close shop when their leases expired. She issued a prepared statement that said Flaming Wok "fell victim to challenging economic times."

Fred Meyer and PacSun had been tenants since the mall opened in March 2002, and the Flaming Wok had been in the mall for a few years, Marceau said.

Fred Meyer is owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger, parent company of Fry's supermarkets. Kroger officials were unavailable for comment.

PacSun officials were unavailable as well. However, an outside public relations representative emailed a news release dated Dec. 7, 2011, announcing Pacific Sunware of California Inc. completed "extensive negotiations with landlords" that would result in closing 175 to 200 "underperforming" stores in the following 14 months.

"The agreements reached with the company's landlords include the buyout of approximately 75 leases at a cost of approximately $13 million, short-term extensions for approximately 50 better performing stores, and termination upon lease expiration of approximately 115 stores by the end of fiscal 2012."

Representatives from Flaming Wok were unavailable for comment as well.

National tenants might have closed their doors because they did not meet performance goals, said Mark Stapp, professor of real estate practice at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

"I think it is typical of the market in general," said Stapp, who doubles as executive director of the Master of Real Estate Development program at the Carey school. "A market like Prescott is a tough market because it is not that big. "You've got a much smaller market to draw (customers) from."

Meanwhile, the leasing team at the Prescott mall is working on five leases "that are very close to being finalized," Marceau said in the statement. Formerly in real estate, she came aboard as marketing manager in August, two months after Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties LLC took over management of the mall.

"Key to successful negotiation of these leases is a new leasing team, including the local addition of specialty leasing representative Bob Liples, who has been on the job since November," Marceau's statement read.

Liples joined a management team that started in July and since then has "implemented a number of operational and marketing programs designed to enrich the mall," the statement read.

The statement quoted Gateway General Manager Charles Sullivan as saying, "With the new year upon us, we have many new and exciting projects, programs and tenants coming to Prescott Gateway Mall. New capital projects are being planned to enhance the physical plant, provide improved access and enhance our operations through energy management upgrades."

The mall's food court will see an expansion of Prescott Coffee Co. in the space where Sugared n' Iced formerly operated, the statement read. It referred to other positive signs, such as clothing store Journeys upgrading its merchandising with a remodel before the Christmas shopping season.

One mall merchant, who opened his store in 2005, said he is seeing more encouraging signs with the new management.

"For the last two to three years, it has been pretty slow, but I could actually blame the old management," said Hussain Mohseni, owner of Perfume Gallery. "I'm pretty positive of the new management. I am pretty sure they will get the mall back. It will take them some time."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

A person at Barnes and Noble told us that the mall owners didn't want to renew their lease because it was to become outlet stores. That might fly here. We went to the new Tanger Outlet mall in Glendale the day before Christmas and MAN that was a busy scene. It would be better than what they've got now: Dillards, Penny's, and Sears. That and World Market and Pier One are the only places worth going to there. Outlet mall would be better. There really aren't a lot of clothing choices in Prescott. I still get a lot of mine in Phoenix.

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Jean Owen

(for all of you mentioning the loss of Barnes and Noble) The Peregrine Bookstore on North Cortez in downtown Prescott is now open and it's terrific! Please support our local business/es.

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Be realistic

Barnes and Noble won't be back. The community did not support them and they left. It would be terribly expensive to retrofit a movie theatre, especially into what is perceived as a dying mall (plus there is a beautiful multiplex less than 10 miles away). Souper Salad was there and no one supported it. Get some quality stores, sure, but the community needs to support what it has. Are you supporting Penney's, Sears, Dillard's, Wildflower Bread Co and other quality stores that are there now? This mall management...any mall management...can't bring in stores and improve things if the community won't support what is there.

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Points to ponder . . .

"NEW" MALL MANAGEMENT, are you taking this in? Every time there's new management, it's always said that "things will be better", etc. But, like new council members and so on, it's never true. Things have a way of going on as before. But you need to listen more to those who no longer frequent your mall.

My thoughts:
Yes, one of my main draws was Barnes & Noble, but now we have a wonderful new bookstore DOWNTOWN. Go there, people!
A few of my other draws are Dillards and Coldwater Creek. Yes, they're chains, but their employees are locals, and they're friendly, as is true with most of the shops if you give them a chance.
However, I have ALWAYS felt that a good movie theater (are you listening Harkins?) would revive some of the traffic that has faded away. I don't like driving to PV for a movie, but I do. If there were one here, I'd patronize it. And we all know the mall has the space, so why hasn't this been acted upon?
I was one of those who hated to see the old historic Bullwhacker hill get chopped down for a mall at a time when Prescott was not ready for one, and it obviously still isn't. But "corporate management" works in strange ways. They think they know more than we do, but those stores aren't moving out simply because people aren't coming there anymore. There are many more underlying reasons, and it doesn't have to be that way. Think local, Gateway mgmt., and you just might get the picture.

I'll keep making my rare trips to the outlet mall in Anthem, but I really don't want to. If you're going to keep the engines running at PGM, come down to earth.

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Open Suggestion

Bring back Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Remember the matured customers and seniors past time is reading and a lot of youngsters love to read, too. Another suggestion, is have an early bird breakfast place available at the mall, for those who do early walking exercise inside the mall, especially in the winter or summer.

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Dean

I was here many years before the Mall. I made a bit of money hauling aggregate and asphalt to build the Mall and parking lot. But, I always thought it a waste of resources. Why did someone decide to build the Mall there? Bulldoze the damn thing and restore Bull Whacker Hill !

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Maybe With

The No Weapons Allowed policy they have people don't feel that safe in the mall

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Cordes Coyote

I have heard rumors that the mall management is intentionally raising rents to drive out stores so that they can reopen as an outlet center. Does anyone know anything about this?

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: no reason to go

We used to go to the mall several times a week. We would spend a good amount of money each time. Barnes and Noble was one of the big reasons. We would also eat at the food court (Sonic was the favorite for our younger children. The older ones and parents usually choose the Wok or Wildflower. We would go the the library mall location and take our children to see the animals at the humane Society mall location. We even adopted two cats there over the last few years. Now there are few reasons to go. I wish management could get Barnes and Noble back, or maybe a Borders or Hastings. It feels like the management is out of touch.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Daleen Pretorius

The mall is outdated. No stores that really interests the people of Prescott. I haven't shopped for anything at the mall for a few months already. What about something to draw the crowds? Barnes and Noble and Starbucks was a shop to visit. A new book store will be an advantage and something else than Wildflower will be welcomed.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

After Barnes and Noble left we rarely go there. We used to spend about $100 every trip. We spend that money elsewhere now. Bad loss for that entity.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Peter P

The business model for the mall management is 10 years behind the times. With the internet craze and Amazon taking the market share, the mall has to get with the times and change their approach. Like many said, the rent is too high. They need to attract businesses that will bring in the younger crowds. Offer incentives and deals to get businesses that will get the teenagers in there, they are the ones who will spend the money, or at least their parents money.

Chasing Christmas Carolers out of the mall is so stupid that everyone involved in that should be fired. The opposite should be true, they should sponsor events like carolers to draw crowds. It's not easy for malls nowadays but a totally new and modern business model is the only way to prevent a mall from going under. Either you adapt or die, looks like the latter is taking hold in the Gateway Mall. Hire me and I can turn that place around and for a lot less money.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Shopping Out of Town

I rarely take my kids shopping at the Prescott Mall. The same stores have better prices in Phx or Flag (Flagstaff is my teen girls' mall of choice) and there is SO much more variety shopping out of town as well.
It seems that prices are high to make up for high overhead.
We are still a small town area, the economy has not come back in the rural areas, Mall Management needs to realize this and make something positive happen.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: James Horn

Iv'e lived here for 3 years now and always enjoyed going to the mall's BOOK STORE that is no longer there. Since they left I have been to the Mall 2 times. If they could get Barnes and Noble back I would be there every week or so. But as I see a lot of business are pulling out. Hopefully it gets better, but when I was there a few days prior to Christmas a group of 15 or so caroler's came in and started to sing in the food court, immediately staff and security ushered them out. I asked the info desk why and they said it was DANGEROUS for them to be there and I laughed, as we spoke she explained to me if they had asked and set up their singing prior, it wouldn't have been an issue. Baaa Hummbug, I filed a formal complaint. They better get their act together or the whole mall will collapse.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Turn it Into A Large Indoor Track!

The prices are high, customer service is nil (act like THEY are doing ME a favor for waiting on me to spend my hard earned money in their store), and sometimes during the day, during regular hours, the store gates are just...closed. What the heck? This is why people are going elsewhere or shopping online.....helloooooo!!!!

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: I Miss Barnes & Noble

I am a big Barnes & Noble fan and miss the store very much. I wish it would re-locate in Prescott somewhere. How about a See's candy store here too!

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Button Square Pants

I have to agree with the Mall lease prices... they were so high, it was almost double what my mortgage is. I was considering setting up shop in one of those stands in the middle of the hallway, but I decided not to after finding out what they were going to charge me.

That was about a year ago though, hopefully the prices have come down enough that it would make better sense to do business with the Mall now?... I'll have to go back in and see what they have to offer this time around.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Just the beginning

This is just the beginning. I have heard that there are plenty more storefronts that will be going dark. Some biggies that will produce a "domino" effect on others. At this point, it is too late to save this mall from it's demise.

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: mary mullinnix

I totally agree w/ "Really"...the RENT...for Prescott???, this aint Scottsdale...everyone in that mall complains about high rent...what a shame...a mall is such a nice relief too...this never happened in any place I ever lived..small town mentality can't run a big city idealistic mall....come on people, think about it...that's you!!!, MALL MANAGEMEN!!!!

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Article comment by: Really Let's See !

The Mall has been doomed since conception, outrageous rents, no flexibility from management, no big draw(theaters) and on and on. Every "new" management says the same thing. Bring in the bulldozers!

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