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How is Carolina Place Mall doing these days? With the news of the Sears closing more locations (now up to 235), including one in Gastonia and Cary, I am curious to know how much time the company has left, and what will happen to the location at Carolina Place Mall. It also makes me wonder how much of an effect that would have on the mall, and what retailer would fill that space.

I worked at that Sears in college and for a short time afterwards. I guess that was in 09 and through the early part of 2010. The store was the second highest grossing store in the district behind Asheville. It was an extremely successful store while Gastonia, Monroe, Fort Mill, and the other smaller stores in the district struggled quite a bit.

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Not actually located in Carolina Place, but the Centrum shopping center across the street (with the Home Depot) is about to be a complete ghost town. Catherine's is currently having an out of business

Brookfield Properties owner of Carolina Place Mall also owns North Point Mall in Alpharetta north of Atlanta.  They are doing this there and this could be the future model for Carolina Place too

actually a good number of malls for example in the ATL both Perimeter and Lenox Square Malls have Marta stops.    I do think more mixed uses will be added to Carolina Place like the same owner is doin

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42 minutes ago, Third Strike said:

Dave and Buster's is coming to the Carolina Place Mall. Just popped up today in Accela. This would be the second Dave and Buster's in the Charlotte region, and third in the state.

I haven't been to that mall in years since I live in the NE side of the metro area in Cabarrus County.  Is this a physical expansion of the mall or has there been a large vacant spot opened up?

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1 hour ago, rancenc said:

I haven't been to that mall in years since I live in the NE side of the metro area in Cabarrus County.  Is this a physical expansion of the mall or has there been a large vacant spot opened up?

There has always been a weird open spot right next door to REI. It looks like was scheduled to built out but was just turned into odd green space.  Wonder if that is it?  REI is honestly the only time I step near CPM so I am not sure if there are any big spots open within the mall!

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There is a spot near REI that is space for another retailer or maybe this new Dave and Busters. Here is the lease plan from GGP website the mall's owner

http://www.ggp.com/properties/downloadable-information/carolina-place

adding an entertainment component to Carolina Place would be a good addition. Look at all the attractions at Concord Mills. 

  Project size http://www.ldiline.com/projects/?p=187994

 

Edited by KJHburg
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32 minutes ago, mallguy said:

Macy's is closing.

GGP apparently bought the space.

So what does GGP typically do with space? Redevelop? Just lease it out? Would love to see it split up and something other than the same old department store go in. Do people still go to department stores outside of Christmas?

Wouldn't shock me to see the SouthPark location close as well.  Macy's and Dillard's are basically the same store in SP. 

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21 minutes ago, InSouthPark said:

So what does GGP typically do with space? Redevelop? Just lease it out? Would love to see it split up and something other than the same old department store go in. Do people still go to department stores outside of Christmas?

Wouldn't shock me to see the SouthPark location close as well.  Macy's and Dillard's are basically the same store in SP. 

What I hope is that Carolina Place follows the trend of other malls in the US in becoming lifestyle centers.  

They should line almost all of Carolina Parkway with mixed use buildings and then create a walkable district between these and the mall. Happy to hear it's Macy's closing rather than Sears, Belk or Dillard's as that can help move this forward.  Fitting a bunch of smaller shops that offer different goods than what's in the big boxes would add to the draw here.

Remove cars from Macy's all the way down the Dillard's so you're left with a backwards 'C' parking lot rather than a sea of parking all the way around.  If they are worried about parking they can always build ramps on the east side that faces the 485.  

They are never going to overtake South Park in terms of quality of stores but they could carve out their own market with variety of stores.  

 

Edited by cjd5050
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I prefer department stores and almost never buy anything in the apparel stores within the mall; department stores are easier for one-stop shopping.  I'd prefer to avoid going in 10 small stores, each with a limited selection.

I'd think that the Macy's stores at SP and Northlake (and Columbia Place Mall in Columbia in particular) could be on the endangered list, although surely the SP store would become a Bloomingdale's, right?  (I have no knowledge of those stores' performance or anything about their statuses, so treat this as just idle speculation.)  I'd be surprised if Macy's pulls out of Charlotte, though; it's too big of a market.

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I believe this could be an opportunity for Carolina Place to bring in some new retailers restaurants and I would think they would break up the space with many tenants. I think the SouthPark and even the Northlake Mall stores are safe since they are further apart. I do believe there could be further Macys closings in other markets since they announced they are closing 100 stores. 

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On 11/1/2016 at 9:08 AM, mallguy said:

I prefer department stores and almost never buy anything in the apparel stores within the mall; department stores are easier for one-stop shopping.  I'd prefer to avoid going in 10 small stores, each with a limited selection.

I'd think that the Macy's stores at SP and Northlake (and Columbia Place Mall in Columbia in particular) could be on the endangered list, although surely the SP store would become a Bloomingdale's, right?  (I have no knowledge of those stores' performance or anything about their statuses, so treat this as just idle speculation.)  I'd be surprised if Macy's pulls out of Charlotte, though; it's too big of a market.

I think the challenge with one-stop shopping is most of those people have progressed to online shopping as that's even easier.  Once you know your sizes or if size is not an issue, Amazon rules.  I think if malls are going to compete online they need to bring in the 'shopper' who wants to go through the process.

 

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Noone wants the traditional mall experience anymore. It is stale and tired. The malls that figure this out sooner rather than later are the ones that will fair better in the future. 

Many malls across the country are successfully diversifying their shopping experiences by adding outdoor, town square-style areas, more entertainment options, even a little bit of nightlife.

Fashion Square Mall in Orlando is an interesting example. Not too far outside of downtown surrounded by established residential neighborhoods this four decade old shopping center was about as dead as can be. Now, a new owner has built a Dick's (not a game changer I know), a bowling alley with a similar vibe to Park Lanes, and has plans on the table for integration with a nearby urban trail, an attached hotel, nearly 400 apartments on property, and filling in surface parking around much of the original mall with stroll-able streets lined with new shops, restaurants, and services. Changes like this make a stagnant building into a true mixed use shopping and entertainment area.

Unfortunately, progress has been slow going but that has more to do with the finances and organization of the new owner than anything else. I really think Carolina Place could find itself on a quickening slide to irrelevance if they don't start thinking out of the box very soon, but worse than a mall itself dying is the ripple effect to the surrounding area which inevitably happens.

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Why would someone shop at Carolina Place when SouthPark isn't that far away?  I don't get it, except for a quick trip (e.g., a pair of socks or Chick-fil-A).  The mall has been around for almost 25 years so people must.

I'd think that the area's demographics would be very strong; I wouldn't see the are declining at all.  Greenville, SC had 2 malls less than a mile from each other; the smaller of the two went under but was quickly redeveloped into an outdoor center.

Edited by mallguy
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32 minutes ago, mallguy said:

Why would someone shop at Carolina Place when SouthPark isn't that far away?  I don't get it, except for a quick trip (e.g., a pair of socks or Chick-fil-A).  The mall has been around for almost 25 years so people must.

I'd think that the area's demographics would be very strong; I wouldn't see the are declining at all.  Greenville, SC had 2 malls less than a mile from each other; the smaller of the two went under but was quickly redeveloped into an outdoor center.

My friends that have lived in Rock Hill since birth having been driving to Carolina Place for those 25 years. They aren't buying Lucky Jeans and Lulu yoga pants. Not everyone can afford (or wants to) buy the high end designer stuff at SP. 

The clientele at those malls couldn't be more different. Sure they have some redundant department stores but that's about it. 

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Southpark Mall is sort of an outlier, it's location is prime, and as Southpark (the neighborhood) becomes more walkable and dense I can only see the mall's popularity going up. Southpark Mall has made a name for itself, often being the home for high end retailers trying to make inroads into the Charlotte market. Carolina Place in my opinion is rather indistinguishable from other large shopping malls. If someone asks me to define Southpark mall I might say it has the only Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, [insert other unique high end store] in the region, or I could mention it's the only mall where I've seen a Lamborghini on display in the main hall. Concord Mills I could say is like a large outlet center, and has a Bass Pro Shops with a massive number of other stores, even Northlake has the notoriety of being Charlotte's newest mall, despite being otherwise average on the other fronts.

Carolina Place suffers from:

1. Lack of really drawing factors. Nothing to really make someone who doesn't live in the neighborhood want to got there. Its just "a mall." Could be copied and pasted in any suburb and would seem out of place. 

2. Age. The mall was built in the late 1980's, and correct me if I'm wrong but it doesn't seem as if it's gone through any significant image improvements for at least a decade or two. Southpark, despite being old has seen improvements, as is Concord Mills currently, and Northlake is very new from a mall perspective, turning 10 this (last?) year. People are picky whether they admit it or not, newness attracts, especially when we're talking about deviating from bland 1980's architecture.

3. Location. Move Carolina Place down one exit to Ballentyne, or extend the light rail to the mall (geographically it would not be too challenging) and we could be talking about one of the city's most profitable mall properties, not to mention that they would then have a "drawing factor" (refer to point number 1.) That part of Charlotte/Pineville really is not seeing the same sort of growth as the rest of the area, from as far back as I can remember (albeit I'm fairly young) the area around the mall hasn't changed in any dramatic fashion.   

Conlusion: If any mall in the Charlotte region will experience a collapse it will likely be Carolina Place, not Northlake like a lot of fear mongers would lead you to believe. Unfortunately to save Carolina Place it will take not only a change at the mall itself, but also change around the mall to really improve it and bring it to the modern standard of successful indoor shopping malls.  

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1 hour ago, mallguy said:

Why would someone shop at Carolina Place when SouthPark isn't that far away?

Traffic.  Carolina Place is right off the 485.  Also, 'isn't that far away' depends on where you're coming from.

 

3 hours ago, go_vertical said:

Noone wants the traditional mall experience anymore. It is stale and tired. The malls that figure this out sooner rather than later are the ones that will fair better in the future. 

Many malls across the country are successfully diversifying their shopping experiences by adding outdoor, town square-style areas, more entertainment options, even a little bit of nightlife.

So much this.  South Charlotte by the 485 does not have any place that offers a 'town square' type environment.    Create an experience that mixes in places to shop, eat, drink and things to do...it would do very well.

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Just throwing this out there.  My girlfriend works at Carolina Place in one of the department stores.  We also live in Pineville, so we go there frequently.  The mall always seems to be busy to me.  There are a few stores that have closed, but they seem to be replaced fairly quickly.  You could make the argument that Barnes and Noble might be a draw, because it is the only mall in Charlotte with a B&N.  I only mention it as a draw, because we have gone to a few events and book releases there.  They draw decent crowds.  In my unprofessional opinion, the mall seems to be doing fine and is usually busy.  I agree that it is not very pedestrian friendly.  My girlfriend walks to there from our apartment and the sidewalk situation is terrible.  I definitely agree with the above improvements, but I don't get the sense that the mall is going downhill at all.

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I think the Macy's closing is more of an indication of how terrible Macy's has become and how the management has no clue how to turn around the brand rather than Carolina Place overall. Macy's actually owned the building and is quickly trying to close stores and load off real estate to boost their net income.

Macy's strategy to stay relevant has been to downsize like Sears... until you reach irrelevance, rather than actually look at the condition of their stores and what they sell. As old people die off or stop shopping, there will be less and less people in Macy's. Often you walk into a Macy's and the clothing is just thrown on the floor, the displays are uninspiring, the store is too crowded with inventory, the dressing rooms are damaged, there is nobody around to help you, check out takes forever while they put a sticker on everything, ceiling tiles are stained, the carpet isn't clean, etc.... I also go into a Macy's and expect everything to be on sale constantly... when do they not have a sale going? This makes you hesitant to buy if you don't have a coupon because you know there is one out there somewhere. Higher end stores like Nordstrom manage their promotions and you actually feel excited to find something on sale. Even Belk doesn't run everything on sale 100% of the time, so a sale actually means something.

I believe Macy's thinks they will still be able to capture some of their loyal Pineville customers at South Park, while making their overall efficiency ratio improve for same store sales. More likely customers in that part of town will switch to Belk and Dillard's and Macy's will continue its slow death as shareholders put more and more pressure on them to turn the company around.

 

Edited by CLT2014
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2 hours ago, mallguy said:

Why would someone shop at Carolina Place when SouthPark isn't that far away? 

REI is my main reason, but other than that it's closer with stores that are more in my price range. I've never heard of half the stores y'all mention opening in SouthPark. I'm good in a Dillard's or Belk's. 

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15 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

Macy's strategy to stay relevant has been to downsize like Sears... until you reach irrelevance, rather than actually look at the condition of their stores and what they sell. As old people die off or stop shopping, there will be less and less people in Macy's. Often you walk into a Macy's and the clothing is just thrown on the floor, the displays are uninspiring, the store is too crowded with inventory, the dressing rooms are damaged, there is nobody around to help you, check out takes forever while they put a sticker on everything, ceiling tiles are stained, the carpet isn't clean, etc.... I also go into a Macy's and expect everything to be on sale constantly... when do they not have a sale going? This makes you hesitant to buy if you don't have a coupon because you know there is one out there somewhere. Higher end stores like Nordstrom manage their promotions and you actually feel excited to find something on sale. Even Belk doesn't run everything on sale 100% of the time, so a sale actually means something.

On point assessment of Macy's.  Never really thought about it but the coupon thing is something that's been in the back of my mind.  

Speaking of Nordstrom, they know how to provide a shopping experience.  About 7 years ago in San Diego I purchased some cologne there randomly one day.  The lady who helped me asked if she could get my email and invite me to the next 'fragrance party' they had.  She was nice and I gave it to her. 

Months later during the summer I get an email for this party.  It was held either on Saturday or Sunday an hour before they opened to the public.  They served mimosas and had little bites to eat.  Anyone who showed up got a small gift bag of samples and they had some specials running.  But just the idea of being in a 'invite only' shopping experience was cool.  Walked out with a perfume for my girlfriend.  For years after we waited for that event to purchase either cologne or perfume rather than asking for it as a gift during the holidays or birthday.  It's an example of a small and low cost event that made shopping unique.  

Macy's, on the other hand, just felt cheap shopping there.  From the experience you outlined all the way down to the cheap plastic bags.  

Edited by cjd5050
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I was born, raised, and educated in NY, and moved down here about 6 years ago.

One thing I noticed is that Macy's down here isn't the same as up there. I'm from Albany, and the mall I used to frequent had this ritzy 3-level Macy's, with the 3rd level dedicated to "The Cellar" collection and furniture items. Albany isn't exactly an upscale market, yet our Macy's was classy and had a large selection of upscale goods.

Fast forward to my move to Charlotte, and I find the Macy's marginally more upscale than a JC Penny or a Sears. No different than Belk. Why is that? I would have thought that the Macy's here would be even more upscale, considering Charlotte is a larger and more premium market than Albany. Is it because most of the stores were former Hecht's locations?

Anyway, the sales lady at the NL store said that SP usually carries a more upscale display.

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Hecht's was slightly better than a JCPenney.  I thought that since it was part of the same family as Lord & Taylor, it would be a nice store, but although the physical appearance of Hecht's stores was fine, they were a far cry from L&T and I wondered why one was at SouthPark.

I think that the Charlotte-area Macy's being nothing special is due to their former Hecht's status.  The "real" Macy's (e.g., Lenox Square in Atlanta) are fine; the Lenox one is very nice, actually.

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