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What would be cool in that space would be a Boscov's. It's an honest to goodness full-line department store. Boscov's made their Virginia debut at Piedmont Mall in Danville earlier this month and I had a chance to visit over the weekend.

For those who aren't familiar with Reading, Pa.-based Boscov's, it's a cross between Macy's and Sears with a little Wal-Mart thrown in. They claim to be the largest family owned department store chain in America.

They're located primarily in the Northeast, but are expanding out from their base into new markets. It's not a high fashion store, but it's chock full of practically everything else. The prices are reasonable for what they carry, and the service is very good.

It would make an excellent fit for Columbia Place and the former JCPenney would be about the right size. they actually might make it bigger. Boscov's stores are typically very large (The Danville store is 173,000 square feet) and they carry a truly astounding variety of merchandise. From Estee Lauder to Lego to Waterford crystal to fresh-made fudge to a multi-purpose room (!), this store covers a lot of territory. And it was packed with customers.

Pics: http://livemalls.blogspot.com/2005/07/bosc...l-danville.html

Edited by StevenRocks
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^I like how the store actually LOOKS a little upscale but isn't. Marketing and presentation go a HECK of a long way.

It's a great place. They've found a balance between prestige brands and everyday items definately. If Danville is any indication, I think they've got a good chance at being as big in many Southern towns as they are in Pennsylvania.

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CBL is a company that does not give up on their malls like so many others do. All you have to do to see people who don't have the potential or don't care is to drive up to Eastland Mall in Charlotte. I've heard others say that Columbia Place and Eastland are similiar, but I beg to differ. Eastland has no anchors showing any signs of wanting to stay put. The Dillard's there has turned to a Clearance Center and lets face it Columbia Place attracted Charlotte Russe, SC Place, Charcoal (midwest store), Man Alive (urban store that turned down Eastland), PacSun, Journey's and Mastercuts to the mall in recent years. In addition we all watched outside the mall as we lost our O'Charley's and the Don Pablos space sat empty. We were hoping and wishing for something nice to open. Even after Red Lobster and Olive Garden announced their plans to vacate and move farther out we took steps back and said they'll never find something nice to go there. We were surprised to know of Sticky Fingers and Charleston Crab House wanting to be on mall property. General Cinemas vacated the property and the mall found someone polished to operate the former theatre. Lets face it Columbiana does hold teh dominate retail landscape, but Columbia Place has snagged a few that should have done their flagship elsewhere. Since CBL took over Columbia Place in 2001 it's only gotten better. Things take time. We've gotten better stores, better security, and a renovation. CBL won't give up on Columbia Place. CBL also has a philosphy that if a anchor store doesn't work they'll find specialty retail to take it's place.



These stores would be good fits for the market, but lets not give up and place the mall in the hands of BCF which we all don't want to see.

CBL will surprise us and Columbia Place will remain a place to find more of the stuff you love


Columbia Place Watcher

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No offense at all, I've had some great memories in Columbia Place(originally Columbia Mall)....I basically grew up there....I remember the arcade barely, i remember when the food court wasnt there, when Dillard's used to be Belk, when Spencer's & Gadzooks was there, and when Burger King was downstairs where Sam Goody is now and had the playground we used to play on......those were the days......BUT* to be honest with you, the feel of the mall isn't the same....not becuz i grew up, but because the stores and the people arent the same....the demographics are different now, its mostly urban wear stores and shoe stores.....and once the 18 and up on weekends rule started I knew that columbia place was going in the direction Eastland is going.....Gap left, very dissapointed when that happend, Athlete's foot closed, Disney Store closed, Carlton Cards closed, Eckerd closed, Sharon Luggage, and were replaced by a dollar store and more urban wear stores as if there werent enough already....now lenscrafters & JCPenney are gone too......and honestly I think if Columbiana had the room, stores like Charlotte Russe and some others wouldve probably opened there instead.....Columbia Place has brought a lot of new stores....but also alot of stores have closed.....and also around the mall, Office Max, Circuit City, Target, Kroger, Stein Mart, O'Charleys, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, & Michael's that were once behind the mall or on Decker ended up moving further north on two notch & Clemson......there's alot of demographic repositioning going on but i still think that columbia place isn't doing as well as it can......but I still love and appreciate it, just not my type of mall anymore

Edited by Temeteron
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People fail to look at the idea that Columbia Mall was a Richard E Jacobs Group property. Columbia Place is the new company repositioning the former Columbia Mall to survive for another 25 years. Under Jacobs Group ownership, the Two Notch Road mall didn't see a renovation. It wasn't until 25 years after it opened that the first interior/exterior renovation was completed. Retailers were looking at leaving before knowing Columbia Mall would become Columbia Place. Disney Store closed in Columbia Place and closed most of it's stores nationwide leaving only major markets open. Disney Store had numerous stores in South Carolina and the nearest one now is in Charlotte, NC. Carlton Cards closed it's Columbia Place store and one year later closed it's Columbiana Centre store. Carlton Cards felt pressure from quality and lower priced Hallmark. Eckerd closed in Columbia Place because the mall wanted them out. Eckerd wasn't bringing in anyone. THe store didnt even have a pharmacy and people that visited Columbia Place with me found themselves laughing at the idea we had an Eckerd in the mall. Sharon Luggage filed Bankruptcy and closed all remaining locations throughout South Carolina. Luggage stores don't bring people to the mall either. Columbiana lost Bentley's a year later. Yes many of the stores abandoned ship for NEW Two Notch near Clemson, but sales figures for places like O'Charleys have missed the income brought by Columbia Place. We may have lost a number of big boxes, but we've gained and kept many. Marshalls just remodeled and doesn't plan on moving, Toys R Us remodeled and added Kids R Us at that location, Best Buy reported recently that Two Notch is their strongest store in South Carolina and they don't plan on leaving, Hine's Furniture just joined the line up and they are doing well, and Kmart has no plans on leaving. Hooters also joined the area and has reported success. A lot of the problem is blamed on the developers of the centers surrounding the malls. The developer of the center behind Columbia Place wanted rent that was ridiculous for the center. The center didn't compete with other area centers by way of expansion or keeping concepts fresh. The intial leaseup only included names that didn't survive through the 90s. The loop surrounding the mall also didn't have the traffic nor visibility to keep the tenants there. Not even talking about Decker Mall or Dentsville Square, we know these centers didn't have the leasing capabilities to attract national retailers. However, despite a few vacanies centers like Fashion Square across from Dent are still doing well. We may see more pulls of stores leaving, but with players like Fashion Square, Shoppes at Oneil Court, and Tillman's Plaza we don't have to worry too much.

I know this is long, but I thought I'd mention that not every store in Columbia Place is a permanent store. The mortgage on the mall has to be paid and someone has to be paying rent to keep the flow of income coming in. There are two leasing teams for Columbia Place. Columbia Place Specialty Leasing which handles local leases for temporary stores and Columbia Place Permanent Leasing which handles stores signing for 5-20 years. When a store goes dark, Columbia Place's Permanent Leasing team begins working on a replacement for the closed store, but beckons the Specialty Leasing team to find something to fill the space until they get what they want. When Gap closed, Kis Golf opened in it's space until Charlotte Russe permanently opened. When Eckerd closed, Casual Leather And More opened in it's place until Ashley Stewart was found. Below are a list of permanent stores opening in CBL's reign and current temporary stores in Columbia Place whom sit waiting for the letter saying "we've found someone for your space". Most likely these stores relocate within the mall to another space and some close, but heres my list.


Sarku Japan (mall needed japenese)

Yo Taco (mall needed a mexican restaurant)

Ashley Stewart (plus sized women's clothing)

PacSun (an effort to place another name in the Family Clothing category)

Charlotte Russe (to show that Columbia Place wanted better women's clothing)

SC Place (a specialty store that sells good merchandise)

Subway (needed one for years)

Mobile Solutions

One Stop Cellular


Sports Fan-Attic (authentic sports items)


Lim's (1st in South Carolina)

Journey's (quality shoe store, not urban shoes)

New York Gold & Diamonds


Man Alive (Opening Soon)

Charcoal (Opening Soon) (coming because of Charlotte Russe's success)

Finish Line (quality running store)

Mastercuts (quality haircare to take strain off of Regis)

Armed Forces Recruiting Center (get the ghetto in the military)

Glamour Nails (needed a nail salon)

Sticky Fingers (keep restaurants on the property)

Charleston Crab House (add some class to the area)

Phoenix Theatres (keep the theatre open)

Three urban stores total have opened in Columbia Place.




Footlocker (upperlevel and lower level store)


Foot Action

Payless Shoesource


New York & Company

Lane Bryant

The Shoe Department

Radio Shack


The Athlete's Foot (All corporate stores closed)

Willis Chiro Med (moved outside to former Carolina First)

Gadzooks (filed chapter 11 and closed many stores)

Best Price Fashions (Chapter 11 and malls effort to get rid of urban women's apparel)

Rainbow (malls effort to get rid of urban women's stores)

Quizno's (local franchise company closed all SC Stores)

Nut House (closed due to owners death)

Eckerd (not doing mall stores anymore)

Lenscrafters (moved further down Two Notch)

Sharon Luggage (filed bankruptcy and closed all SC Stores)

Gap (Restructuring forced them to close numerous stores)

San Francisco Music Box Company (closed almost all stores except major markets)

Thomas Kinkade (closed store due to saturation of market)

Disney Store (closed all stores in South Carolina)

Eddie Bauer (closed both Columbia Stores)

Carlton Cards (closed both Columbia Stores)

Zap Electronics (went bankrupt)

O'Charleys (moved further down Two Notch)

JCPenney (moved further down Two Notch)

Pups Is It (mutual closing, this store didn't fit the clientele)


Stores situated in temporary spaces which means these spaces are still available.

Toys & Games Etc. (former Athele's Foot Space)

ESES Shoes (former Gadzooks Space)

Divine Creations (former Nut House and Zap Electronics Space)

Urban Station (former Kinney Shoes space)

Sissy's Furniture (former Lenscrafers)

Happenings (former Shoe Department Space. Shoe Deparment relocated within mall)

Poco Loco (former Record Town space. Need I say more)

Milano Menswear (former Disney Store space)

Dollar Saver (former Best Price Fashions Space)

Just Casual (former Rainbow space)

Shekinah Glory (former Flowerama space)

Airbrush Unlimited (former Afterthoughts space)

All in all Columbia Place's new owners are doing a good job with Columbia Place, but with 25 years of going in the wrong direction It'll take a while to reposition. More stores will close just as you know bankruptcys, relocations and leases come up, but not all will be replaced with Urban wear. Spencer Gifts didn't close on CBL's watch, but CBL is actively working with many of the tenants that closed to return to Columbia Place. Casual Corner was almost a done deal until they announced bankruptcy. I'll have another update later today on what is to come.

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Belks is building their 4th Columbia store at the Village at Sandhill, so it definitely won't be them.

I know, I was joking :)

Might as well add a 5th...since nothing else seems to want to enter the Columbia market! :lol:


There are a number of new stores entering the Columbia market at Sandhill so I really don't see your point.

I think he means no new department stores want to enter the market.

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Tapp's again?

Just kidding. Unfortunately I think that the dominant chains in the Carolinas- Parisian (which I consider upscale, like Lord & Taylor), Belk, Dillard's, Macy's, JC Penney and Sears- are all we'll have for a while. Saks is in Charleston mainly because of upper-income tourists, and upscale department stores elsewhere- from Bonwit Teller to the Hilton Head Saks- have failed.

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Tapp's again?

Just kidding. Unfortunately I think that the dominant chains in the Carolinas- Parisian (which I consider upscale, like Lord & Taylor), Belk, Dillard's, Macy's, JC Penney and Sears- are all we'll have for a while. Saks is in Charleston mainly because of upper-income tourists, and upscale department stores elsewhere- from Bonwit Teller to the Hilton Head Saks- have failed.

Parisian has yet to enter the North Carolina markets though...

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