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Richland Mall Refurb

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From WISTV...

Refurbished Richland Mall expected to reopen by Thanksgiving

(Columbia) Nov. 12, 2004 - It's called Operation Christmas Miracle.

The mission is to open 22 brand-new stores at the Richland Mall by Thanksgiving according to Blacklion president and CEO Bob Emory, "We're not anywhere close. We're running 24 hours a day, 3 shifts."

The project is Emory's brainchild. He bought all 22 of the stores hoping to save what many perceive as a dying mall, "We're rebuilding this entire mall. The investment here is to do what have to do to get this mall filled with stores customers want to shop in." The mall has struggled over the past few years, losing national retailers like Dillards, The Limited and Victoria's Secret. But if this plan works, the vacancy rate here would go from 30% to zero.

What kind of stores will they be? All of them will be one of a kind. Emory says Petite Paris will carry all the latest fashions straight from runways of Europe, "It will be the first time a lot of this clothing has ever been shown in Columbia."

There will be a Santa's workshop, an art gallery and, "We will have the first and only authorized Anna Nicole Smith store." The clothes for that store are still being shipped and the elves will be there when they arrive just before the deadline in 13 days.

If you're interested in working at the mall, you can apply in person Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. Just go to the first level at the front entrance near the Blacklion. Shops are looking for sales people, store managers, and bookkeepers. 250 people will be hired.

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Yes, that's right... Columbia is getting "the first and only" Anna Nicole Smith Store.

We have arrived.

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heres an article from The State - explaining it in more detail

By TANYA FOGG YOUNG

Staff Writer

Richland Mall, which has struggled for years to attract customers, soon may give thanks to Bob Emory.

Emory, chief executive of Blacklion, Wednesday announced a $5 million plan to open 22 new stores in the Forest Acres mall, 16 on Thanksgiving Day.

The stores include apparel, jewelry and formalwear retailers, as well as a cafe and an art gallery created for college students.

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Yes, that's right... Columbia is getting "the first and only" Anna Nicole Smith Store.

We have arrived.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I hope she loses every penny she got from her old geezer. I think the store name is

too long. Skanks R Us sounds better. I wonder what that store demographic will be.

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:lol: Anna Nicole Smith Store. That is funny. yeah.

I hope this guys plan works though. I'd like to see that Mall rejuvinated. What they ought to do is make the area in Belks that you have to cut through to get to the other side more direct and obvious that the mall continues to teh other side.

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:lol: Anna Nicole Smith Store. That is funny. yeah.

I hope this guys plan works though. I'd like to see that Mall rejuvinated.  What they ought to do is make the area in Belks that you have to cut through to get to the other side more direct and obvious that the mall continues to teh other side.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What they should have done in the first place is move Belk to Dillard's former location and then carved shops into what would have been left of Belk.

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Yes. I had thought about that too, but I wasn't sure how to explain it. Good job.

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Yeah... that is the most bizarre layout of a mall ever. I used to go there when I was in high school to see a girl that worked at Tracks -- which was a record store in the food court area (?). The place is maze.

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Its need a better food court. The current one is kinda sad.

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Maybe they could've taken the Belks and put a Food Court there along with some kiosks and a few mini-storefront style places.

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I like that idea. That would be a good central place for an FC. Too bad they didn't come to the future and ask us our opinions. :D

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I've not been in there for perhaps 2 years now. I go to B&N or Belks but

very rarely out into the mall. As a kid growing up we used to hit the S&S (or

was it Morrison's) for occasional family get togethers. Last time I was

walking thru the mall there wasn't enough foot traffic to support any kind of

food court. I'd like a good food court there too but I think it's got to be an

additional attraction to decent stores. I think they can beef it up

if you ever get an foot traffic flowing outside the 3 or 4 anchor tenants.

I think a thriving court with good food as an additional reason to visit the

mall but not really as the destination.

I should ask my brother. His company owns and manages like 250 malls across the

U.S. They are vey savvy in how to buy and grow a mall's retail.

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Hi,

I have a question about this mall. Fairly new to South Carolina (in the upstate). Last time I was in Columbia went by this mall and was shocked that it was dead.

Seems like a good area of town and seems pretty close to some old money neighborhoods. I thought the mall had a very urban feel being set so close to the road and the parking deck, etc. Seems like it should be full of stores and be "the" place to shop.

Can anybody tell me the history of this mall? When did it open? What caused the decline? Who owns the mall?

Thanks.

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Richland did well until Columbia Mall was built. At the time

I think Trenholm was doing ok too. But Columbiana was a

long hike from Forest Acres & the Trenholm Road area. It's

a great mall but a heck of a ride..maybe at Christmas it's

worth a trip .. a big maybe. But I'm male and avoid shopping

like the plague. Now my female friends/relatives will travel 40

miles just to look around a store.

There seems to be new life at Richland every 3 years or so as far

back as I can remember..then traffic dies down and someone (like

new management) will try to re-energize the customer base.

Last night I caught the news with Charlotte developer who is fully

renting out the mall with all the new shops. Get this..he is starting up

these franchise businesses and letting people apply to own the

stores after working there. He will provide the capital up front for

the franchise. I believe it's worked elsewhere..he specifically said

he had people working with him who made more money than him

while running the stores he has set up. He is taking applications

for manage-to-own businesses.

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I would like to see Richland become a premier mall again. The area just has a good urban feel to it, reminds me of Oak Court Mall in Memphis or Green Hills in Nashville. If I lived in Columbia, would much rather shop in the Richland environment than drive out among the suburban sprawl of Columbiana. I'll keep my fingers crossed something good happens with Richland!

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It has quite interesting neighborhoods around it..located in the midst of poor, lower & upper middle class and

wealthy neighborhoods.

The new stores developed by Blacklion had problems paying the new employees yesterday. The owner

pays employees in cash and went to the bank which did not have enough cash to cover all the new employees.

There was about a 3 hour delay. Strangely the owner said next time he'd get the cash a day in advance but

I thought that was rather crazy to say to the news media.

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woah, I totally agree. Now muggers no where to go for money. Not smart at all. And whats up with him paying in cash? I wouldn't accept that crap. I know I would want a check.

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I don't know anything about Blacklion, but the minute I saw the guy on the news I thought there was something sketchy about the whole thing.

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I'm not sure his reasons make sense to me..but I'm a subcontractor to the state and always seem to be waiting on a check. Maybe it makes sense for retail employees.

From WIS

Emory says he pays his employees cash because it's easier for them and about taxes, "These are all subcontractors. It's up to them to report taxes and we have them fill out forms saying they're subcontractors.

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WIS reported Blacklion opened 8 of the 22 stores planned to open by Thanksgiving. Eight others will open as soon as merchandise arises and the other stores will be open before Christmas. Since some of the stores are Christmas-themed likely a few will close after the first of the year. The Thanksgiving day opening was a success with the new stores being packed thursday night.

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I have always loved Richland Mall, from the time it was an open air mall when I was a kid to the redevelopment as a large enclosed mall. Aestetically, it is very nice and I don't know why it hasn't been more successful. Belks and Parisian do well, as does Barnes and Noble, but many of the other stores do not. It is still my favorite mall, but I do find myself going to Columbiana alot, also. Now the Village at Sandhill is being developed. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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I have always loved Richland Mall, from the time it was an open air mall when I was a kid to the redevelopment as a large enclosed mall. Aestetically, it is very nice and I don't know why it hasn't been more successful. Belks and Parisian do well, as does Barnes and Noble, but many of the other stores do not. It is still my favorite mall, but I do find myself going to Columbiana alot, also. Now the Village at Sandhill is being developed. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

I never knew it was an open-air mall! I've always thought that, because of the urban location, that the space would function better as open-air shopping -- something similar to Columbiana Place (except without the parking in the front) in Harbison.

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Richland Mall opened as an open air mall in 1960. It was the first large (for the era) mall in Columbia. I grew up in the Forest Acres area, where Richland Mall is located. When I was growing up in the 70's Richland Mall had a Winn Dixie and a Big Star grocery stores, a JB White's department store, a theatre duplex, around 30 specialty shops and a number of out buildings. The Bank of America branch that is now in the parking lot was a C&S at the time. It wasn't a bad little mall at all. In the late 80's it was redeveloped into a large Regional Mall by a company out of Australia that later went bankrupt. I believe the mall's problems are rooted in that company's over-expansion in the states and subsequent bankruptcy. Richland had the nicest (huge) food court I have ever seen. It had huge windows and huge mobiles and seemed to be the size of a football field. The area where the food court originally was is now a (Verizon?) call center.

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