The Limited closes doors at Oaks Mall

Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 11:12 p.m.

The Limited closed its clothing store at The Oaks Mall on Tuesday, following Linens-N-Things' closure Saturday and soon to be followed by Waldenbooks later this month.

Although numerous retail closures are predicted to follow disappointing holiday sales nationwide, mall general manager Jamie Wright said two of the moves would have happened in any economy as part of the regular churn of updating and remerchandising the mall as leases expire.

Only Linens-N-Things, which closed all of its stores after weeks of going-out-of-business sales, was related to economic conditions, he said.

He characterized The Limited and Waldenbooks moves as "mutual decisions."

"In this economy, we're going to try to stimulate customers' interest and bring tenants in that do that," Wright said.

Sephora beauty products will move into the space vacated by The Limited and keep its cosmetics store within JC Penney, Wright said.

Footlocker is moving from its current location into the Waldenbooks space. Wright said he does not currently have a prospect to fill Footlocker's location.

Despite rumors - or wishful thinking - to the contrary, Wright said the mall does not have a tenant lined up for the Linens-N-Things space. He said they will take their time to find the right tenant for such a large space strategically located at the front of the mall.

Spokeswoman Bonnie Schmick of Waldenbooks, a subsidiary of Borders, said the last day is expected to be Jan. 24. She said it is one of about 100 underperforming stores to close since late 2007 out of what was 521 Waldenbooks or Borders Express stores.

Wright pointed out that Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble have large bookstores near the mall.

A spokeswoman for The Limited could not be reached late Tuesday. Limited Brands reported sales declines of 12 percent in November compared to the prior year. Construction continues on the BJ's Restaurant and Brewery in the old Don Pablo's outparcel in front of the mall, slated for opening late February or early March.

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