Ready to start your holiday shopping? You might notice changes at St. Clair Square mall the next time you’re there.
An anchor department store has shortened its hours. One food court vendor has turned off the lights.
There’s a new clothing store for women where everything is $7.99 or less. And after six years in various locations in the mall, a locally-owned children’s boutique and toy store has moved out.
Here’s everything you need to know about the most visible changes at the mall:
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Macy’s changes store hours
Macy’s has changed its store hours at St. Clair Square. Instead of closing at 9 p.m., the department store closes at 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the company’s website.
The store will continue to close at 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
A representative of Macy said not all stores keep the same hours but rather set the hours to meet customers’ preferences. Store hours have also changed at other Macy’s locations in the region, according to the website.
What’s happening in the food court?
The lights are out at one of the food court’s healthier options.
Fitopia announced plans to close in September. The vendor opened about a year ago in the space previously occupied by Chick-fil-A. Healthy salads and sandwiches were on the menu.
Christine Poehling, a spokeswoman for St. Clair Square, said Fitopia is “looking at relaunching sometime next year with a redeveloped concept.”
Not far from the food court, one store has moved out.
After more than six years in the mall, the children’s clothes, toys and gifts shop Kiddo’s did not renew its lease and expanded its home base at 5621 Old Collinsville Rd., Fairview Heights. Owner Jessica Butcher said the business moved in April.
A decline in sales at the mall triggered the move.
The store’s new location features a gym where families with younger children can take recreational classes together. For more information, call 618-622-8500.
On the first floor, Fashion 5 has moved into the space previously occupied by New York Co.
The store opened about a week ago, according to Poehling, and carries clothing and accessories for women, everything in the store is $7.99 or less.
Ruler Foods coming to Fairview Heights
The discount grocery-chain Ruler Foods expects to open a new location in the metro-east before Jan. 1.
Fairview Heights Economic Development Director Mike Malloy said the city expects to Ruler to move into Crossroads Centre at 10850 Lincoln Trail.
The space was previously occupied by Hobby Lobby before the craft store moved across the street about a year ago.
Ruler will set up shop between Big Lots and Sky Zone. The Fairview Heights store will be the fourth Ruler Foods in the metro-east. The other stores are in Belleville, Collinsville and Highland.
Malloy expects construction to wrap up inside of the space by mid-November.
The store is part of Kroger’s JayC Food Stores operation. The Ruler format offers “very low pricing on quality products” with a strong emphasis on the Kroger brand. However, the store will also offer national brands, as well as fresh meat and produce.
To keep overhead low, customers at Ruler stores bag their own groceries and “rent” a shopping cart for 25 cents, which is returned when the cart is returned, similar to Aldi stores.
Hopskeller Brewing Co. reopens after fire
Five feet of water filled the basement of the building that dates to the 1850s. An air-conditioning unit caved in through the roof to the first floor. And the brewing equipment was deemed unusable.
The damage was heartbreaking, but brewmaster Matt Schweizer immediately vowed to rebuild.
Now, nearly a year later, the Waterloo brewery celebrated its reopening Oct. 13, at 116 E. 3rd St.
“This is been one heck of a journey. Thank you for staying in touch, for your support, and for what I hope will be many continued good times!” Hopskeller posted on its Facebook page earlier this week.
Earlier this year, Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith said he was “excited about getting Hopskeller open.”
He praised Hopskeller and several other businesses that have invested in rehabbing older buildings downtown.
One of these businesses includes another craft brewer, the Stubborn German Brewing Co., which opened last year at 119 S. Main St.
“We’ve been able to save our downtown where people are actually wanting to put a business in downtown,” Smith said in June. “Waterloo’s downtown has really become viable.”
Do you have a tip? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, I’m available to chat on Twitter @CaraRAnthony, and if you really want to go old school, call me on my landline at 618-239-2471.
Staff writers Mike Koziatek, Mary Cooley and Megan Braa contributed to this report.