Macy's new Backstage outlet store in St. Clair Square
Let’s face it. With U.S. retailers announcing store closures almost every week, it’s hard not to worry about the future of St. Clair Square Mall in Fairview Heights.
Will the mall survive this year’s retail apocalypse? The short answer is yes. No major anchors will be lost as of now, but the mall has closed several clothing stores in the last two years, leaving some shoppers concerned.
That’s why in a recent interview, St. Clair Square Manager Michael Hagen set the record straight about 25 stores at the shopping center.
“The mall is very healthy,” Hagen said. “And a large part of that is due to our location. We don’t really compete with the St. Louis area.”
If you’re a frequent shopper or even if you visit the mall occasionally, check out the status of popular stores at the mall.
Gymboree — Earlier this month, the children’s clothing store announced it would be closing 350 stores as its works to restructure in bankruptcy. The company, founded in 1976, also operates two other brands, including Gymboree Outlet and Janie and Jack.
Recently opened and coming in 2017
Parker’s Water Ice — This shop opened in April and sells water ice. The product consists of water, juice and artificial flavoring and is then blended and flash frozen. The water ice scoops like ice cream, but doesn’t taste like ice cream or include dairy.
Macy’s Backstage — It’s the first of its kind to open in Illinois. The 17,800-square-foot outlet offers home goods, cosmetics, gifts, clothing and jewelry at discount prices.
Box Lunch — Coming in August, this store will offer a curated collection of licensed and non-licensed merchandise. For every $10 spent on pop culture-themed apparel, accessories, home goods, gift and novelty, and collectibles, the company will help provide a meal secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.
In the safe zone (for now)
Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney — The anchor department stores in Fairview Heights were spared after all three companies announced store closures nationwide.
Aeropostale — In 2016, signs pointed to the imminent closure of this Aeropostale store. A company statement indicated only 229 of its stores would remain in “go-forward” status following bankruptcy and a sell off of hundreds of its properties. The store in Fairview Heights avoided closure.
Claire’s, Payless ShoeSource and Abercrombie & Fitch — These brands have faced financial problems, but at St. Clair Square, customers continue to browse and buy.
Gone, but not forgotten
Wet Seal — This retailer was known for selling fast fashion to teens. Wet Seal closed its location in St. Clair Square mall earlier this year. According to Business Insider, Wet Seal closed hundreds of locations in 2015. The company then filed for bankruptcy protection.
The Limited — The women’s fashion retailer announced in January that all 250 stores nationwide have closed. In late November, the company warned the state of 246 possibly permanent layoffs at its headquarters, saying “it is even possible that we could close our home office altogether.”
New York & Company — The women’s retailers has closed its Fairview Heights store.
Vanity — This women’s clothing store closed earlier this year when its parent company decided to shutter all of its properties as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Officials with the North Dakota-based company announced in March that all 140 of its stores would close after being in business for more than 50 years.
Opened in 2016
Vintage Stock — The entertainment superstore opened its first Illinois location last year in St. Clair Square. The 5,000-square-foot store sells new and used video games, movies and music as well as trading cards, collectibles and comics.
Capital Candy opened in October along with White Barn Candle and Sea Street Soapworks.
Bath and Body Works expanded their store in 2016.