NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Change is on its way at the MacArthur Center mall in Norfolk.
In an age where technology has taken over, slowly but surely traditional shopping in a mall could become less common.
“It’s always sad to see a big store like that close, or other merchants. Because a lot of people go here,” said Liz Boarel, a Macarthur Mall shopper.
Months after Nordstrom made their exit from the MacArthur Center, more stores are following the trend.
Karen Husselbee at the MacArthur Center said in an email leases for J. Crew, Fossil and Brighton Collectibles are up, and those stores are leaving.
“It’s kinda sad really because, you know, I go here a lot, more than the other malls,” Boarel said.
But leaders at the mall are confident nontraditional lures to the mall will keep them on the right track.
Boarel says if it’s anything like the seasonal seasaw and ice rink, she’s excited.
“I didn’t even know that they’ve got like an art gallery which … I plan to see after doing the seasaw. I think it is pretty refreshing,” she said.
“Traditional retail shops, they’ve been struggling for years, but new things come in,” said Mike Stevens, a Norfolk resident.
The mall just celebrated the opening of Glow Golf and will soon introduce a new 19,000-square-foot bar called GameWorks. Bonilla Pet Studio is also on its way in.
“A lot of places around the area that come and go, restaurants bars, things like that. It’s all good, I mean, not every place can last forever, but come in give it a shot hopefully they get good deals with their leases and that should keep the activity going,” he said.
Stevens says if they keep going like this, it’ll have an even bigger impact.
“Looking ahead, MacArthur Center and our operator/manager Starwood Retail Partners are committed to creating a welcoming environment and new experiences for Hampton Roads,” Husselbee said.
“We’ll be sharing additional updates in 2020,” Husselbee added.