Kohl’s Department Store has announced it will relocate
from Southridge Mall in Greendale to the 84South
development in Greenfield.
Dave Fidlin/Special to the
GREENDALE — With
unprecedented, rapid changes in consumer spending
habits, Southridge Mall, the large shopping metropolis
in the county’s southwest quadrant, faces an uncertain
Kohl’s, which has
been a mainstay at Southridge since it opened in 1970,
announced recently it was leaving its anchor tenant
space within the venerable development, further
magnifying the growing uncertainty.
Mirroring what a
number of retailers are doing in the modern commercial
development climate, Kohl’s late next year is expected
to uproot its Southridge operations and relocate to a
new mixed-use development, 84South, in Greenfield.
municipal approvals (from the city of Greenfield), the
relocated store would open in late 2018,” said Jen
Johnson, vice president of corporate communications for
Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s.
“The new, one-story
55,000-square-foot store will be smaller than the
current two-level 85,000 store at Southridge Mall.”
Although it still
has a healthy balance sheet, leaders within publicly
traded Kohl’s have indicated they are addressing
changing consumer habits by shrinking store footprints
to remain competitive and profitable. The Southridge
announcement follows this strategy.
Although the Kohl’s
announcement knocks one of Southridge’s five anchor
department stores off the roster, mall management and
owner Simon Property Group have expressed optimism about
the site’s future as a commercial retail destination.
“We continue to
evolve to provide shoppers with more choices at their
shopping mall,” Mary Mokwa, Southridge’s general
manager, said in a statement.
Due to the uncertainty in brick-and-mortar department
stores, the anchor lineup at Southridge could change.
Dave Fidlin/Special to the
Mokwa pointed out
Southridge has several new developments on the horizon —
the most prominent being Milwaukee-based Marcus
Theatres’ Bistro Plex, which is expected to open this
summer on what once was parking lot space on the mall’s
traditional business model with a heavy emphasis on
department stores as anchor tenants and a layout that
requires shoppers to access shops inside the mall
corridor might have to be tweaked in the years ahead.
When asked about
Southridge’s long-term viability and, specifically, the
future of the Kohl’s space within the mall, officials
within Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group declined
But the company
provided a statement from Rick Sokolov, Simon’s chief
marketing officer, on the property management company’s
view of anchor department store spaces.
stores close, we know what to do with them,” Sokolov
said in the statement. “We are ready to take them back,
should the opportunity present itself, where we can make
money and do it on a cost effective basis.”
The remaining anchors
uncertainty is the state of Southridge’s other four
The parent companies
behind Boston Store, JCPenney, Macy’s and Sears have all
struggled in recent years and are in varying states of
The direst of the
quartet is Sears. Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears
Holdings Corp. runs the Sears and Kmart stores. SHC has
not posted a profit across its two department store
chains since 2010.
The Marcus Corp. is
building a movie theater with bistro at Southridge Mall
in Greendale, which is taking up parking space at the
mall. Southridge has been a retail mecca on the
Southwest Side of Milwaukee County for nearly 50 years,
far outlasting its northern counterpart, the defunct
Northridge Mall on Milwaukee’s North Side. Southridge’s
owners cite its ability to change as a factor in its
favor in the future.
Dave Fidlin/Special to the
Recently, the ailing
retailer in its annual earnings report gave a warning
shot that it might completely shut down its two brands.
operating results indicate substantial doubt exists
related to the company’s ability to continue as a
growing concern,” SHC management wrote in the annual
SHC has been closing
scores of Sears and Kmart stores in recent years as it
tries to stem losses and stay afloat. When it comes to
department store closures, Sears is not alone.
JCPenney recently announced it was closing 138 stores
across the U.S. No Milwaukee-area stores were on the
list, though the company is shuttering four stores in
smaller communities in northern Wisconsin.
Macy’s also is in the midst of a multi-phased effort to
close up to 100 unprofitable stores across the U.S.
Neither the Southridge nor Mayfair Mall locations are
targeted at this time.
Bon-Ton, which owns
the Boston Store brand, is in such a financially
precarious situation that it recently faced the risk of
having its publicly traded stock delisted because it
fell below $1 per share. The company, with dual
headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pa., has announced
plans to close a small handful of its stores this year.
uncertainties, Southridge Mall and Simon Property Group
have a strong ally: the village of Greendale.
“Southridge Mall has
been a part of Greendale for nearly 50 years,” Village
Manager Todd Michaels said. “As with any member of our
community, we hope they continue to thrive.”
Michaels said he and
other village officials are optimistic about Simon
Property Group’s expertise and ability to keep
Southridge relevant as shopping trends change.
“As the largest mall
owner in the country, they have the knowledge and means
to manage the mall into the future,” Michaels said.