Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bloomingdale's Closing Four Stores, One in Atlanta

New York-based Bloomingdale's will close their Perimeter Mall location in March.  Bloomindale's is a subsidiary of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Macy's Inc.  The Macy's in Perimeter Mall will be unaffected. Additionally, the Lenox Square store, which has been since day one the better performing location in the
region, will remain open as well.

I mentioned in early 2010 that I felt the store would likely close as both service and selection, cornerstones of the Bloomingdale's brand, were poor at the Perimeter location.   than anything else.  The store itself never performed that well.  As a former associate at the Lenox location, I knew Perimeter to be the "dumping ground" for customer returns.  (Customers would often buy from Lenox or other Bloomingdale's locations but take their returns to Perimeter.  For this reason, they often had single odd items and carried an overall odd variety of products.  The Perimeter store was smaller than Lenox but unlike Lenox, offered an extensive rug selection.  

Around Valentine's Day of 2010, the AJC broke a story about a woman accused of stealing five Persian rugs valued in excess of $325,000.  From working and shopping for the company, I found it utterly amazing that something like this could happen, especially knowing the serious loss prevention department both stores have.  Additionally, there was at least one if not two other incidents over the past few years involving groups of people running in and stealing thousands of dollars in Polo Ralph Lauren merchandise and designer jeans. On a recent trip, an armed guard was present at the entrance in the men's department, near both Polo and denim.  Perhaps theft was a bigger issue for the store than some may think.  

Also, portions of the store on both the main level and second lever had been sealed off to the public and were not being used as selling floor for merchandise.  This tactic, of course, was also executed with the cafe in the home store at Lenox but I'm hopeful that re-opens soon.  

Bloomingdale's entered the Atlanta market in the fall of 2003, each occupying a former Macy's location. (Macy's and Rich's merged and later consolidated overlapping locations at most malls.)  My biggest issue has been that the Lenox and Perimeter stores were too close and Bloomingdale's should have opened at North Point Mall, if anywhere, instead.  

This past fall, I again included Bloomingdale's Perimeter on my DeathWatch list, though some new information leads me to believe that there is another anchor ready to take the space once Bloomingdale's closes.  Sources told me that the Perimeter Mall lease runs through 2016, and that in order for them to get out of it, they'd need someone else to take over the lease.  I said then that Davenport, Iowa-based Von Maur is likely not the replacement, as they just opened North Point Mall a few months ago and I doubt that they would open another location so soon, or so close.  

Bloomingdale's will also close locations at the Mall of America in Minnesota, White Flint in North Bethesda, Maryland and a home store in Oak Brook Illinois. Bloomingdale's at the Mall of America was one of the mall's original tenants, the store opened with the mall in 1992.  A source tells me the Perimeter Mall location is scheduled to close March 11 and that the Mall of America location will close in "early 2012," presumably around the same time.  Liquidation sales should begin in the coming days at all locations.  

J.C. Penney was in the mall once, but closed their store in 2002.  It was later demolished and rebuilt as a Dillard's in 2005.  Costco is already in the area, so General Growth Properties, the owner of the mall, would be unable to do what they did at Cumberland Mall in replacing a vacant anchor space with a Costco. Calls to Perimeter Mall's leasing department were not immediately returned, but I will post an update as soon as new information becomes available.

What do you think should open in place of the Bloomingdale's?  Will you miss the Perimeter Bloomingdale's or was much of your shopping done at their Lenox location?  Should the space be broken up into smaller stores or should an anchor be found to take the entire space?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

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Anonymous said...

I doubt another department store would replace it due to consolidation in the industry. I wonder if it could be redeveloped for multiple retailers.

Do the other Perimeter anchors do far more business than Bloomie's ever did there?

Atlantan99 said...

Hi Anon,

I don't know about all, but that Nordstrom does very well from what I'm told. Best in the state by some accounts, Phipps does well, but apparently Perimeter beats in sales volume.

I think redeveloping the space for multiple users is a good idea. This is being done at the Bloomingdale's in Mall of America.

Thanks for reading and for the comments!

Anonymous said...

Is Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus expanding?? If they offer a better selection and service, could they be supported in that area?? Wasn't Neiman's considering the planned mall in Forsyth County? I'm thinking maybe Belk... but I hope not. Belk sucks.

Maybe they will break it up into smaller stores and/or build an open air portion??

Atlantan99 said...

Hi Anon,

Even if either Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus were expanding ( which I doubt) them opening at Perimeter is about as likely as Piggly Wiggly opening in Lenox. The numbers do not support a second store for either and I think both are happy with their current single full line stores in the market.

Thanks for reading and for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Sigh... probably a Belk... or the space is broken up into smaller stores. That's my guess.

Anonymous said...

I don't see Von Maur coming to Perimeter Mall as one was just opened in November 2011 at North Point. I know that Dennis Kemp (Perimeter Mall's manager) is promising to announce plans for another replacement, but I don't see another anchor coming anytime soon. I can see that unoccupied space being divided into several smaller retail chains. Too bad we don't have the May Company around anymore. Boy do I miss shopping at those stores! Maybe a store like the Bon Ton will expand into the South! :)

Tres said...

I actually read recently that Lord & Taylor is back in expansion mode. This, to me, would be a great opportunity for them to return to Atlanta. They've already got plans to return to South Florida, so why not come back to Atlanta? I really think that the stores here eventually closed was because the quality of the products declined and with 3 locations in the area, they were pretty spread thin, which hurt sales in their later years of Atlanta presence. Their new ownership has really stepped up L&Ts game and have done an excellent job of cleaning up the mess that May made of the store. They truly are back to their more fashionable roots and they are more comparable to Nordstrom/Von Maur now than they were when they left town.

But Again, like the aforementioned Dean & DeLuca (in the container store article) wishful thinking I guess.

Anonymous said...

Surprised the Atlanta metro can't support 2 Crate & Barrel's... I guess Alpharetta and Forsyth County aren't all that rich, ha!

Anonymous said...

Yuck.. not Bon Ton. They're as bad as Belk.

It's Von Maur.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be a Von Maur.

By the way, it is about 14 miles from Perimeter to North Point and with traffic on 400 it might as well be 30 miles. The two malls serve very different regions.

I can see the issue with Perimeter and Lenox being an overlap. Most folks that live in Dunwoody, Chamblee, Sandy Springs, etc. can get to either mall quickly. However, no body I know drives to North Point unless they are going to the American Girl store for their kids.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's official.. Von Maur is opening in Bloomingdales spot. Look at today's ATL Business Chronicle...

Tres said...

Believe it or not, they've already announced that Von Maur is indeed taking over the space:

I'll take it. From the looks of things, it'll be bigger and even better than the one at North Point. So even if it's no Lord & Taylor, this is a worthy addition. It'll be nice to have a VM closer to home. The one question I have is I wonder how Von Maur and Nordstrom will co-exist in the same mall, being that they're somewhat similar...

Anonymous said...

It did end up being Von Maur taking it's place...hmmm