Sunday, February 11, 2018

[NEWSFLASH] Abercrombie & Fitch Was Still Open at Gwinnett Place Mall. Now It's Not

Abercrombie & Fitch has closed its store at Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth.  The store, located on the mall's first floor, reportedly closed January 28.  We contacted Abercrombie via Facebook regarding the closure and were told  "While we can't say when it closed, we can say we will miss being there."  The Abercrombie at Mall of Georgia, now the closest Abercrombie for area shoppers, indicates that the store closed the 28th or 29th and that there was no advance warning given to employees or shoppers, nor was there any "liquidation sale." 
Image courtesy of ToNeTo Atlanta contributor Rasheed Stevens
ToNeTo Atlanta was at Gwinnett Place Mall on the afternoon of Friday, January 26 and the store was noticeably slow, but was operating as usual.  

The Columbus, Ohio based retailer was one of the last few national brands still operating in the struggling mall.  The company closed its abercrombie kids location on the upper level of the mall, about five years ago.  

Over the years, Gwinnett Place Mall has continued to lose national merchants and eateries.  Retailers that once had outposts in the mall include Williams Sonoma, Banana Republic,  Radio Shack, American Eagle Outfitters, Waldenbooks, B.Dalton Booksellers, Gap/Gap Kids, Forever 21, Sanrio Surprises, Warner Bros Studio Store, Yankee Candle, Body Shop, Gymboree, Fossil, Disney Store, Hot Topic, Circuit City Express, Stamp & Coin and Journeys.  Belk, JCPenney,  Parisian and Rich's are all former anchors at the mall. Former eateries in the mall include Ruby Tuesday, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Del Taco, Pretzel Time, St. Louis Bread Co. (Panera Bread), Great American Cookie Co. , Planet Smoothie, Great Wraps and Barnie's Coffee.

As of this week, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Aeropostale, Champs Sports, Foot Locker, Footaction, Finish Line, Lids, Express, Payless ShoeSource, Macy's and Sears are among the only national retailers still operating in the mall.  (Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Footaction are all owned by Foot Locker, Inc., while Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works are both owned by L Brands)

Built in 1984 by Simon Property Group, and once a popular shopping destination for many,  Gwinnett Place Mall has more recently joined an unwanted group: "dead malls."  

Mall of Georgia, also a Simon property, opened August 1999, about thirteen miles north of Gwinnett Place Mall.  While thirteen miles is by no means "close" by ITP standards, the relative proximity of the two malls for suburban shoppers quickly eroded the traffic at the incumbent mall.  
The former Circuit City Express store at Gwinnett Place Mall 
Discover Mills (renamed  Sugarloaf Mills in 2012) opened in November 2001 a mere three and half miles north of Gwinnett Place Mall.  Built as an outlet mall, the center features a combination of standard and outlet merchandise. Discover Mills, along with the entire Mills Corporation, were purchased by Simon Property Group in February 2007.  

Given the struggles facing Gwinnett Place Mall, its inability to attract new retailers - large and small -  Simon allowed the mall to be foreclosed on in 2012.  [Simon spun off Northlake Mall, another struggling mall, in 2014.  In early 2016 ATR Corinth, a Texas-based firm, purchased the mall, reportedly sees tremendous potential, and has seen robust interest from retailers/other tenants in joining the project.  ToNeTo Atlanta expects to have news to share on Northlake Mall later this summer.]   

In 2013, Moonbeam Capital Investments, LLC, a private real estate equity firm based in Las Vegas, purchased Gwinnett Place Mall and soon announced plans to redevelop the 1.3 million square foot property.  

While Moonbeam has done little in the way of updates or improvements to the mall, they do employ a group of "security officers" whose primary job, it seems, is to limit photography in the mall.  The former Subway in the food court at Gwinnett Place Mall is, after all, where a young Georgia State student's decomposing body was discovered last December where it had reportedly gone unnoticed for at least two weeks.  

ToNeTo Atlanta inquired about the status of Gwinnett Place Mall with representatives from Moonbeam at this past past year's ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) RECon convention in Las Vegas and was provided the all-too-familiar "no comment."  

This year's RECon convention is May 20-23. By then, one can hope Moonbeam has their act together and has plans to share regarding the future of Gwinnett Place Mall.  

What would you like to see happen to Gwinnett Place Mall?  Are you surprised that Abercrombie stayed open in the mall as long as it did?  What is your fondest memory of Gwinnett Place Mall?  When was the last time you were in Gwinnett Place Mall?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

A weeks old corpse in the food court is the final nail in the coffin for that mall. Haven't been to GP in years. Would be embarrassed to tell someone I went there to shop, but would need to tell someone to call law enforcement if I went missing.

dunwoodytimmie said...

Is the AF at Perimeter and North Point closed also

Aaron said...

I was just at this place yesterday, it was the saddest mall I've ever seen. The food court is entirely vacant, including the now-infamous Subway. While there are many empty stores thoughout the mall, the area around the food court -- on both floors-- is the most deserted of the entire mall, parts of it were kind of dark, and frankly it was kind of creepy. I'm not surprised they didn't find the dead body for two weeks!

Coolio said...

What do I want to see? I want to see it bulldozed.

At this point, I think they should just offer each store to people looking for apartments, and let them rent the space for around $500-$1k/mo each. Or let the county/state purchase it and have a true one-stop shop for ALL public services. They could have multiple DMV "stores" to reduce the wait times. A health clinic. If you have people who are guaranteed to be there everyday, that will bring back the food stores first, and other types later. The county/state could make money from that.

Dunno... seems too obvious.

nocode said...

Circuit City Express! I've been trying to figure out what that was since you posted it on your Instagram account. Mystery solved.

Michael Philliphs said...

This mall shouldn't be held hostage by corrupt private interests for years and years. There's no excuse for this mall to be dead, considering all the nearby auto traffic and all the stores and shops nearby. Considering the large density of people living and working around here, it's a joke that the mall can't make it. Someone needs to step in and do something

Anonymous said...

Changing demographics. Almost 18 years back I remember eating at Panera Bread on the ground floor. The mall was bustling with people and stores. Now, welcome to Walking Dead. Sad.

Art said...

Moonbeam has discussed what needs to be done but hasn't followed through. It needs to be converted to mixed uses adding housing and office components. A key thig that will help is if Gwinnett County can join MARTA so we can build a light rail line connecting Doraville to the Mall and the Infinite Energy Arena. The county ahs already purchased land to build a transit station at the Mall on Satellite near Macy's. What is missing is a referndum on the ballot this year to join MARTA. The citizenns need to call, e-mail etc, their commissioners askign for a ballot referndum on MARTA not just a T-SPLOST as the commissioners are considering which won't build the economic development driving light rail line that will benefit the county not just GP and the Arena.

Anonymous said...

"The citizenns need to call, e-mail etc, their commissioners askign for a ballot referndum on MARTA not just a T-SPLOST as the commissioners are considering which won't build the economic development driving light rail line that will benefit the county not just GP and the Arena."

Gwinnett is fast turning into a poverty county driven by demographics. Those left are not the type to demand or vote for this. The tax base is quickly disappearing. ITP citizens don't want poverty brought back into their new neighborhood. Gentrification at work.

Moonbeam knew this mall was dead on their arrival. Third world demographics in 10 years will be the status quo in Gwinnett.

Bulldoze Gwinnett Place - that poor two week old deceased woman is a sign of the times.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody read the article ? There are two whole malls that ate this for lunch. "There is no excuse for this mall to be dead"

are you serious????

Rail to gwinnett place mall?? Is this a joke? There isn't any state or federal money to bring rail to Emory and you think rail is going to GPM?

What are they feeding you people at these Korean BBQs causing so much mental instability ?

Art said...

Of course there is state and federal money for rail expansion. Road expansion is no longer feasible. Nor is the county turning into a poverty county. If anything we need the rail line to bring more high paying jobs to the county rather than the low paying warehousing jobs that are coming to the county. The tax base is growing slowly. New infrastructure investment in transit will bring more faster economic growth. These last two comments illustrate that people need to get more accruate information so they can make infromed decisions about the future of the county. Macy's and Sears stores are doing well which is why they have survived other store closings by those businesses. The mall simply needs redevelopment of much of the other space. Thaty redevlopemnt will happen faster with additional transit access. Major employers like Amazon, Mercedes, State Farm and NCR are locating near transit stations.

Anonymous said...

Crazy comments on this blog. Rail to Gwinnett Place Mall will revive it? Marta service to Lenox only brought crime and more problems. Someone mentioned leasing it to people needing apratments...stupid silly comment, yeah, let's lease an old hallmark space without any interior walls and a single toilet to a family who has to walk 500 yards to their car parked in a hug parking lot...sounds like a great place to raise a family. A need for mixed use office...funny, the current office space in/around Gwinnett is empty. Bull doze it...that will add value. No one who owns this terrible property is going to spend a dime that doesn't provide a reasonable return.

Anonymous said...

Art says ... The tax base is growing slowly.

No its leaving Gwinnett. We are importing 3rd World people into this region and you believe the tax base is growing? The people in Gwinnett tare taking much more than they are contributing, especially since all the citizens with money are leaving and not being replaced with equal or higher income levels.

Then you come up with this statement ... Macy's and Sears stores are doing well which is why they have survived other store closings by those businesses.

LOL. They are probably staying because their rents are next to nothing.

Dead body in a deal mall in a county that is the next Dekalb.

Anonymous said...

Macy's & Sears generally own their stores. They're not paying rent to the mall.

Art said...

Many of those so called third world people are bringing business to Gwinnett. Do you see all the building going on as the tax base grows? People with money are staying. The only ones leaving are whites afraid of the change. Yes Macy's and Sears own their buildings It hasn't stopped those companies from closing stores in buildings they own in other locations. We are hardly the next DeKalb. And what exactly is wrong with DeKalb? Your attittude sounds like you are one of the whites looking to move to an all white area because of some baseless fear of non-whites. MARTA service did not bring crime to Lenox. Where is you proof? No one suggested leasing an empty storefront as housing. As Amazon and State Farm, Mercedes and NCR before them stated they want to be located near transit and they don't mean buses. We need a light rail line to draw high paying employers to Gwinnett. Rather than throw out baseless opinion you need to get informed as to facts. The GP and GateWay85 CIDs advocated for rail transit years ago because of these reasons. They still do but are willing to settle for the time being for whatever transit they can get such as Bus Rapid Transit until such time as the rail line can be completed. They support more transit because it is the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Low denominators like Art bring race into a conversation about a dying mall in a rapidly deteriorating county. Your hatred towards "whites' is perfectly clear. Art is just "green" with envy because he has no "green" in his bank account and can't leave Gwinnett. Educated people with money of all races are leaving Gwinnett. So Art believes those Asians are racists to flee Gwinnett to North Fulton? Call it Green Flight, because it's the $$$ along with their tax base that is leaving! SMH

Mass transit is dying and ridership is at historically low levels all over the country (read the liberal Cato Institutes' report of impending mass transit Apocalypse). Those companies you mention considered mass transit in their equation at the bottom of the list. Top of their list were an to be near an educated population, which Gwinnett did not have if Art's comments are any indication.

In conclusion, Macy's and Sears are not the best examples of successful stores even if they are the last to shut the lights off in Gwinnett Place. That mall needs to be torn down!

“Gwinnett is Great” and “Success Lives Here” water towers are GONE! SIGN!

Anonymous said...

"Many of those so called third world people are bringing business to Gwinnett."
YES, the Mexican Drug Cartels are big business in Gwinnett, the US hub in fact

Art said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Art said...

You continue to choose to illustrate what a low denominator is. The county is hardly deteriorating as the population continues to grow. You clearly have a problem understanding English. I hate no whites except those who hate people of color for no reason such as yourself. Nor did I say any Asians were racists. They are not leaving and their population is growing as is their business community here in Gwinnett.
I have plenty of green in my account having a net worth in excess of $1M and i choose to stay here because we can go in the right direction. It is people of your mindset that is holding this county back.
Mass transit ridership is growing in this country. The Cato institute is a libertarian group that is anti-transit and thus not a credible source for transit information. As i stated previously locations near transit are a key component of what today's employers are looking for which is why the newest major employers relocating here have stated that quite clearly and followed through by locating near rail transit stations.
Gwinnett's education system is highly rated (Two Broad prizes in the past several years) and the overall SAT scores are higher than the national average. If anything your lack of comprehension and understanding of the facts reflects on the education system at the time you attended or where you attended. I didn't graduate from Gwinnett county schools but do have a graduate degree from Georgia Tech.
The mall needs to be reconfigured as others have around the country. A driver of that would be an improved transit system. You have an option to keep spouting nonsense unsubstantiated by fact or sit back and learn from those who understand the issues so you don't sound so ignorant. As it is you put yourself in with others of your mindset that are holding back this county.

Anonymous said...

anonymous Art claims ... I can move any place I want as I have a net worth in excess of $1M.

Oh yes, we believe everything you say now. Art is a millionaire folks, we must bow to him and kiss his feet because he is right on everything and we racists are wrong. Art, did you contact this poor dead girl's family and pay for her funeral? Hail to Art - God of Gwinnett

The Art of the Lie

Anonymous said...

Well I have a net worth of over $5 million, was Valedictorian at GSMST and then graduated with honors from Emory 2 years later. Boats and hoes

Art Vandalay
Latex Salesman

Art said...

But you have no clue as to what the situation here is in Gwinnett. You apparently choose to remain ignorant by denying the facts you don't want to accept. You are a prime example of why we are having problems in the county and fort hat matter the country. If you don't know what is going on, and your statements show you don't, please get informed rather than make ridiculous statements bereft of any supporting facts.

Anonymous said...

There are only two things that can solve all of this: Jesus and Trump!

Anonymous said...

Art, you have not provided even one fact or a piece or verifiable data to support your delusions of grandeur concerning Gwinnett Place. I just read through all your ad nauseam diatribes. When you lied about your net worth, you lost all credibility. Sink all that monopoly money you have into the Gwinnett Place area since you have all the solutions. Go to Moonbeam and give them all your science fiction data. Put your money where your mouth is. Be glad you are anonymous, you are just making yourself look the fool.

@ 7:19 Trump couldn't care less about Gwinnett Place. The mall is a sh*+hole and needs to be leveled. When it becomes a scene so abandoned that you can dump dead bodies and no-one notices for weeks, then its time for the place be shut down and bulldozed.

Art said...

Mr Anonymous hiding behind a veil of ignorance,
Just ebcuase you are ignorant doesn't eman anyhtign i stated was nto a fact. Only that you are ignorant of them while you yourself spew obviously ignorant commentary based on your biases against those peopel of color moving to our county. I have no need to prove my net worth which was factual it was just in answer to your accusation that I can't afford to move. Moonbeam already ahs the datas. I can also assure you the GP CID and the local Chamber of Commerce as well as the county commission has discussed these items with Moonbeam. But then you don't want to knpw the facts as you keep reminding us.
You clearly prefer living in a fantasy land devoid of fact. Try doing your own rfesearch from sources with credibility rather than further illustrating your choice of ignorance. An ignorance which you already made quite clear in this discussion.

ImAndy said...

Name one single heavy rail project in Georgia? There is no federal or state money for rail period. It's about 200 million per mile. There is no money for rail to Emory there is no money for rail on the I-20 Corridor that was planned 30 years ago back when stonecrest was a real thing.

Rail isn't happening anywhere. Where are you getting your fictitious information?

Anonymous said...

Art has made this entire subject about himself.

Art, please read and comprehend the 262 comments from this one report. Go to other news sources and read how a plethora other feel about your beloved Gwinnett county. Many of the negative posts made about Gwinnett come from females and people of color. But according to Art, whitey is the problem. Art sounds white, so he is part of the problem! LOL

Anonymous said...

Gwinnett ranks third in poverty in the US

Art said...

ImAndy, It is hardly ficticious. MARTA is heavy rail. There is clearly federal money for commuter rail as there is a block of money set aside for commuter rail from Atlanta to LoveJoy witing fro state matchign money. But thanks to Clayton county joining MARTA there is money being set aside for that line. On the same vie is ATkanat vitign for more MARTA taxes to expand the system and a key reason why Emory is getting annexed by the coity fo Atlanta so they can fudn that rail line. DeKalb is getting ready to put an additonal tax for MARAT on their ballot to fund that rail expansion out I-20 among other projects. Rail is clearly happening. My question to you is when do you plan to come out from under that rock you seem to be living under and get the facts?

Art said...

Sorry anonymous, as usual you are posting nonsense rather than fact. Gwinnett ranks near the bottom in the state of Georgia for percentage of popualtion licing in poverty now here near the worst. The link you posted is for homelessness which is much different. Your link is clearely wrong as Gwinnetts poverty rate is still about the same as that quoted at your link for 2010 but it is no where near third worst in Georgia let alone the country.
Try this link for current data

Anonymous said...

A prime example of Gwinnett's fine citizens

Anonymous said...

Big businesses are moving to the Gwinnett area.

Anonymous said...

This was a wildly successful event with close to 750k in attendance. Moonbeam needs to bring in more exciting and profitable venues like this ...

Anonymous said...

Does the Gwinnett Place Megamart sell Gaegogi? It's Racist for US not to allow immigrants to bring their best cuisine and culture with them to this country.