Dillard's at Fiesta Mall to close or transform - East Valley Tribune: News

Dillard's at Fiesta Mall to close or transform

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009 1:42 pm | Updated: 2:45 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

In another potential blow to Mesa's Fiesta District, Dillard's is closing its Fiesta Mall location as a department store but could transform it into a clearance center.

Planned Fiesta complex not what Mesa wanted

In another potential blow to Mesa's Fiesta District, Dillard's is closing its Fiesta Mall location as a department store but could transform it into a clearance center.

Planned Fiesta complex not what Mesa wanted

"We have not made any announcement," said Jim Benson, director of sales promotions for Dillard's western region. "We are still evaluating what we will be doing."

He said the chain has already started to mark down items in the Fiesta store, and "we are not running it as a traditional department store."

"There are two things we are evaluating: whether to continue to run it as a clearance center or close it completely. We have no idea what we will be doing yet."

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said he had been informed that the Little Rock, Ark.-based company will be "closing" the 200,000-square-foot Fiesta Mall location as part of a nationwide downsizing that will involve closing about 30 stores.

"I'm going from the standpoint that the store as we now know it is closing," he said, adding that the impact on the mall and the surrounding area will depend on what new use, if any, the company finds for the space.

"The Nordstrom Rack is one of the most popular stores around," he said. "So I could see something like that being a magnet, if it's done right. But we'll have to wait and see what plan they come up with."

Smith said Dillard's has been hit hard by the national recession, as have most retailers.

In their July sales report released Thursday, Dillard's said its nationwide sales were down 15 percent from the same month last year. Sales in comparable stores decreased 12 percent in the four-week period, the company said.

Westcor, which owns Fiesta Mall, referred all questions to Dillard's.

According to Smith, Dillard's owns its store in Fiesta Mall and thus has control of the future use of the space.

The Dillard's situation is potentially a major blow to the city's efforts to revitalize the struggling Fiesta District around the mall, which has been hurt by store closings as retailers move to the new Mesa Riverview area to the north.

"In the Fiesta District, we have a lot of mixed messages," Smith said. "There are a lot of good things happening there. But other areas of the economy will struggle. We have to be patient, and it's hard to be patient."

Among the positive developments he cited were the construction of Cardon Children's Hospital at the Banner Desert Medical Center campus, additions to Mesa Community College and the redevelopment of portions of Fiesta Mall.

Earlier this year, Westcor completed reconstruction of the space formerly occupied by Macy's for new Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods stores. Macy's moved to a different location in the mall that was formerly occupied by Robinsons-May.

Smith believes the long-term prospects for the Fiesta area are favorable, although the news may be rough in the short term.

"When malls hit 20 or 30 years of age, they all go through a reformation," he said. "I think the entire area will find its niche. ... Too much good is happening for it to become irrelevant."

  • Discuss

Facebook

EastValleyTribune.com on Facebook

Twitter

EastValleyTribune.com on Twitter

Google+

EastValleyTribune.com on Google+

RSS

Subscribe to EastValleyTribune.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px
Your Az Jobs