DECATUR, Ala. - Great news for Decatur shoppers. The owners of the Decatur Mall say they are about to completely revamp the mall and enhance the shopping experience. This comes at a crucial time when many malls across the country are struggling to survive.
The Decatur Mall is in for a huge face-lift, and merchants couldn't be happier. In fact, several told us they had a very successful Christmas shopping season this year.
“The traffic I had on my end of the mall, it was better than what I expected compared to last year,” says store manager Juanita Wright.
The Decatur Mall was purchased by the Hull Property Group in February. They specialize in buying and rejuvenating struggling mall properties. A company spokesperson acknowledged the changes in consumer spending habits and the competition from online merchants but says, “We know people still enjoy the mall experience and physically shopping for their merchandise. If we create the right shopping environment, we know Decatur Mall will continue to be the retail anchor for that region."
Cameron Jones, in the Decatur Mall Friday afternoon with some friends, told us, “You see all different types of people in the mall. So the mall isn't just for going to buy things. It's actually for meeting people and getting to know people, bonding, and bonding. absolutely, yeah."
City leaders say, “Not only does the mall generate valuable sales tax revenue that can be invested right here in Decatur, but it also serves as a pillar in our community and anchor for the surrounding retail corridor. Letting this mall fail is not an option,” says Wally Terry, Decatur’s Economic and Community Development Director.
Beverly Lipscomb, co-owner of Anu Look Salon, has worked in the Decatur Mall for years and says the past few months have been the best yet.
“We've got a lot of great businesses here and we're told we're going to be adding to it and getting more."
And where else can you get a fresh hand-twisted pretzel!
Plans call for the demolition of the old Sears and JC Penney stores, and that work should begin very quickly.
A spokesperson tells us the work will not interfere with shoppers and should be completed by this summer.