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The days of Belk at Brookwood Village are almost up as it prepares to close its doors permanently sometime during the month of January. Considering Belk is a serious anchor of the indoor mall and its closure will be a major blow to Brookwood Village, the main question running through the minds of shoppers is why.
Andy Izquierdo, vice president of communications and community relations for Belk, stated that the decision to close the Brookwood location was made after determining that they “could most efficiently serve the customers in that community with the remaining four local stores that are within a 190-mile radius from the Brookwood Village location.” The other four locations that will remain open include those at the Summit, Riverchase Galleria, Trussville and Alabaster.
The decision to close Belk is indicative of a surge of retail closures around the nation, along with a downward trend of enclosed mall popularity. Other major department stores such as Macy’s, JC Penny and Sears have also announced widespread closings.
What’s the reason for the shift away from traditional malls? As you may have guessed, the shift is mainly due to people opting to shop online rather than actually go to the store.
“I’m not that surprised Belk is closing at Brookwood Village,” said Liz Moye, Homewood resident. “It’s always easier to shop online, especially when you have small children, or work full time and don’t have time to go to the store. Plus, a lot of people around town prefer to buy local. Department stores don’t offer that unique and special shop local feeling.”
But the downward trend of enclosed malls isn’t the only reason for Belk being closed at Brookwood Village. It is also due to the ongoing efforts of Cypress Equities to transform the property after having acquired it from Colonial Properties Trust in 2014. According to a release from Brookwood Village, they were aware Belk would be closing prior to planned development and also that the redevelopment of Belk would fall into a second phase of its renovation plan.
What does the plan entail exactly? Leaders of the company have spoken of their intent to turn Brookwood Village into a “community gathering spot versus a traditional mall.”
Brookwood Village ownership representative, Matt Lukes, said in a release that negotiations with potential tenants are underway and the plan is to add restaurants, entertainment and shopping to the property that are more unique and local.
Does the closing of Belk and the shift in how we shop mean Brookwood Village will also be saying goodbye to other large department stores such as the Macy’s that sits on the opposite end of where Belk will soon just be a memory? Only time will tell. Until then, before the doors of Belk officially close for the last time, hurry in to get 50-75% off all items still available for purchase.
What do you think of Belk closing? Has the concept of how we shop completely changed? Tell us your thoughts!