March 6, 2015 at 1:26 PM CST - Updated July 27 at 6:40 AM
Wichita Falls, TX- The recent closures of several stores at Sikes Senter Mall has many Texomans concerned about the fate of the establishment.
Newschannel 6 reached out to mall officials to find out what it's doing to attract new retailers, and talked with shoppers to get their thoughts.
Several of the mall's stores have closed up shop within the last month, stores like Hollister, FYE Music and Video Store and Radio Shack. DEB's Clothing is also preparing for its exit as stores nationwide are closing. The mall will soon have four empty tenants.
We went to the mall to talk with shoppers about the recent closures, but security kicked us off its property. They told Newschannel 6 it's against mall protocol for us to be there. So we traveled across the street from the mall to a local shopping center to see what Texomans think.
"It's becoming a little bit more sad, because once we had a thriving mall," said Lindsay Miller, a mother, out enjoying the snow day by shopping with her two daughters.
"I've had better experiences at different malls. The selection is terrible. I'm kinda happy some of the stores are closing down," said Kiersten Bell, out making a few purchases on her lunch break.
The mall's public relations firm sent us this statement:
"The recent closures at Sikes Senter have been a byproduct of each respective retailers' national trends rather than a product of their performance specific to the mall. We have a strong track record of finding ‘first to the market' and strong national retailers, as evident by the openings of Francesca's, Buckle, Kay Jewelers, Trade-home, Boot Barn and Nestle Café. We look forward to continuing the momentum we have experienced since completing the cosmetic renovation and the strong performance of existing inline retailers to improve the merchandise mix and attract retailers and restaurants that are unique to the market. We are actively in negotiations with several retailers and restaurants and will make an announcement when leases are executed.”
Some shoppers say the downturn has them spending their money elsewhere.
"It's turning us more to online shopping, which is a concern because you want to be able to have that experience with your kids where you get to try on clothes," said Miller.
Others hope the change will bring about a fresh look when window shopping.
"This is a college town, so they should focus more the youth. I think [retailers] like Forever 21 or more name brands," said Bell.