Sears Leaving Hickory Ridge Mall, Tenants Fear Future

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(Memphis) Sears is calling it quits at Hickory Ridge Mall. Going out of Business signs plaster Sears. It’s the only anchor store at this mall out east.

“If that goes, what’s going to happen?” expressed Raven Winton. Winton and her family have run a cookie shop out of the mall for years. The family was forced to move their business when a tornado pummeled the mall about five years ago. They reluctantly came back just in 2010 when the mall re-reopened.

“We didn’t know what the mall was going to do. We didn’t know what kind of marketing they were going to do. We didn’t know how they were going to bring the people in,” said Winton.

It looks like there may not be enough foot traffic for Sears. Mall management sent store owners a letter earlier this week, telling them the national store would be leaving by the end of the year.

“When you first got the letter, what did you think?” asked News Channel 3’s Elise Preston.

“Wow! It’s The biggest store that we have here. I was amazed, I was shocked, I was a little disappointed,” said Raven who also admitted to being scared.

News Channel 3 cameras weren`t allowed inside the mall, inside it looks like a ghost town.

“What do you see when you walk around that mall?,” asked News Channel 3’s Elise Preston.

“A lot of people losing hope, they are losing faith,” replied Winton.

Winton hopes, even with Sears closing up shop, her family business and the other business can stay open, and not just for them.

“The fact that Sears is leaving, what do you think that’s going to do for the neighborhood?” asked News Channel 3’s Elise Preston.

“I hope it doesn’t destroy the neighborhood. We’re still working to get back to what the neighborhood needs to be,” replied Winton.

Mall management was not available for comment. In just a few days, management will sit down with store owners to any concerns.

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