First it was Macy's and now Sears. Many stores have come and gone in the Bangor Mall, but after losing a few of its anchor stores, it's leaving many people speculating what will happen next. Some believe it's going to close down within the year. Others have heard that it was being bought out or going through foreclosure because of online shopping. But Bangor isn't the only place where Macy's and Sears have closed. In fact, both outlets closed over 100 stores across the country.
"Some of those larger companies are going through transitions and we're seeing them on the ground, we're seeing them first hand," said Tanya Emery, the director of Bangor's economic development. "Part of it is, evaluating markets and determining markets that right for them and part of it is also looking at, how do they fine tune their business model for what people are looking for when shopping."
Officials stated, while shopping online is convenient. Shopping locally, even at chains help local workers. They've also stated, even if you have to spend $2 to $3 more on a product that's local instead of online, that's consciously helping to support local workers.
"There's a calculus to all of this. If you make your decision to do all for your shopping all online, that's great, that sends those dollars to those online retailers," said Emery. "If you make those decision to make those purchases in person, at the local businesses, that supports those outlets. So when people are concerned and complain about mall stores closing, my next question is, when was the last time you went to the mall?"
According to mall officials, stores coming and going isn't unexpected. They've also looked at unconventional usages for the mall, such as having a church or even a fitness center.
"Malls around the country are changing," said Emery. "Many of the most successful malls that we are seeing, as they are being redeveloped and having reinvestment put into them from their ownership, they are starting to look a little bit different. Many of them look like an internal version of a downtown."
The Bangor Mall was built over 40 years ago. She stated, some sort of change was inevitable for the mall. When the mall first opened, according to Emery, people were concerned about stores closing downtown and what would happen to it. But now people are walking and shopping downtown and there's more demand to open a business down there.
According to the economic developer, the mall is still a great place to open up a local retail store and if you have questions or concerns, to contact mall management.