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Southern NJ Mall Facing ‘Challenging’ Times with Online Competition

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The Hamilton Mall, which opened in 1987, “is facing one of the most challenging periods in its history as it deals with online competition and other brick-and-mortar competitors that have sprung up,” reported pressofatlanticcity.com. Photo Credit: Atlantic City

The Hamilton Mall in Atlantic County is not dying.

“Everybody tries to tell me the Hamilton Mall is dying,” said Ren Parikh, the VR Lab owner, in an interview with NJ.com. “I tell them it can’t be dying because I’m here. It can’t live or die without the community.”

Times have, however, proven challenging.

The Hamilton Mall, which opened in 1987, “is facing one of the most challenging periods in its history as it deals with online competition and other brick-and-mortar competitors that have sprung up,” reported pressofatlanticcity.com. “JCPenney, the second of the mall’s three anchor stores, will close July 5. Macy’s, the third anchor store, has no plans to close, but the chain will be closing eight locations this year nationwide.”

The mall had a value of $90.78 million in 2017, but it was reduced to $75 million last year, the news site added. “The mall value was reduced again to $50 million this year. There is another active tax appeal for 2019 for the mall, said William M. Johnson, the township tax assessor.”

The mall is a major shopping destination in Mays Landing, in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey. The two-story enclosed mall is anchored by JCPenney and Macy’s. The former Sears is currently sitting vacant. (Sears and JCPenney were at the Shore Mall (now Harbor Square) prior to 1987).

The mall is adjacent to the Black Horse Pike (U.S. Route 322) and U.S. Route 40, and is close to the Atlantic City Expressway and Atlantic City, making it a high tourist destination for vacationers there. The mall has a gross leasable area of 1,028,500 sq ft. It boasts over 140 stores, making it the largest mall in southeastern New Jersey. An Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Buffalo Wild Wings are all located on pad sites on the outskirts of the parking lot. Financial services include an Executive Cash Service Center and various Bank of America ATMs.

The malaise is part of the much-ballyhooed “retail apocalypse” taking place nationwide. Dressbarn recently said it’s shutting down and closing all 650 stores, including 28 in New Jersey. “All Dressbarn stores are open and conducting business as usual, as is Dressbarn’s ecommerce site,” the company said in a recent press release. “Customers can continue to shop at Dressbarn in-store and online and use Dressbarn-branded credit cards for purchases. There are no current changes to Dressbarn’s return, refund, or gift card policies.”

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