The Cobra Chronicle

Boynton Beach Mall mourns store losses

Cassidy Ellmyer, Online Copy Editor

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The current atmosphere at the Boynton Beach Mall compares to an old-western movie: tumble weeds and a dusty parking lot. Most students at Park Vista forget to consider the Boynton Beach Mall as an option for weekend shopping outings. In recent years, the Disney Store, Dairy Queen, Mrs. Fields, Bucca De Beppo, JCPenney, Dillard’s, Build-A-Bear, Toojay’s and other stores/restaurants in the Boynton Beach Mall have either closed or relocated. Now, the mall is an empty shell of what used to be a lively and bustling place.

The reason behind store closings is up for speculation. One possible reason for the mass withdraw of franchises is the “domino effect”, where one store “falls” causing several more to “fall”. One of the large anchor stores, (main store that draws shoppers in), at the Boynton Beach Mall was Dillard’s. When Dillard’s closed, it forced smaller stores to bring in more customers. Thus far the smaller stores have not been able to bring in the revenue that the larger stores once were. This means Dillard’s closing could have been the beginning of the end for the Boynton Beach Mall.

With stores such as H&M, Charlotte Russe, Foot Locker and Victoria’s Secret/Pink still in the mall, why teens do not shop there seems odd. It could be due to past dangerous incidents that took place at the mall.

On Dec. 24, 2006, a shooting took place in the mall between two men in rivalry gangs. One man was killed and, although no civilians were harmed, the Boynton Mall’s reputation received irreparable damage, teens and their parents became scared. Since then, smaller incidents have occurred there such as, constant loitering, break-ins, fights, gang violence and a recent incident where a 67 year-old women was trampled after people claimed a nonexistent gunshot was fired.

English teacher, and mom of two, Kristina Vissa feels uneasy about shopping at the Boynton Beach Mall. “I don’t feel as comfortable walking through the mall after the Christmas Eve incident, especially since I have little kids, and they have fewer store options compared to the Wellington Mall,” said Vissa.

What demographic or age group does the Boynton Beach Mall aim to please, since teens do not usually partake in shopping there? How do the stores still existing there stay in business, if they lack the regular teen patrons? Compared to the Wellington Mall, the Boynton Beach Mall is smaller, older, quieter and less busy. On a Saturday at the Wellington Mall, one would expect to see hundreds of teens roaming the various stores while the Boynton Beach Mall’s stores are vacant.

Sophomore Marlee Guinan, does not go to the Boynton Beach Mall to shop, “There is not a lot of stores there, and it is also pretty sketch.” She opts to go to the Wellington Mall for her shopping outings instead.

It is no surprise business at the Boynton Beach Mall has been slower, due to previous violence and store losses, but the few Park Vista students who work there have first-hand experience on the trials and tribulations the mall is facing.

Junior Samuel Silver works at Journey’s in the Boynton Mall in the summers. “It is not as packed as it used to be, the stores that closed are mainly the stores that brought the most customers, so I feel like nobody goes there anymore,” said Silver. “If it is not during season or a sale, Journey’s is not busy.” If Silver were buying shoes, he would purchase them from Journey’s at the Boynton Beach Mall due to his employee discount, but for any other item, he would go to the Wellington Mall. “Wellington has a lot more stores and Boynton is a lot smaller,” he said.

Another tribulation the mall is facing is the grip online shopping currently has on society. More people are now gravitating towards buying items with just a click of a button, where one does not even need to leave their house.

“It’s convenient, I don’t have to drive my kids, and I save time,” said Vissa.

Online shopping appeals to busy moms like Vissa who cannot afford to spend time shopping and browsing for hours. “All the malls are suffering because not a lot of people are shopping in the malls. Online shopping is definitely adding to the mall’s downfall.”

The next question for The Boynton Beach Mall, how much longer can it survive for? The Boynton Beach Mall was established 1985 and renovated in 2001, decreasing in the amount of shoppers each year. If the rapid withdrawal of stores and lack of customers continues, it will be difficult for the Boynton Beach Mall to stay open much longer.

 

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Boynton Beach Mall mourns store losses