ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA (NEWSPLEX) — “On Saturday and Sunday it may be busy in here, but for a lot of businesses, being busy two days a week just doesn’t cut it,” said Adam Huffman, a kiosk retailer at “iFixt.”
Many retailers have noticed slower traffic over the past couple of months in the Fashion Square Mall off of Route 29, as a string of stores have closed its doors. When you enter the mall, you’ll notice many empty kiosks and and closed store spaces with no name on the front.
“People don’t have a lot of money to spend, so a lot of places aren’t getting business,” said Kiara Miller, a kiosk retailer for “Repeat The Heat.”
“Especially since January, we’ve had decreased traffic in the mall,” noted Huffman.
To be fair, a number of store that have closed in the mall have been due to national chains closing many of its own stores, leaving retailers to wonder if it’s just been bad luck at the local mall, “Wet Seal was the first one to close, Body Central, now Radio Shack, Ann Taylor and there is a couple of other ones that are not national that have also closed,” Huffman explained.
Just recently, Radio Shack filed for a chapter eleven bankruptcy, which means there will be no more of its stores in Charlottesville. Small local businesses have also vacated the kiosks in the mall and retailers said they believe it needs more diversity, “they don’t have any stores for the average person, the stores we have here in Fashion Square Mall, I feel like belong over in Stonefield,” said Miller.
“I think we have a lot of women’s clothing stores and stuff, but I think we need some things in the mall that could diversify things and bring people in to make it a destination for people to come in here,” said Huffman.
“I mean I don’t make enough money to shop at this mall all the time so I would never shop at express,” said Miller. “I mean if I could afford it of course, but I can’t afford it.”