Located south of Gary, Indiana in the Hobart area, the Westfield Southlake shopping center caters to residents of both Lake and Porter counties. Its postal address is still indicated as Merrillville, although the land it sits on was annexed by Hobart in 1993 from unincorporated Ross Township.
This particular retail complex has also been through a number of name changes since its opening. Originally dubbed Southlake Mall, it was briefly known as the Westfield Shoppingtown Southlake before the middle name was dropped in 2005.
Since 2002, Westfield Southlake has been owned and operated by The Westfield Group, the world's largest listed retail property group in terms of equity market capitalization and host to more than 23,600 retailers worldwide. The Group's business strategy is complete vertical integration. It manages all aspects of the shopping center development, from design and construction through leasing, management and marketing.
A branch of Kohl's Department Store has been operating just northwest of the center since 1995 and is considered by many to be part of the mall operations. However, the actual anchor tenants number just five: Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sears and Macy's. The latter replaced L.S. Ayers in 2006, when a major renovation took place.
Today, Westfield Southlake is one of northwest Indiana's top shopping destinations. Besides the major department stores, it offers a broad variety of specialty shops, restaurants, and entertainment opportunities.
Categories of merchandise available here include books, cards and gifts, children's wear, teen's fashions, electronics and music, fashion accessories, and fine jewelry and watches. Also available are health and beauty products, home furnishings and accessories, leather goods, luggage and handbags, men's fashion, shoes, sportswear and equipment, sunglasses and optical products, wireless communications devices, and women's fashions.
A good number of national retailers are present at Westfield Southlake, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, Champs, Foot Locker, Gap, Lenscrafters, Radio Shack, Victoria's Secret, and Yankee Candle, to name a few. Special emphasis is put on youth at The Disney Store, Game Stop, Go! Toys and Games, Gymboree, Rave Girl, and other specialty shops. There is also a Kerasotes Showplace 12 Theater on the premises for first-run movie viewing.
When it comes to dining at Westfield Southlake, shoppers can take their pick of more that two dozen restaurants. Offering fast food are Chipotle, Cinnabon, Sbarro, Subway, Taco Bell, and Panda Express, among others. For sit-down meals, Buffalo Wild Wings, Uno Chicago Grill, Ruby Tuesday, Olive Garden, Red Robin, and Chili's Bar and Grill are on hand. Many specialty foods can also be bought here, too, from Jamba Juice and Mrs. Fields Cookies to Wetzel's Pretzels and Maggie Moo's Ice Cream.
Customer service is provided by Westfield Concierge on the lower level near Macy's. The staff there offers friendly, knowledgeable assistance to shopping center visitors, along with information about the latest sales and "fab finds.''
Westfield Southlake is conveniently located just east of Interstate 65 on U.S. Route 30 East. The address is 2109 Southlake Mall, Merrillville, Indiana 46410. Hours of operation are 10:30am to 8:30pm Monday through Friday, 10am to 9pm on Saturdays and 11am to 6pm on Sundays.