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Old 02-01-2018, 08:22 AM
 
431 posts, read 1,078,879 times
Reputation: 420

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Agree with previous poster...removing the escalator was STUPID!!!!

The small, outdated mall elevator was out of order the last time I was there, which meant walking all the way into Belk's to use their elevator because I have a knee problem.

So, it's not exactly wheelchair , limited mobility, or stroller friendly! Or at least it wasn't at the time I was there.

Seems more logical to have replaced the escalator with a super nice modern elevator....or at least left it there and refurbished the older elevator.

As anchor stores, Belk's and Penney's are going to have to step up their game, too. They are both out of date.

The past few times I have been in Belk's, the women's restroom was absolutely disgusting. Flooded, nasty full toilets, out of date, dark....and the "hand sanitizer" dispenser outside the restroom was not "hand sanitizer". It was SOAP. Yuck. Had to go BACK into the nasty restroom and wash my hands again.

Penney's is not much better. Out of date. Dank and dark.

It's sad. I worked at the mall for quite a while during college and it was in a state of decline way back then. I remember it being a happening place when I was a kid. I hope the new management can pull it off. I like most of the changes I am seeing with the décor.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,781 posts, read 21,590,524 times
Reputation: 35356
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNGal78 View Post
Agree with previous poster...removing the escalator was STUPID!!!!

The small, outdated mall elevator was out of order the last time I was there, which meant walking all the way into Belk's to use their elevator because I have a knee problem.

So, it's not exactly wheelchair , limited mobility, or stroller friendly! Or at least it wasn't at the time I was there.

Seems more logical to have replaced the escalator with a super nice modern elevator....or at least left it there and refurbished the older elevator.

As anchor stores, Belk's and Penney's are going to have to step up their game, too. They are both out of date.

The past few times I have been in Belk's, the women's restroom was absolutely disgusting. Flooded, nasty full toilets, out of date, dark....and the "hand sanitizer" dispenser outside the restroom was not "hand sanitizer". It was SOAP. Yuck. Had to go BACK into the nasty restroom and wash my hands again.

Penney's is not much better. Out of date. Dank and dark.

It's sad. I worked at the mall for quite a while during college and it was in a state of decline way back then. I remember it being a happening place when I was a kid. I hope the new management can pull it off. I like most of the changes I am seeing with the décor.
I agree, but how likely is it that the Kingsport Belk will see any significant reinvestment with the Johnson City Belk doing well, and Belk at The Pinnacle being brand new? I just don't see a market for three Belks.

The Fort Henry Penney's has been dated, dank, and dark for over a decade. It wasn't nice, even fifteen or twenty years ago. Penney's is now having financial problems, but I still don't understand why this store wasn't modernized during better days.

Between how the mall was let go over the years and now with the financial troubles that malls and department stores are having, it's an uphill climb. The changes I've seen are positive, but they needed to happen years ago before things really got behind the eight-ball.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
7,063 posts, read 10,322,207 times
Reputation: 5909
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNGal78 View Post
Agree with previous poster...removing the escalator was STUPID!!!!

The small, outdated mall elevator was out of order the last time I was there, which meant walking all the way into Belk's to use their elevator because I have a knee problem.

So, it's not exactly wheelchair , limited mobility, or stroller friendly! Or at least it wasn't at the time I was there.

Seems more logical to have replaced the escalator with a super nice modern elevator....or at least left it there and refurbished the older elevator.

As anchor stores, Belk's and Penney's are going to have to step up their game, too. They are both out of date.

The past few times I have been in Belk's, the women's restroom was absolutely disgusting. Flooded, nasty full toilets, out of date, dark....and the "hand sanitizer" dispenser outside the restroom was not "hand sanitizer". It was SOAP. Yuck. Had to go BACK into the nasty restroom and wash my hands again.

Penney's is not much better. Out of date. Dank and dark.

It's sad. I worked at the mall for quite a while during college and it was in a state of decline way back then. I remember it being a happening place when I was a kid. I hope the new management can pull it off. I like most of the changes I am seeing with the décor.
Belk in Kingsport--whoever is managing the store--needs to up their game to become on par with the Belk at the Pinnacle and in JC. Belk is always pretty busy in Kingsport, so I suppose that's good, but the inventory clearly caters to the "over 50" demographic--with a secondary demographic parents and families. The Belk in JC and Pinnacle have a much larger inventory it seems, and a lot more clothing, and product is focused on the millenial and Gen X crowd.

As for JCPenney, yeah, the Kingsport store needs a renovation I believe for sure. It's always sort of sloppy looking and it looks like they try to pack in way too much inventory in that little store. I suppose the good thing it has going for it is that it seems to have a super loyal following in Kingsport. But for it to keep up with Target and Kohl's, it needs a reno and overhaul.

As far as the mall in general, the renovation has been a HUGE improvement and the entry way signage and the main mall sign replacement and complete updates are fresh and modern, and look really great. Also, the NCG Cinemas and Dunham's both look how they should and are increasing traffic flow--both are super additions.

BUT, the momentum seems to have slowed or stopped altogether now, in terms of new stores and restaurants opening. What is up with the shuttered restaurant space by the theater? That is a PRIME spot for a Ruby Tuesday-themed chain--PRIME. Also, the escalator being removed was a bad, bad decision. I hope there are plans to add it in, but as far as I can tell, there are not--at least now. The carpet looks fresh, as does the lighting, all new. However, I still do not understand why carpet is considered a reasonable choice for a heavily-trafficked public walkway--only reason I can see is cost. The carpet must be dirt cheap compared to ceramic/heavy duty tile.

Also, I've noticed the last few weeks at night, that the lights in the mall parking lot, in different locations depending (sporadic??) are completely off, so the lot is pitch black. Also, the area/entry way around the vacant Sears store oftentimes has the parking lot lights off. This is a bad, bad thing. Whoever is managing this is screwing up--it looks like the mall is closed from the street.

Bottom line, things have improved drastically for the mall since it was nearly absolutely dead 2 years ago. It's come a long, long way just to get where it is right now. But, I think the management needs to continue the momentum, and sign on several restaurants, and keep the stores coming. Unless they do, the mall could lose its footing again and crumble back into the place where it was, in 2-3 years time.

I realize the retail landscape is getting hammered by the Amazons of the world, but as some malls are thriving (Johnson City's mall), there is still a strong need and market out there for people to go out to the mall and shop, hang out, and "do" something fun.

I've emailed the mall's real estate leasing division on several occasions with suggestions and strategies of stores they should target for the mall. They always get back to me and generically say "we are working on it" and "those are excellent choices and ideas."
So, not sure if that is lip service or if they are truly working hard on getting stores to open there and the stores are not interested, or if the business development is just not making Ft Henry Mall much of a priority.

Last edited by jjbradleynyc; 02-01-2018 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
7,063 posts, read 10,322,207 times
Reputation: 5909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Between how the mall was let go over the years and now with the financial troubles that malls and department stores are having, it's an uphill climb. The changes I've seen are positive, but they needed to happen years ago before things really got behind the eight-ball.
Yeah, I agree. That's part of the big issue now. The mall dug a hole so deep and was so close to being shut down completely, that it is a long, hard fight to become relevant and thriving once again. Huge uphill climb. Hoping they continue the good momentum though...
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Blountville, Tennessee
99 posts, read 119,679 times
Reputation: 63
The mall's elevator is down because it is being removed and replaced with an elevator that will connect the former arcade space to the former cupcake shop. This is right beside of the new staircase that was installed last summer. The removal of the escalators and elevator are meant to open up the corridor so someone in the movie theater can see all of the way into Belk
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,781 posts, read 21,590,524 times
Reputation: 35356
Quote:
Originally Posted by setnick View Post
The mall's elevator is down because it is being removed and replaced with an elevator that will connect the former arcade space to the former cupcake shop. This is right beside of the new staircase that was installed last summer. The removal of the escalators and elevator are meant to open up the corridor so someone in the movie theater can see all of the way into Belk
That probably needed to be done before all the escalators/elevators were yanked out. I don't think it's a bad plan in itself, but removing it all before you have anything else in place is stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
Belk in Kingsport--whoever is managing the store--needs to up their game to become on par with the Belk at the Pinnacle and in JC. Belk is always pretty busy in Kingsport, so I suppose that's good, but the inventory clearly caters to the "over 50" demographic--with a secondary demographic parents and families. The Belk in JC and Pinnacle have a much larger inventory it seems, and a lot more clothing, and product is focused on the millenial and Gen X crowd.

As for JCPenney, yeah, the Kingsport store needs a renovation I believe for sure. It's always sort of sloppy looking and it looks like they try to pack in way too much inventory in that little store. I suppose the good thing it has going for it is that it seems to have a super loyal following in Kingsport. But for it to keep up with Target and Kohl's, it needs a reno and overhaul.

As far as the mall in general, the renovation has been a HUGE improvement and the entry way signage and the main mall sign replacement and complete updates are fresh and modern, and look really great. Also, the NCG Cinemas and Dunham's both look how they should and are increasing traffic flow--both are super additions.

BUT, the momentum seems to have slowed or stopped altogether now, in terms of new stores and restaurants opening. What is up with the shuttered restaurant space by the theater? That is a PRIME spot for a Ruby Tuesday-themed chain--PRIME. Also, the escalator being removed was a bad, bad decision. I hope there are plans to add it in, but as far as I can tell, there are not--at least now. The carpet looks fresh, as does the lighting, all new. However, I still do not understand why carpet is considered a reasonable choice for a heavily-trafficked public walkway--only reason I can see is cost. The carpet must be dirt cheap compared to ceramic/heavy duty tile.

Also, I've noticed the last few weeks at night, that the lights in the mall parking lot, in different locations depending (sporadic??) are completely off, so the lot is pitch black. Also, the area/entry way around the vacant Sears store oftentimes has the parking lot lights off. This is a bad, bad thing. Whoever is managing this is screwing up--it looks like the mall is closed from the street.

Bottom line, things have improved drastically for the mall since it was nearly absolutely dead 2 years ago. It's come a long, long way just to get where it is right now. But, I think the management needs to continue the momentum, and sign on several restaurants, and keep the stores coming. Unless they do, the mall could lose its footing again and crumble back into the place where it was, in 2-3 years time.

I realize the retail landscape is getting hammered by the Amazons of the world, but as some malls are thriving (Johnson City's mall), there is still a strong need and market out there for people to go out to the mall and shop, hang out, and "do" something fun.

I've emailed the mall's real estate leasing division on several occasions with suggestions and strategies of stores they should target for the mall. They always get back to me and generically say "we are working on it" and "those are excellent choices and ideas."
So, not sure if that is lip service or if they are truly working hard on getting stores to open there and the stores are not interested, or if the business development is just not making Ft Henry Mall much of a priority.
Regarding the selection, the Kingsport Belk's demographic IS probably 50+. The GenX and Millennials have probably shifted their shopping to JC or The Pinnacle. To me, that's the mall owner's biggest challenge - consumer behavior has long since shifted to other places, to the point that many people no longer really have an opinion of the mall. They have simply moved on and it is no longer on their radar.

Also, keep in mind the mall has been unhealthy for many, many years. I'd say things really started to go downhill ten years ago. People under 25 or so probably don't even remember a healthy Fort Henry Mall.

I'm not sure about Ruby Tuesday itself, but there should be a restaurant or some sort of "attraction point" there. I haven't been to Piccadilly in years, but that style of dining is just not popular with younger people, and honestly, it was out of fashion twenty years ago.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 02-02-2018 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Gate City, VA
298 posts, read 272,719 times
Reputation: 201
The anchor stores and the movie theater are doing well and honestly the mall is looking much better. It has a fresher look and finally it's not so darkly lit! I've not been to the new movie theater yet but people really seem to like it and it seems busy. Belk in Kingsport actually does well and had a moderate remodel not too long ago and is looking better than it did years ago and that store does get good business. JCP is a bit small and out of date but actually the store performs well as well. Rumor has it Forever 21 and Hot Topic are looking at the Fort Henry mall as more space is opening up.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
7,063 posts, read 10,322,207 times
Reputation: 5909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
That probably needed to be done before all the escalators/elevators were yanked out. I don't think it's a bad plan in itself, but removing it all before you have anything else in place is stupid.


Regarding the selection, the Kingsport Belk's demographic IS probably 50+. The GenX and Millennials have probably shifted their shopping to JC or The Pinnacle. To me, that's the mall owner's biggest challenge - consumer behavior has long since shifted to other places, to the point that many people no longer really have an opinion of the mall. They have simply moved on and it is no longer on their radar.

Also, keep in mind the mall has been unhealthy for many, many years. I'd say things really started to go downhill ten years ago. People under 25 or so probably don't even remember a healthy Fort Henry Mall.

I'm not sure about Ruby Tuesday itself, but there should be a restaurant or some sort of "attraction point" there. I haven't been to Piccadilly in years, but that style of dining is just not popular with younger people, and honestly, it was out of fashion twenty years ago.
Yeah, that 50+ demographic is probably accurate. They need to pull in the younger crowd, otherwise they'll remain the same or continue declining for sure.

I agree that the mall dug itself a hole so deep that it is hard to get out of now. Also, I think the mall is at an overall disadvantage too in terms of location. It sits at Memorial Blvd and Fort Henry Drive, two roads that are locally important, but not major highways like John B Dennis, Stone Drive, or at an intersection with the interstates of I-26 or I-81.

In terms of a restaurant, a chain like Ruby Tuesday's format would do well there--not specifically Ruby Tuesday's....but it could thrive too, I would think. If the mall really could negotiate and win back chains successfully, a HUGE win would be a chik fil a in that spot. But, that would be a shocker and probably not gonna happen...we'll see.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Gate City, VA
298 posts, read 272,719 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
Yeah, that 50+ demographic is probably accurate. They need to pull in the younger crowd, otherwise they'll remain the same or continue declining for sure.

I agree that the mall dug itself a hole so deep that it is hard to get out of now. Also, I think the mall is at an overall disadvantage too in terms of location. It sits at Memorial Blvd and Fort Henry Drive, two roads that are locally important, but not major highways like John B Dennis, Stone Drive, or at an intersection with the interstates of I-26 or I-81.

In terms of a restaurant, a chain like Ruby Tuesday's format would do well there--not specifically Ruby Tuesday's....but it could thrive too, I would think. If the mall really could negotiate and win back chains successfully, a HUGE win would be a chik fil a in that spot. But, that would be a shocker and probably not gonna happen...we'll see.
Ruby Tuesday is struggling now and not building anymore locations, in fact they've shut many down and I wouldn't be surprised if the company goes BK in a few years or so and the entire chain closes their doors. So that's not going to happen. Chick-Fil-A won't happen either as they've been pulling out of malls and only going in free standing locations whether stand alone or connected to a strip mall. Although I'd like to see that and Kingsport needs a second location because the one we have on stone drive is packed all the damn time and yeah another one would be nice!
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
7,063 posts, read 10,322,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprintuser2014 View Post
Ruby Tuesday is struggling now and not building anymore locations, in fact they've shut many down and I wouldn't be surprised if the company goes BK in a few years or so and the entire chain closes their doors. So that's not going to happen. Chick-Fil-A won't happen either as they've been pulling out of malls and only going in free standing locations whether stand alone or connected to a strip mall. Although I'd like to see that and Kingsport needs a second location because the one we have on stone drive is packed all the damn time and yeah another one would be nice!
Yeah, Ruby Tuesday's is unllikely, but a typical restaurant/bar in that format would be ideal. Kingsport needs a 2nd Chik Fil A, for sure. The one on Stone Drive is always packed to the point of creating a dangerous traffic situation getting in and out--it's pretty nuts during lunch and dinner rush there.
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