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Old 06-27-2017, 12:38 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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I am not projecting Food City #605 to relocate.

I am thinking of an opportunity for another supermarket to enter the trade area with a store at Kingsport Town Center. Could Kingsport Town Center be a doable location for Ingle's, Kroger, Publix, or Walmart Neighborhood Market?
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNGal78 View Post
I grew up in the 80's when the mall was thriving and full of life. Hung out there as a teenager on the weekends. It even had a pet store when I was little!

I worked in the mall in the late 90's and it was slowly dying then, even though it had big brand name stores and restaurants. Lane Bryant, Garfields, Maurices, Kirklands, Bookstore, Carlton Cards, Belk and Belk Home, a couple of shoe stores, Chick Fil A, Charlie's Steakery, Subway, theater, Baskin Robbins, Tilt, Merle Norman, JC Penney's, Sears, etc.

The problem in the late 90's was lack of customers vs. rent price for tenants. I remember our regional sales reps (Carlton Cards) fussing and calling about our sales and there was no way to make our goals with no customers in the mall except for the weekends. Rent was too high based on customer volume/sales. For a tiny store it was 1200/month back then. (Mr. Bulky's candy store). Stores started dying out and people started shopping elsewhere. Even back then there was talk of a food court being added to the mall.

Now all of the tenants have moved to the new strip malls or the Pinnacle in Bristol. Just like the old Kingsport Mall, this one will soon be a thing of the past, I'm afraid.
Yep, I remember all that.

I have no idea what the rents were - I never worked in the mall - but it makes sense about places leaving if the rent is too high. Businesses began moving out to the Pavilion and other developments away from the mall. Combine that with the downturn in the economy several years back, newer retail developments recently, and a shift away from malls nationwide, it's no wonder that it's in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Knight View Post
I am not projecting Food City #605 to relocate.

I am thinking of an opportunity for another supermarket to enter the trade area with a store at Kingsport Town Center. Could Kingsport Town Center be a doable location for Ingle's, Kroger, Publix, or Walmart Neighborhood Market?
Sorry, must have misunderstood you. I think a Walmart Neighborhood Market would be optimal for the site, maybe Publix. Ingle's is already in Kingsport, but several miles away on the periphery of Colonial Heights next to the interstate. I'd love to see a Publix come to Kingsport. Kroger is over on Stone Drive, but it's up on a hill, a bit awkward to get to, and getting run down.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:09 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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Default Kingsport Town Center, 2101 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee 37664-3603

Kroger is present at Kingsport Town Center through Frey Meyer Jewelers #941.

Kroger #328, 1664 East Stone Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660-4610, is an older store indeed. I do now know if Kroger's Kroger Mid-Atlantic division plans to update, expand, or replace Kroger #328. If Kroger #328 is replaced, it could be replaced by a Kroger Marketplace hypermarket.

As Publix has announced stores in Johnson City and Bristol, Virginia, and is open in Greeneville, Kingsport should be in consideration for a future store location.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
I have relocated down here to the tri-cities region--living here now part-time in Kingsport. I've been to the Ft Henry Mall several times and see such potential there in a dying mall--but the renovations of the mall and the new theater opening gives it potential hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

I've visited Johnson City's Mall now twice as well, and it is such a vibrant, energetic, thriving mall. So I was thinking about the differences between both, and what the Ft Henry Mall needs to compete and thrive again.
So, here's the thoughts from my observations:

Location: Ft Henry Mall is sort of off the beaten path for major traffic--not near an Interstate Highway, or major State highway, such as 11W or I-26.

Surrounding area: The area surrounding Ft Henry Mall is not overly built up and super commercial like The Mall at Johnson City. Ft Henry has a lot of residential surrounding it, and feels quieter and very neighborhood-y (which I prefer). It has a late 1970s/early 80s vibe to it, and some vacant stores here and there, but most commercial is in a major facelift and gentrification needed mode.

Anchor Store: Sears recently closed, so the remaining 2 anchor stores are Belk and JCPenny. With the NCG IMAX Theater arriving next month, this will provide a major boost. But there is still the problem of what type of tenant they should attract. My thought is a destination-style store like a big bookstore with a lounge and coffee area, where people can go to hang with free wifi, work, study, and browse. There is Books a Million on Stone Drive, but a competitor in this space could thrive.

Restaurant Parcels: There are many parcels available surrounding the mall and some existing restaurants--2 or 3--that are now vacant off of Memorial and Ft Henry Drive. Ft Henry Mall management should do a food truck thing every weekend, that would increase traffic and make the mall a destination. The Mall at Johnson City does this with incredible results.
Some future out-parcel restaurant options should be destination-style, like Johnny Rockets, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, or even Chuck E Cheese. Also throw in a Dunkin Donuts or Chipotle. These are all missing from Kingsport's dining scene.

All-in-all, the mall's renovations will majorly help, as will the opening of the IMAX theater in July. But, the mall needs a lot of improvements and tenants, if it is to survive beyond 2020 or so....I think it was a huge plus with the rebranding BACK to "Fort Henry Mall" from "Kingsport Town Center"--that name change was a big mis-step, but glad it's back to the original....
FYI - there is a Dunkin Donuts in a gas station in Colonial Heights. There are also no Chipotles in the Tri-Cities at all. Barberitos is similar and is in the Food City complex across from Domtar. Johnson City and Bristol both have Moe's, which is substantially better than either Barberito's or Chipotle IMO. Personally, I'd like to see some sort of healthy breakfast option come to Kingsport - other than Panera, your only breakfast options are either fairly greasy places like IHOP and Waffle House, or fast food biscuits. I'd like to see something like The Egg and I or First Watch.

The plot of land it sits on, more of a "neighborhood" feel like you mention with residential neighborhoods close by, make me think the best use of the site is for something like a more traditional market. With the theater going in, I doubt the mall structure itself is going anywhere anytime soon unless the theater just totally bombs out.

Consumer behavior has shifted now toward going to The Pinnacle, Exit 7, Johnson City for shopping. If the mall's issues were addressed ten or maybe even five years ago, I could see it turning around. Today, I don't know. I've been back here for a year and if I want to go shopping, it's to The Pinnacle or Johnson City, to the extent I shop locally at all. The Fort Henry Mall is not even on my radar. I bet people under 25 don't even consider the mall.

In order to survive, I think it needs to orient itself toward an "evening of fun," especially with the new theater. A Chuck E Cheese or similar would be a good idea, maybe an indoor go-kart track, food trucks, or one of the trampoline or "bounce house" places. Maybe an Escape Room type thing too? It needs to be something different. Trying to ram more retail in when retail is in crisis and malls are in trouble all over the nation and local consumer behavior has shifted toward other retail developments is just not sustainable IMO.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:21 PM
 
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As a mom of 2 teens, I can assure you, they never ask to go to the Fort Henry Mall. They want to go to Johnson City or the Pinnacle.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNGal78 View Post
As a mom of 2 teens, I can assure you, they never ask to go to the Fort Henry Mall. They want to go to Johnson City or the Pinnacle.
And that's part of the problem. As younger shoppers enter the market, they have virtually no memory of the Fort Henry Mall when it was a nice mall. Even if the mall is rehabilitated, it still has to acquaint younger people who don't know what it once was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Knight View Post
Kroger is present at Kingsport Town Center through Frey Meyer Jewelers #941.

Kroger #328, 1664 East Stone Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660-4610, is an older store indeed. I do now know if Kroger's Kroger Mid-Atlantic division plans to update, expand, or replace Kroger #328. If Kroger #328 is replaced, it could be replaced by a Kroger Marketplace hypermarket.

As Publix has announced stores in Johnson City and Bristol, Virginia, and is open in Greeneville, Kingsport should be in consideration for a future store location.
I don't know if it will happen at this site, but Kingsport desperately needs more competition for Food City in the mainline grocery segment. All we have is that older Kroger, Aldi (different market really), the one Ingle's on the periphery, and Walmart. There are some downmarket grocers like Priceless Foods, but the mainline grocery business has far fewer options than in previous years. Food Lion, Oakwood, Winn-Dixie, those are just the top of my head that have left.

I think a Publix and a breakfast place, maybe a smoothie place too, would be a little different, generate enough interest to be viable, and inject new options.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 06-27-2017 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,725 posts, read 10,142,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
FYI - there is a Dunkin Donuts in a gas station in Colonial Heights. There are also no Chipotles in the Tri-Cities at all. Barberitos is similar and is in the Food City complex across from Domtar. Johnson City and Bristol both have Moe's, which is substantially better than either Barberito's or Chipotle IMO. Personally, I'd like to see some sort of healthy breakfast option come to Kingsport - other than Panera, your only breakfast options are either fairly greasy places like IHOP and Waffle House, or fast food biscuits. I'd like to see something like The Egg and I or First Watch.

The plot of land it sits on, more of a "neighborhood" feel like you mention with residential neighborhoods close by, make me think the best use of the site is for something like a more traditional market. With the theater going in, I doubt the mall structure itself is going anywhere anytime soon unless the theater just totally bombs out.

Consumer behavior has shifted now toward going to The Pinnacle, Exit 7, Johnson City for shopping. If the mall's issues were addressed ten or maybe even five years ago, I could see it turning around. Today, I don't know. I've been back here for a year and if I want to go shopping, it's to The Pinnacle or Johnson City, to the extent I shop locally at all. The Fort Henry Mall is not even on my radar. I bet people under 25 don't even consider the mall.

In order to survive, I think it needs to orient itself toward an "evening of fun," especially with the new theater. A Chuck E Cheese or similar would be a good idea, maybe an indoor go-kart track, food trucks, or one of the trampoline or "bounce house" places. Maybe an Escape Room type thing too? It needs to be something different. Trying to ram more retail in when retail is in crisis and malls are in trouble all over the nation and local consumer behavior has shifted toward other retail developments is just not sustainable IMO.
Yeah, there's also a Dunkin on Stone Drive as well--I realized that after posting. But, there is one missing near where I live, which is about a mile from Ft Henry Mall. I've been to Moe's, it's ok, also been to Barberito's and that's ok as well. Chipotle is better I think. When Chipotle comes to the area, JC will probably be first, but I imagine Bristol, Kport, and JC will all have one eventually.

Publix would actually be an awesome choice for the Sears vacancy--that could mix in well and help revitalize the whole mall and area. Right--I totally get that everyone is moving toward the suburban shopping centers like the Pinnacle. The mall definitely needs to attract the under 25 set of people--if they don't, it will definitely close up shop after a few more years. I think the theaters/IMAX will be a good start to this rebranding, hopefully.

I'd love to see it succeed and at least pump up the area in terms of growth and new stores in the next 1-2 years....let's hope it happens.
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:10 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
20,542 posts, read 21,185,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I don't know if it will happen at this site, but Kingsport desperately needs more competition for Food City in the mainline grocery segment. All we have is that older Kroger, Aldi (different market really), the one Ingle's on the periphery, and Walmart. There are some downmarket grocers like Priceless Foods, but the mainline grocery business has far fewer options than in previous years. Food Lion, Oakwood, Winn-Dixie, those are just the top of my head that have left.

I think a Publix and a breakfast place, maybe a smoothie place too, would be a little different, generate enough interest to be viable, and inject new options.
Is this Kingsport's current grocery lineup?
  • Supermarket: Food City, IGA (Price Less Foods), Ingle's, Kroger, Walmart Neighborhood Market
  • Hypermarket: Walmart Supercenter
  • Limited assortment/grocery: Aldi
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,286 posts, read 21,209,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Knight View Post
Is this Kingsport's current grocery lineup?
  • Supermarket: Food City, IGA (Price Less Foods), Ingle's, Kroger, Walmart Neighborhood Market
  • Hypermarket: Walmart Supercenter
  • Limited assortment/grocery: Aldi
We have a Target with a very limited assortment of grocery items, mostly nonperishables. The Ingles is inconvenient to most residents, and the Kroger needs renovations. Each of the Tri-Cities has a single "regular" Target. For what it's worth, there are two Super Walmarts. There is also a local "salvage grocer" outfit called McCoy's run out of a warehouse in the Bloomingdale neighborhood.

Otherwise, that pretty much nails it.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:00 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
20,542 posts, read 21,185,601 times
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A discount department store selling grocery items is not considered a grocery store. A SuperTarget would be considered a grocery store because it is a hypermarket with a supermarket and a department store.
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