Columbia, SC (WLTX) - After Sears announced that it would be closing its Columbia Place Mall location, many people in the Midlands are concerned about the shopping center's future.
The mall has been in the Midlands since the late 1970's and many people shop there often, sometimes once or twice a week.
"It's easier to get to because of all the less traffic in that area," said Swansea resident Matthew Briggman. "Trying to get to Harbison down I-20 and malfunction junction makes it a little difficult at times when you're trying to go out for one thing."
Since the mall has been here for several decades, Briggman knows how it important the shopping center is to the area.
"I think it means everything to that area because without that mall, it's basically just another road," said Briggman.
Earlier in the week, Sears announced that it would be closing its doors at the Columbia Place Mall later this year in September. That is part of the announcement that they would be closing 72 other stores.
"Without the stores and shops, no one will want to live there. It won't be convenient," said Briggman.
WLTX reached out to the mall for a comment but no one was available to speak today.
Over at Columbia International University, we spoke with the director of business, Scott Adams, about his thoughts on why that mall and others across the country may be struggling. Adams believes that online sales may have something to do with it.
"The more you can buy online, the more people are going to be inclined to go there," said Adams. "It's much less effort than to get dressed and get in a car and drive to the mall."
Some say convenience is part of the issue and Adams says that mall can embrace that idea.
"I think malls would be great to incorporate services. You could get your taxes done at a mall and law firms may want to look at going into malls. Strategically planning malls around types of events and services," said Adams.
As of June 9th, 2017, the Columbia Place Mall has over 60 stores still at the shopping area. The two main anchor stores that remain there is Macy's and Burlington Coat Factory.
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