Some West Park Mall retailers report strong or steady sales

Sunday, March 29, 2009
Becky Unger of Jackson, left, shops for bathing suits Saturday with her daughter, Anne, 10, at Justice in West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau.

Retailers at West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau say sales performances have been mixed but are hoping the spring and summer bring better results.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending increased by 0.2 percent in February, following a 1 percent rise in January, the biggest one-month gain in three-and-a-half years. The gains followed a record six straight months of declines.

The specialty clothing store Justice at West Park Mall has seen a continued increase in sales since it opened Nov. 18.

"December went especially well for us, but now that spring is here we've seen sales increase even more," assistant manager Tammy Keller said. "The girls who shop here just love what we have to offer them, and I believe we'll see them continue to buy here well into the future."

Reggie Reed, manager of Kirlins Hallmark, said sales have been strong, especially for Valentine's Day this year.

"People seem to especially buy our singing cards, which gives those who don't want buy a gift another option that's more than the regular card," she said.

Bonnie Farrow, manager of Things Remembered, said sales of the store's seasonal items had been steady until the last two to three weeks, when sales significantly declined.

"When people got their income tax returns, we did well," Farrow said. "But lately we've had a lot of lookers but not as many buyers. With Mother's Day and graduation coming up, we're hoping that results will improve, since those are typically some of our best-selling times of the year."

Cyndi Coomer, owner of Purse 'n' Ality, said sales began to decrease in September and haven't improved. Coomer said sales are down 25 percent.

"People are afraid to spend money due to what has been reported on the news about the economy," Coomer said. "We're doing what we can through sales and offering new items."

She said she hopes summer will bring an increase in sales, because most school-aged customers will have more time to spend in the mall in the mornings and afternoons.

"We'd like to see them come to the mall and spend money at our store and others," she said. "The mall is such a vital part of the community, and it's to their advantage to see it do well."

Susan Godorov, vice president of marketing for the mall's owner, Centro Property Groups, said such stores as Justice and Kirlins Hallmark reflect a growing trend in consumer spending some mall stores have seen lately.

"Many factors are involved such as the mall being in an affordable area, a low unemployment rate and stores that are value-oriented," Godorov said. "People are choosing to spend their money closer to home. The spring line of clothing and apparel is in, and that's exciting a lot of people."

Godorov said the mall management also is temporarily filling unused spaces, such as the location that once housed Steve & Barry's, which closed its doors in mid-November. Little Lambs Children's Sale held a one-week sale in the space earlier this month, and a comic convention will occupy the space April 25 and 26.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Pertinent address:

3049 William St., Cape Girardeau, MO

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