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Victoria's Secret, 481 Town Center Place Suite G-100: June 2020   17 comments

Posted at 12:32 am in closing











I don't think Victoria's Secret is officially bankrupt, but apparently a planned buyout fell through leaving the chain in desperate straits. Of course the COVID-19 crisis didn't help any either, and they are now in the process of closing 250 some stores.

This Sandhill location apparently closed in June as reported by commenter Bethany, but when I drove by then, the signage was still up, and the merchandise was still inside -- the "Lock the doors" order must have come down very quickly. When I got back in early July, the storefront was cleaned-out and blank.

I see from the label-scar that they were neighbors with a maternity store called Motherhood which pre-deceased VS and for which I never did a closing.

(Hat tip to commenter Bethany)

17 Responses to 'Victoria's Secret, 481 Town Center Place Suite G-100: June 2020'

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  1. Ted - you’ve done a number of posts on Sandhills recently. What are your overall impressions of it now, from looking at your site and the news, it seems as if it is going downhill? I’m also interested in any other forum members have thoughts? (Just for reference I moved from Columbia in ‘08 and Sandhill was pretty Gucci at that time)


    10 Jul 20 at 6:04 am

  2. @Alex, your feeling is not alone. I have lived in Columbia since 1991 and seen Richland Fashion Mall and Columbia Mall become mere shells of their former existence. Woodhill Mall is no longer an actual mall, now a group of strip-malls. Sandhills has been strangely growing and shrinking simultaneously. I think its proximity to The Summit will prevent it from shutting down completely, but it's definitely losing many of its smaller shops while gaining some larger amenities like Sam's Club and the library. Northeast Columbia housing continues to grow northward towards Blythewood, and Killian at I77 is the latest hotspot for commercial growth up there. Businesses enjoy chasing the residential growth, then there is a shake-out where some of them can't sustain and shut down. Businesses like Sonic, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster fled Decker Blvd for proximity to Sandhills on Two Notch, now some are leaving Sandhills for new frontiers. But overall I feel brick-and-mortar is losing the battle against the convenience of the Internet, especially now in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.


    10 Jul 20 at 7:54 am

  3. See I just KNEW this was gonna happen


    10 Jul 20 at 8:12 am

  4. The move of restaurants like Olive Garden & Red Lobster from Decker to further up Two Notch was going on before Village at Sandhill existed...Sparkleberry Square is where many of them ended up...

    Many of the closures I feel are a result of issues these companies are having at the corporate level.

    The internet has enabled some retailers to continue online that were unable to sustain brick and mortar operations after a bankruptcy ( is still active).

    Several have chimed in here over the years that Village at Sandhill is a failure which I don't necessarily agree with but I do see where many of the visions Kahn had for it didn't come to fruition like he had hoped.

    There is no doubt that COVID19 is shaking things up further (such as the bankruptcy of JC Penney and the liquidation of Pier 1 Imports) but the final chapter of all of this is yet to be written...


    10 Jul 20 at 9:03 am

  5. I got confused for a moment when I saw "Town Center" as the address and I thought you meant the Towne Center in Mt. Pleasant, which is also going through some major retail shrinkage. I get regular updates from acquaintances, and while it isn't as barren as the inner Sandhills wheel and spokes, it's now obvious that retailers are closing up and moving out, and the new ones coming in aren't the level of retail of the prior ones, or they come in, stay open for 3-6 months, then close. Looks like this is a trend for all these outdoor malls/strip malls. Or just retail in general.


    10 Jul 20 at 2:03 pm

  6. Sandhill isn't dying.

    Recent articles have explained that the foreclosures and bankruptcies of Kahn delayed new store openings and prevented renewals. That is finally complete and Sandhill can finally make a comeback.

    The best indicator of a shopping center that is dying is not the lack of specialty stores, but the major anchors pulling out. Richland Mall and Columbia Place foreshadowed their future with departures of Dillard's (Richland and CP), JCPenney, (CP) Sears (CP), Parisian (Richland) and other losses. Malls nationwide suffering are losing anchors first.

    Sandhill still has all the anchors and tenants are still seeking space. Victoria's Secret closing was because of company problems, but Sandhill's new life is just beginning.


    12 Jul 20 at 12:08 am

  7. If we look at anchor stores we have JC Penney, Belk, and the other big box stores on the perimeter? That would be, based on the website's outdated directory that features stores that have closed, Value City Furniture, Ashley Furniture, Muv Fitness, Rooms to Go, Ulta, World Market, Books-A-Million, and Academy Sports. Penney's is bankrupt. Bed Bath & Beyond owns World Market and is in financial trouble, closing stores this year and next, three of those places are furniture stores, hardly bastions of "mall anchors."

    On top of that, the Post and Courier ran an article at the end of last year detailing issues with attracting tenants. The last owner went bankrupt. If Sandhills was so successful, why did they go bankrupt? How is the new management going to attract retailers to a shopping center that wasn't successful before? They can't even update their website to indicate current retail availability.

    Look, I'm 100% behind Sandhills being successful, but it seems to be starting a long, slow decline. If you're financially invested in the project then I hope everything turns around and it becomes the shopping hub of Northeast Columbia that it was supposed to be. But making excuses as to why the specialty stores are leaving isn't going to put money in the bank, and if they're going to jack up the rent on the anchors to make up for the monetary loss in rent from the other stores, then anchor stores will pull out. Retail is in a tenuous situation right now between stagnant wages, massive debt loads for the younger generations, and the current Covid recession. Richland Mall went through multiple ownership changes, each promising to turn it around. None of them did, and they were all dealing with the same economy as Sandhills is.


    16 Jul 20 at 4:58 pm

  8. I don’t know anyone in irmo that take the trip to sandhills, other than watching an IMAX movie. It’s evident by the stores leaving and how it looks on livepd, that it’s on the decline.


    17 Jul 20 at 8:48 pm

  9. I think Sandhills has a couple of things going against it. My perception at least is that it's hard to get to. In actuality, it's not "forever down Two Notch Rd" - it's just a couple of miles off of I20. But in my mind it's waaaay out there. The second issue is a perception that NE Columbia has crime issues.

    You'd think that the huge population numbers in the surrounding neighborhoods would support it, but I'm guessing a mall has to have a substantial percentage of patrons that regularly come in from surrounding areas, and Sandhills isn't getting it. In retrospect, they may have been better off putting it right next to the I-20/Clemson exit.

    Who knows, maybe the town square concept isn't as popular as developers thought it would be. There are a lot of weather days in Columbia that it would be nicer to stroll between stores indoors vs. scampering between stores through heat and humidity, or rain.


    18 Jul 20 at 1:19 pm

  10. I've read the theory that casual dining chains are in trouble because more people want smaller, "unique" restaurants with "personality", i.e. local businesses. I wonder if this is now applying to some of the "big box" retail stores. Supporting local/smaller businesses is important, and I do buy from them quite often. But many "big box" places were small and local at one time, too.

    Robin L.

    19 Jul 20 at 12:35 am

  11. As someone who lives in the Irmo area, I can not tell you the last time I went shopping at the Village. In fact, I really have no need to go there because just about every kind of store I would shop in is 5-10 minutes away in the Harbison area or I can order it on-line. The same is true for restaurants, except red Lobster. But even then it is quicker for me to go to the one in Cayce drive 30 minutes to Pontiac.


    19 Jul 20 at 6:56 am

  12. It makes a very stylish backdrop for Live PD!


    19 Jul 20 at 11:01 pm

  13. Tom's comment got me to thinking: of the notable stores I can think of in Village at Sandhill, the only one that we don't have in the Harbison/St. Andrews area was World Market...but World Market at the Village at Sandhill closed early this year (and has already featured here) but we do have two other World Market locations: Shoppes at Woodhill & Lexington Pavilion. Books A Million is still at Village at Sandhill but their Harbison location became 2nd & Charles but Books A Million still has their Lexington location.

    The 'edge of town' perception (as Heath eluded to) is another major factor for most of Columbia's residents outside Northeast Richland (especially for those in Lexington County) I'm afraid the lack of close interstate proximity doesn't help matters, either...on paper it's easy to get to from both I-20 & I-77 but the traffic to get from either can be problematic as well.

    I don't see it as the failure the way several other folks on this blog have said it as over the years but I do see where much of what Kahn envisioned for it when he pioneered it ca. 2005 never came to theory is that it's primarily for Northeast Richland folks but I could see where it pulls from Kershaw County folks as well).


    20 Jul 20 at 10:25 am

  14. I don't think the Interstate has anything to do with it. Look at Killian Crossing. Looked so promising 5 years ago yet 5 years later all we have are restaurants a Kroger and a few little stores, vision places, insurance reps. But no major retail store. Heck that Applebee's isn't as busy as some thought it would be, but that is due largely because of the service or lack of service there.


    20 Jul 20 at 5:50 pm

  15. Sandhills is a royal PIA to get into, there's one entrance off of Two Notch. Once you're in there's the traffic flow in the central area is awful. As bad as Harbison is, you can get to it from multiple ways. It's withering away for sure, all that is going to be left is a couple of the anchors.

    Dan R

    22 Jul 20 at 8:14 am

  16. i worked at sandhill as a security guard from 2005 to about 2011. i saw what kahn wanted to try but getting other big stores in was a hard part. the small stores had trouble for the cliental it wanted. the concept was nice walk around see the sites and fresh air. the events were great but to many teens and not enough officers to patrol. not all the stores knew what the security guards were authorized to do. most stores treated us as if we were police officers. when the curfew came in affect it was a great idea. but not thought out fully. most kids were nice even tho they were "mallrats". i did talk with lots of parents and stores about what the kids can do there. i had some parents thank me for babysitting their teen. you did have a few stores with horrible management. that just asked for trouble.


    23 Mar 21 at 3:34 pm

  17. A dying lifestyle center is something you don't see much of. I despise lifestyle centers, so I'm not really shedding a tear for this place. More room for the real malls.


    20 Dec 21 at 4:04 pm

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