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Payless Shoe Source, Columbiana Centre: 31 December 2011   25 comments

Posted at 11:44 pm in closing

I don't know how I suffered this mental lapse, but somehow I convinced myself that on the day after Christmas, the Christmas rush would be over, and it would once more be safe to hit the Harbison area. Bad call!

I came up Harbison from Saint Andrews Road, and that wasn't so bad. Neither was getting into the circle for Columbiana Centre. Getting out was the hard part. It took me half an hour to merge into the counterclockwise outbound traffic and work my way to the Columbiana Drive exit. In between arriving and leaving, the mall itself was as packed as I've ever seen any mall. I guess I have been "spoiled" by the nearly empty expanses of Richland Mall, Columbia Mall and Dutch Square. I guess that makes Columbiana Centre Columbia's success story, but it doesn't make me want to go there again any time soon..

At any rate, Payless Shoe Source were in their final few days and were selling everything down to the store fixtures in preparation for clothing store Forever 21 to expand into their spot. In years past, it's always seemed to me that shoe stores are the most over-representated category in malls, but perhaps that's now changing.

UPDATE 27 February 2019: Add tags and map icon.

(Hat tip to commenter Dustin)

25 Responses to 'Payless Shoe Source, Columbiana Centre: 31 December 2011'

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  1. It's random, but those are the same countdown and percentage off signs that Borders used. I wonder if Payless picked them up in their recent liquidation, or if enough retail stores plan their closings that it's profitable for a sign manufacturer to keep them in print?


    4 Jan 12 at 12:18 am

  2. Most companies hire an outside liquidation firm to come in and run the liquidations. There are only a handful of bigger firms, so its not unlikely that the same liquidator was involved, hence the same signs.


    4 Jan 12 at 11:31 am

  3. Not only that, but liquidation companies frequently try to move unsold merchandise from previous liquidations at future ones. I remember seeing Oriental rugs and items from Linens n' Things being sold at Circuit City when they were liquidating (or vice versa, I forget which came first now).


    4 Jan 12 at 12:28 pm

  4. Linens n Things liquidated in Oct. 2008 while Circuit City liquidated in March 2009 (per Ted's postings on those respective stores (which you can find via the Alphabetical Closings tab at the top)). If you look at the Circuit City post, you'll notice they used these type of signs too so I think that some liquidator behind the scenes that takes these signs to help different places liquidate their inventory as the need surfaces.


    4 Jan 12 at 3:23 pm

  5. My understanding is that the liquidator buys the inventory at a percentage of cost, then reprice everything based on their own very scientific formulas to generate the most income possible. Even though the store owners are out of the picture, the liquidators usually keep most of the same staff.


    5 Jan 12 at 10:45 am

  6. Thank you for posting because I was headed there later on tonight! Oh well...


    13 Jan 12 at 4:58 pm

  7. Very odd for Payless to close in a not-dead mall. I've seen malls where they were the only chain left.

    Bobby P.

    19 Jan 12 at 10:30 pm

  8. Malls once again are a dying breed. They came along in the late 60's to early 70's unless you count Richland Mall sort of.. but DSM opened in 1970 as an alternative to downtown shopping..which killed that too. Strip Malls had their hey day, then they died off too. NOW it seems that the Strip Mall is coming back again..smaller maybe, but Malls are dying. Columbia Mall is dead, Dutch Square is dead too. Malls are catering mainly to the younger crowd now..and that alone will kill it faster than anything.


    19 Jan 12 at 11:00 pm

  9. @BobbyP: I wonder if Payless is in trouble. I saw one closing in Charleston last week as well.


    20 Jan 12 at 12:06 am

  10. Here's my thought on the area malls (after reading Del's comment):

    Columbiana Centre is thriving and I enjoy the activity the occasions I walk said mall (even if I don't buy anything except my lunch).

    Dutch Square looks like it's going along fine on paper but when you're inside that mall, you are one of less than 50 people in the mall.

    I personally think that, at this point, you have a stronger case for Richland Mall being dead vs. Columbia Place Mall. Be that as it may, Century Capital Group in conjunction with Kahn Development is portraying optimism that I hope to translate into new stores. I walked a couple of laps around Columbia Place Mall right before the new year and felt like I was on a wavelength way different than everyone else.

    Columbia Place mall, like Dutch Square, looks like it's humming along on paper but its glory days are gone. Be that as it may, I have read that CBL Associates (Columbia Place Mall's owner) does have a track record of not letting properties slip on their watch.


    20 Jan 12 at 12:53 am

  11. That may be true, but looking at what DSM was from 1970-1985 is when it's heyday was. I worked at Service Mdse from 1982-1985 and DSM was still doing well. Columbia Mall from 1978-1989 was doing well. There were stores all upstairs and downstairs. It was a jumpin' place at one time. But I think by the late 90's both Malls were dying for sure. Look at the clientel at both Malls many people over 45 still go there? The demographics have changed quite a bit in those areas, and it killed them. Columbiana Mall is busy still because of the area it's in and right off the highway. Harbison has changed some, but still going strong. Columbia Mall wasnt all that easy to get to unless you lived on that side of town just like DSM. Strip Malls are makeing somewhat of a comeback now, but for how long remains to be seen. Harbison is the NEW Two Notch / Broad River Rd area now..but like all things, it'll come to an end eventually.


    20 Jan 12 at 12:53 pm

  12. The Harbison area will do well for quite sometime to come due to all the people that live in St. Andrews, Whitehall, Irmo, Chapin, Ballentine and close by areas. Columbiana Mall does well "crowd wise" for people meeting there, but just how much do people actually spend there? do they go there to socialize? window shopping? I'm sure certain stores do well sales wise, and the mall is always crowded, but that doesnt mean stores will always remain open or stay there. Harbison has been going strong since the early 90's so over 20 years now give or long will it last?? time will tell.


    20 Jan 12 at 1:04 pm

  13. Harbison will become a hood shortly. There's already been a killing in the Olive Garden parking lot, and the St Andrews area has a pretty bad ganag problem that the media and CPD don't say much about.

    Columbia Mall has been a hovel since the buses started running there, then the general area started going down hill.


    20 Jan 12 at 2:57 pm

  14. Dont get me started about Columbia Mall..I can tell you stories about that too. It's all about the "Buses". I agree..Harbison will go the same way as Decker, Bush River/DSM, Broad River area. It's just a matter of time..When you get a certain group of people moving in a particular area, or those that are just plain born trouble makers, then that's when an area goes downhill.. Harbison is nice, but trouble is already starting over there..and it'll get worse.


    20 Jan 12 at 6:33 pm

  15. That quote about CBL not letting their malls slip is an outright lie. Just look at what's happened to CBL-owned Citadel in Charleston or Arbor Place in Atlanta in the past year. Citadel has lost Gap, Hollister, and a couple other major stores in the last year. Heck, the CBL mall up in High Point NC in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area is CLOSING completely. CBL are really bad mall owners and a lot of their malls have slipped on their watch even their biggie ones.


    22 Jan 12 at 3:55 pm

  16. Shasta, it's been a few years since I read that quote somewhere and perhaps they've lost their ability to maintain a decent level of properties since the economy took a nosedive...I read somewhere recently that mall vacancies are at an all time high of 12%


    22 Jan 12 at 5:42 pm

  17. @Del: Remember when the sheriff got in trouble for discussing the buses and related issues?


    23 Jan 12 at 7:42 am

  18. seems I remember that. People can say whatever about Cola. Mall, but it really HAS gone downhill from what it was and used to be. The eniter Decker area has gone downhill since the 60's. Columbia Mall had the Sears gas station, Lowry Organs, Duck-In, Orange Julius, Record Bar and Tiffany's Bakery there.. Too bad they're all gone now. DSM is just a shell of it's former self too. Harbison will get worse as time goes on.


    23 Jan 12 at 4:04 pm

  19. My late grandmother recalled their being a point back when it was still known as Columbia Mall when the Columbia Police Dept. advised against women going to Columbia Mall alone. Then the chaperone rule took effect in April 2004 and from what I read, merchants were, for the most part, happy to see it go in effect because prior to the rule taking effect, people would come in and totally trash the place and the rule worked wonders as far as putting a major dent in that.

    I think you have a case as to the downfall of Decker Blvd. since about 2000 when Sparkelberry Square among others out near Spring Valley HS started springing up. City Council is trying to revive it as Columbia's 'International Corridor' and only time will tell how that strategy works out.


    23 Jan 12 at 4:56 pm

  20. I can make a pretty good guess right now as to how it will work out...


    24 Jan 12 at 7:32 am

  21. Intersection Center, DSM, Columbia Mall, Decker/Two Notch areas are all "Am-was" places and will never be what they were again. It all went downhill and people moved, gangs moved in and others and the property values went down. Harbison will last a little longer, but it will eventually fall into the same catagory as the others did.


    24 Jan 12 at 11:27 am

  22. Gangs? Chuckie A said Colatown didn't have a gang problem.


    24 Jan 12 at 11:34 am

  23. Intersection Center is undergoing a transformation to become the Northwest Campus of the Word of God Church and Ministries. The pastor studied the demographics and determined they could be most effective in terms of ministry at that site so they bought it and are bring new life to a place that died when Service Merchandise died in 2002.


    24 Jan 12 at 12:07 pm

  24. I hope they do well there.. It's the best thing that could have happened to that old building before it just fell apart. Is the old BK Lounge building still there too?


    24 Jan 12 at 1:06 pm

  25. The shooting at olive garden has turned out to be not gang related; instead it was a crime of passion from what I understand.

    redneck down from cayce

    25 Jan 12 at 10:22 pm

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