Not sure how to feel..

J Phipps TN

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jul 14, 2004
Kingsport TN
Deck the Walls just closed as of January 1st in our area. It was the last one DTW's even close to us.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or bad thing for me.

Either it will mean more business for me, or it means there really isn't enough to go around.

Either way it is sad news to see a fellow framer have to call it quits.

I worked in a Deck The Walls in Louisana in the 80's. I loved it there.

How many of them are still out there? :(

It's just scarey to see. We have seen 5 different frameshops close in the last 3 years in our area.
How could this not be a good thing for you? If they closed because there wasn't enough to go around, now there will be. You will surely benefit from their demise.

Remember, anytime, one of your competion closes and you are still open, it is a good thing for you!

Unless your area is packing up and moving away and it will soon become a ghost town, all of those shops closing is a good thing for you as long as you are still open and making a profit.

Possibly, there were too many shops to begin with and now it is winnowing down to the best of the best of which you seem to be
I will say this without any prejudicial comments to DTW or stores that operate in malls

But every mall store's leases expire on Dec 31 of their anniversary date. In a mall of 150 stores, roughly 20-25 stores have the same situation every year.

Sometimes the landlord choose to not renew.

Sometimes the tenant chooses not

When a mall tenant renews, there are several things that need to be identified. One is that rents go up (at least in better properties); the second is that each renewal requires a substantial remodel of the space. We just went through such a project

Sometimes, it just flat doesn't make sense to spend the bucks nor take the risk. We have done this 5 times in this particular property.

I wouldn't read too much into this very normal transition. You just might see this owner pop up with that existing equipment and inventory in a strip center near you

The other closings might offer another read

But the marketplace is changing and not everyone wants to change with it
Same here, one in the Galleria in B'ham is now closing acording to customers coming into my shop. It's tough paying that rent in a mall each month, an competing with the Kiosh? in the main walkway. People are always asking us why our prices are a little higher than the shop they usually shopped at that closed a year ago. My response is always, we wanted to stay in business...........
Good point Framar, I guess I should be glad then, because it's not that the town is not growing. We just added a bunch of new stores and resturants.

Hopefully I will get some new Customers from it.

In the past 3 years we have had 2 locally major furniture stores close, (they had both been around for maybe 30+ years), the one store had 4 locations. The Krispy Kreme that built a building a mile from us about 3 or 4 years ago just closed up and left a few months ago. A major department store chain closed along with a sporting goods store. I know of 2 local independent framers that are in the process of closing. For Rent signs, are the sign of the times. Although the economy in Michigan probably couldn't be worse than it is right now (I know it could be but really don't want to go there).
Looking on the bright side, we had a pretty good January, hope it continues.
Perhaps you could approach the ex-owners about purchasing their customer list? Bonus if they will let you use their name referring their old customers to you.
When listing our vendors in QB in order of ampunt spent, our mall is number one, as in they are the highest paid vendor.

Some days it is hard and others, well our sales wouldn't be the same without all of the walk by traffic. Walking traffic stops a lot easier that driving traffic.

As for the DTW count, don't quote me on it but I think it is around 70. You can see locations on the website:
Malls can be a tricky thing. Many malls [the mall itself] have disappeared over the last 20 years.

There is money being spent by the 14-25 year old croud... but there are also a lot of issues that go with those dollars. "Mall Rats" can kill a mall. They are the fastest way to drive the 50+ crowd elsewhere.

So if the management dances nicely the mall rat population is held in check, while Wet Seal and its ilk do a strong business. And while the kids are shopping, so might be Mom. And if Mom is shopping, the better department stores are there and dad might be in 3 or 4 times a year as well.

But if you go malls much, you notice the stores where dad shops have exterior entrances... :D
Hey Baer-Malls, like any properties, change as demographics change. Look at Main Streets and Downtowns, same things.

If you look at all the shopping centers that you frquented as a kid,how many are vibrant today?

It's not a mall thing; it's a demographics thing.

Baer-you know all our stortes are in malls and I gotta ask you about the "dad's stores" with exterior entrances. Have to tell you I can't come up with any examples, maybe you can.

Especially difficult might be those Second Level stores LOL
Hopefully I will get some new Customers from it.
Why not try a more active approach then "hoping". See if the owner is fully packing it in rather than reopening elsewhere. If so see if a referral or customer list purchase can be arranged.

Good luck !