Nordstrom closing Circle Centre store

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Nordstrom plans to close its store at Circle Centre mall, dealing a substantial setback for downtown Indianapolis.

The swanky department store chain helped launch a revival of the city's core when it opened in 1995 as an original anchor of the $320 million mall project.

But many of Nordstrom's most-sought-after customers now shop at the chain's newer store at The Fashion Mall at Keystone, and the crowds of convention visitors who shop at Circle Centre aren't picking up enough of the slack.

The Seattle-based chain was scheduled to announce the closure to employees at a mandatory staff meeting Thursday morning, a person familiar with the plans told IBJ.

Spokesmen for Nordstrom and Simon Property Group, which manages Circle Centre, did not respond to requests to discuss the impending closure.

Nordstrom will continue to operate its store at The Fashion Mall at Keystone, and it plans to open the first Indiana location for its off-price chain Nordstrom Rack this fall at the Rivers Edge shopping center at 82nd Street and Dean Road.

The downtown store will close July 31.

"We’re disappointed, but we understand Nordstrom’s business decision," said Marc Lotter, spokesman for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. "The company’s client base didn’t really match up with the convention and visitors business that’s coming into Indianapolis."

Lotter said the departure presents a "tremendous opportunity" for the mall to recruit a tenant or tenants that are a better fit for the market. He said it is too early to discuss whether the city would offer incentives to attract the right retailer.

The city originally enticed Nordstrom to open in the mall by offering a new building and tenant improvements at no upfront cost to the company. How much Nordstrom pays in rent is not spelled out in publicly available documents.

Anchor tenants are considered paramount to attracting shoppers to a mall’s smaller stores, so advantageous deals are not unusual.

Simon's preference is to land a replacement anchor such as Macy's that appeals to a broader mix of customers than Nordstrom, industry sources said. Another possibility would be to break up Nordstrom's 210,000 square feet to accommodate a few mid-size tenants.

Nordstrom's Fashion Mall store, which opened in 2008, drew customers away from the downtown store, and the addition of Nordstrom Rack will give shoppers even more reason to "go north,” said Mark Perlstein, a principal in locally based Sitehawk Retail Real Estate.

Perlstein expects Simon would break up the Nordstrom space to accommodate a few box retailers, including perhaps Best Buy or Bed Bath & Beyond.

The potential loss of Nordstrom is an outcome the mall's owners and city leaders have feared for years.

The risk of Nordstrom opening a second store in the market was concern enough for the mall's developers that they extracted an unusual concession requiring Nordstrom wait at least five years before opening another Indianapolis location.

There's no question Nordstrom's departure is a blow to downtown.

Circle Centre and its anchors supported the city’s core, bolstered the convention business, provided jobs, and inspired other investments downtown, former Mayor Bill Hudnut told IBJ for a story in 2010.

“It might be the equivalent of losing the Pacers if we lose Nordstrom,” Hudnut said at the time. “To my thinking, the mall is one of the linchpins of the whole downtown, and Nordstrom is the mall’s linchpin.”

Circle Centre generated a profit of $9.1 million in 2010 on revenue of about $23.7 million, according to an annual report on Circle Centre that Simon filed with the city May 19. The report does not break out the performance of anchor stores.

Occupancy at Circle Centre has held steady at about 93 percent for three years, excluding the troubled fourth floor, which was only 67-percent occupied in 2010.

Sales per square foot rose about 3 percent in 2010, to $340, still well below the $406 per square foot the mall achieved in 2007.

The city owns the land under the structure and paid more than half the cost of building the mall. The building itself is owned by a partnership of 20 mostly local companies, including Simon.


  • Super target!
    the city needs a super target downtown
  • Another suggestion
    No one would like to hear this but bps or bass pro shops should put in a store like they did in Clarksville. It completely drove a retail boom that turned a place of fields to a area that equals greenwood in retail. Cabalas could even do the same. Bass pro took the dead mall river falls and turned into a really nice store so they could even work in that space. Macy's would be a nice alternative as nordstorm was way to expensive for today's market.
  • Old Nordstrom space should be sectioned out
    I think the former Nordstrom space should be sectioned out to smaller retail stores. Downtown really needs a grocery competitor to Marsh on Mass Ave. Can you imagine an Aldi in Circle Center Mall? I think that would bring a lot of local residents to think about using their bicycles more often too.
  • replacing nordstroms
    Was just in Chicago. Visited a four story Nike Store in the Magnificent Mile area. Great store, sports and lifestyle related to people who shop big malls IMO.
  • Get Real
    Anyone thinking that Neiman Marcus is an option for this space might as well hope for the Galerie Lafayette to come here from Paris. The average price of a pair of shoes being sold at Neiman's is 700.00. With a sale, you might snag a pair for 300.00. Handbags average 1400.00 The market here in Indianapolis is sufficient to keep the Saks on the north side alive, but a NM would never look twice at this space knowing that any Indianapolis customers who are part of their base will shop when they travel to Texas or the east or west coast stores. Even the Saks here is limited in what they offer in the Indianapolis store and caters to the more modest Midwestern sensibility for shopping. I am disappointed that Nordstrom is leaving the downtown market and I hope Simon is who they say they are and can market the space to a worthy tenant. I don't know who that is at this point- it may be Macy's. That's a depressing thought too. If only it were a marquis LS Ayers of the old days.
  • Dillards Says No
    I emailed them about the downtown location opening up and they did reply see here:


    Sorry for the delay in responding.

    We would love to be in Indianapolis, but we have concluded after years
    of painful experience that downtown stores simply do not work well for
    us. The old saying in the retail business, which has proven to be true
    over the years, is that people eat where they work but shop where they
    live. In other words, a restaurant may be able to make it on lunch hour
    business alone, but a department store can't. In order to succeed, we
    have to be close to residential areas so we can get night-time business,
    moms with strollers, etc.

    Please be assured that we will continue looking for the right
    opportunity in Indianapolis. Your interest in Dillard's is appreciated.

    Wes Cherry
    Vice President, Real Estate

  • Minneapolis-target
    A large target in Minneapolis makes sense because that is their headquarters. Every mall here that has a target has lost other existing retailers. We need something more enticing for convention visitors which are really that mall's customer base.
  • Yup
    You are absolutely right!!
    That is another thing....The company sucks
  • Nordstrom is not what it used to be
    The Company Nordstrom is not what they used to be, and they are going down hill.( ihope) They don't take care of their employees like they once did, they don't pay them well at all, and their sales people are strictly commission based. Did you know that when you return your items, it hits the salespersons commission. Yes, it cuts into their paycheck. They work long hours and don't make as much as you would think... Also they get rid of their support people to put more money into the Nordstrom Seattle/Chicago Management and less help in the stores. How are the employees supposed to take care of the customer when Nordstrom INC doesn't take care of them or their families. Benefits are anywhere from 350-700 a month and well, I regret being part of their "family".....Sorry Store 226, you all do not deserve this and I pray you all get something so much better. You all deserve it.
    Nordstrom Family you should be ashamed of yourselves. I think your great grandfather is looking down and shaking his head in sadness and disbelief.
  • Nah Lets REALLY Go For The Gusto
    And put a swanky styled 'Goodwill' in Nordstrom's place.....sounds really classy 'living' in a low rent district home.....cant wait to buy my trashy need not wants right there with my 2 dollars in my hand
  • think big
    Let's think big. Do what other cities wouldn't. Get rid of the eyesore that is Pan Am plaza & extend the mall into that block. Add the 2nd anchor plus some restaurants there - maybe Dillards or Bloomingdales, Smith & Wollensky, Ben Pao etc. that are new to this market. Then rework the Nordstrom block with stores not yet in this market - CB2, Betsy Johnson, Armani Exchange, West Elm, Puma, Kenneth Cole etc. on 2 & 3 with more new restaurants on the 1st floor. While we're at it, its time for some updates in the mall overall. Its been 16 years, its time to refresh the place. Supertarget would be great downtown but not @ the mall. Perhaps adjacent to North of South or the MSA site as part of a larger mixed use development.
  • Not Target!!!
    I just dont like the idea of Target or even SuperTarget going into Circle Centre after having an upscale store like NORDSTROM there. How about a compromise and put a Target or SuperTarget in the space that is now boarded up and a huge eyesore that Bank One occupied on East Street over not far from the former site of Market Square Arena. They want to revitalize that area so bad!!! That would be a wonderful improvement and maybe that would lead to further development in the area!!! As far as Circle Centre is concerned I would have to agree to keep it upscale (Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales) or at least somewhat upscale (Dillard's, Von Maur...Especially since it is suppose to be Simon's "Premier Mall" being steps away from their corporate headquarters!!!
  • Replacing NORDSTROM
    How about a Neiman Marcus or Lord & Taylor to be on the same scale as NORDSTROM...Or maybe a "step down" and go with a Dillard's like I see others are talking about...They have locations in Richmond and Clarksville already so why not expand further into the state???
  • Dillard's
    I have emailed Dillard's in the past about the need to enter the Indianapolis market and I plan to email them again. The downtown Nordstrom store provides much better customer service and array of products than the northside store.
  • Grrrrrr.....
    I now hate Nordstrom.
    They knew when they opened the Fashion Mall location that they would lose sales to it.

    • Asleep at the Wheel?
      I'm disappointed in the comments, and lack of focus, from the mayor's office. The mayor himself should have been the one to say, "We did everything we could to convince Nordstrom to stay, recognizing the importance of the brand to what it is we're trying to achieve with the continued revitalization of downtown Indianapolis." But, then, he'd actually have to be trying to achieve something. It's an understatement to say the mayor's grasp of the big picture is lacking.

      If the closure represents a "tremendous opportunity" for the mall to recruit tenants that are a better fit for the convention and visitors market, as Marc Lotter suggests, we'll get a luggage store and a place that sells travel-size bars of soap. Because to him, and the mayor apparently, the downtown market consists solely of folks from out-of-town.

      As Indy residents, we deserve something that moves the downtown retail market. Like Nordstrom did the day it opened in 1995 and single-handedly revitalized a retail scene that had been reeling for more than a decade. It took leadership from all quarters, including the mayor's office, to make that original deal happen.

      Maybe chalk it up to a down economy. Maybe the northside location cannibalized the downtown store's shoppers. I hope it's nothing more than a temporary setback - albeit the second in a recent series of major retail setbacks downtown.

      Because if it's something more, what we're witnessing might be the beginning of 20 years' worth of downtown redevelopment work slowly unraveling.
    • Dillards Customer Svc
      I actually emailed Dillards customer service yesterday about coming to Indy and they actually responded that they would forward my inquiry to the right people so maybe we should start an email campaign to Dillards.
      questions@dillards.com is where I made my inquiry.

      They already have a store in Richmond so at least they are already in Indiana.
      • bring a store that is a draw to downtown like Nordstrom's was
        I agree with previous comments that the reason to go to Circle Center was Nordstrom. We need another upscale store such as Bloomingdales to replace this store...a reason to go downtown that is unique. I have had some people actually suggest Target. When was Target (which is everywhere, I might add) a draw to a downtown mall? In addition, Von Maur is another good suggestion.
      • Von Maur
        Von Maur is a classy department store, along the lines of Macy's and Dillards and is expanding. Recently opened stores in Lousiville and St. Louis - may be interested in a prime Indianapolis location.
      • Cafe
        @Marie - I also work right by Nordstrom's, on Meridian. On the corner of Georgia and Illinois is the Omni Hotel. They have a cafe in there... coffee, muffins, lunch items, etc. Their food is a little expensive, but the coffee is definitely less than Nordies.
      • Name Calling?
        Is it really necessary to call names (such as dumb) when someone makes a point you believe to be false? I agree with you about parking not being nearly that expensive on most occasions... But you can say someone is mistaken without resorting to name calling.
      • Neiman Marcus
        The reason to go to Circle Centre Mall was Nordstrom. Come on Indianapolis what are we suppose to do...move north? Anchor this mall with Neiman Marcus, something different and upscale. Isn't that what Indianapolis is all about right now?
      • Yes
        Something new! Dtown is right. The parking garage is already below it, and it would help the area fit in on Georgia across from Hooters and Kilroys, as well as on Maryland across from 14 West. Just make sure to add a grocery ;)
      • New Direction
        Lets redevelop that entire half block to shops with indoor and outdoor access. The smaller store fronts will make it easy to lease out and will allow the area to diversify from a department store to shops, bars, restaurants, and even a boutique grocery like a trader joes. lets get creative Simon!
      • Parking
        What? I've never paid more than $3 to park at the downtown mall. Where do you park? Sounds like user error to me.

        Indianapolis has the cheapest parking of any city, and that will still be the case after they double the rates on meters.
        • CIB Bankruptcy?
          Someone in the media needs to ask the how this impacts the malls long term debt held by the Capital Improvement Board which has a huge balloon payment coming due.

          They are now insolvent after all the Pacer/Colts bailouts with nothing in reserve for the mall debt.
        • Parking
          Maybe if people didn't have to pay $10 to park, and then be concerned about being raped, robbed, beat up, or shot, they would shop more downtown.
        • IKEA!
          Put an IKEA in there!
        • Nothing owned by Federated.
          The Last thing to do would be to allow Federated (Macys) to come in, after they scrubbed the mother land clean of the LS Ayresand name. Let them go to the northside and cater to their bourgeois customers, Downtown doesn't need upper echelon attitude. It be nice to see local retailers actually get ballsy and take some of that space, the last thing we need is more chains offering more of the same.
        • Tough loss
          What a loss for the downtown dwellers. I'd like to see something similar, such as Dillard's go in, but if the space didn't work for Nordstrom what changes would be needed to keep the Dillard's running. I HATE the idea of having a Target there - Targets belong in the suburbs, not in the center of a 'vital' city center. That sounds desperate to me. And it makes me wonder, if Target does go in here, what businesses will it close? Marsh/O'Malia's supermarket? A CVS? Same empty space, different location.
        • Dillards
          Sad news for downtown, but I would love to see a Dillards in the Indianapolis market. It would be nice if the city could attract something new to Indianapolis.
        • Where is Simon?
          CoryW - If this is really "Simon's showpiece", they don't show it very well. Simon should have used it negotiating power to keep Nordstrom downtown and at their front door. Like it or not, Nordstrom plays a major role in the overall image of the City and is a quality tenant for downtown. The fact that Simon has allowed Circle Center to become nothing more than a replica of every suburban mall in America does not bode well for their supposed commitment to downtown Indianapolis.
        • Bad Timing
          The chances of getting a new tenant in this space before the Super Bowl is slim (not good). I hate that they are closing this location - it is so much better than the Fashion Mall store. On the upside, there will be some great sales in the next few weeks as they clear out the space. I am against a Target at this location. Put one in the vacant Borders store, but not in the mall. Visitors look to spend $$ on items they can't buy back at home. Dillards, Bloomingdales, or something along this line...
        • Best Option
          A great middle ground dept. store would be Dillards. It carries both high end and everyday items.
        • If groceries, then Trader Joe
          Not, not a Target in Downtown. Downtown needs upscale (have you been to TJ Maxx, or do you avoid it, too?). But groceries are needed DT, so how about a Trader Joe's? But a new one, don't relocate one of the 2 existing ones.
        • We live downtown so we don't have to go to the burbs
          People are saying that a Target would be great so downtown residents don't have to drive out to the suburbs to do our shopping. However, the main reason there are so many of us urban dwellers is because we hate the suburbs and try to avoid them. Also, if you think a Macy's and a Target will fix everything you should start doing your shopping at Glendale "Mall."
        • dillards or similar
          Even though I live closer to the fashion mall, I much preferred thw downtown Nordstrom's. Fashion mall store just has a weird vibe to it. Carson's does not resemble the store it was years ago in Chicago. Macy's is probably afraid a new store would draw customers from their existing stores (Castleton, Glendale) which really need an overhaul.
        • Here! Here!
          I think a Dillard's would be a practical and unique store. I'd LOVE to see Bloomingdale's go in there, but it is probably a pipe dream.
        • Dillards!
          Every since I left Ohio I have been yearning for a DILLARDS store here! Lower price point and good quality clothes. Much better than Carson Pierre Scott! Come On - bring one here!
          • OFF TARGET
            Targets are the downfall of a mall they offer everything that you can get thru out the mall but in one shop. It discourages more shopping. I was the beginning of the end for Washington Square.
          • GREAT CITY
            Man these are great comments! I love INDY!
          • One perk...
            One advantage of Target that hasn't been discussed here is that it would provide an urban grocery store downtown. To support people living downtown, we have to have a place to buy our groceries that doesn't involve getting in a car and driving a few miles out of the core city. Target in downtown Minneapolis provides a place where the thousands of urban-dwellers can buy their daily staples, as well as some less-ordinary purchases. I'm not saying Target needs to go in the Nordstrom's spot, but we do need a Target (or something similar) downtown, and soon.
          • Target?
            I know that mean seem completely in the opposite direction of having a Target where I Nordstrom stood. The reason it makes some sense, is that you're pulling in the residence from the Downtown and surrounding areas that drive way to far into the suburbs to stop at the retailer. Add to that the convenience of the convention crowds knowing they can pick up much needed items while traveling. It forces Carson Pierre Scott to step their game up.
          • Let's Get Trendy
            I think that an American Apparel with street level access and window displays could be huge for Circle Center. We don't even have one in the entire state of Indiana!
          • OPPORTUNITY
            I think Scott has the right perspective. The old Chinese bromide, "In chaos, opportunity" is the best way to look at this. Time for some folks to visit other convention cities and see what visitors are looking for in a shopping experience----p.s. maybe time to open a tunnel back to Union Station and have bring back the carnival /bazarre type shopping that venue provided?
          • street issue
            i want to echo liz and her "bad news" about the street condition issue going on for too long and being a huge hindrance to local folks who used to shop more downtown. Ive replaced two rims on my car so far this year alone thanks to downtown. living close, i now try to only go places I can walk or ride my bike, and i also know this has limited many of my northside friends from coming this way. im usually headed to them.
          • Cannot believe this terrible news
            This is horrible for downtown. Is there anything we can do to save Nordstrom downtown? The worst thing we can do is to put low end retailers in downtown, it will continue to drive down the market. As a downtown resident, that is the last thing we need.
          • Something Comparable
            I hate to see Nordstroms go, but something comparable needs to replace it. Look at Lafayette Square, the people around that area demand crap and that's the type of stores they got! No disrespect, but I'd hate to see our Downtown reflect low budget, even if I can't afford it! I love Target, but no, it doesn't need to be in Downtown Indy!
          • I'm Moving!!
            As a loyal Nordstrom shopper, I am devastated at this news! I have loved the downtown location FAR better than the Fashion Mall location. I live 2 minutes from downtown currently. I will have no reason to visit the Circle Centre now!
          • DILLARDS IS RIGHT!
            I absolutely avoid the whole Keystone/Hastleton area - that is a horrible shopping experience. I hate losing Nordstroms. One could just pop by after work and pick up just about anything you need that needs to be special. DILLARDS would be just about the only other place I'd go. If one of those two aren't in there, I probably won't do any shopping at Circle Center.
            • Self-Refuting Article
              This article all out refutes itself. It says that losing Nordstrom is a big blow, but then states the reason Nordstrom is leaving is because they aren't drawing customers like they used to and that convention visitors don't shop there. Why is it a big blow if it isn't bring in customers? Seems like this is a fantastic news to me. Now they can get one or more stores that actually do pull in more customers.
              • Really Missed
                I can't believe this store is closing. It was one of my favorite stores downtown and in terms of other stores downtown, there's really no point now to go downtown to shop because other stores in Circle Centre are elsewhere. This store always has GREAT customer service and really looks out for the individuals. I hate to see this store go, but hopefully they will put a similar store downtown (NOT Macy's) but maybe a Neiman-Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman's or Bloomingdale's. Indy doesn't need more Macy's. I hate to see this store go and I wish the best to all their excellent employees. Long Live Nordstrom!
              • Agreed
                Target was the first thing I thought of as well when I saw this article. I think it would be a great addition to downtown.
              • Yes to Target!
                I agree with the commenters that Target would be a welcome addition to the downtown area. As for Jim scoffing at Target, saying why not just put a Walmart in: I'm confused. Is your beef with just a Super Target, or Target in general? The Targets I have shopped in are a VERY noticeable step up from Walmart. But I could see maybe a Super Target being a bit over the top for the downtown area.
              • Target is the Answer
                While Targe may not have the "prestige" of Nordstrom, I guarantee that Target will pull more people into the mall than Nordstrom ever did. The question is, would Target take all 3 floors? I've been in several 2 story Targets but never heard of a 3 story store. So if they would only take the first 2 floors, would the mall have another white elephant space on the third floor of the former Nordstrom?
              • Think Big
                The Nordstrom model worked before the second location opened, so why not think big again. Why can't the city and Simon Malls offer incentives to another upscale anchor like Neiman Marcus. Downtown Indy needs an upscale department store to maintain an up and coming image.
              • Macy's?
                If the mall is really "tourist-driven", why would Macy's help at all? Now that almost every former regional brand of department store is "Macy's", there would be nothing in Circle Centre that a visitor couldn't buy at home.

                Macy's local predecessor chains (Lazarus, Blocks, and Ayres) were all offered the chance to be in the mall back in the day, but declined.
              • Target!
                The downtown Target in Minneapolis is a great addition. Although I would prefer locally based stores and products, downtown is in a serious competition with convenience shoppers in the burbs. Jim makes an unsual arguement that I believe is invalid. Target meets the needs of a lot of people of many classes and is considered the "premier" big box store in the area. I know I would use Target if available and I am sure I'm not alone. I don't think Norstrom leaving is a sign of the downtown market, just them overextending themselves. The space will fill, just hope it is the right direction.
                • No Target!
                  As a former Minneapolis resident I really hope a Target doesn't replace Nordstrom. Minneapolis has been trying to make a Target work downtown for years and it has never done as well as anticipated. Minneapolis has many more downtown residents than Indy, which makes hesitant to see how it could possibly work here.

                  I am sad to see Nordstrom go, but business is business.
                • Bound To Happen - Huge Opportunity for Circle
                  Although this seems like a blow to Downtown and Circle Centre - to use the glass is half full approach, marfk my words, this is a great opportunity for Circle Centre. CC is Simon's showpiece and being so close to the corporate offices, they will not allow the space to remain vacant long - I'm guessing they will (or have) approached Carson's about leaving (that's the chain's only store in the region) and are negotiating with Target to take Carson's space and then have Macy's occupy one of their higher-end stores in place of Nordies...Macy's has wanted in DT for years - and Target was near a deal prior to 2008.
                • anne
                • Cafe?
                  I work in a building next to Nordstrom on Meridian St. and make daily stops for my morning coffee. Now where will I go? :(
                  • Why not Wal-Mart?
                    Nothing says class like a Super Target! Might as well put a Wal-Mart there! That may be one of the single most ridiculous ideas ever and a sure way to drag down the class of the downtown area even further. If you think we have issues with safety now just see what happens when you put in your Super Target.
                  • Nordstrom
                    I have shopped at Nordstrom at Circle Centre ever since it opened, but WILL NOT drive north to shop at Nordstrom there. I agree that Target, or Macy's, would be a great addition to the mall.
                  • I agree with Stephanie
                    I totally agree with you Stephanie, Target would be a great addition to the d'town scene and if they made it a SuperTarget even better. Somewhere reasonable to buy household items would be great and I believe bring in even more shoppers. Just wish they would get whoever goes in there before the Superbowl.
                  • Agree
                    Downtown could and would support Target and I think putting it in the mall would be an excellent location for both those that work downtown and vistors.
                  • Bad news
                    This is a real blow to people who live and work downtown, and convention visitors can't sustain a mall. I know many former Circle Centre shoppers who used to drive in from all over Indiana, but finally gave up on trying to make their way through all the construction on the streets around the mall.
                  • Target
                    I would love to have a Target or something similar to be able to run over to on my lunch break and pick up some stuff so I didn't have to go after work.

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