Malls see big changes just in time for holidays

’Tis the season for shopping malls.

Former Borders locations at Castleton Square and Hamilton Town Center are gussied up with temporary holiday shops.

The chain Urban Outfitters is scheduled to open its first Indianapolis store Dec. 8 at The Fashion Mall at Keystone. Ovation and The MacExperience just opened a joint showroom at Greenwood Park. And J. Crew is working on plans to bring one of its Madewell women’s fashion stores.

Popular pop-up shops like See’s Candies and Hickory Farms are peddling consumables at Greenwood and Castleton. And a couple of retailers are planning a Circle Centre two-for: They’ve opened for the holidays and plan to stay through February to cater to Super Bowl visitors.

“It’s purely about getting revenue in the door from vacant spaces,” said Mark Perlstein, a principal at Sitehawk Retail Real Estate. “If they’re doing well after the holidays, maybe they’ll stay onboard.”

IBJ visited several malls to tally the holiday changes. Here’s our roundup:

Super Bowl pop-ups

• Vera Bradley opened a temporary shop on Circle Centre’s second level, next to Carson Pirie Scott. The home-grown handbag and accessory maker has a permanent store at Clay Terrace.

• LoveSac Alternative Furniture Co. took a spot on Circle Centre’s second level next to AT&T. The Connecticut-based chain opened a permanent store in April at The Fashion Mall, its first in Indiana.

Holiday pop-ups

• See’s Candies—the California-based chocolate maker owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway—has set up shop in Castleton Square across from Macy’s. See’s does a brisk business during the holidays since it rarely sells its products east of the Rocky Mountains. Ask for a sample of the Toffee-ettes.

• Hickory Farms is another good spot to grab a quick bite while shopping. The Ohio-based cheese and summer sausage specialist operates out of large kiosks at Greenwood Park and Castleton Square. It’s also around only for the holidays. Why pay rent all year when 80 percent of your sales come in a few short weeks?

• A Gaither Christmas in the former Borders at Castleton Square is the first pop-up for proprietors Bill and Gloria Gaither of Alexandria. They run a gift shop, café and recording studio in their hometown. The massive Castleton store will be heaven to anyone who spends the year looking forward to Christmas.

• Holiday Village has replaced the former Borders at Hamilton Town Center. The cavernous space is home to the mall’s Santa spread, a Go! games and calendar shop, and a curtained-off women’s boutique called AH Fashion. There also are a handful of mostly vacant mall kiosk spaces inside the former Borders, including one for a chiropractor.

Just arrived or coming soon

• Ovation and The MacExperience on Nov. 21 opened a joint store at Greenwood Park Mall, at the end of the wing that attaches to the mall’s lifestyle addition. The local retailers also have a joint store along East 82nd Street in Castleton.

• Madewell, a sister brand of J. Crew, is planning its first Indiana store for The Fashion Mall, set to open in March.

• Urban Outfitters will open at The Fashion Mall Dec. 8. The store is in the mall’s west wing, across from MG Tates.

• Hanna Andersson, which sells soft-cotton Swedish children’s clothing, opened Nov. 2 in the hallway outside Nordstrom at The Fashion Mall.

• Windsor, a young women’s dress and accessories shop, in August opened stores at Greenwood Park and Castleton Square. The California-based chain already had stores in Fort Wayne and Merrillville.

• Braelyn Studios, a home-grown photography shop aimed at families, has opened both an in-line store and a kiosk at Lafayette Square Mall.

• Justice, the girl’s clothing and accessories shop, has opened a renovated store at Greenwood Park. The Ohio-based chain has nine stores in central Indiana.


• Man Alive, the Hip Hop clothier, has closed at Circle Centre. The shop was once part of locally based The Finish Line.

• Crocs closed its shop at Castleton Square. A sign on the door directs shoppers to the company’s store at the Edinburgh outlet mall.

• Pacers Home Court gift shop has closed at Circle Centre. Its replacement: the home-grown Go Fish Clothing & Jewelry Co.

• Paradise Bakery closed at Greenwood Park, making way for replacement Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza.•

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