AP NEWS

May will bring new stores to Parkdale Mall

March 26, 2019

Some new additions to Beaumont’s retail scene are set to spring up in May as other national chains fade.

Most of the new activity is centered around Parkdale Mall, where at least three different retail spaces are currently under construction.

Five Below, one of the new additions taking the place of the former Macy’s store, is set to have a grand opening on May 3, according to the store’s marketing materials. The discount retailer known for its low prices and eclectic selection, will take residence in an 8,500-square-foot storefront.

Five Below grew to about 750 stores in 2018 and picked up Arkansas as its 33rd state as it continued its strategy of adding stores to expand market growth. New stores account for about 80 percent of Five Below’s sales growth, according to investment reports from 2018.

“The strength, consistency and flexibility of Five Below is reflected in our results and gives us further confidence in both our 2,500-plus store potential and ability to achieve our 2020 through 2020 plan,” CEO Joel Anderson said in a September investor call. “The biggest driver of our growth continues to be our new stores and the performance by our new stores remains strong.”

The company’s stock jumped 21 percent in January, mostly due to continued revenue growth. Revenue growth slightly accelerated to 24.6 percent over last year’s holiday season, reaching $526.1 million. In early December, the company told investors to expect between 17 to 19 percent.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, also being built on the old Macy’s space, doesn’t yet have a grand opening on the calendar but could also open within the next several weeks.

“There is no opening scheduled yet, but it could be sometime between (May) 6th and the 20th,” said Michelle Prasnik, Parkdale Mall manager.

The store will feature about 45,000 square feet of retail space.

Dick’s currently has a store in Lake Charles and five stores in the Houston area. The Pennsylvania-based chain has 719 stores in the U.S., as well as fishing and golf specialty stores.

The sporting goods chain has been in a transition in terms of both business strategy and public outreach. In February 2018, Ed Stack, Dick’s chairman and CEO, directed a stop to assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazine sales after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people died.

The company announced last week that it would be pulling all guns and ammunition from 125 of its stores.

As more big-box stores take a slice of the “athleisure” pie and consumers rely further on specialty outdoor stores for hunting supplies, Dick’s has had to shift its image back toward sporting goods.

Dick’s hit most of its targets over the holiday shopping season, but sales ultimately dropped 2 percent at existing locations, according to the company’s fourth quarter report released last week. It had a 3.1 percent decline in performance for the full year, but had positive results in apparel, footwear, fitness, outdoor equipment and private brands, improving by 2 percent.

“Enhancing the athlete experience in our stores is critical to our long-term growth as our stores generate approximately 80% of our total revenue,” Stack said in a March 17 investors call. “We, therefore, need to ensure that they meet the demands of all athletes from the beginner to the enthusiast. That said, we will continue to optimize our assortment, reallocate floor space to regionally relevant and growing categories, and make our stores more experiential.”

There is not a date yet for the opening of the 21,000-square-foot HomeGoods store also planned for that location.

HomeGoods is a chain of 749 stores owned by The TJX Companies, the owner T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other brands.

Macy’s, which opened at Parkdale in 2002 with 67 employees, occupied 171,000 square feet, according to company records.

The former Macy’s space has been empty since last March, when the company shuttered it along with more than 60 other locations.

“We are closing locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape,” Macy’s executive chairman Terry J. Lundgren said in a statement in January 2017.

Other national chains facing dire straits will also be absent from Beaumont in the spring.

In mid-February, Austin-based Samuels Jewelers announced it would be closing all of its 112 stores, including the one in Parkdale Mall.

The company, which also operated stores under the Samuels Diamonds, Rogers, Andrews and Schubach brands, filed for bankruptcy last August and initiated some closing sales while looking for a buyer for some of its remaining stores.

Founded in 1891, Samuels was purchased in 2006 by Indian jewelry firm Gitanjali Group.

Gitanjali and its chairman, Mehul Choksi, were charged last February with defrauding Indian banks. The company denied the charges, but preceded to shut down operations.

Charlotte Russe also announced bankruptcy in February with liquidation sales while it tries to find a buyer for its intellectual property. At least 41 of its 416 stores had closed by the beginning of March, and all of its remaining stores are set to close by April 30.

The remaining stores will likely stay open until they run out of inventory. The company did send out its final spring collection earlier this month, including several boxes to the Parkdale Mall location, according to a store representative.

jacob.dick@beaumontenterprise.com

Twitter.com/jdickjournalism