Quintard Mall in Oxford, AL: Adapting to a New Retail Reality

The Quintard Mall’s Historical Journey

The Quintard Mall has been a focal point in Oxford, Alabama, since its grand opening in August 1970. Developed by James A. Grimmer, the mall initially featured thirty-two inline tenants and two anchor stores: Britt’s Department Store and JCPenney. Over the years, the mall has seen several transformations, including the closure of Britt’s in the early 1980s and its replacement with Sears.

In 1997, Sears expanded its building, adding more retail space and options for shoppers. However, the most significant change came in 2000 when the mall underwent a major expansion. This expansion was no small feat; it took seven years to satisfy all environmental permits due to Snow Creek, a drainage ditch that had to be covered for the expansion.

The expansion in 2000 was significant for another reason: the introduction of Dillard’s as an anchor store. This was after the planned third anchor, Gayfers, was acquired by Dillard’s in 1998. The new wing featured Dillard’s, a food court, and a movie theater, adding more dimensions to the shopping experience.

Fast forward to 2019, and the mall began another round of significant renovations. This time, the focus was on transitioning the mall into a lifestyle center. This included overhauling interior spaces, converting some stores to external entrances, and demolishing the former Britt’s/Sears building.

Architectural Highlights and Floor Plan

Quintard Mall is an architectural marvel in its own right, covering a sprawling 720,000 square feet of retail space. The mall is primarily a single-story structure but features two floors in Dillard’s and the former Sears building. The layout is designed for easy navigation, ensuring visitors can move from one section to another effortlessly.

This flexibility in design has allowed the mall to adapt to changing retail trends over the years. For instance, the mall has spaces that can be easily converted to external entrances, a feature of the 2019 renovations.

One of the unique architectural features is the food court, which is strategically located to offer a break for shoppers. It’s not just a place to eat; it’s designed to be a communal space where people can relax, catch up, and even work. The food court’s design complements the overall architectural theme of the mall, providing a cohesive shopping experience.

Quintard Mall
Quintard Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The mall also has ample parking space, a crucial feature given its size and the number of visitors it attracts. The parking areas are well-lit and secure, adding extra convenience for shoppers.

The Quintard Mall’s Anchor Stores

Regarding anchor stores, Quintard Mall currently boasts two significant names: Dillard’s and JCPenney. After taking over Gayfers in 2000, Dillard’s became a key tenant in the mall. The store provides an extensive selection of apparel, accessories, and home items. Its sizable footprint within the mall makes it a go-to destination for those seeking quality and assortment.

On the other hand, JCPenney has been a part of the mall since its inception in 1970. Over the years, it has evolved to meet the changing needs of consumers. JCPenney presents a wide array of offerings, from apparel and shoes to items for the home, appealing to a diverse customer base.

Both Dillard’s and JCPenney have undergone renovations to keep up with modern retail trends. These renovations have not only improved the shopping experience but have also made these stores more energy-efficient. The updated designs and layouts are more than just aesthetic upgrades; they’re about creating a better shopping environment for everyone.

The presence of these anchor stores has been pivotal in attracting other smaller retailers to the mall. They serve as the cornerstone that balances the retail ecosystem within the mall, ensuring a steady flow of foot traffic that benefits all tenants.

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A Glimpse into Current Tenants

Quintard Mall is home to diverse stores, offering something for everyone. In the apparel section, stores like American Eagle Outfitters and Rue 21 offer trendy clothing options for the younger crowd. For those interested in accessories, Claire’s provides a variety of choices, from jewelry to hair products.

In entertainment and electronics, the mall features AmStar 12 Cinemas, a popular movie-goer destination. Cellular Solutions and Cellairis offer a range of mobile phones and accessories, ensuring you’re always connected. For those looking for things to do in Oxford, Alabama, At the Pier Arcade offers a fun-filled experience for both kids and adults.

The mall also caters to specific needs through its specialty stores. Hallmark is the go-to place for gifts and greeting cards, while Bath & Body Works offers a range of skincare and fragrance products. Hibbett Sports provides many options for those interested in sporting goods.

And let’s not forget the dining options. From American Deli to Chick-fil-A, the food court offers a variety of cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a hearty meal, you’ll find something to satisfy your palate.

Dining Options at Quintard Mall

For culinary choices, Quintard Mall provides a multitude of dining venues to match all kinds of gastronomic inclinations. American Deli serves delicious sandwiches and salads, perfect for a quick lunch. For those with a sweet tooth, Great American Cookies offers a variety of cookies and desserts that are sure to delight.

Chick-fil-A is another popular choice, especially for those who love chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. The restaurant is always bustling, a testament to its popularity among locals and visitors. Max Orient offers Asian cuisine, providing a different flavor profile for those trying something new.

Dunkin’ Donuts Baskin Robbins serves as an outparcel, offering coffee and ice cream, a unique combination that caters to a wide range of cravings. Another exciting addition is Oui!, a restaurant that adds a touch of international cuisine to the food court.

Entertainment and Leisure Activities

Regarding entertainment, Quintard Mall offers some standout options that make it more than just a shopping destination. One of the major attractions is AmStar 12 Cinemas, a state-of-the-art movie theater that provides a top-notch cinematic experience.

With multiple screens featuring the latest releases, the cinema ensures that movie-goers have a variety of options to choose from. The theater also offers advanced audio-visual technology, making each movie session an immersive experience. Special screenings and events are also part of the cinema’s offerings, providing something unique for film enthusiasts.

Another exciting venue for entertainment is At the Pier Arcade. This arcade is a haven for kids and adults looking for interactive fun. With a wide range of arcade games, from classic pinball machines to modern video games, the arcade offers hours of entertainment.

The venue is designed to be family-friendly, ensuring that visitors of all ages can enjoy their time. Points systems and prize redemption counters add excitement, as you can trade your winnings for various prizes. Overall, At the Pier Arcade offers a nostalgic yet modern gaming experience that complements the other amenities at Quintard Mall.

The Quintard Mall’s Economic Impact

Quintard Mall has been a significant contributor to Oxford’s local economy. The mall employs hundreds of people directly and indirectly through its various tenants. This has a ripple effect, boosting other sectors like transportation and hospitality.

The mall also plays a crucial role in attracting other businesses to the area. Its presence has led to additional retail spaces and restaurants, further enhancing its economic impact. The mall’s strategic location, close to the I-20 highway, makes it easily accessible, drawing shoppers from Oxford and neighboring towns.

The mall’s economic significance is set to grow by completing 75,000 square feet of leasable space. This new space is expected to attract new retailers, further boosting the mall’s economic footprint. The area, previously occupied by Sears, is designed to accommodate big box stores, offering them a unique opportunity to establish a presence in Oxford.

The mall’s economic contributions extend beyond just retail. It serves as a community hub, hosting various events and activities that unite people. From seasonal festivals to charity events, the mall is more than just a shopping center; it’s a vital part of the Oxford community.

The Future of Quintard Mall

The future looks bright for Quintard Mall, especially with 75,000 square feet of leasable space completion. This new development was completed in 2023, with new retailers expected to open their doors. This expansion is a significant step in the mall’s efforts to adapt and evolve.

The new leasable space is strategically located where Sears used to be, offering potential retailers a prime location within the mall. The design of this space is such that it’s not divided into smaller units, making it ideal for big box stores that require sizeable square footage. This opens up new possibilities for the types of stores that can be accommodated, adding more variety to the shopping experience.

All these developments point to a resurgence for Quintard Mall. It’s not just adapting to the changing retail landscape; it tries to thrive. With its rich history, a diverse range of tenants, and prospects, Quintard Mall continues to be a cornerstone in the Oxford community.

Conclusion

Quintard Mall has adapted through the decades, continually updating its offerings to align with the shifting preferences of the Oxford community. From its early days featuring just a handful of stores to its current status as a comprehensive lifestyle destination, the mall has come a long way. Its ability to adapt and innovate ensures it remains relevant, offering something for everyone.

The mall’s economic contributions cannot be overstated. It serves as a significant employment hub and is crucial in attracting other businesses to the area. With new developments on the horizon, its economic impact is set to grow even further.

The mall is more than just a shopping center; it’s a community hub that brings people together. Quintard Mall delivers a well-rounded experience that encompasses not only retail and food options but also a variety of entertainment and recreational activities. As it gears up for the future, one thing is clear: Quintard Mall will continue to be a vital part of the Oxford community for years to come.

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