Cumberland Mall: Hub for Fashion, Food, and Entertainment in Atlanta, GA

The Birth and Growth of Cumberland Mall

Cumberland Mall, a landmark in the Cumberland district of Metropolitan Atlanta, opened its doors on August 8, 1973. Developed by Crow Carter Associates, it proudly stood as Georgia’s largest shopping mall at the time.

This commercial hub was not just a retail center but a significant milestone in the region’s retail history. Its opening marked a new era in shopping experiences, offering a wide array of stores and services under one roof.

The mall’s initial design and concept were a testament to the innovative spirit of the era, aiming to provide a comprehensive shopping experience to the residents of Smyrna, Vinings, and beyond.

Expansion and Changes

Over the years, Cumberland Mall underwent several transformations to keep up with the evolving retail landscape. In 1989, a significant renovation reshaped the mall’s interior and exterior, introducing modern elements to enhance the shopping experience.

This renovation included the addition of a food court, which became a central gathering spot for shoppers.

The mall’s design and tenant mix were continually updated to stay competitive and appeal to a diverse customer base. These changes reflected the mall’s commitment to adapting to consumer preferences and market trends.

Competition and Adaptation

The opening of Town Center Mall in Kennesaw in 1986 marked the beginning of heightened competition in the region. Cumberland Mall responded by reinventing itself to maintain its status as a premier shopping destination.

This period saw the mall embracing new retail concepts and experimenting with different store formats. The focus shifted towards creating a more engaging and dynamic shopping environment, catering to its patrons’ changing needs and expectations.

Cumberland Mall’s ability to adapt and evolve in the face of competition exemplified its resilience and enduring appeal in the Atlanta retail scene.

Cumberland Mall has long been one of the things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. Its rich history and continuous evolution make it a unique destination for shopping enthusiasts and casual visitors.

Cumberland Mall’s History Post-2000

After the turn of the millennium, Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, GA, embarked on a significant transformation and redevelopment journey. The early 2000s marked a pivotal period in the mall’s history, characterized by major changes in its structure, tenant mix, and overall appeal.

In 2003, the mall faced a notable shift when it lost Macy’s, one of its original anchor stores. This event triggered a major redevelopment plan, reshaping the mall’s landscape. The old Macy’s building was demolished, making way for a new mall entrance and an open-air wing.

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This redevelopment phase modernized the mall’s appearance. It introduced new dining options, including P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Buffalo Wild Wings, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and Stoney River Legendary Steaks.

Another significant change occurred with the closure of the JCPenney store, leading to the construction of a new Costco Wholesale, which opened on November 15, 2006.

This addition diversified the mall’s retail offerings and attracted a different segment of shoppers. The mall’s interior also underwent a complete renovation, featuring new skylights and an expanded food court, completed in early 2007.

The mall’s evolution continued with the departure of Sears in 2018, part of a nationwide closure of 46 stores. This left Costco and Macy’s (which reopened at the mall in 2005) as the remaining anchor tenants.

Cumberland Mall introduced new tenants to maintain its competitive edge in response to the changing retail landscape. On August 21, 2020, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy replaced the upper level of the former Sears building. Additionally, Planet Fitness opened on September 1, 2020, adding a fitness dimension to the mall’s offerings.

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 brought further challenges, leading to the closure of Ted’s Montana Grill. However, the mall continued to adapt, with the space being replaced by The Captain’s Boil, a Canadian-based seafood restaurant, in 2022. Round One Entertainment was also added in 2021, enhancing the mall’s entertainment options.

Throughout these changes, Cumberland Mall has remained a significant player in Atlanta’s retail scene, continuously adapting to meet the evolving needs of its customers. Its ability to reinvent itself in the face of retail industry shifts and economic challenges showcases its resilience and enduring appeal.

The Anchors of Cumberland Mall


Macy’s has been a cornerstone of Cumberland Mall since its inception, albeit initially under Davison’s. The store’s journey as Macy’s began in 1986, offering a wide range of products and becoming a go-to destination for shoppers.

2005, the store underwent a significant redevelopment, marking a new chapter in its history at the mall. This transformation was a physical renovation and rebranding, as the store transitioned from Rich’s to the nationally recognized Macy’s brand.

This change brought a fresh identity and a broader selection of merchandise, reinforcing the store’s position as a key anchor in the mall.

Costco Wholesale

Costco Wholesale, a renowned name in bulk retailing, debuted at Cumberland Mall on November 15, 2006. The introduction of Costco was a strategic move, diversifying the mall’s retail offerings and attracting a different segment of shoppers.

Known for its vast selection of products at competitive prices, Costco added a new dimension to the mall’s retail landscape. Its presence underscored the mall’s commitment to providing a varied shopping experience, catering to traditional department store shoppers and those seeking value in bulk purchases.

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Golf Galaxy

In a significant development on August 21, 2020, Cumberland Mall welcomed Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy. Occupying the upper level of the former Sears building, this dual-store concept brought new energy to the mall.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, with its wide range of athletic and outdoor gear, and Golf Galaxy, specializing in golf equipment and apparel, together created a haven for sports enthusiasts. Their addition to the mall reflected the evolving consumer interests, focusing on health, fitness, and outdoor activities.

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness opened its doors at Cumberland Mall on September 1, 2020. This fitness center was more than just a gym; it represented a shift towards lifestyle-oriented retailing. Its presence in the mall offered convenience to shoppers looking to integrate fitness into their daily routines.

Including Planet Fitness in the mall’s tenant mix was a strategic move, aligning with the growing trend of incorporating health and wellness into shopping centers.

Round One Entertainment

2021 saw the introduction of Round One Entertainment to Cumberland Mall. This entertainment venue brought a unique blend of bowling, arcade games, and karaoke, offering diverse activities for all ages.

Round One Entertainment’s presence in the mall was a testament to the shifting trends in retail, where experience and entertainment have become as crucial as shopping itself.

This addition significantly transformed the mall into a multi-purpose destination, appealing to a broader audience seeking entertainment and leisure options.

The Evolution of Retail in Cumberland Mall

Changing Retail Landscape

Over the years, Cumberland Mall has witnessed a significant transformation in its retail landscape. The mall has continuously adapted to the changing retail trends, embracing new store formats and concepts.

This evolution reflects the mall’s responsiveness to consumer preferences and the dynamic nature of the retail industry. The shift has been towards creating a more diverse and engaging shopping environment, offering a mix of traditional and contemporary retail experiences.

Current Tenants

As of 2024, Cumberland Mall boasts many tenants, catering to various consumer needs and preferences. The mall’s tenant mix includes fashion retailers, technology stores, and specialty shops. Notable tenants include American Eagle Outfitters, Apple, H&M, and Sephora.

These stores offer a range of products, from trendy apparel and accessories to the latest gadgets and beauty products. The diversity of the mall’s tenants is a key factor in its ability to attract a broad spectrum of shoppers.

Impact of Online Shopping

The rise of online shopping has significantly influenced the retail strategy at Cumberland Mall. In response to this digital shift, the mall has adapted by integrating experiences that can’t be replicated online.

This includes focusing on stores that offer hands-on experiences, like Build-A-Bear Workshop and Apple, where customers can engage with products directly. Additionally, the mall has emphasized the importance of creating an inviting atmosphere, encouraging visitors to spend time beyond just shopping.

This strategy acknowledges the growing trend of experiential retail, where the physical space of the mall becomes a destination, offering unique experiences that complement traditional shopping.

Dining Options at Cumberland Mall

Diverse Culinary Experiences

Cumberland Mall offers various dining options, catering to multiple tastes and preferences. The mall’s food landscape has evolved significantly, providing visitors with different culinary experiences.

From quick bites to sit-down meals, the options are diverse. This variety not only enhances the shopping experience but also positions the mall as a dining destination in its own right.

Among the popular dining spots, The Cheesecake Factory stands out with its extensive menu and iconic cheesecakes. Maggiano’s Little Italy tastes Italian-American cuisine, while P.F. Chang’s China Bistro brings Asian flavors to the table.

For those seeking casual dining, Buffalo Wild Wings is a go-to for sports enthusiasts, and Chick-fil-A offers quick and beloved chicken-based meals. These eateries and others like Cinnabon and Starbucks provide a comprehensive dining experience, meeting the needs of various customers, whether they’re looking for a quick snack or a leisurely meal.

The Role of Food in Mall Culture

These dining options play a significant role in the overall mall culture. They serve as convenient stops for hungry shoppers and as social gathering spots, enhancing the communal aspect of the mall.

The food court and standalone restaurants offer spaces where people can relax, meet, and socialize, adding an important dimension to the traditional shopping experience.

This integration of dining into the mall setting reflects a broader trend in retail, where shopping centers are becoming lifestyle hubs, offering a blend of retail, dining, and entertainment.

Recent Developments and Challenges

COVID-19 Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic, which swept the globe in 2020, profoundly impacted Cumberland Mall. The mall had to navigate unprecedented challenges, including temporary closures and reduced foot traffic.

In response, Cumberland Mall implemented various safety measures and adapted its operations to comply with health guidelines. This period also saw an acceleration in the integration of digital and contactless services, catering to the needs of cautious consumers and ensuring a safer shopping environment.

Security Concerns

In recent years, Cumberland Mall has faced security challenges, including isolated incidents that raised concerns among shoppers and tenants. The mall management has strengthened security measures, including increased surveillance and a visible security presence.

These efforts aim to ensure all visitors’ and staff’s safety and well-being, reinforcing the mall’s commitment to providing a secure shopping and leisure environment.


Reflecting on Cumberland Mall’s Journey

As we look back at the evolution of Cumberland Mall, it’s clear that this iconic shopping center has continually adapted to the changing landscapes of retail, dining, and entertainment. From its inception in 1973 as Georgia’s largest shopping mall, Cumberland Mall has grown and transformed, responding to the needs and preferences of its visitors.

The mall’s ability to evolve, whether through introducing new stores, expanding dining options, or integrating entertainment and leisure activities, has kept it relevant and vibrant in an ever-changing retail world.

The Future of Cumberland Mall

Looking ahead, Cumberland Mall stands at a crossroads of opportunity and challenge. The retail industry continues to evolve rapidly, influenced by technological advancements and shifting consumer behaviors.

Cumberland Mall’s future success will depend on its ability to continue adapting to these changes while maintaining its core identity as a community hub. The mall’s management, aware of these dynamics, is poised to innovate and enhance the customer experience, ensuring that Cumberland Mall remains a key destination in Atlanta’s retail and social landscape.

A Hub for Community and Commerce

Cumberland Mall is more than just a shopping center; it’s a community landmark that brings together people from all walks of life. Its ongoing commitment to providing a safe, engaging, and diverse environment makes it a microcosm of the community it serves.

As Cumberland Mall moves forward, it will undoubtedly play a significant role in Atlanta’s economic, social, and cultural fabric, adapting to the times while remaining a beloved destination for generations.

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