Florence Mall in Florence, KY – Find Everything You Need

Opening and Development

Florence Mall opened in 1976. Homart Development Company built the mall along Interstate 75, just south of Kentucky Route 18. The original anchor stores were Sears, JCPenney, Pogue’s, and Shillito’s. Sears opened first on March 10, 1976.

Six months later, the mall itself opened, featuring 87 stores. Pogue’s served as the second anchor store. The following year, Shillito’s was added, and in 1978, JCPenney joined as the fourth anchor.

Florence Mall’s opening sparked a retail boom in the area. The surrounding region saw an influx of new stores and businesses, which cemented Florence’s status as a key retail hub for northern Kentucky.

The mall’s strategic location along a major interstate also played a crucial role in attracting shoppers and retailers alike. Florence Mall quickly became a popular destination for shopping and things to do in Florence, KY.

The development of Florence Mall led to the construction of additional infrastructure. Roads and public transit options expanded to accommodate the growing number of visitors. The mall’s success encouraged further investments in the area, boosting the local economy. Florence Mall’s early years set the stage for its long-term impact on the region’s retail landscape.

Early Expansion and Changes

In the late 1970s, Florence Mall began to grow. Sears stayed as an anchor store from the start. Meanwhile, Shillito’s merged with Rike’s in 1982. This merger created the Shillito-Rike’s brand, which lasted until 1986.

In 1983, Pogue’s became L.S. Ayres. Five years later, L.S. Ayres sold its store to Hess’s. These transitions kept the mall dynamic.

The mid-1980s brought more changes. The food court underwent a renovation to enhance the dining experience.

Each change in anchor stores and renovations brought new energy. The mall adapted to shifting retail trends and consumer preferences. These early expansions and changes shaped the mall’s identity, making it a lively retail destination.

Florence Mall continued to attract shoppers with its evolving mix of stores. The updates and new additions kept it relevant in a competitive retail market, and by continually improving, it remained a central part of the shopping landscape in northern Kentucky.

Anchor Store Transitions

The 1990s marked a period of more changes for Florence Mall. Hess’s closed its doors in 1993. A year later, Lazarus expanded into the former Hess’s space. This move reflected the fluid nature of anchor stores at the time.

During this decade, the mall invested in a major renovation project. It cost $8 million and added 64 new tenants. These changes refreshed the mall, attracting visitors and enhancing the shopping experience.

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General Growth Properties and the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois acquired the mall in 2003.

Before the acquisition, General Growth had managed the mall for several years. This change in ownership brought new management strategies and continued improvements.

In 2003, the Lazarus stores transitioned to Lazarus-Macy’s. By 2005, they rebranded to just Macy’s. The food court saw another renovation in 2004. These anchor store transitions and renovations kept Florence Mall vibrant and appealing to shoppers.

On August 22, 2018, Sears announced its closure, and by November 2018, the store had closed its doors. This closure left a vacancy among the mall’s anchor stores, which had been part of it since its opening.

Ownership Changes

Florence Mall’s ownership has changed hands several times. In 2003, General Growth Properties acquired the mall from the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois.

General Growth had already managed the mall for years, so this acquisition felt like a natural progression.

In 2021, Brookfield Properties sold the mall, and JLL took over management. This sale marked another chapter in the mall’s history, bringing new management and fresh strategies to keep it thriving.

Another ownership change occurred on June 15, 2022. Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group bought the mall.

Mason Asset Management focused on leasing, while Namdar took over day-to-day management. This dual management approach aimed to enhance the mall’s operations and customer experience.

Each ownership change brought new perspectives and improvements. These changes ensured Florence Mall stayed relevant and appealing to shoppers. The frequent updates and renovations kept the mall a vibrant part of the local retail scene.

Florence Y’all Water Tower

In 1974, two years before the mall opened, the Florence Y’all Water Tower became a landmark. Initially, the tower read “Florence Mall.”

However, this commercial message broke the law since the mall hadn’t opened yet. The city had to find a quick solution.

The mayor at the time, C.M. “Hop” Ewing, came up with an idea. By changing the “M” to a “Y” and adding an apostrophe, the message became “Florence Y’all.” This change turned a legal issue into a quirky local icon.

The Florence Y’all Water Tower stands as a symbol of the city. It welcomes visitors and has become a notable feature of the area. It’s more than just a water tower; it’s a piece of local culture.

This clever alteration to the water tower reflects the community’s creativity and resourcefulness. It remains an endearing part of Florence’s identity and a must-see for those exploring Florence, KY.

Florence Mall: Famous Stores by Category

Fashion and Apparel

Florence Mall hosts a variety of well-known fashion and apparel stores. Aerie, Aéropostale, and American Eagle Outfitters offer trendy clothing and accessories for young adults.

Forever 21 provides a broad selection of affordable, fashionable clothing, while maurices cater to women looking for stylish, everyday wear.

Buckle and Journeys focuses on footwear and casual apparel, appealing to younger shoppers.

Hot Topic offers a mix of pop culture merchandise, clothing, and accessories. Torrid specializes in plus-size fashion, providing stylish options for all body types.

Jewelry and Accessories

The mall also features several well-known jewelry and accessory stores. Kay Jewelers and Zales are popular destinations for fine jewelry, including engagement rings and other special occasion pieces.

Banter by Piercing Pagoda offers body jewelry and piercing services, catering to those looking to add a personal touch to their style.

Lids specializes in hats and headwear, offering a variety of styles and brands. Claire’s provides a wide range of accessories, jewelry, and beauty products, making it a favorite among young girls and teens.

Spencer’s offers a mix of novelty items, accessories, and apparel, focusing on pop culture and humor.


For footwear, Florence Mall includes Finish Line and Foot Locker, which offer a wide selection of athletic shoes and sports apparel.

Kids Foot Locker focuses on footwear for children, ensuring stylish and comfortable options for younger shoppers.

SHOE DEPT. ENCORE provides a broad selection of shoes for the entire family, from casual to formal.

Specialty Stores

Florence Mall is home to several specialty stores that cater to specific interests. Build-A-Bear Workshop® allows children and adults to create custom stuffed animals, making it a popular destination for family outings and gifts.

GameStop is a go-to store for video games, consoles, and gaming accessories, appealing to gamers of all ages.

Crypto Dispensers Bitcoin ATMs offers access to cryptocurrency services, reflecting the growing interest in digital finance.

Custom T-Shirts provides personalized apparel, allowing shoppers to design their clothing items.

Miracle Eyebrows offers eyebrow threading and other beauty services, catering to those looking for quick and effective beauty treatments.

Home and Gifts

In the home and gifts category, Hallmark offers a variety of greeting cards, gifts, and home décor items, making it a one-stop shop for special occasions.

White Barn Candle Co. specializes in candles and home fragrance products, providing shoppers various scents to enhance their living spaces.

Latest News and Incidents

Florence Mall hosted the 2023 Community Summer Concert Series, starting on June 16. These events featured live music and entertainment and drew large crowds.

The series included multiple dates throughout the summer, providing a regular venue for local entertainment.

The mall also hosted the Public Works Night Out on May 21, 2024. Events like these drew locals to the mall, offering activities and fostering a sense of community. Such events highlighted the mall’s role beyond just a shopping center.

On January 3, 2024, a transformer malfunction caused a fire at Florence Mall. The fire department responded quickly, ensuring the safety of visitors and staff.

After the transformer fire, Florence Mall has proactively improved safety measures. Regular inspections and upgrades to the electrical system are part of the mall’s efforts to ensure a safe environment for shoppers and employees.

These updates show Florence Mall’s resilience and adaptability. The mall continues to attract new tenants, host community events, prioritize safety, and maintain its role as a central hub in Florence, KY.

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