The Mall of New Hampshire: A Manchester, NH, Landmark

Nestled in the Lower South Willow neighborhood of Manchester, NH, The Mall of New Hampshire is a testament to the evolution of retail and community.

With its major anchoring stores like JCPenney, Macy’s, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Old Navy, and Dave & Buster’s, it’s more than just a shopping destination. It’s a place where memories are made, families come together, and history has been shaped.

The Mall of New Hampshire: Historical Background

The Mall of New Hampshire opened in August 1977, marking a significant milestone as the state’s first large-scale shopping mall. Anchored by Filene’s, Sears, and Lechmere, it quickly became a hub for shoppers seeking variety and convenience.

In the late 1990s, the mall underwent a massive expansion and remodeling. Sears was expanded, and the original Filene’s was relocated to a newly built store, doubling its size.

The former Filene’s building was torn down and replaced with a 2-level JCPenney. The Lechmere closed in 1997, giving way to Best Buy and Kitchen ETC.

The food court, too, saw a transformation. Renovated in early 1998, it became a 550-seat food court, offering many dining options. These changes modernized the mall and breathed new life into it, attracting more visitors and enhancing the shopping experience.

Major Renovations and Changes

The turn of the century brought more changes to the mall. In 2006, due to the Federated/May merger, all of Filene’s locations, including the one at the mall, were closed, with most of them changing over to Macy’s, including the Mall of New Hampshire location.

In April 2013, JCPenney underwent another significant renovation, adding a Sephora to its store. This addition was more than just a facelift; it was a strategic move to draw customers from other locations and offer them something unique.

The mall’s ability to adapt and evolve is evident in its continuous renovations and changes. It’s not just about keeping up with trends; it’s about anticipating them and staying ahead of the curve.

The Mall of New Hampshire has managed to do just that, maintaining its relevance and appeal to shoppers of all ages.

Recent Developments

Recent years have seen even more transformations. In 2015, Sears Holdings spun off 235 properties, including the Sears at Mall of New Hampshire, into Seritage Growth Properties. The store closed in November 2018, making way for Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dave & Buster’s.

Dave & Buster’s opening, initially planned for March 30, 2020, was postponed to August 24, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This delay reflected the challenges retail spaces face in adapting to unprecedented circumstances.

These developments are not just about replacing old with new; they are about reimagining spaces and creating new experiences. The former Sears Auto Center’s demolition for more parking spaces is a testament to the mall’s commitment to customer convenience and satisfaction.

Economic Impact and Influence

The Mall of New Hampshire’s influence extends beyond the borders of New Hampshire. Its strategic location has allowed it to draw a significant portion of its customer base from Massachusetts and neighboring Maine and Vermont residents. The lack of sales tax in New Hampshire has been a magnet for shoppers, boosting the local economy.

As a major shopping destination in south-central New Hampshire, the mall has become a symbol of retail success, adapting to market trends and consumer needs.

The mall’s economic impact is not just about numbers and sales; it’s about community engagement, job creation, and being part of Manchester’s social and economic life.

Current Tenants and Facilities

With 120 stores and a large food court, The Mall of New Hampshire offers something for everyone. From fashion to electronics, dining to entertainment, it’s a place where shopping meets leisure.

Major anchoring stores like Macy’s, Old Navy, JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, and Dave & Buster’s provide a diverse shopping experience. The mall’s layout and design cater to the needs of modern shoppers, offering convenience and variety under one roof.

The mall’s continuous effort to enhance the shopping experience is evident in its tenant mix and facilities. It’s not just about shopping; it’s about creating memories, spending quality time with loved ones, and enjoying what the mall offers.

Conclusion

The Mall of New Hampshire is more than a shopping mall; it’s a part of Manchester’s history and culture. From its inception in 1977 to its continuous evolution, it has been a place where people come together, trends are set, and memories are made.

Its ability to adapt, innovate, and stay relevant is a testament to its success. It’s a place that resonates with nostalgia for those who remember the closed or demolished stores and inspires excitement for the active ones.

The Mall of New Hampshire is not just a place to shop but to live, laugh, and love. It’s a symbol of community, resilience, and innovation. It’s a place that continues to inspire and delight, standing tall as a beacon of retail excellence.

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