The Dawn of Cumberland Mall: A New Era in Shopping
In the heart of Vineland, New Jersey, Cumberland Mall has been a central hub for shoppers since 1973. The Rubin Organization was responsible for its inception, transforming a junction at Route 47 and Route 55 into a bustling shopping center.
Upon opening, Cumberland Mall’s original anchor stores included Bradlees, Gaudio’s, Pathmark, and Wilmington Dry Goods. These stores played a pivotal role in attracting shoppers to the mall.
However, as the years rolled on, these anchor stores transitioned and evolved, mirroring the changing retail landscape. Gaudio’s transformed into JCPenney, Pathmark into Toys “R” Us, and Wilmington Dry Goods into Value City.
But despite the arrival of these famous retail giants, Cumberland Mall faced a decline in occupancy during the 1990s, a challenge that spurred a significant transformation.
The Phoenix Phase: Revitalizing Cumberland Mall
At the brink of a new millennium, Cumberland Mall underwent a comprehensive renovation to combat declining occupancy rates.
This ambitious project saw the addition of Boscov’s, an expansion of the JCPenney store, and a reconfiguration of the main mall concourse. The new design breathed new life into the mall, setting the stage for a brighter future.
The mall continued to expand its offerings in 1998 with the addition of The Home Depot and Regal Cinemas. These brands opened their doors on outparcels, broadening the mall’s appeal beyond traditional retail.
The surrounding area also saw growth with the opening of BJ’s Wholesale Club in 2003 and Best Buy in 2006. These developments were instrumental in restoring Cumberland Mall to its former glory and re-establishing its position as a go-to shopping destination.
The Winds of Change: Transitioning Tenants
Despite the successful revitalization, Cumberland Mall was not immune to the ebb and flow of retail trends. As a result, the first decade of the 2000s saw several notable changes in its tenant lineup.
Value City, which had occupied the former Wilmington Dry Goods space, ceased operations in 2009. This vacancy was quickly filled by Burlington Coat Factory, a testament to the mall’s appeal and resilience.
However, the changes did not stop there. In 2015, JCPenney, which had been a staple of the mall since Gaudio’s transition, announced its closure. This was part of a broader initiative to shutter underperforming stores nationwide.
Three years later, in 2018, Bed Bath and Beyond, a tenant since 2002, also closed its doors due to leasing issues.
By 2021, Burlington followed suit and went out of business, leaving another vacancy at the mall. However, Cumberland Mall quickly adapted, with the vacant department store space being leased by Power Warehouse. This distribution center now handles outgoing business orders inside and outside the mall.
A New Chapter: Cumberland Mall Under New Ownership
A significant change occurred in the story of Cumberland Mall in November 2022. The mall’s then-owner, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), sold the property to Kohan Retail Investment Group.
This transaction followed PREIT’s default on Vineland Mall’s mortgage after missing a balloon payment of $38.2 million.
The company paid off the debt when it sold the mall on October 31, 2022. Interestingly, this move came after the mall had an occupancy rate of 90.8 percent at the end of 2021, making it the fourth-lowest of PREIT’s portfolio.
Today, Cumberland Mall remains a key shopping destination in Vineland, NJ. Strategically located 25 miles from its nearest competitor and en route to the Southern New Jersey Shore Points, it continues serving the local community.
Its anchor stores now include Boscov’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls, Michaels, and HomeGoods. Cumberland Mall is a testament to resilience, adaptation, and growth, standing proud as an iconic landmark in Vineland, NJ.
Conclusion: The Cumberland Mall Story Continues
The tale of Cumberland Mall is a story of transformation, adaptation, and resilience. Over the decades, it has evolved, weathered the storm of changing retail trends, and emerged stronger. Each chapter of its history shows the retail industry’s dynamism and the local community’s resilience.
As Cumberland Mall stands today, under the new ownership of Kohan Retail Investment Group, it continues to serve as a central hub for shoppers in Vineland, NJ. But its story is far from over, and as it opens its doors each day, it continues to write new chapters in its rich history.