The Evolution of Deptford Mall
In August 1975, Deptford Mall opened its doors for the first time, marking a significant milestone as the first major shopping center in southern New Jersey, south of the Raritan River.
Developed by Strouse Greenberg and now managed and owned by Macerich, this mall set the stage for a new era of retail in the region. Initially, the mall featured three anchor stores, Sears, Bamberger’s, and Wanamaker’s, alongside over 150 specialty stores, offering a wide range of shopping options to the community.
The transformation of these anchor stores over the years reflects the mall’s ability to adapt and evolve with the retail industry. Bamberger’s, one of the original anchors, transitioned to Macy’s in 1986, a change that signified the mall’s ongoing relevance and appeal.
The Wanamaker’s store underwent several changes, becoming Hecht’s in 1995 and Strawbridge’s in 1996 after its acquisition by May Department Stores.
This store’s journey continued; in 2006, following Federated Department Stores’ acquisition of May Department Stores, Strawbridge’s was replaced by Boscov’s, adding another chapter to the mall’s rich history.
The mall’s landscape continued to evolve in 2001 with the addition of JCPenney as a fourth anchor, further expanding its retail offerings.
This period also saw significant renovations and expansions that helped modernize the mall and enhance the shopping experience for visitors. The early 2000s renovation included the introduction of new escalators and an elevator, improving accessibility and flow within the mall.
Replacing the mall’s flooring and adding new seating in the food court were part of efforts to create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for shoppers.
Deptford Mall’s ability to adapt to changing times and consumer preferences has helped it maintain its status as a key shopping destination in Gloucester County.
With a gross leasable area of 1,040,000 square feet, it is the county’s largest mall and among the top eleven in New Jersey. Its comprehensive retail, dining, and entertainment mix continues to attract visitors, making it a vibrant community hub.
The Deptford Mall remains a focal point for those looking for things to do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It offers a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences to suit all ages and interests.
Current Anchors and Their Stories
Deptford Mall is anchored by several major retailers, each with its unique story within its ecosystem.
Macy’s stands as a testament to the mall’s evolving retail landscape. Originally opened as Bamberger’s in 1975, the store was rebranded to Macy’s in 1986, reflecting a broader shift in the retail industry towards national brand consolidation.
Today, Macy’s continues to serve as a cornerstone of the mall, offering a wide range of clothing, accessories, and home goods.
JCPenney became the mall’s fourth anchor in August 2001, marking a significant expansion of its retail offerings.
JCPenney’s addition filled a market gap, providing shoppers with affordable fashion and home decor options. Its establishment within Deptford Mall underscored its status as a regional shopping destination.
Boscov’s entered the scene in 2006, taking over the space previously occupied by Strawbridge’s. This transition preserved the mall’s anchor diversity.
It introduced a new variety of products and services, from clothing and jewelry to home appliances, further enriching the shopping experience at Deptford Mall.
Dick’s Sporting Goods made a bold move in 2020 by opening in the lower level of the former Sears building. This strategic relocation from across the street to within the mall brought fresh energy, offering sports enthusiasts a vast selection of sports gear and apparel.
Round One Entertainment, which opened in 2020, occupies the upper level of the former Sears space.
This entertainment complex, featuring bowling, arcade games, and karaoke, has added a dynamic new dimension to the mall. It blends retail with leisure to create a more integrated experience for visitors.
While not directly inside the main mall structure, Crunch Fitness plays a crucial role in the Deptford Mall’s broader retail and service ecosystem.
Located on the outskirts of the mall’s property, Crunch Fitness offers a comprehensive fitness experience with state-of-the-art equipment, personal training services, and a variety of classes.
This fitness center attracts a steady flow of visitors, contributing to the mall’s appeal as a shopping health and wellness destination. Its presence underscores the mall’s commitment to providing diverse amenities that cater to the lifestyle needs of its patrons.
Notable Stores by Category
Deptford Mall boasts diverse stores, catering to a wide range of tastes and needs beyond its anchor tenants.
In apparel, shoppers can find everything from casual wear at American Eagle Outfitters and Forever 21 to more specialized offerings like H&M for fast fashion trends and LOFT for sophisticated women’s clothing.
Hot Topic offers niche pop culture and music-inspired apparel, while Foot Locker and Champs Sports provide a comprehensive selection of athletic footwear and apparel.
Electronics enthusiasts are still wanting, with stores like GameStop offering the latest in video games and consoles. For those looking for mobile phones and accessories, T-Mobile and AT&T have storefronts within the mall, ensuring connectivity options for all.
The mall also features various specialty stores catering to specific interests and needs. Build-A-Bear Workshop offers a unique interactive experience for children and families, allowing them to create customized stuffed animals.
Sephora and Ulta Beauty offer beauty enthusiasts various cosmetics, skincare, and fragrance products. Yankee Candle provides an array of scented candles and home fragrance solutions for those interested in home decor.
This mix of stores, from fashion and electronics to specialty retail, ensures that Deptford Mall remains a one-stop destination for shopping, offering something for everyone.
Deptford Mall offers a variety of dining options that cater to every taste, from quick snacks to sit-down meals.
Auntie Anne’s and its combo store, Auntie Anne’s / Ginny’s Cookies & Cream, provide shoppers with a delightful selection of pretzels, lemonades, and sweet treats, perfect for a quick energy boost while shopping.
For those craving something sweet, Cinnabon offers its famous cinnamon rolls, a must-have for mall-goers.
For coffee lovers, Starbucks serves a wide range of coffee and espresso drinks, pastries, and light snacks. This popular coffee shop is a great spot for friends to gather or for shoppers to take a break.
When it comes to meals, Charleys Philly Steaks offers hearty sandwiches and fries, while Chick-fil-A is known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.
For a more sit-down dining experience, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers provides a wide selection of burgers and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Other notable mentions include Bubble Bear Tea for a refreshing bubble tea, California Shakes and Juice Bar for health-conscious smoothies and juices, and Pizza Zeppoli for Italian favorites.
Master Wok offers a taste of Asian cuisine with its stir-fry dishes, making the food court at Deptford Mall a melting pot of flavors and dining experiences.
In 2023, the Deptford Mall welcomed a unique addition to its retail and entertainment offerings. The Bonesaw Pilot House Brewery opened its doors, extending the local craft beer scene into the bustling environment of one of South Jersey’s prominent shopping centers.
This new venture by the Bonesaw Brewery team, originally from Glassboro, NJ, signifies a notable expansion into a more diverse consumer space, blending retail with craft beer culture in a novel way.
The Pilot House stands out with its aviation-themed décor and is equipped with a 15bbl system featuring state-of-the-art technology. With two sets of taps offering 20 different choices each, patrons have a wide range of craft beers to explore.
This addition to the Deptford Mall enhances the mall’s appeal and contributes to the local economy by attracting craft beer enthusiasts to the area.
Entertainment and Leisure
Deptford Mall isn’t just about shopping; it’s also a place for entertainment and leisure. Round One Entertainment, located in the former upper level of Sears, is a major attraction, offering a variety of activities, including bowling, arcade games, and karaoke.
This entertainment hub is perfect for families, friends, and anyone looking to have fun and unwind.
For movie enthusiasts, the nearby AMC Theatres provides the latest blockbusters in a state-of-the-art cinema experience, making it a popular destination for movie nights and special occasions.
The mall also hosts seasonal events and activities that add to the entertainment value, from holiday-themed events to summer fun activities for kids.
These events provide entertainment and foster a sense of community among shoppers and visitors, making Deptford Mall a central gathering place in the area.
Community Events and Mall Initiatives
Deptford Mall is more than just a shopping center; it’s a vibrant community hub that hosts various events and initiatives throughout the year.
These activities range from holiday celebrations to charity events, making the mall a central gathering place for the local community.
During the holiday season, the mall transforms into a winter wonderland with festive decorations and events like Santa’s Workshop, where families can take photos with Santa Claus.
Easter has its celebration, with an Easter Bunny photo op that has become a tradition for many families.
The mall also participates in charitable initiatives, such as food drives and fundraising events for local charities. These events support worthwhile causes and strengthen the bond between the mall and the Deptford community.
By hosting these diverse events, Deptford Mall reinforces its role as a key player in the community, offering more than just shopping but also a place for people to come together and celebrate various occasions and causes.
Policy Changes at Deptford Mall
In recent times, the Deptford Mall in Deptford Township, NJ, has seen its share of challenges related to crime and fights, leading to significant policy changes to ensure the safety and comfort of its patrons.
This policy mandates that visitors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult aged 25 or older during specific times. The policy is in effect from 5 pm on Fridays through the mall’s closing on Sundays and applies specifically to the mall’s common areas.
This measure aims to curb unruly behavior and ensure a safe, enjoyable environment for all mall visitors. It reflects a growing trend among shopping centers to implement stricter rules regarding youth supervision to maintain order and security within their premises.