Neshaminy Mall: Revival or Relic in Bensalem Township, PA?

The Glory Days of Neshaminy Mall

Ah, the good old days! Neshaminy Mall was once the crown jewel of Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania.

Imagine walking into a bustling hub of activity, where the air was filled with the scent of fresh pretzels, and the latest fashion trends were just a store away.

This mall epitomizes the American dream, where families and friends gather for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

“This is where memories are made,” one could often hear shoppers say as they navigated through the maze of stores.

In its heyday, the mall was home to many stores and boutiques that drew crowds from all over the state. You can find anything from the latest gadgets to designer clothes. It was where you could spend an entire day and still feel like you hadn’t seen it all.

Moving on, the mall wasn’t just about shopping; it was an experience. With its indoor fountains and mesmerizing architecture, it was a sight to behold.

In contrast, the mall today is a shadow of its former self. But before we delve into its current state, let’s take a moment to appreciate what it once was.

Neshaminy Mall was the place to be, a symbol of prosperity and community gathering.”

Moreover, the mall was a social hub. Before the era of social media, this was where you met up with friends, bumped into neighbors, and even made new acquaintances.

The food court was a melting pot of aromas, where you could savor a slice of pizza one moment and enjoy a sushi roll the next. Ah, those were the days!

Neshaminy Mall entrance
Neshaminy Mall entrance” by Dough4872 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Turning Point for Neshaminy Mall

So, what happened? Why did this once-thriving mall turn into what many consider a dying establishment? Well, the advent of online shopping played a significant role.

As more people turned to their computers and smartphones for retail therapy, foot traffic at the mall began to dwindle.

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Additionally, the rise of other nearby shopping centers added to the competition. Consumers now had more options, and sadly, Neshaminy Mall lost its appeal.

The mall tried to adapt by bringing in new types of stores and hosting events, but the magic was fading.

The decline wasn’t overnight. The gradual process saw the mall lose shoppers and key tenants. Big-name stores started to pull out, leaving empty storefronts that became an all-too-common sight.

The turning point was undeniable. “It’s like watching a star fade away, still visible but losing its shine,” a local business owner remarks. And so, the mall that was once the heart of Bensalem Township found itself struggling to stay relevant.

Furthermore, the mall’s management tried various strategies to stem the tide. From offering discounts to organizing special events, they pulled out all the stops. But despite these efforts, the mall continued its downward spiral.

Major Store Closures at Neshaminy Mall

Store Year Closed
Lit Brothers 1977
The Bon-Ton 1994
Macy’s 2017
Sears 2019

The Current Tenants: A Mixed Bag

Fast forward to today, and the tenant list is, let’s say, eclectic. The mall has become a mixed bag of retail and services, from 3D Frames and Tin Signs to Adriatic Pizza and AMC Theatres.

While it’s great that businesses are still willing to set up shop here, the diversity—or lack thereof—speaks volumes about the mall’s current state.

You’ll find stores like Bath & Body Works and Barnes & Noble Book Sellers, which give a glimmer of the mall’s former glory. But then there are less conventional tenants like EcoATM and Philly Pop Up Weddings that make you wonder, “Is this the same mall?”

In contrast, some tenants have stood the test of time. Boscov’s, for instance, remains a staple, continuing to attract a loyal customer base. Boscov’s is like an old friend—always there when you need it.

Additionally, the mall has seen an influx of niche stores and services. From Master Brows to MobileXpress, these smaller tenants are trying to carve out a space.

While they may not draw the crowds that the big-name stores once did, they add a unique flavor to the mall. It’s like a treasure hunt—you never know what you’ll find.

Some Retailers at Neshaminy Mall

Retailer Description
AMC Theatres Movie theater
Adriatic Pizza Local pizzeria offering delicious pizza
Aéropostale Trendy clothing and accessories for teens
Barnes & Noble Booksellers Books, magazines, and related merchandise
Bath & Body Works Personal care products and home fragrances
Boscov’s The department store offers a wide range of goods
GameStop Video games, consoles, and accessories
Hot Topic Pop culture-inspired clothing and accessories
Kay Jewelers Fine jewelry and watches
Shoe Carnival Footwear for men, women, and children
Spencer’s Gifts Novelty and gag gifts, clothing, and accessories
T-Mobile Mobile phones, plans, and accessories
Torrid Plus-size fashion for women
Uno Chicago Grill Casual dining restaurant with deep-dish pizza
Vans Skate-inspired footwear and apparel
Verizon Wireless Mobile phones, plans, and accessories
Zen Spa Relaxing spa services and treatments

Neshaminy Mall and Community Engagement

The mall hasn’t given up, though. Over the years, it has tried various tactics to re-engage the community. From hosting farmers’ markets to organizing holiday events, efforts have been made to bring back the crowds.

However, these initiatives have had mixed results. While some events have successfully drawn people, others have failed to make a significant impact.

The mall has even tried reinventing itself as a venue for things to do in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania. The Neshaminy Mall Carnival for 2023 was a family-friendly event that had something for everyone.

The carnival featured thrilling midway rides, games, and various fair food. One of the highlights was the Big Bee Transforming Robot Car, adding a touch of spectacle to the event.

The carnival also offered ride tickets at varying prices, with online pre-sale specials available. In addition to rides, the carnival had coupon savings for food and ride wristbands, making it a budget-friendly outing.

Moreover, the mall has also tried to attract more visitors by hosting events like gaming tournaments, pop-up shops, and circus.

The Paranormal Cirque has made its way to Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem Township. This isn’t your typical circus; it blends circus acts, theatre, and cabaret elements to create a unique experience.

The event takes place under a big top tent in the mall’s parking lot and features a range of performers, including acrobats, illusionists, and other mysterious creatures. The show aims to evoke a mix of emotions, from fun to uninhibited fear, in a dark world inhabited by talented circus artists.

The Economic Impact of Neshaminy Mall’s Decline

The decline of the mall has had ripple effects on the local economy. Property values in the vicinity have taken a hit, and many small businesses that rely on mall traffic have had to shut their doors. Redevelopment plans have been discussed, but nothing concrete has materialized.

While the mall’s decline is a cause for concern, it also presents an opportunity for reinvention. Could the space be repurposed for something other than retail?

Could it become a mixed-use development that includes housing, offices, and entertainment venues? These are questions that the community and stakeholders need to consider.

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted various sectors, including retail and entertainment. One of the most significant changes induced by the pandemic was canceling plans to redevelop the former Sears anchor into a Round One Entertainment space.

This was a setback not just for the mall but also for the community that was looking forward to new entertainment options.

The future of Neshaminy Mall is uncertain, but it’s clear that something needs to be done. On the flip side, the mall’s decline has also sparked conversations about sustainable development and community planning. The saying goes, “In every crisis, there’s an opportunity.”

Neshaminy Mall
Neshaminy Mall, Bensalem” by the bridge is licensed under CC BY 2.0


So there you have it—the rise, fall, and lingering questions surrounding Neshaminy Mall. It’s a tale of glory days gone by and uncertain futures, reflecting broader trends affecting retail spaces across America.

But one thing’s for sure: Neshaminy Mall will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who remember its heyday. It’s not just a mall but part of Township’s history.

In wrapping up, let’s not forget that Neshaminy Mall is still standing. While it may be a shadow of its former self, it’s a testament to the community’s resilience and the enduring allure of physical retail spaces.

So, the next time you find yourself reminiscing about the mall’s glory days, remember that it’s not over till it’s over. The final chapter has yet to be written.

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Comments: 2
  1. Avatar of Mike

    I have fond memories of going to Neshaminy Mall back in the day when it would be so crowded that you would barely be able to get through the place. Unfortunately, fast-forward to today and the place is a ghost town — every day of the week! What happened? Internet shopping AND a changing demographic have teamed up to beat up the Mall. What happens next? Depends on how content the Mall operator is with the receipts coming in. Maybe Boscov’s and AMC are paying enough in rent for the bosses to say ‘okay, fine… we’ll keep the place’ or maybe they are planning to sell or re-develop the property soon? Who really knows?

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Thank you for sharing your memories of Neshaminy Mall. It’s interesting to see how times have changed. The impact of online shopping and demographic shifts is critical. The future of malls like Neshaminy is indeed an intriguing question.

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