The Ever-Changing Face of Haywood Mall in Greenville, SC

The Inception of Haywood Mall

Haywood Mall opened its doors on July 30, 1980, becoming a landmark in Greenville, South Carolina. The mall resulted from a joint venture between Cousins Properties and Monumental Properties, known as Haywood Mall Associates. The initial announcement in 1978 stirred excitement among the locals, as the mall promised to bring a new shopping experience to the area.

The mall’s original anchor stores—Sears, JCPenney, Rich’s, and Belk-Simpson—were significant players in the retail industry. Their relocation to Haywood Mall was a strategic move that contributed to its success. The mall was designed to be more than just a shopping destination; it aimed to be a community hub where people could gather, dine, and entertain themselves.

Over the years, the mall has lived up to this vision, becoming integral to Greenville’s social and economic fabric. With its wide range of stores and services, it has become a go-to place for shopping, dining, and entertainment for the residents of Greenville and beyond.

The mall’s strategic location at the intersection of Haywood Road and I-385/Golden Strip Freeway has also played a significant role in its success. Easily accessible from various parts of the city, it has attracted steady visitors since its opening.

Evolution Over the Years

Since its opening, Haywood Mall has seen numerous changes to keep up with the evolving retail landscape. One of the most significant additions was Dillard’s in 1995, which led to the construction of a new wing in the mall.

This expansion increased the mall’s retail space and increased foot traffic. Adding Dillard’s was a strategic move that helped the mall attract a more upscale clientele, diversifying its customer base.

The closure of Sears in April 2020 was another pivotal moment, signaling the end of an era but also opening up opportunities for new tenants and experiences. The vacant space left by Sears has been a topic of speculation, with many wondering what will fill this sizeable retail gap.

Haywood Mall
Haywood Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

While no official announcements have been made, the space offers a blank canvas for potential new experiences that could further elevate the mall’s status.

In recent years, the mall has also focused on enhancing the customer experience by offering more than just shopping. Amenities like free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating areas, and family-friendly facilities have been added to make the mall more welcoming. These small but significant changes show the mall’s commitment to staying current and meeting the needs of today’s consumers.

The mall has also embraced technology to improve the shopping experience. Many stores now offer online shopping with in-store pickup, and digital directories have replaced traditional mall maps. These tech-savvy additions make shopping more convenient and show that Haywood Mall is adapting to the digital age.

The Anchor Stores: Pillars of Haywood Mall

The anchor stores have always been the backbone of Haywood Mall. Over the years, these large retail spaces have changed, but they remain crucial to the mall’s appeal. Currently, the mall is anchored by Belk, JCPenney, Dillard’s, and Macy’s. Each store offers a wide range of products, from clothing to home goods, attracting diverse customers.

Sadly, once a significant anchor, Sears closed its doors in April 2020, leaving a vacant space that has yet to be filled. The closure of Sears was a moment that marked the end of an era for many longtime visitors of the mall. However, it also opened up new possibilities for the mall to reinvent itself and stay relevant in the ever-changing retail landscape.

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The anchor stores draw in shoppers and set the tone for the mall’s atmosphere. They are often the first stores visitors see when they enter the mall, and their offerings can significantly influence the shopping experience. For instance, Dillard’s is known for its upscale clothing and home goods, setting a tone of sophistication for the mall.

The role of anchor stores extends beyond just retail. They often host events and sales that attract large crowds, contributing to the mall’s overall foot traffic. Special events at these stores can turn an ordinary shopping trip into an extraordinary experience, making them key players in the mall’s success.

Re-Opening at Dillard’s: A New Chapter

Dillard’s at Haywood Mall recently transformed, marked by a grand re-opening. This re-opening is a testament to the mall’s commitment to staying current and offering fresh experiences to its visitors. It also adds a layer of excitement for those looking for things to do in Greenville, South Carolina.

The re-opening of Dillard’s is not just about a facelift for the store; it’s also about re-energizing the mall itself. A revamped anchor store can act as a catalyst for change, encouraging other stores to update their offerings and attracting new tenants. This ripple effect can benefit the mall, creating renewed excitement and anticipation among visitors.

Dillard’s has always been known for its quality products, especially clothing and home goods. The re-opening likely signifies an expansion or refinement of these offerings, aiming to meet the evolving needs of today’s consumers. Whether it’s the latest fashion trends or chic home decor, the revamped Dillard’s is expected to elevate the shopping experience at Haywood Mall.

A Walk Through the Tenants

Haywood Mall is home to many tenants catering to various needs and preferences. From fashion retailers like American Eagle Outfitters and Banana Republic to specialty stores like the LEGO Store and Bath & Body Works, the mall offers something for everyone.

The mall’s tenant mix is carefully curated to offer a balanced shopping experience. While fashion retailers are the most prominent, the mall also houses stores specializing in electronics, beauty, and home goods. This diverse range of options ensures visitors can find almost anything they need, making the mall a one-stop shopping destination.

Specialty stores and kiosks add a unique flavor to the mall’s retail landscape. Stores like the Greenville Gemstone Mine offer an outstanding shopping experience where visitors can sift through dirt to find gemstones. Kiosks like ecoATM, where you can recycle old electronics for cash, show that the mall is not just about traditional retail but also about offering innovative and sustainable options.

Food and Entertainment

When it comes to food and entertainment, Haywood Mall doesn’t disappoint. From quick bites at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Charleys Philly Steaks to sit-down meals at The Cheesecake Factory, the mall has a wide range of dining options. Whether grabbing a coffee at Starbucks or enjoying a hearty meal, the mall’s food offerings add another layer to the shopping experience.

The mall’s food court is strategically located to offer a convenient dining option for shoppers. With a wide range of cuisines, from Asian to Italian and everything in between, the food court caters to diverse tastes. It’s not just about the food; the seating area is designed to offer a comfortable dining experience, allowing visitors to relax and recharge before continuing their shopping spree.

In addition to the food court, the mall has several standalone restaurants offering a more formal dining experience. Places like The Cheesecake Factory and Texas de Brazil provide options for those looking for a sit-down meal. These restaurants are often the go-to places for celebrations, family dinners, or date nights, adding a touch of luxury to the mall’s dining options.

Entertainment options at Haywood Mall go beyond just shopping and dining. The mall hosts various events throughout the year, from fashion shows and product launches to holiday celebrations and charity events. These events offer a break from the routine and allow the community to unite, making the mall more than just a shopping destination.

Upcoming Additions and Latest News

The mall continues to evolve, with two new retailers slated to open in the coming months. Tradehome Shoes will open in Q4 of 2023, offering a wide range of footwear. The store will occupy 2,744 sq. ft. of space on the mall’s upper level between Belk and Macy’s.

Haywood Mall
Haywood Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

On the other hand, MINISO, a variety store chain, will open its doors in Q1 of 2024. Located on the lower level between Center Court and Victoria’s Secret, the store will offer household and consumer goods, including cosmetics, kitchenware, stationery, and toys.

These new additions are part of the mall’s ongoing efforts to diversify its tenant mix and offer unique experiences to visitors. The arrival of Tradehome Shoes and MINISO is significant because they are both opening their first South Carolina locations at Haywood Mall. This adds to the mall’s appeal and reaffirms its status as a leading shopping destination in the state.

The mall’s management proactively informs the public about these new additions and other updates. Press releases, social media announcements, and in-mall signage are ways they keep the community engaged. This transparent communication helps build anticipation and ensures that the mall remains at the forefront of people’s minds when they think about shopping.

Haywood MallHaywood Mall
Haywood Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Safety Concerns and Recent Incidents

Safety is a priority at Haywood Mall. However, like any public space, the mall has had its share of incidents. A recent event involved the sound of popping balloons, leading to a brief panic among shoppers.

The mall’s security acted promptly to ensure everyone’s safety and to clarify the situation. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of being vigilant and aware of one’s surroundings while enjoying a day out at the mall.

The mall’s security measures include 24/7 surveillance, well-trained personnel, and emergency response plans. These measures are designed to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors. While incidents like the balloon-popping event are rare, they highlight the need for continuous vigilance and prompt action to ensure public safety.

Community involvement also plays a role in maintaining safety at the mall. The mall’s management often collaborates with local law enforcement agencies to conduct safety drills and awareness programs. These initiatives help educate the public on responding to emergencies, making the mall safer.

Conclusion

Haywood Mall has stood the test of time, evolving to meet the needs of its visitors while retaining its charm. Its diverse range of tenants, upcoming additions, and commitment to safety make it a must-visit destination. So, the next time you wonder what to do on a weekend, consider a trip to Haywood Mall. It’s a place that evokes nostalgia while inspiring excitement for the future.

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