Bradley Square Mall in Cleveland, TN – Tale of Survival in the Retail World

The Beginning of Bradley Square Mall

A familiar sight to Cleveland, Tennessee residents, Bradley Square Mall has been a part of the local landscape since its opening on February 13, 1991.

Developed by Crown American, the mall initially boasted anchor stores like Sears, Hess’s, Kmart, and J.C. Penney. With more than 50 inline tenants, it was a bustling destination for shoppers in the early days.

Over the years, several of the original anchor stores have transformed. For instance, Hess’s became Proffitt’s in 1992 before eventually becoming Belk in 2005. As a result, the mall has faced its share of challenges, struggling to keep tenants and adapting to the changing retail landscape.

The Evolution of the Mall

Bradley Square Mall has welcomed non-traditional retailers over the years to reinvent itself. For example, after a planned 12-screen theater project was canceled in 2008, the mall added a gym, martial arts studio, playground, and church to its roster.

The Shane Morrison Companies took ownership on December 1, 2010, and embarked on an ambitious $18 million renovation project in May 2012. The renovations, completed in April 2013, included updates to the entrances, interior, and exterior, and an expansion and renovation of Belk.

Bradley Square Mall Timeline

Year Event
1989 Groundbreaking
1990 Renovation project completed; Dunham’s Sports
replaces the original Sears store
1991 Official mall opening; Kmart opens
1992 Hess’s becomes Proffitt’s
1999 Minor renovation; Kmart expansion
2005 Proffitt’s becomes Belk
2010 Shane Morrison Companies assume ownership
2012 $18 million renovation project begins
2013 Renovation project completed; Dunham’s Sports
replaces the original Sears store
2016 Kmart closes; “The Shops at Bradley Square” project announced
2018 Demolition and construction of “The Shops at Bradley Square.”
2020 JCPenney closes

AMC Theatres and Other Updates

Carmike Cinemas announced opening of the 12-screen theater complex at Bradley Square Mall in November 2012. The theater features a “BIGD” auditorium with a screen measuring sixty feet wide, three stories tall, luxurious seating, and 7.1 surround sound. AMC Theatres took over the management of the theater in 2017.

The original Sears store closed, making way for Dunham’s Sports in late 2013. Sears opened a smaller Hometown store elsewhere in the mall but has since closed. In January 2016, Sears Holdings announced the closure of Kmart in mid-March.

The Shops at Bradley Square

In October 2016, the mall announced plans to demolish the former Kmart anchor store and create additional parking for a shopping center at the mall’s west end. In addition, seven new major retailers were added in a strip mall-style center called “The Shops at Bradley Square.”

Demolition took place in October 2018, along with restructuring of mall entrances and several shops to create two new retailers and a new mall entrance.

The Impact on Local Shopping Centers

Bradley Square Mall’s opening in 1991 marked a turning point for smaller shopping centers in the area. The Village Mall, which opened in 1961, and the Cleveland Mall, which opened in 1974, struggled to retain shoppers and eventually closed.

The Village Mall became the Village Green Town Center, and the Cleveland Mall transitioned into the corporate headquarters of Life Care Centers of America Campbell Center.

Saying Goodbye to JCPenney

On June 4, 2020, JCPenney announced its closure by around October 2020 as part of a plan to close 154 stores nationwide. This left a vacant anchor store at Bradley Square Mall, a reminder of the shifting retail environment.

Anchor Stores History

Original Anchor Store Transformation
Hess’s Proffitt’s (1992) -> Belk (2005)
Sears Closed; replaced by Dunham’s Sports (2013)
Kmart Closed (2016)
J.C. Penney Closed (2020)
Bradley Square Mall
Bradley Square Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A Look Back at Bradley Square Mall

As the years have gone by, Bradley Square Mall has evolved and reinvented itself to stay relevant in the ever-changing retail environment. Despite facing challenges and the closures of several anchor stores, it has adapted and found new ways to appeal to the local community.

As a place where many residents have spent time shopping, dining, and enjoying entertainment, Bradley Square Mall will always hold a special place in their memories and hearts.

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