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Marketing Professor Carol Jones Featured on WCBI News

6-19-18 - COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) -Reviving retail space. Another local retailer is going out of business.

This comes after Rite Aid closed it’s doors last month, after being purchased by Walgreens.

Just down the street, another retailer is liquidating merchandise and about to close for good.

Sears Hometown will soon join J.C. Penney, Rite Aid, and others who are part of the past.

“This is the closest mall and stuff that we have,” Robert Rowlan said

Rowlan said he lives in Starkville and comes to Columbus to shop He said he wonders if it’s even worth the drive.

“It’s starting to discourage me not to come to Columbus, actually. You got this closing down that closing down,” Rowlan said.

Senior V.P. of Economic Development for the Golden Triangle Development Link Brenda Lathan said she works with brokers and developers to bring in new business, but that business might not look like what we’re used to.

“It could be a big ol bundle,” Lathan said.

She means lots of things in one location, called mixed-use development. It could contain bars, restaurants, and retail on floor one, and residential above.

“It’s good they are trying to get creative because you’re not going to see, I dont think, a major department store fill that space,” Assistant Professor of Marketing Carol Jones said.

She said that’s not only due to online competition, but a shrinking middle class.

“A lot of those middle class department stores are shrinking out too,” Jones said.

But with studies underway to see what types of new stores Columbus could support, Lathan has hope that new businesses will come in, to keep people like Rowlan coming back.

The owner of the Rite Aid Building is a local man. He told WCBI he is willing to work with the company to bring in new business.

We reached out to mall management and a manager with Sears to find out if they have a closing date, and have not heard back.

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