Tags: APFN | US | Winter | Weather | Malls | 1st | Ld

Malls Cut Hours, Close During Winter Storm

Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010 02:12 PM


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Malls in the Northeast cut hours or closed entirely Wednesday as the region was hit by a winter storm.

Snow was falling from northern Virginia to Connecticut by early Wednesday. The storm dumped more than 10 inches of snow on parts of the Washington area, already hit with about 3 feet of snow in a blizzard over the weekend. In New York, the National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings and predicted 10 to 16 inches of snow.

Dan Hess, CEO of research firm Merchant Forecast, said the storms could "severely dampen" sales for retailers in February.

February is one of the smallest months in terms of sales, however, as consumers cut spending after the holidays and stores clear out winter apparel and transition to spring items.

"The good news is it's not a critical time of the year," Hess said.

Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va., owned by Macerich, remained open, but many stores were closed. Tysons alerted consumers via a recorded phone message and Twitter feed that Nordstrom, L.L. Bean, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor were closed, but Macy's was open by midday.

Ken Gillett, senior vice president for property management at Macerich, said the company was working in advance to get Tysons Corner ready for the big storm.

Gillett said heavy snow removal equipment was on site before the storm hit and surrounding roads and sidewalks were salted before the storm. He said they also made sure the snow removal crew was well rested so they could work through the night to keep the parking lot and access roads open.

He said stores could open at some point during the day.

"As soon as it safe for the sales associates and customers to come in, they're prepared to open."

Taubman Centers Inc., which operates 26 shopping centers, said its Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va., was closed and The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, N.J., closed at 10:30 a.m.

Taubman Centers spokeswoman Karen MacDonald said traffic was heavier than normal on Tuesday at Short Hills ahead of the storm. Its Stamford Town Center in Stamford, Conn., remained open, but MacDonald said traffic was light.

Simon Property Group Inc., which operates 321 shopping centers in the U.S., said seven of its properties were closed and three had delayed openings.

Closed malls include: Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets in Leesburg, Va.; Brunswick Square in Brunswick, N.J.; The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, N.J.; Dover Mall and Commons in Dover, Del; Granite Run Mall in Media, Pa.; Arundel Mills in Hanover, Md., near Baltimore; and Franklin Mills in Philadelphia.

Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan City, Ind., and Ocean County Mall in Toms River, N.J., were opening at noon, and Potomac Mills in Prince William, Va., near Washington, D.C., planned to open at 2 p.m.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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