HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - Panera Bread, Ulta, a bridal shop, and a lady’s boutique—just a few businesses that have left the 600,000 square foot open-air mall across from the Riverchase Galleria.
Business owner Mary Lou Kunka says there is one constant.
“Retail is very hard right now and it is everywhere, I have friends all over the country. We’ve seen business kind of softening as far as back year in December,” says Kunka.
She says it’s the fight against online retailers like Amazon. So Kunka tries her best to offer everything Amazon can’t.
“There’s a lot of businesses based on Facebook right now. We do live sales so the customer can see the product. I am a size small, my manager is a plus girl, so we are online showing people how the product fits you. All the time.”
The city is also taking notice of the empty spaces at Patton Creek. To address how to retain and attract new businesses, Hoover’s economic developer and Mayor Frank Brocato sat down with the leasing agent for the complex, Retail Specialists who is based here in Birmingham.
“Redevelopment options, changing the clientele somewhat, maybe include some entertainment spaces, some office spaces as well in the area so the local shops have a base to support them,” says Councilman Casey Middlebrooks.
Middlebrooks says shops will continue to fight online retailers, but believes Hoover has a strong retail base.
“Retail is going strong here in Hoover. We’ve got a great public safety department, great schools, people enjoy visiting and shopping here in Hoover,” says Middlebrooks.
Another way Patton Creek is trying to include the community is by holding a Halloween event this Saturday from 3-5 p.m. They hope to generate foot traffic and show people why they should spend more time at the shops there.