As Sears prepares to leave Amarillo, Westgate Mall looks forward to the new opportunities ahead

As Sears prepares to leave Amarillo, Westgate Mall looks forward to the new opportunities ahead
As Sears prepares to close 80 under-performing stores this year including the Amarillo location, Westgate Mall is also preparing for the departure of Sears. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - With the holidays behind them and a property around 99-percent leased, Westgate Mall in Amarillo says business is doing well.

"We've been very busy, had a great Christmas, sales were very, very strong and definitely an increase from past years,” said Brian Giffin, General Manager of Westgate Mall.

As Sears prepares to leave Amarillo, Westgate Mall looks forward to the new opportunities ahead

Just a few days after Christmas, Sears announced it was closing 80 under-performing stores, including the one in Amarillo, removing one of the mall’s four department stores.

"We hate to see Sears close because they were an original department store when the mall was built in 1982, they were one of the stores that came along,” said Giffin. "Times have changed for Sears. Unfortunately, their sales and traffic has been dwindling over the years."

Because of the gradual decline in traffic, Giffin says mall tenants located near Sears likely won't see many changes in business with the closure.

According to local appraisal records, Sears is its own, separate real estate entity from the mall, but Westgate says a number of large-scale businesses have reached out to the mall and believes a new business could bring some positive change.

"It's a great location, it's great visibility off of I-40, it's a very desirable location,” said Giffin. “We have a lot of interest from large-scale stores that would like to be in Amarillo so I think it will be spoken for, hopefully very quickly."

As for the future of Westgate Mall in 2019, Giffin says there is plenty to look forward to.

"We've got several other deals in the oven so I feel like we're going to have several new stores in the short-run,” said Giffin.

The Amarillo’s Sears location is set to close this March and its Auto Center will close later this month. There is no word yet on when we can expect a new tenant to move in.

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