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HomeGoods to replace Sears in Johnson City mall; owner plans reno, new offerings

Staff Report • Jan 29, 2020 at 7:25 PM

HomeGoods, a discount home furnishing store, will replace the spot previously occupied by Sears in The Mall at Johnson City.

Washington Prime Group, the entity that owns the mall, announced the change in a press release Wednesday morning. The spot at the mall will be HomeGoods’ first location in the Tri-Cities and will anchor the replacement of the former Sears location. Demolition is expected to start in the first half of 2020.

Also starting in the first half of 2020, Washington Prime Group said crews will demolish the Sears Auto Center to make way for new food and beverage offerings along North Roan Street. Renovations will also occur to the mall’s interior common areas and exterior entrances.

Washington Prime Group expects these projects will be complete by fall 2021 and will open in connection with a community event celebrating The Mall at Johnson City’s 50th anniversary.

In addition to the redevelopment efforts, the company said there will be new tenants opening at the mall in 2020, including the regional debuts of Rose & Remington, Curve & Cloth and Palmetto Moon.

“These coveted additions to the tenant lineup further demonstrate a focus on adding relevant and in-demand concepts to The Mall at Johnson City,” Washington Prime Group said in the release.

Palmetto Moon, which has more than 25 stores in the Southeast, sells apparel, footwear, gifts and collegiate wear. The next closest location is in Knoxville.

Founded in 2013, Rose & Remington is a family-owned and operated women’s clothing, accessory and lifestyle store. Curve & Cloth, Rose & Remington’s sister brand, is dedicated to “women with curves” and focuses on empowering fashion with sixes XL-3XL, gifts and accessories.

Washington Prime Group noted that these changes are occurring as development activity continues in the vicinity of the mall. AMC Theatre was recently renovated to accommodate expanded food and beverage options and construction continues on a 265-unit apartment complex called the Universal at Mockingbird behind the mall.

“These efforts collectively reinforce The Mall at Johnson City’s location along North Roan Street as the premier retail corridor in the Tri-Cities,” the company said in the release. “With many unique and market-exclusive retailers, The Mall at Johnson City is well positioned for long-term success.”

Johnson City’s Sears closed earlier this month. Sears filed for bankruptcy in October 2018, but according to CNN, emerged from bankruptcy proceedings in February 2019 with more 400 Kmart and Sears stores. Sears and Kmart merged in 2005, according to CNN, and at the time had 3,500 U.S. stores between the two brands.

After the Sears stores in Kingsport and Bristol closed in 2017, the Sears in Johnson City was the last of its kind in the Tri-Cities.

“The Mall at Johnson City has been the center of shopping activities in Johnson City and the surrounding area since its creation, and we are proud to have a strong partner like Washington Prime Group that can adjust to the changing landscape of retail,” City Manager Pete Peterson said in the release. “The city of Johnson City is committed to working with Washington Prime Group and The Mall at Johnson City team to ensure the continued success of the town center, which we deeply value.”

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