WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — Things Remembered is set to close at the end of the month.
News 9 first reported Monday that Yankee Candle and Hibbett Sports will also be shutting their doors for good inside the Wausau Center Mall.
More than three decades ago, there were more than 60 stores that filled the halls at the Wausau Center Mall; now there are just a couple dozen.
Hibbett Sports announced their closing unexpectedly to employees on Monday.
“I literally was supposed to work at 11 o’clock. I got a phone call at 10:30 saying the DM and three or four store managers walked into our store and said ‘We are shutting you down,'” said Nicole Harpin, a former employee of Hibbett Sports.
Halpin said she worked her shift the day before the announcement without any indication of the store’s closing.
Hibbett Sports now has gates down and partially empty shelves, while Yankee Candle and Things Remembered have closing sales.
The city of Wausau tells News 9 they are still hopeful for the mall’s future.
“The mayor has been very clear that the city is willing to partner with whoever has a fresh idea for the mall, as any city would,” said Director of Community Development Chris Schock. “But it is not the city’s responsibility, so it can’t be our responsibility to ‘save the mall’, Schock said.
Just last year, Younkers closed their doors and it was announced that HOM Furniture would be taking over.
“People say, ‘Well the furniture store isn’t going to save the mall’ and that is not the point; it isn’t meant to save the mall,” Schock said. “We view HOM Furniture as an asset to the area. It will bring new jobs and it will bring new users and shoppers to the area,” he said.
Even though the three stores have announced closings, some owners said they aren’t going anywhere.
“I would like to see more stores coming back in. Maybe a movie theater, maybe HOM furniture will be the start of the bottom of the mall and go in the other direction. But we are in there for another year and half,” said Uff da! owner Russ Ericson.
Ericson said his store is doing very well in the mall and even beat holiday sales from the year before.
It is still unclear when Yankee Candle or Things Remembered will officially close.