The Empire Mall Evolves with New Stores

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- As thousands of stores are closing, many malls throughout the country are fighting to stay open. With two of their anchor stores going bankrupt, many questioned what future holds for the Empire Mall.

The Empire Mall is a fixture for shoppers in Eastern South Dakota and surrounding areas. But, after Sears and Yonkers, two of their five major anchor stores, closed and filed bankruptcy many questioned what future was in store for the Empire Mall.

Kirsten Schaffer, Empire Mall’s director of marketing and business development, says the mall seems to have avoided the turmoil.

“And for one of the anchor spots there were a couple people, couple big businesses wanted to come here but we only had space for one.”

“That’s the exciting thing about… retail changing is when you have a store go out you have an even better store come in.”

They’ve added over 10 new retailers to their roster of over 140 specialty stores, just in time for the Holiday season.

“We’ve just been on a upward trajectory… We’ve added a ton of new stores and they just keep getting better. You know, two years ago we added Athleta and Lulu Lemon. Their success helps bring in stores like this. And so the success of these new stores will help bring in others as well.”

What used to be a Charolette Russe is now an Altr’d State, one of Empire Mall’s newest additions. Michael Markum, Altr’d State’s store leader, says, “We are very beautiful. The front of the store is phenomenal… We’re different.”

A boutique based on Christian values focused on creating an experience. Being different is something stores need to be now.

“We need to differentiate ourselves in a market that’s very tumultuous. Malls are closing across the country. Empire is thriving right now,” says Markum.

Schaffer says, “There’s always the comments of we would love to see this next and we wanna continue to hear that because that gives us drive to what we need to strive for next; what the community’s looking for. So that’s what we knew we needed with like Altr’d State and Evereve.”

Schaffer says Empire Mall’s future is looking pretty bright, “I have a couple of press releases in my office of new store announcements to make. We expect to have major changes within the next couple years… bring it to the next stage.”

Categories: Local News, News