Forever 21 closing as Planet Fitness, H&M come to Chico Mall


The Forever 21 in the Chico Mall is set to close in January. Photo credit: Jessie Imhoff

Jessie Imhoff

Malls first became a powerhouse across the American suburb in the 1950s. At the time, it revolutionized the shopping experience.

Over time, the way people shop and the traditional mall experience has changed. Due to this, malls are making innovative changes to adapt to shoppers.

The Chico Mall is no exception. They currently have a line-up of changes they are planning to implement in the coming months.

“Right now, the mall world everywhere is in a transitional state,” Natasha Shelton, the general manager of the mall, said. “Landlords are thinking of out-of-the-box ideas.”

One out-of-the-box transition the mall will be making is getting rid of the traditional food court and using the space for a Planet Fitness.

Shelton said this change is because food courts are not as successful as they once were.

The mall will still offer plenty of eating and dining options despite drifting away from a traditional food court. These businesses will just be placed throughout the mall rather than in a central location.

One new dining option that will be added outside of the traditional food court setup is a Cinnabon, which will open the first week of December.

Shelton said that the mall believes adding a Planet Fitness will be a really good solution to the food court’s removal.

Another concern that Shelton discussed about moving the food court was the play structure that currently resides in the center of the court. Shelton said that the structure will be relocated in front of Dick’s and will not be going away.

Another big change to the mall is the closing of Forever 21. Currently, the store is set to close its doors on Jan. 5.

With the closing of Forever 21 set for early 2020 and the removal of Sears back in 2017, the mall will have two of its largest lots vacant.

Shelton spoke on Forever 21’s closing, saying that retail stores closing like this are very common in the retail world. “We’re excited for the remodeling that closing allows us to do,” Shelton said.

The mall is working on adding new businesses as others are closing their doors. An H&M, another retail store like Forever 21, is set to open in the mall in the spring.

The H&M is set to open where The Children’s Place is currently. Shelton said they are currently talking with The Children’s Place to keep them as tenants.

Along with other retail stores, there has also been talk about businesses like Dave & Buster’s and a movie theater being added to the Chico Mall.

While Dave & Buster’s was set to join the mall at one point, they have since pulled out. According to Shelton, their decision to do so is because they are trying to pull away from California and open more locations in other states.

Despite this, Shelton said they are talking to businesses similar to Dave & Buster’s. The idea is to introduce a company with video games, bowling and similar activities.

Shelton also said that the mall is currently talking to two movie theaters that have a bistro layout

“We are just in that transition phase, which is really common,” Shelton said.

Jessie Imhoff can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JessieReports