CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Malls across the country are suffering. Throw a pandemic on top of it and they are really struggling. That is the case with University Mall in Carbondale.
“It’s unfortunate that a lot of the stores are closing, online everybody is shopping online,” shopper Louis Gaston said.
Chamber of commerce member Steve Quinn has a more positive outlook on things.
“This is not an empty mall sitting behind us this is a place where people want to come and as stores open up this parking lot will be full again,” he said.
The last few months have been tough economically on the mall.
“We don’t like to see businesses like Macy’s go away or JCPenny, which was just announced, but when those things happen they are not really a surprise. And so there’s already plans in place to bring in new tenants and fill those spaces right back up," Quinn said.
Quinn said malls like the University Mall, are going to have to make some changes in the near future.
Shopper Louis Gaston had a suggestion that might attract more people to stay at the mall longer.
“One thing is, I believe, they can bring back some of the food courts in the mall because when people shopping, while they’re shopping they can eat instead of having to go across the street," Gaston said.
Quinn understands businesses are in a very tough time, but he knows they are all in it together.
“No business ever needs to feel like they are alone because you know we say we’re all in this together, the business community is in this together too and we have the real opportunity here to not only survive this thing but end up better on the other side of it," he said.