A once nearly abandoned Lehigh County mall just gained 6 new tenants – lehighvalleylive.com

The struggling mall recently gained a half dozen tenants as nearly a dozen other vacancies remain.
A Salisbury Township mall hammered by the coronavirus pandemic has managed to fill a half dozen vacancies.
South Mall, 3300 Lehigh St., is home to such retailers as Bath & Body Works, South Mall Mercantile, the Shoe Department, and various beauty services, eateries and cellphone providers. Over the past few months, it has managed to fill six empty storefronts with Shop 610 Barber Supply; Gold Drip Jewelry; Charmed Rose Creations gift shop; two locations of Supply and Uniquely Lo. Co.; and the Salisbury Youth Association.
Shop 610 Barber Supply, known for its clippers, capes, brushes, mirrors and hair products, opened on Aug. 23. Tarell Moultrie, who owns the shop with his fiancee, Carmen Rodriguez, said he decided to open his own business when he struggled to find the hair products he needed locally. Prices range $15 to $30 for products, and $65 and up for trimmers and clippers.
The pair, who live in Carbon County, also cut and style hair professionally. They cater more to barbers and student barbers but “all are welcome,” Moultrie said. He has future plans to eventually expand into larger space at the mall while Rodriguez has an aspiration to open a retail beauty supply shop in one of the empty spaces, he said.
Neighboring Shop 610 Barber Supply is Gold Drip Jewelry, which opened about a month ago near the mall’s main entrance. A store employee Wednesday said the shop offers a large assortment men’s and women’s jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings. There’s 14-karat gold pieces and diamond engagement rings, she said.
Charmed Rose in late April moved into space that formerly occupied a massage parlor, which has since relocated to another section of the mall. The store near the main entrance sells balloons, handmade jewelry, gifts and home decor. It’s known for its custom-made gifts and party favors, as well as gift wrap.
Owner Crystal McGettigan of Lansdale, Montgomery County, said the cleanliness of the mall and the opportunity to bring in foot traffic were the reasons she decided to fill one of the empty storefronts. Her site also is near Totally Twisted, Dino’s Pizza-teria and Yocco’s hot dogs, which could help bring in lunch and dinner crowds.
Construction currently is under way on the back room of the space formerly housed at the mall by Foot Locker.
Also in April, the Salisbury Youth Association moved into space that formerly housed Foot Locker. Work currently is under way on the back room and the volunteer-run organization hopes to open its front entrance with a kick-off event later this month.
The association has been in operation for about four decades. Its plan is to utilize the site for meeting place and storage for sporting goods and uniforms. There also are plans to establish regular hours for a retail operation with the goal being able to sell Salisbury Falcons-emblazoned apparel, blankets, hats and spirit accessories, said Daniel Soria, association president.
The owners of Uniquely Lo. Co., which offers furniture restoration, have their sights set on expanding.
The first store opened in April in space left by vacating Getrude Hawk Chocolates. A second location then opened on July 4 directly across from the original site in space formerly housed by Christopher and Banks. That space now offers a gallery of completed pieces, as well as an area for students to learn during Do-It-Yourself (DIY) classes.
Both stores are owned by Juan and Dawn Lopez of Emmaus. The married couple restores furniture brought to them by patrons and also scopes out unique finds of their own at estate sales and area thrift shops. The couple’s children, Nathaniel, Izabella and Jason also help at the business.
Dawn Lopez said what’s most near and dear to her is helping to create memories for a family that’ll span generations. In recent weeks, the shop restored a vintage dresser belonging to a late grandmother.
“It was really special,” Juan Lopez said. “We really enjoy doing this and helping to make these memories.”
The mall additionally welcomed Elay’s Outlet in late November 2020.
Owner Laysa Herrera of Salisbury Township spent about four months selling wares at South Mall Mercantile before moving into space vacated by Kay Jewelers. She still has a few items left at the mercantile shop, she said.
The boutique for the budget-conscious, including mostly women’s fashion, including blouses, denim and dresses. There are some children’s styles and a few men’s items. Popular now will be discounted summer finds, such as swimwear, flip-flops, and 1950′s polka-dot dresses.
Asked how business is doing, Herrera said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and surging cases of the Delta variant continue to slow cash registers.
“We have been maintaining ourselves and keep going,” she said. “We hope to grow and are looking to build up for here. With COVID … it’s understandable right now.”
Empty spaces continue to remain at two of South Mall’s anchor spaces — The Bon-Ton and Stein Mart. Shoppers can find at least nine other vacancies: two next to Totally Twisted with one previously housing Freeman Jewelers; one that formerly housed Victoria’s Secret next to the Salisbury Youth Association; two on the other side of Salisbury Youth Association; two in between Uniquely Lo. Co. and LA Nail Salon; one next to the Shoe Department; and a large space that previously housed Limerick Furniture between T-Mobile and Elay’s Outlet.
Bon Ton in February 2018 announced it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and later shuttered all its 250 stores in 23 states. Stein Mart in August 2020 followed suit, also filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The 112-year-old Jacksonville, Florida-based retailer announced it would be closing nearly all its 300 national stores. The company cited “the combined effects of a challenging retail environment” and the pandemic as reasons for its financial distress, according to a news release.
Shop 610 Barber Supply, known for its clippers, capes, brushes, mirrors and hair products, opened on Aug. 23, 2021 at South Mall. The store is one of a half dozen to move into the mall in recent months.
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Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at pholzmann@lehighvalleylive.com.
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