The growth of big-box stores and the advent of e-commerce over the past two decades have whipsawed consumers, who can have difficulty just keeping track of the comings and goings of major retailers. Unfortunately, in recent years, the goings seem to have proliferated, especially those with well-known names.
One of the biggest holes left by a departing retailer came in June 2005, when the Marshall Fields store in Glenbrook Square – previously a Hudsons – closed. The vacancy in the major mall anchor store has left a void for years, though an amusement center occupies space in the lower floor of the former retail store.
So you dont have to be a die-hard shopaholic to appreciate the announcement that a brand-name store well known throughout the northern U.S. will open in the former Marshall Fields/Hudsons space next fall. Carsons, also known as Carson Pirie Scott & Co., already has a presence in other Hoosier cities, including Warsaw. The chain, like Marshall Fields, has a deep history in Chicago and has roots that date back more than 150 years. Since 2005, the chain has been owned by Bon-Ton Stores, which also owns Elder-Beerman, among other department stores.
A spokeswoman said Carsons was attracted by Glenbrooks appeal throughout northeast Indiana and into northwest Ohio. The addition will likely lure more people to the mall, where a bustling department store will be a much better attraction than a vacant anchor store. And as many retailers, restaurant owners and other business executives know, the presence of a competitor next door helps not only consumers but can actually improve business as it brings more shoppers to Glenbrook and the surrounding retail area.
The announcement comes just a day after Gov. Mitch Daniels delivered encouraging news about the states economic development, with plans for more than 2,500 new Hoosier jobs to accompany expansion of Hoosier businesses.
There will be more departures and changes in the citys retail community. But for now, filling this long-empty space in the citys venerable Glenbrook Square is a visible and welcome sign of economic hope.