A slew of new stores are set to open at Westmoreland Mall, including two that previously shuttered at the Hempfield site.
Charlotte Russe and Christoper & Banks, which previously occupied storefronts at the mall, will be joined by locally owned Neecs Sneaks and Rock Bottom jewelry store.
The announcements come after the mall for several years lost tenants, with 10 empty storefronts in 2019. The decline was part of a national trend that continued through the covid-19 pandemic, leading to the closure of thousands of stores — including Charlotte Russe and Christoper & Banks.
During the pandemic in 2020, more than 12,000 stores closed nationwide, according to CoStar Group, which tracks data for the real estate industry.
Now, some of those stores are making a comeback.
Charlotte Russe in March 2019 announced the closure of all of its stores, including five in the Pittsburgh region. That same month, the company was purchased by YM Inc., a Toronto-based clothing manufacturer. By April 2019, officials announced that 100 Charlotte Russe stores would reopen.
At Westmoreland Mall, Charlotte Russe is expected to open next spring, said Stacey Keating, spokeswoman for CBL Properties, which owns Westmoreland and Monroeville malls. The store will reopen in its previous storefront, located on the upper level of the former Sears wing.
Millers’ Prom and Formal Wear, which opened mid-January after moving from its location in Greensburg, currently occupies the space. Store officials said they are moving to first floor of the Macy’s wing where Dressbarn was located.
Christoper & Banks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and began closing more than 400 stores nationally, including the Westmoreland Mall and Pittsburgh Mills locations. The store is slated to reopen in its former storefront at Westmoreland Mall, according to a sign posted outside the location.
Keating said the store will open in early December.
The storefront is occupied by Knockerball Run, which will move to the second floor of the former Sears wing in a storefront previously occupied by Flix Up, a selfie studio.
Neecs Sneaks, which opened in Greensburg last year, will move into the former GNC storefront on the second level of the Macy’s wing.
According to owner Nico Giannilli, he is moving his store from its Arch Avenue location “to showcase my sneakers in a more retail friendly space, with access to much higher foot traffic.” The store resells high-dollar, specialty sneakers, a collection that Giannilli has been amassing for years.
“I have been in the sneaker game since the age of 14,” Giannilli said. “I can tell what year, style and texture of a sneaker on a person’s foot a mile away. It is a passion and I love bringing the passion to life for others.”
Rock Bottom — which sells gemstones, crystals, minerals, fossils and jewelry — will host a soft opening on Black Friday and a grand opening after Christmas. The storefront, on the second level of the former Sears wing, will be a temporary location as store owners Megan and Dale Hammersley search for a property they can purchase.
“This is our first location,” said Megan Hammersley. “We’ve been home based and we go to vendor shows. People were just wanting more and more.”
She noted they hope to remain at the mall for about a year.
Less than a month ago, SpectroDolce Confectionery, Western Edge Seafood and Joseph Jacob Jewelers announced they were moving into Westmoreland Mall. SpectroDolce opened this month in the former Gene and Boots storefront. Western Edge Seafood and Joseph Jacob Jewelers are expected to open this year.