Small & Large Businesses Help Edgewater Mall Recover - - The News for South Mississippi

Small & Large Businesses Help Edgewater Mall Recover

National chains and mom and pop shops are often at odds but both types of businesses are flourishing at Edgewater Mall. When Edgewater mall reopened in November, 30 shops opened their doors. Now that number has tripled. Some of the new stores are local businesses that lost their old locations to Katrina.

After Katrina took her children's boutique in Long Beach, Kim Riley says she was thinking of a career change. A conversation with the manager at Edgewater Mall convinced Riley to give retail another try this time in Biloxi.

"It's been wonderful," said Riley. "The sales have been great. It's more than I could have asked for, it's been great."

The 90 stores, restaurants and booths now open at Edgewater Mall are a mixture of returning and new businesses. Mall officials say when a new local business comes in the shopping takes on different flavor.

Mall spokesperson Michelle Rogers said, "A lot of malls share a lot of the same national corporate names but a lot what you apart from another shopping mall is that local retailer or that local small business person who has something unique."

"I think we all offer something different," said Riley. "We still have kept it very specialty in here. I still do the special orders. We shop the speciality markets, we're totally different than the department stores."

Riley says it will take everyone from the department stores to small businesses to keep the mall busy with shoppers. That's why she's happy to see each new neighbor.

"I think the more stores that come back the more traffic that we'll see," she said. "We're excited about the whole thing."

Here's an update on other stores in Edgewater Mall. Right now workers are getting Harris Jewelers ready to open in the coming weeks. Mall officials says the Bonefish Grill and the Hallmark Store should be back in October. They also say Dillards is definitely coming back and will hopefully open early next year.

by Danielle Thomas

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