Potential shuttering of '90s retail staple would leave vacancies in malls throughout Florida

Posted on December 5, 2016

Another staple of 1990s mall-based retail is grappling with its future — and one option is shutting the company down entirely.

The Limited, which is based in Ohio, told employees in its corporate office last week that if a buyer isn’t found, it may shut down the chain, reports Columbus Business First, a sister news organization. For now, though, stores remain open.

The Limited could shutter all of its stores nationwide.
The Limited could shutter all of its stores nationwide.

The women’s apparel retailer has 250 stores throughout the U.S. and a significant footprint in Florida. In Southeast Florida, it has locations in Aventura Mall, Coral Square, Dadeland Mall, Miami International Mall, Pembroke Lakes Mall, Sawgrass Mills, The Falls and The Gardens Mall. (See below for a full list of Florida locations.)

The company’s newer stores were between 3,500 and 4,000 square feet; some of its older stores were larger, in the 6,000- to 7,000-square-foot range.

The Limited is the latest in a long line of mall-based retailers that are struggling and considering closing stores in the face of declining sales and mall foot traffic. Jacksonville-based Body Central Corp. closed all of its stores in January 2015; Wet Seal closed 338 stores nationwide that same month.

Gap Inc. is struggling across all three of its brands — budget-friendly Old Navy, the more upscale Banana Republic and mid-market Gap stores.

The mall’s longtime anchors, department stores, are also suffering. Both Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) and Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) are evaluating what to do with their massive real estate portfolios. Macy’s announced plans to close another 100 stores in August.

The headwinds facing The Limited are the same as those facing all retailers: Balancing online and brick-and-mortar lines of business and increasing competition from newer, trendier names.

“Limited Stores, like many of its peers, is facing ongoing challenges in the current retail environment,” the company said in a statement sent to Columbus Business First. “After a detailed and thoughtful review, management has made the difficult decision to separate a number of associates at the company’s headquarters in New Albany, Ohio.

“This action enables us to focus our resources on the operation of our stores and e-commerce platforms while we continue exploring options to address these challenges and provide greater financial flexibility, including discussions with a number of interested buyers.”

The Limited Florida locations

Tampa Bay

Westshore Plaza
Brandon Town Center
Citrus Park Town Center
Tampa Premium Outlets


Altamonte Mall
Florida Mall
Orlando Fashion Square
Orlando Premium Outlets

Southeast Florida

Aventura Mall
Coral Square
Dadeland Mall
Miami International Mall
Pembroke Lakes Mall
Sawgrass Mills
The Falls
The Gardens Mall


The Avenues


Governor’s Square

Ashley Gurbal Kritzer, South Florida Business Journal .