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The Merchants Square Mall in Allentown will be closed.Here’s What’s Happening at the Place – Wake Up Call

Nathan Stubbs first came to Merchants Square Mall as a kid. For now, he has a job at a shopping center on the South Side of Allentown.

“I’ve been coming here since I was five,” said Stubbs, who owns Past & Future Generations, a store that specializes in comic books, trading cards, curios, pop culture items and more. I was.

“I was a patron before I became a vendor. Bender retired and I took over.”

After March 31st, anyone looking to shop for rare items at Past & Future or the rest of Merchants Square vendors down South 12th Street will be out of luck. is closing malls and repurposing properties for industrial use.

Lehigh County real estate records list Bethlehem-based Roche Partnerships as the owner. The company bought this building in 2004 for $3 million.

Attempts to reach Roche were unsuccessful.

SVN Imperial, renamed Merchants Commerce Center, is seeking companies to lease space in its 116,502 square foot building at 1901 S. 12th St., located on 8.49 acres.Characteristic two-story building Popular railroad model exhibition held events such as Great Allentown Comic Con It will look different in no time.

Despite rumors that the mall was closed, there were still a handful of open vendors waiting for the first customers of the day after Merchants Square opened for business on Friday afternoon.

“Sad,” Stubbs said. “This place is my second home. The people and collectors you meet come from all walks of life. I feel like COVID has changed the physical retail landscape.”

Stubbs said he is looking for new retail space in the Lehigh Valley, but also sells merchandise on eBay and other digital platforms.

Down the hallway of Attic Mice 2, another collectibles and antiques store, owners Dale and Tammy Gery are also scouting for a new space.

“We have been here for four years and have enjoyed ourselves here,” said Tammy. “Everyone here is friendly. The attendants are great and I like the management.

“We could see things starting to decline since COVID. We wanted to get over it.”

According to SCORE, a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption. Using NDP Group data, we found that digital foodservice only made up 5% of his retail food business in 2018, compared to his 20% in 2020.

However, according to a SCORE survey conducted in the fall of 2020, only 12.2% of small business owners reported that their business was profitable and growing. It was a decrease of about 20% compared to the previous year.

Gerys wants Attic Mice to remain primarily a brick-and-mortar business.

“Our customers come looking for us. We don’t want to lose them,” Tammy Gerry said. “This is a new beginning for us and I have some exciting ideas.”

Upstairs, Saucon Valley Auction has moved its operations to a building on Union Boulevard. The company’s merchandise is scattered throughout the mall, according to the spokesperson, and he needed a place where he could bring it all together in one area.

The building housing the Merchants was built in 1941 and was the Hutt & Wasserman hat factory.its retail roots back in 1985 That’s when a group of Lehigh Valley business owners opened the Allentown Outlet Mall to draw shoppers away from Redding’s then bustling outlet retail industry.

One of the partners, David L. Minnich, told The Morning Call that 65% of the 91,000 square feet of space available for rent has been allocated to 19 store operators.

“Everything is bright,” he said of the project. “We have been getting a lot of calls from customers asking about when we will be opening.

But Outlet center closed Just before the 1988 holiday shopping season, it failed to attract anchor tenants and fill the mall. The second level remained mostly empty. According to The Morning Call, shoppers complained that an adjacent railroad crossing clogged parking lots as trains passed, and some merchants didn’t adhere to set hours.

Morning Call reporter Evan Jones ejones@mcall.com.

https://www.mcall.com/business/mc-biz-merchants-mall-allentown-shutting-down-20230121-fvmxej3onre7fexoeourx3pxf4-story.html#ed=rss_www.mcall.com/arcio/rss/category/news/local/ The Merchants Square Mall in Allentown will be closed.Here’s What’s Happening at the Place – Wake Up Call

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