Burlington has moved out of Alemda Mall, creating a major anchor vacancy at the regional mall for the first time in nearly 15 years. The space which Burlington occupied at the mall was originally a JC Penney until the chain closed the location in 2006. The anchor spot remained vacant until 2009 when Burlington (at the time) Coat Factory moved in. Burlington never utilized the entire JCP space, leaving the second floor untouched and a large corner of the first floor open for future development. Houston Historic Retail first learned of the planned move thanks to permits filed nearly a year ago. The action by Burlington is part of a trend to slim down locations into smaller spaces. This type of planning also landed Burlington in two recently shuttered Best Buy stores in Houston. The move of Burlington from the mall to a spot across Almeda Genoa is likely not a sign of a weakened mall but rather a desire to shift into a smaller space. The new building is quite significant as well. It was originally home to one of the massive Woolco department stores. When the chain was proving to be unprofitable, Woolworths began subdividing stores to lease to other companies. At this location, the space was leased to another Woolworth operation, J. Branams, an off-price clothing retailer. While things have come full circle for this portion of the former Woolco, no plans have been announced for now vacant space inside Almeda Mall.
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