Southridge Mall’s American Eagle, Gap go out of business

by Molly MishlerStaff Writer

For those who love the nearby availability of American Eagle and Gap at Southridge Mall, you’re going to have to travel a bit further to find both because both.

The two stores closed because there wasn’t enough traffic and not enough profit to pay for the high rent at the mall. There were too many of the same stores in the area and they couldn’t compete.

Sophomore Mauricio Marquez, sales associate at American Eagle, believes the goals of the store had something to do with the closing.

“The Southridge American Eagle had the lowest sales in all the stores,” Marquez said. “The sales at the Jordan Creek store in a day would be the sales at the Southridge store in a week.”

However, the store was successful with credit card applications. They had the highest hits each month in their district with 50-60 per month.

Many believe the closings will affect the mall in a negative way. Freshman Aubrey Hardman, sales associate at American Eagle, agrees.

“The mall keeps getting worse,” Hardman said. “There are lots of stores for random things, like you can buy a dog, go to church, take dance lessons, but there’s not any good stores anymore. Most stores have left or will be leaving.”

The spaces American Eagle and Gap used to be will not be vacant for long.

“Supposedly there’s a Macy’s coming in or some store that Des Moines doesn’t have,” Marquez said. “Renovations will begin in April.”

Sophomore Ashley Paton, sales associate at American Eagle, has heard different rumors.

“There has also been rumor of an Old Navy, but as of now, no one knows what will be replacing them,” Paton said.

The American Eagle closed last Sunday and offered all of its employees the chance to move to another store and keep their same position. Other AE and Gap stores in Des Moines are in Valley West Mall or Jordan Creek Town Center. The Gap at Merle Hay Mall also recently closed, but the AE store is still open.

“It’s a matter of time before they closed,” Paton said. “It just sucks that I have to drive further to work now.”

Students are disappointed in the closings of the stores. Junior Lindsey Parker used to shop at American Eagle a lot.

“I’m very upset with the closing of the stores,” Parker said. “If I want to go to the stores, I have to either go online and shop or drive to Jordan Creek, which is 15 minutes further away.”

Junior Helen Carlson, who enjoyed shopping at the Gap, is also disappointed with the closings.

“While I understand that profit has to be the most important motivation for any retail store, I think it’s really disappointing that the closing of these stores will seal the fate of Southridge Mall as a bargain basement because the stores don’t feel they are making enough money,” Carlson said.