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Selma Mall can still succeed, even after closure of Goody’s and J.C. Penney

Like J.C. Penney in 2014, Goody’s is closing its location at the Selma Mall at the end of March.

At this point, it’s not clear what the mall’s future plans are when it comes to attracting new businesses to replace the vacant buildings left by the major retailers that once called it home.

The closings are crippling to a city whose leaders echo the message “Shop local” at every given opportunity. Leaders in Selma understand how important it is that those in Selma try to shop here first, creating extra tax dollars and more opportunities for growth within the city.

Now that two stores with tremendous name power have closed their doors, many probably fear what the future of the Selma Mall might be. Our hope is that the mall finds businesses willing to lease the spaces left by Goody’s or J.C. Penney — which had two of the more appealing locations at the mall — and that those stores help it thrive.

Consumers in Selma often long for more places to shop, and many choose to make the hour drive to Montgomery or neighboring towns.

That’s why it’s so disheartening when stores the caliber and size of Goody’s and J.C. Penney close in Selma. That’s not to say that lack of support is the reason the stores closed. Business could always be better, but J.C. Penney closed dozens of stores as part of company wide decision and Goody’s has not made any formal announcement about its reasoning from the corporate level.

Selma needs its mall to succeed, which is why the next few months are so important. We’re optimistic that the mall can be a vibrant shopping center with options for shoppers for all ages, but it’s going to take some work. Whatever the mall’s future holds, it will need the investment of the community in order to succeed.