Out With the Old and in With the New
The latest on businesses coming and going at the Freehold Raceway Mall.
Retail is a moving target. One day you’re chomping down pizza at Cosimo’s and carrying a Borders bag, the next … not so much. Stores and eateries will come and go, and we will lament some, but soon enough new shops will open.
A number of stores have recently closed. With CD sales lagging for about as long as I can remember, FYE has been forced out. Perhaps a similar fate had to do with the movie store Saturday Matinee’s departure, or else competition by bigger retailers like Best Buy or Target. Nine West and Cosimo’s have also vanished, to this writer’s vague surprise (I guess they kept up a good façade).
Finally, Borders will leave certainly the largest physical absence, with Freehold being one of the 200 stores closing as the company files Chapter 11.
But, as the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new! FYE will be temporarily replaced with Elegance Furniture until a permanent lease is signed. As for Saturday Matinee, apparently sports are the new movies, because that space will become a Foot Locker.
Personally I question this choice, having been around long enough to remember the Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, and World Foot Locker all coexisting, but it could be good. Accessorize is a self-explanatory shop being installed downstairs near Starbucks, which, if I remember correctly, used to be upstairs maybe seven or eight years ago. As for Cosimo’s, another eatery will supplant it: Tanbo Japanese Cuisine.
New stores are coming in all the time, and the brass over at the mall do keep track of requested stores. Perusing their official Facebook page, suggestions range from the Nike Store to an arcade (I don’t remember that working when it existed in the food court) to Anthropologie. The most popular choice appears to be Urban Outfitters, and I wholeheartedly agree. It would accord with the fashion direction the mall has taken in recent years, and would save me the long trip to Menlo Park to get to one!
Definitely the biggest question is what will take Borders’ spot? The building is a permanent fixture and will remain, but which retailer can fill it? Some have suggested another book store, but with Barnes & Noble already down the road, it seems unlikely. Personally, I think something like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s would be a great addition, but then my own frugal sensibilities don’t quite fit with the mall’s current M.O.
Whatever will come will come, and when it does, the grief over lost favorites will make way for the thrill of novelty as we continue to explore the ever-changing face of the Freehold Raceway Mall.