A news report on Friday morning indicated that several major retailers would be closing hundreds of stores across the country however the stores located in Missoula’s Southgate Mall will remain open.

Southgate Mall Manager Tim Winger provided more details on how the mall is working to draw more customers.

“There were announcements by J.C. Penney, L-brands which is Victoria Secret, Bath and Body Works and Gap, and non e of those stores in Southgate mall will be closing,” said Winger. “As a matter of fact, we just recently announced that Dillards will be expanding into one of the department store spaces that Herberger’s left, and we’re under construction with Dram Shop as well over in Paxson Plaza. We hope to make more announcements in the next six months with new stores that are going to join the property.”

Winger said the new owners of the mall, Washington Prime Group, are in the process of transforming the facility from a traditional shopping mall into more of a community events center.

“We’ve really made an effort to add food, entertainment, home wares, education and more that malls all over the country are doing to remain the community’s hometown center of activities,” he said. Over the last two years we’ve added Lucky’s Market, AMC 9 Dine-In Theaters, and aesthetician school, more cell phone dealers and we’re holding signature events like Fourth Fest, Boo and Brew, and three great events on Valentine’s Day. We’ll have even more events focusing on family, focus on kids, health, and there’s a lot of great things coming to continue the six million visitors a year that we’ve had for the last decade.”

The Lambros family sold the mall property to Washington Prime Group for $58 million in 2018.