Jordan’s Furniture, a New England chain of large, destination-oriented furniture stores, is moving into the former Caldor/Old Navy store (pictured above) in the Warwick Mall in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Last spring, the Warwick Mall was heavily damaged by a flood and was closed for months. As a result of the renovations, many retailers either left the center entirely or moved to new spaces. As part of the process, Old Navy–who had occupied part of the first floor of the massive, two-level former Caldor store at the mall’s center court–decided to move to a more appropriately-sized in-line space instead of moving back into their too-large digs. The second level of the store has been unused since Caldor shuttered the store in 1999. This created a space for a new anchor to move in, and enter Jordan’s:
Furniture shopping remains a tactile experience, according to an industry spokeswoman, as American consumers still like to see and touch furniture pieces before buying them.
“It’s not unusual in midsized cities for there to be a cluster of home furnishing stores in proximity. It’s happening all over” the country, said Jaclyn C. Hirschhaut, of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a furniture manufacturers’ trade group. “Ultimately, to the consumer, it makes the process of shopping for furniture so much easier.”
Typically, furniture stores make for sleepy mall anchors–we’ve all seen a dying mall here or there with an Ashley or Bob’s Discount Furniture store clinging on to one of the darkened anchors for cheap rent. Jordan’s, however, is a bit of an anomaly in that their stores are destinations in and of themselves, and often feature a variety of attractions and eateries (many with a local focus) to draw people to them even when they’re not looking to buy a sofa:
Jordan’s is well known for its splashy store layouts — one has an IMAX theater, another has a trapeze school. Eliot Tatelman, Jordan’s president and chief executive officer, declined to say what people will find in the Warwick store when it opens later this year.
Jordan’s stores are typically very, very large, so this will be one of the smallest stores (if not *the* smallest store) in their portfolio, and their first in Rhode Island.
In other news, it was announced only a few weeks ago that the adjacent, long ailing, and almost completely vacant Rhode Island Mall–the oldest two level mall in New England and the only one designed by Victor Gruen–will finally be put out of its misery and shuttered on April 30.