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Chick-fil-A closes one of its oldest mall stores

AJC file photo

Chick-fil-A will open more freestanding stores than mall stores in 2012. AJC file photo

After almost 42-years in business, the Chick-fil-A at South DeKalb Mall closes this week. This location opened just three years after the first mall store opened at Greenbriar Mall in 1967. At that time, enclosed malls were growing in popularity. In fact, Greenbriar was only Atlanta’s third such shopping facility.

Brenda Morrow, a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A, says, “We had a great run at South DeKalb Mall.” She cites “declining sales over the years” as the reason for the closure. When a location underperforms, “for financial reasons, it is difficult to run a store in the caliber which we run the stores.”

While no other closings are planned, Morrow notes that changes in retail construction have impacted Chick-fil-A’s store placement strategy. Fewer enclosed malls are being built, resulting in fewer Chick-fil-A mall openings. This year, 75 new freestanding locations are planned, while only two mall locations are in the works.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

157 comments Add your comment

Independent

January 24th, 2012
7:13 am

Shopping malls are losing business to oline sales and outlet malls

Rod

January 24th, 2012
7:22 am

The article is talking about a Chick-fil-A in a mall – and the picture is of a stand-alone Chick-fil-A. Seriously? Do you even care about being professional? You could have at least Googled South DeKalb Mall and used a picture of the mall.

AJC being lame again.

Van Jones

January 24th, 2012
7:34 am

Oooh, South Dekalb Mall… ’nuff said.

K Blackmon

January 24th, 2012
7:56 am

Not surprise…..out of all the Chick-Fil-A’s the South Dekalb Mall location has the worst customer service.

Chuck

January 24th, 2012
8:11 am

Malls are dying and South Dekalb is one of the walking dead.

Tonya

January 24th, 2012
8:44 am

I remember going there as a little girl. That was our big treat out.

wardenerd

January 24th, 2012
8:46 am

Can southpark be far behind?

Ana Logy

January 24th, 2012
8:57 am

@Rod – Get a life man!!!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Frankie

January 24th, 2012
9:04 am

This Chick-fil-a was a big part of catering to a lot of various not-for profit organizations. Sorry to see it go, but I am sure they will open in another location some place near by if they are not already in place…

carla roqs

January 24th, 2012
9:08 am

rod is right, though- a stand alone pic? oan, sorry to see that one go, not in that mall often- but the picadilly and the chickfila were the only two “normal” places there to eat, imho.

Rexdogma

January 24th, 2012
9:14 am

They already closed another one at dead North DeKalb Mall, so why not this one too! Really I was suprised to read this and see it was still open. Also there are no Chick-Fil-A’s in Gwinnett Place Mall either. Used to have two there.

Flo-Ri-Duh

January 24th, 2012
9:14 am

Chick – fil – A is by far the best quality fast food and the service is excellent. Truett Cathy is true hero in the history of Georgia. Truett Cathy for President!

K-10

January 24th, 2012
9:14 am

I, too, remember going there in the 70s and early 80s as a child…before we were ran out of town. :-(

Wally

January 24th, 2012
9:25 am

Is anyone surprised by this? NO What do you expect in that crime ridden part of town.Can you imagine how poor the customers acted and the employees as well. People do not know how to act down there in that part of town. Conratulations, you have ran off on of the best fast food restaurants in the nation.

T.A.

January 24th, 2012
9:26 am

The store is located inside the mall! Why are you showing a store located outside. This looks like the location at Stonecrest mall. They aren’t closing!

required name

January 24th, 2012
9:27 am

Yeah right….if Truett Cathy were President everything would be shut down on Sundays. No thanks.

Chick-Fil-A can suck a fat one for killing the Peach Bowl. Take your crappy chicken sandwiches and shove it, Truett!

tripledart

January 24th, 2012
9:27 am

Really cannot believe it was still open.With the crime in the mall and and the amount of sidewalk
chicken booths every 100 ft amazing they have stayed that long.Really sad with what has happen to the mall and that area.When Stonecrest mall opened the other year any self respecting person went to that mall.Damed near has ruined North Lake mall from years ago with the decline of the south dekalb area.

Bluestreak

January 24th, 2012
9:28 am

I remember my grandmother taking me there after picking me up from Mt. Carmel Christian, back when it was on Rainbow Drive across from Mathis Dairy. Used to be one of my favorite treats, to go there.

Now, all four will be gone. Makes me feel old at 36 and my childhood seem that much more of a distant memory, and miss those trips with my grandmother…

Bluestreak

January 24th, 2012
9:29 am

From a non-emotional standpoint, I’m surprised this particular CFA outlasted the ones at Gwinnett Place and North Dekalb. And frankly, I’m surprised South Dekalb mall outlasted Shannon Mall.

Roberto

January 24th, 2012
9:31 am

I remember Mr. Cathy opening in Greenbriar. Everybody said he was crazy. “People go to malls to shop, not eat!”, the naysayers said. I think they were wrong.

SouthernLady

January 24th, 2012
9:32 am

I ate my very first Chick Fil-A Sandwich at the South DeKalb Location after I moved to the Atlanta area in 1973. Of course the mall was different then as were the few malls in Metro Atlanta back in 1973 and South DeKalb Mall is not the only mall that has changed the way they do business or lost business altogether over the years. Look at Gwinnett Place, North DeKalb and Northlake. Northlake and Perimeter were very much the same back in the 1970s. The area around Northlake has not deteriorated over the years and is even wealthier, but the mall has thanks directly to Simon Property Group. Those who live closest to the mall now drive to Lenox or Perimeter to shop at stores Northlake used to have.

Tinytam

January 24th, 2012
9:35 am

@Wally – what does crime have to do with any of this? Rexdogma mentioned that the North Dekalb Mall restaurant was closed too and another poster mentioned Gwinnett Place Mall’s restaurant was closed. Is that because of crime too? Get real!!

LDD

January 24th, 2012
9:35 am

GOOD!!!!!! Talk about a disgrace to the Chick-Fil-A name. The staff is extremely rude and the area is horrible! I’m sure the South Dekalb location is not one you would want people to visit and hold a memory of.

@Lifelong ATL Resident

January 24th, 2012
9:37 am

The comments about South Dekalb mall are disgusting. I have shopped at South Dekalb mall for over a decade and have never been robbed, raped, shot or encountered any crime at all. Your racial bigotry will send you to hell.

don'tcare

January 24th, 2012
9:49 am

why would anyone want to shop or eat at South Dekalb mall anyway unless you live there and who wants to do that that place is disgusting Mall of Ga for me and live near

Exceptional Radio

January 24th, 2012
9:50 am

I remember when the location inside of Union Station Mall (Shannon Mall) closed in February 2010. It was my first time seeing a Chick Fil A go dark. When that happens, that is a sign of an area going down. When McDonalds pulls out, you officially live in the hood. South Dekalb Mall has been hurt by Stonecrest and other open air modern developments close to the mall. The mall needs a renovation on both the interior and exterior. A rebranding wouldn’t hurt either.

Wally

January 24th, 2012
9:51 am

Thats right TinyTam. NO one would go down there if they have a brain, read the comments.And Gwinnett Mall is not far behind. I live nearby and drive 10-12 miles to NOT have to shop there. Some people ruin everything they put their hands on.South Dekalb Mall has been CRIME RIDDEN for years,fact.

mike

January 24th, 2012
9:52 am

Not all malls are closing, just certain ones. I wonder why.

mike

January 24th, 2012
9:57 am

Wasn’t this the same mall where a riotous crowd busted down the doors and stormed the foot locker because they couldn’t wait until the mall opened to get the jordans?

say what?

January 24th, 2012
10:03 am

I will miss going there for lunch. The service was NOT the best, but it was so much better than chicken wings, greasy pseudo-Asian foods, and subs.

don'tcare

January 24th, 2012
10:09 am

yes Mike i do believe that was the mall with the riot about the shoes, but when you live like thugss you act like thugs how many of those were on “programs”

BBQ MAN

January 24th, 2012
10:09 am

lifelong… YOU are the only one that mentioned race! crime knows no color and state crime statistics show that mall area to be higher than average

ATLER

January 24th, 2012
10:14 am

I have went to the South Dekalb Chick-fil-a on many occasions coming from the college. I must say that all the negative comments are not warranted. The staff was extremely nice and very professional. With negative comments like some in this blog, I see why Ga stays divided. Get your noses out of the air and stop with the ignorant comments.

don'tcare

January 24th, 2012
10:15 am

cfa biscuits & sandwiches cost too much anyway do not go to cfa unless my grandchild wants to go when he visits cfa are you listening

Really don't care?

January 24th, 2012
10:20 am

At don’tcare:

“cfa biscuits & sandwiches cost too much anyway do not go to cfa unless my grandchild wants to go when he visits cfa are you listening”

Chick Fil A’s balance sheet says otherwise.

Lifelong ATL Resident

January 24th, 2012
10:21 am

I know several people who have been victims of crimes at that mall, and I would not even send my WORST ENEMY there.

You can get Chick-fil-a goodness in MUCH SAFER, MUCH CLEANER places.

oldschooldog

January 24th, 2012
10:22 am

Couldn’t have imagined this in 1975; what year will the one at Perimeter Mall suffer the same fate?

get your facts straight

January 24th, 2012
10:24 am

Actually it was Stonecrest Mall that had the shoe riot, ironically, there were not any problems at South Dekalb.

The Reverend Baby Doctor Bedpan

January 24th, 2012
10:26 am

I’m only hungry for Chick Fil A on Sundays……….

Lifelong ATL Resident

January 24th, 2012
10:31 am

It is NO coincidence that the AJC used a “file photo” of a Chick-fil-a location from a clean, safe neighborhood instead of actually sending one of the paper’s photographers over to that filthy, crime-ridden mall.

Chick-fil-a knows that mall is no longer safe for either its customers or its employees.

Chick-Fil-A Losing Its MOJO

January 24th, 2012
10:34 am

The next one they need to close is the Dekalb General Hospital location cause it’s got the worst service and the greasiest nastiest Chick-Fil-A product on earth.

Growing Up

January 24th, 2012
10:38 am

Some of my fondness memories are from South Dekalb mall with my granny and her best friend. We ate at this Chick Fil A on many occasions, so it is sad to see it leaving. And everyone complaining about South Dekalb, if you don’t like it, don’t go. You can get mugged or carjacked anywhere. If you watch your surroundings you will be much safer. Maybe the mall does need to be redone, but it is still a place for residents in the area to shop and eat. When people begin to respect themselves, they will respect the things they are given.

billy b.o.b.

January 24th, 2012
10:38 am

racist much?

cowabunga

January 24th, 2012
10:38 am

Would you get out of your car in that area unless it was an emergency?

ice

January 24th, 2012
10:43 am

Sorry South Dekalb is getting such a bad rap.I raised my children in South Dekalb and my grands are growing up there as well. If the neighborhood is bad we did it as a people. Think about it. Do we respect each other or just say tear it down. It was a beautiful place all sorts of everything. Until we decide that we want things around us to be nice everything will go out of business

Lifelong ATL Resident

January 24th, 2012
10:44 am

Being a lifelong Georgia Girl and huge Chick-fil-a fan, I cannot say I blame CFA for closing this location.

As great as Chick-fil-a food is, it is not worth getting shot, stabbed, robbed and/or raped at South DeKalb Mall by those urban entities who feel entitled to TAKE whatever they want and hurt anyone who doesn’t give them the “respect” they haven’t earned but feel entitled to, regardless.

There are better options for CFA in South DeKalb.

Be Safe, Everyone!

ice

January 24th, 2012
10:44 am

and yes I would get out of my car if needed

Chi Town

January 24th, 2012
10:46 am

Can anyone tell me why this Mall has gone down hill?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…………….

CFA

January 24th, 2012
10:48 am

There is a ton of crime in and around Gwinnett Place Mall. Ask the Gwinnett Police Dept, they will tell you.