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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

jan

January 24th, 2012
1:08 pm

The real truth that no one seems to admit is that sorry but true, is that the employees steal from not just chick-fila but from anywhere and everywhere they work. I’m in Clayton Co. and stores, gas stations etc. that years ago thrived are now boarded up, and the reason is plain to figure. When a certain race moves in and starts working for a store, restaurant, gas station etc. you can sure as the day is long that in a matter of months maybe a year that store ,restaurant, station etc. will be boarded up because the employees are thieves and not only the employee but they allow their relatives,friends to steal from the employers place of business and after awhile the employer has no choice but to close and go out of business. I’ve seen it time and again. It’s what’s killing this country. All the crooks and scams ,thieves, and no I would definitely Not get outta my car anywhere near South Dekalb Mall. In the 60’s and 70’s yeah I would get out back then but since it’s been taken over by thugs , scumbags and the lot , hell NO! Seems to me that it all goes back to how you are raised. Some are raised with morals and respect and others are raised to steal , scam and take advantage of any and everthing although they are’nt entitled. Sad place Georgia has become. If not for the housing maket being so bad, I would sell and move to Tennesee or anywhere to escape this crime riden state called GA. I was born and raised here but it has gone to the dogs with all the scum from up North moving here.

gagirl

January 24th, 2012
1:12 pm

@ Bluestreak—-OMG you just took me back. I also went to Mt. Carmel and my grandparents would always pick me up. Sometimes we’d go to the mall for Chick-fil-A but my usual after-school snack was bought at Mathis Dairy. A bag of Tostitos and a juice drink…..oh the memories! :)

All of you racists can get over yourselves. Your ignorance is absolutely disgusting. It’s a shame that you would not like an entire race of people solely because of skin color. Anyway, I am black and don’t shop at S. DeKalb because the “mall” sucks and needs to close. I even remember when there was a Limited store there. How long ago was that?? However, not once have I felt unsafe or that I couldn’t get out of my car on Candler Rd. Are you serious? Don’t let what the mass media shows you on TV fool you. You will wind up living a very close-minded and sad life if you buy into all these stereotypes. Beautiful people come in all shades.

The REAL Reason

January 24th, 2012
1:14 pm

The truth is that these locations closing becuase they are in BLACK areas of town. White compay + black customers= racism. If this was in a white only area, no way they would be closing the location.

joe in tucker

January 24th, 2012
1:15 pm

two words -
1) demographics
2) Simon Properties

Native Atlantan

January 24th, 2012
1:16 pm

Jeez people…read the caption UNDER the picture. It’s very clear that CFA is planning to open more free-standing units LIKE THE ONE IN THE PICTURE.

joe in tucker

January 24th, 2012
1:16 pm

@the Real Reason – you’re and idiot, looks at the crime stats and you have your answer.. fix your neighborhood, you’re the racist here…

gagirl

January 24th, 2012
1:18 pm

Jan, I wish you would leave and go back to Appalachia. White people don’t like living next to poor whites hence the term “white trash”. I can’t even believe you call your own people that, btw. But let poor blacks move in and they somehow all get lumped together with the rest of the race. You’re unbelievably ingorant. “Some are raised with morals and respect and others are raised to steal , scam and take advantage of any and everthing although they are’nt entitled”. You do realize that applies to ALL races, right????? Clearly, your parents didn’t do a good job of raising you either.

Gee

January 24th, 2012
1:18 pm

Thank god all malls are dinosaurs. They are such an affront to humanity and hopefully will never be revived. Real neighborhoods- left for dead all over Atlanta- will come back to life. Witness the Edgewood Avenue neighborhood. There are some real stirrings of life there with some vibrant retailers and restaurants. Hopefully a CFC will never roost there though.

JASon

January 24th, 2012
1:24 pm

I just think its funny that there’s an article about a food court restaurant closing. The media is all about appeasing sponsors, not about reporting honestly.

Native Atlantan

January 24th, 2012
1:27 pm

@The Real Reason — u are a complete moron. Lack of profits, zoning changes, security issues, rent increases — these are the reason businesses close. Go to school much?

who cares

January 24th, 2012
1:28 pm

Gee someone mentions RACE again.Well guess what? Turn on the news and see WHO is getting arrested? It was like a JUNGLE in that mall. total animals doing whatever they wanted because they thought they were ENTITLED to it. Do something about it. Train these idiots to behave like normal civilians. you have no one to blame but your OWN organizations that want to act like wild animals. Just look at the news or COPS and you will see what is being arrested. Time to stop the blame game and the race card game and deal with reality.

STIMPY

January 24th, 2012
1:45 pm

C’mon ROD and whatever fool agrees with him CARLA! Stop being such a douche bag……… They were simply showing that while one door was closing another is on the horizon. It’s called marketing……. We all know that all malls no matter where they are have experienced a decline like all fasettes of the economy. I say hats off to you CFA ‘Its my pleasure” to say continue to provide the community with the impecable service that you render. # BRING IT

tim

January 24th, 2012
1:47 pm

South Dekalb………..the name says it all…………

BULLSEYE

January 24th, 2012
1:50 pm

I used to work at the Winn-Dixie store there at South Dekalb. Great bunch of people to know; however, the customers were nothing but thieves.

Wally

January 24th, 2012
1:56 pm

Geez,

Maybe segregation WAS a good idea after all.

Boris Badnoff

January 24th, 2012
1:57 pm

The Chick Fil-A at North Dekalb Mall went belly up years ago. All of Dekalb County is in full decline due to CEO Vernon Jones. Burl Ellis, The Messiah, etc. If you want a good paying job in Dekalb County become a school superintendent. Or some other position with the county government.

Hanes or Fruit of the Loom?

January 24th, 2012
2:01 pm

Thank you, Jenny, for this article. Those of us that were actually born and raised here in the 50s and 60s appreciate knowing about the bygones.

Those of you that like to ambush a blog to spout your closet ideology should put on grown folks panties and start your own blogs!

Edward Ruffin

January 24th, 2012
2:09 pm

Businesses do not prosper in certain locations………………..I can’t say it, it is politically incorrect.

sw

January 24th, 2012
2:11 pm

I think a lot of things have to do with malls and the area going down….gentrification less educated and less affluent households with more educated, affluent and professional households in urban core areas perceived as desirable and convenient resulting in reinvestment and selective displacement. education, the people live they way people was rasied. I lived in the westly chapel area from 1975 til 2003. Thats where I grow up my mom and dad bought a house back in the area. back in the 1980’s it was great people had values they respected there mom and dad and we just didnt play video games all day we had chores to do. well honestly the mothers and grand mothers are getting younger and the father is no involved in childres life. so it become a generational curse.. and it goes on and on til someone has sense to do better. the kids suffer the schools suffer the area suffers because people have to respect for there property, no one does yard work. they just stand on the corner and do nothing and the girls get all these kids and don train the child to get an education.. so people want to move farther way from all these problems. but you still have problems no matter where you go, its just it starts in the home. southdekalb use to be a beautiful area back in the day, even towers was great, but you think i would send my child to towers high school. people are getting worse because they have no value to life, property, child are talking back to there parents… hey but didnt the bible prodict it would be like this…..

sw

January 24th, 2012
2:20 pm

Im sorry to say but look at memorial drive.. all they have is applebees check cashing and jails. once memorial drive use to be A thriving place.. it looks like a hood and no one cares because they think it is normal, this is the way things should be.. but business moved out people moved out.. white in flight…. they had to leave. no go back over to the westly chapel area. whites are there. blacks moved in properity value goes down, the house are not taken care of .. the white people come back and buy the houses for little or nothing fix the area up. the black people who do live there cannot afford to stay there because of the property value… so now the area is mostly all whites thriving and looking great…. example KIRKWOOD

Cump Sherman

January 24th, 2012
2:48 pm

Chick-fil-a SAVED the Peach Bowl. Some people’s children . . . are such idiots.

GT Grad

January 24th, 2012
2:54 pm

All the folks saying SD Mall is OK, are any of you white??? I am, and a pretty big dude, and had to pick up an item there that no other stores had and was treated like a slave owner. Talk about racism. That place is the definition of it. And I was actually buying something, unlike the other 95% of people in there. Disrespectful, rude, arrogant people. I remember it when it was the mall of choice for the eastside metro residents before Gwinnett came and took over, but it’s literally a hole. Let it cater to the black residents of DeKalb and Rockdale. I give it 2 years, maybe, and it will be one big crack house. Facts are facts folks, and that mall has been ruined by it’s own environment, just like Gwinnett. Sad sad sad

Neil Boortz

January 24th, 2012
2:56 pm

Define racism.

SexyCool

January 24th, 2012
2:56 pm

It’s a fast food restaurant closing. The world is so NOT going to end.

King Bobby

January 24th, 2012
2:56 pm

Jenny wrote:

“Hey guys. You’re right the story is about a mall Chick-fil-A and I used a photo of a freestanding one. Consistent with the trend of CFA moving toward freestanding ones! I updated the photo with a note.”

Where did you go to school for journalism? I count several grammatical errors. Or was your “proof” off today?

Zeidler&Zeidler

January 24th, 2012
2:59 pm

Picadilly should be next!! Should have been first to close..but since it’s not, it definitely should be next.

bob

January 24th, 2012
3:05 pm

You’re all RACISTS!!!

GT Grad

January 24th, 2012
3:07 pm

racism = Neil Boortz speaking at SD Mall

HaHa

January 24th, 2012
3:27 pm

people its SOUTH DEKALB MALL. Nothing in that area should surprise anyone. I am sure that Chic-Fil-A corporate was excited to close that location since I’m sure they were paying triple the insurance for that place.

Panthersville Rd

January 24th, 2012
3:42 pm

I work on Panthersville Road and the real reason the Chic-fil-a store is closing is because of the location inside the mall. No one really wants to go inside the mall to get lunch. If we do to the mall, we go in groups . There have been so much crime in and around that mall in last couple of years it’s ridiculous. We call it murder mall it so bad. You never know when it’s a good time to go there no matter whether it’s morning , noon, or night.So I think there would be a tremendous amount of sucess with the store being outside the mall. Good Luck !!

capitalism knows only one color:green

January 24th, 2012
3:45 pm

Bottom line, is the bottom line. If it isn’t making money, you pull out. It’s not white, black, brown, or yellow….it’s green, or lack thereof that closes most any retail operation.

Neil Boortz

January 24th, 2012
3:59 pm

Define ‘fair’…

Torpedo

January 24th, 2012
4:48 pm

@Lifelong ATL Resident …………You have some people making comments about a part of town they probably don’t frequent and have not much first hand input on. I agree, call them idiots or whatever you want, but right away infer they are racists? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????

Don Abernethy

January 24th, 2012
4:49 pm

CFL in a mall is not as good an experience as in one of their stores. The people who eat at CFL seem to be more polite than at the other ones. I also like the christian music in the stores that you cannot get in the malls. CFA is the number one choice of churches as a fast food resturant. If the ecomony continues to slow down more malls may have to close. I like to shop in malls but not eat in them.

the facts from a real estate guy

January 24th, 2012
4:56 pm

CFA closing is not due to race, but declining sales. Sales are declining because their are fewer people/customers at the mall. Fewer people at the mall because newer, modern shopping malls have opened since 1973, including Stonecrest. Guess what? Most consumers that exercise options, regardless of race, want modern facilities and amenities. Consumers with income and transportation will self select into better shopping environments. Reinvestment in South DeKalb Mall has been minimal, at best. The best use for the location could be qas as future “super” Target or grocery anchored shopping center serving the community. People who imply that race is THE issue instead of one of many factors ignore the fact that Stonecrest is serving the same consumers that used to frequent South DeKalb Mall. Money is green people. If you run a business, that’s the only color that matters. Race did not close the CFA, lack of customers, lack of money closed the CFA.

nat

January 24th, 2012
4:57 pm

K-10,Who ran you and your out of town?

the facts from a real estate guy

January 24th, 2012
4:59 pm

oh – sorry for the typos before anyone starts calling me ignorant/idiot/dumb etc.

Diddy

January 24th, 2012
5:18 pm

Diddy

January 24th, 2012
5:27 pm

FIRST OFF, SOUTH DEKALB MALL IS NOT OVERWHELMED WITH CRIME. Most of these people positing negative things have probably never been there and relying on their perception since it is on an “urban” area. I have been there countless times and never experience any crime. The only negative experience I encountered was somebody coming up to me asking for money, but the same thing happened to me at Lenox so go figure. The mall has ample security.

The folks at CFA are cleary projecting a downward trend in sales at this location and decided not to renew the lease. Or they figured the amount of rent they were paying was too much and decided to open a stand alone spot.

Horsetoothedjackass

January 24th, 2012
5:27 pm

While the CFA location inside of North Dekalb Mall closed, there is a free standing location on North Druid Hills Road right in front of the mall.

If I’m not mistaken, the CFA at Phipps closed (along with a number of other food outlets) because of the Legoland Discovery Center being built in that spot.

sya

January 24th, 2012
6:08 pm

@ wally…don’t assume all of US over here in sdklb cty are “poor”…myself and my neighbors who probably look a lot like you are doing pretty well for ourselves…and only 5 minutes from sdklb mall…

Raydar

January 24th, 2012
6:45 pm

That’s okay… There’s a Popeye’s and a Church’s right across the street.

Miles

January 24th, 2012
7:07 pm

I am a well educaded African-American male. I am very intelligent and successful. I live in a $529,340 house in Dekalb and I drive a nice Lincoln Navigater. I also have season tickets to the Atlanta Falcons. I can afford to eat Chickfila whenever I want to and I have never once thrown any of my bones out in the parking lot.

I bet I make more money than anybody on this blog. Therefore many of you just want to be jealous and hate.

All of you people on here saying that black people are capable of committing crimes and making Chickfila go out of business are very ignorent.

Uncle Thomas

January 24th, 2012
8:04 pm

It is called The Gallery at South DeKalb right?

Neil Boortz

January 24th, 2012
8:54 pm

Define bones

Omar Little

January 25th, 2012
2:55 am

“I am a well educaded African-American male.”

Go on, I’m intrigued…

GEORGIA boy

January 25th, 2012
7:41 am

@ATL Race has noting to do with it? ckeck the crime stats for Dekalb and get informed about your town!

carla roqs

January 25th, 2012
8:46 am

ummmmm, @ miles– ignorent is not a word. i hope you are not the miles i know- but then, he does not live in dek county. also- people spelling is not truly a sign of intellect–cough cough- but @sw- you are truly “ignorent” as miles would say. i am dying here. omgosh. this is too much, jenny ima have to call you john the second- you rather set it off with this one. @the facts from a real estate guy, January 24th, 2012,4:56 pm–THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Grasshopper

January 25th, 2012
9:29 am

Remember Avondale Mall anyone? Is this South Dekalb’s future?

Nice weather we're having!

January 25th, 2012
10:01 am

I hate Malls.