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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

carla roqs

January 25th, 2012
10:08 am

@grasshopper, when they closed rich’s downtown and moved that sales floor from there and from greenbriar (magnolia room days) to rich’s avondale mall- that was the only reason to go there.

PTC DAWG

January 25th, 2012
10:23 am

One small query…what exactly is a “Navigater”?

I’ve been in the ATL area for almost 50 years..so all BS aside, most folks of my age know what has gone on. I too frequented Mathis Dairy and South Dekalb Mall in my youth. Growing up in Clayton County before Southlake was even thought of, it was about one of 3 choices. Greenbriar/Lenox or South Dekalb.

Sadly many on these blogs are right, if not a bit over the top. Things have changed and those that know do not think they are for the better. Feel free to form your own opinion on what caused the change.

carla roqs

January 25th, 2012
11:17 am

i think that when you go anywhere you need to be careful of your surroundings. simply because certain happenings at s dekalb mall have made the news, i think it is smart to be on one’s ps and qs when parking, shopping and getting back into one’s car there. but…you kinda need to do that at most places. do i think crime has a color? no. many many years ago at macy’s downtown in the men’s designer dept, some kept their eyes on unkempt young, AA men. but the ones who really knew the deal- kept their eyes on well dressed white guys- they fit in and they were stealing the store blind because some people were being blinded by COLOR. once security learned their lesson, inventory leveled off. anyone can throw chicken bones, everyone eats chicken. anyone can throw rocks. i may live in a glass house, but i am going to throw this stone: when ‘racist’ is used, everyone’s head rears back– but most of you are indeed racist. #wateva

Say no to ghettos save our state from destruction.

January 25th, 2012
9:28 pm

Well i have lived here since i was a month old in south dekalb and i am white and no i don’t feel safe at that mall anymore the blacks think they own it and that the white people are trespassing when we go there but then again who wont’s to go there no one i know now there starting to destroy stone crest mall they are so destructive and nasty garbage everywhere they never clean anything.

AW

January 25th, 2012
11:20 pm

Greetings –
Thanks for sharing your comments (Jai, South DeKalb Resident)…..south DeKalb – CFA – has been a great spot for many of my friends years ago as teenagers. Surely this has changed somewhat, however, as I am sure many of your are fully aware many folk have left the area – headed to Lithonia, Gwinnett and other areas to run from these issues. Now guess what –issues are seen there as well. As a single woman, I have NOT been frighten to visit South DeKalb and received outstanding services at the CFA. If you have noticed the surrounding area is slowly changing and minor renovations taken place….for example the new Library. I envision that a free standing CFA will be built nearby. (ex: possibly replacing the Ms. Winners on Candler Rd). NOTE: 75 new freestanding locations are planned, while only two mall locations are in the works.

No_Malls4me

January 27th, 2012
9:11 am

Thanks for the heads up on the Gwinnett Place Mall. I used to go to the Frys Electronics there. I didn’t notice anything that would suggest a lot of crime but there is now no need to go out of my way to visit that store and become a victim.

It is hard to get mugged when you merely go to the front door and it is the Fedex guy with a smile on his face.

I imagine one reason Chick-fil-A is shuttering some mall stores is that it is difficult in some neighborhoods finding teenagers that will still say after serving you, “It has been my pleasure.” with a straight face.

sr citizen dawg

January 27th, 2012
10:53 am

Back in 50’s everything was shut down on Sundays (except medical needs stores, pharmacies etc) and it made for a better life.
I agree, Truett for President !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!