H&M permanently shutters Stony Point Fashion Park store

H&M has permanently closed at Stony Point Fashion Park. (BizSense file photo)

As local malls begin to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown, one major tenant has walked away from Stony Point Fashion Park for good.

H&M, the Swedish clothing retail brand, has permanently closed its store at the South Richmond mall less than three years after opening there.

An H&M company spokesperson on Monday confirmed the closure. The spokesperson didn’t cite the pandemic as a factor, and cast the move as a response to “changing customer behavior.”

The 20,000-square-foot Stony Point store already had been temporarily closed due to the pandemic, according to the mall’s website. Messages left for the mall’s spokeswoman and management office weren’t returned.

The company didn’t respond to questions about how many employees worked at the store or whether any of its other area stores are affected. There are H&M stores at Short Pump Town Center and Chesterfield Towne Center, according to the company’s website.

The H&M Group, which owns the flagship H&M line as well as other brands, announced this month that sales in the United States dropped 71 percent from March 1 to May 6, and that total sales decreased 57 percent compared to the same period last year. However, online sales increased 32 percent from the same time in 2019.

The company began to reopen stores in some of its markets in late April. In early May, about 3,000 of the group’s roughly 5,000 worldwide stores were temporarily closed. Stony Point shut down temporarily due to the coronavirus in late March and remains closed, though other malls in the region have reopened.

H&M’s departure is yet another blow for Stony Point, which has struggled in recent years in part from the same troubles that have plagued the traditional retail industry, while also suffering from other ailments.

The loan on the mall, which had been owned by real estate giant Starwood Retail Partners, was put into delinquent status earlier this year. Then this month, it was reported that Starwood lost ownership of the mall after it was put under control of a special servicer, which manages troubled commercial mortgage-backed securities loans.

And H&M is the latest large retail chain to confirm its departure from a local mall, following Nordstrom’s decision to permanently close at Short Pump Town Center by August.

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J. Jackson
J. Jackson
6 months ago

Ugh, this is not looking good for that mall. Hopefully there is a creative use for its future. This was the future of malls, where you were not inside and could bring your dog. Could Banana Republic somehow become a residential space?

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
6 months ago
Reply to  J. Jackson

Space was never developed for residential inside the loop road and it would take a lot of work (and some dollars) to get systems through the parking lot and into the mall for housing. I agree wish they did it first but back in early 2000s that was to novel for metro RVA.

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
6 months ago

Personally, I think they missed the boat when they put all the residential on the outside of the ring road. They should have brought it in and made it integral to the mall. It could have made it much more of a vibrant space. As it is, people tend to go home from their jobs and not leave their little communities even though the mall is right across the street.

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
6 months ago

No mention of JCPs announcement today on here. It is closing 30% of its open the stores permanently too.

I am certain Virginia Center Commons will close and 50-50 chance is that Regency will lose its last anchor tenant.

Fred Squire
Fred Squire
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dodson

I said it months ago, the $50mil makeover was a huge miss and a huge waste of money. How it can lose a Starbucks, and a chipotle?!?!?

I have no idea how someone who draws a salary could have approved that plan. Putting the weird modern benches in and doing ticky tack changes to the interior space was such a poor execution.

This mall seems like it is going to just continue to go downhill. Maybe another $50mil on some brick work will save it.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
6 months ago
Reply to  Fred Squire

They didn’t go through with the $50M improvement plan beyond minor cosmetic changes, and I doubt they ran much over $1M, if that much. All they did was add/update seating areas as far as I could tell. The biggest project they had as part of the improvement project was opening up a road between PF Chang’s and Brio to the other side of the mall to make way for easier access to parking for restaurant patrons. That is no longer needed and I agree with what others said: this project should have always looked much more like West Broad Village… Read more »

Kay Christensen
Kay Christensen
6 months ago

There is no hope for Stony Point as a retail destination. The entire center will fail…location, location, location and Stony Point doesn’t have it. This was destination failure from the beginning.

Deon Hamner
Deon Hamner
6 months ago

At this point all that’s really left is CineBistro and PF Chang’s…. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP THIS MALL..

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
6 months ago

Turn it all into condos.

Have loved this mall, the dog friendliness of it, etc. Will be hard to shop when all these companies shift to primarily online business models.

Brett Martin
Brett Martin
6 months ago

I thought it was strange that H & M opened here and kept the Chesterfield Towne Center store open. Unless their lease allowed them to leave with no penalty, their sales must have been very meager here. I wonder when Dillard’s lease expires. The city’s ingratitude toward business isn’t helpful. The sales tax on prepared foods is significantly higher than in the neighboring counties. Latitudes was able to open this past weekend in Westchester Commons while their place at Stony Point remained forcibly shuttered. According to the RTD, they had purchased food to reopen, then late Thursday night the Governor… Read more »