Despite vacant stores in I-10 Mall, open stores doing well - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Despite vacant stores in I-10 Mall, open stores doing well

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Minister Greg Warren discusses BP claims "project" and his past

    Minister Greg Warren discusses BP claims "project" and his past

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:49:36 GMT
    He recognizes his tax evasion and wire fraud convictions make people suspicious of him. But Minister Greg Warren says his heart is in the right place as he attempts to assist people he says may qualify for compensation in connection with the 2010 BP oil spill. "I was called to the ministry about 35 years ago. My father was a traveling evangelist for about 52 years," said Warren, who is with the Pear Ridge Church of Hammond.The idea of cashing in on the BP oil spill is something that appeals...More >>
    He recognizes his tax evasion and wire fraud convictions make people suspicious of him. But Minister Greg Warren says his heart is in the right place as he attempts to assist people he says may qualify for compensation in connection with the 2010 BP oil spill. "I was called to the ministry about 35 years ago. My father was a traveling evangelist for about 52 years," said Warren, who is with the Pear Ridge Church of Hammond.The idea of cashing in on the BP oil spill is something that appeals...More >>
  • Authorities investigate report of suspicious device in Ragley

    Authorities investigate report of suspicious device in Ragley

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:42:05 GMT
    The Louisiana State Police and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office are investigating reports of a suspicious device found on Bill Gilbert Road in Ragley.More >>
    The Louisiana State Police and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office are investigating reports of a suspicious device found on Bill Gilbert Road in Ragley.More >>
  • Authorities: Man attempts suicide in courtroom

    Authorities: Man attempts suicide in courtroom

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:24:42 GMT
    A 57-year-old St. Martinville man found guilty on sexual charges attempted suicide after receiving his sentence in a St. Martinville courtroom on Thursday, KATC-TV reports.More >>
    A 57-year-old St. Martinville man found guilty on sexual charges attempted suicide after receiving his sentence in a St. Martinville courtroom on Thursday, KATC-TV reports.More >>
IOWA, LA (KPLC) -

Built in the late 1980's, the I-10 Outlet Mall in Iowa has weathered devastating natural disasters over the years.

It's left it with fewer and fewer stores and has many wondering how it stays open.

Stores in the mall are trying to rebuild their image, just as they've rebuilt the mall itself.

Many who run stores in the mall spoke with us on behalf of the mall owner, giving us an inside look at what they've personally experienced over the years. And this year, is an important one for the mall.

"It marks the 25th year that the mall and VF outlet have been here in this mall," explained Edward Allums, who manages the VF Outlet store located in the I-10 Mall in Iowa.

"We definitely get the traffic," said Allums.

It's easy to see why. With their large sign visible to interstate traffic, the mall appears to have the perfect location.

But the promising shopping venue that started with more than 20 stores now has just a handful.

"Right now we have about five or six stores that are presently in the mall," said Allums.

Employees blame bad luck for that, with natural disasters like a tornado in 2002 to Hurricane Rita.

"It just took a long time to get the economy and the area back up and rebuilt, so a lot of stores then executed their rights in the lease to cut the lease and they moved on," said Allums.

As a result of natural disasters over the years there are a lot of vacant stores in the mall. But despite that, stores that are open here say they're in good financial shape.

"I tripled my business by being here," said Dorinda DeReese, owner of Gifts Gallore.

Moving from downtown, DeReese has run Gifts Gallore at the I-10 Mall for almost five years.

She joins Connie Gawith, who has run Connie's at the mall for nearly three years.

"Financially speaking overall, we do turn a profit," said Gawith.

Both are mom and pop type stores, and just like the VF Outlet, relies heavily on local loyal customers.

"We're doing really, really well right now," said Allums.

While sales may be good for stores that are open here, the problem remains in getting more to open up shop.

"We keep thinking it's got to happen and with the boom in Lake Charles we really have high hopes and think we're going to grow," said DeReese.

Allums added, "It's just getting one or two small businesses in and letting the community see that they're surviving and making it and I think that's really going to help us grow the mall."

And if experience has taught them anything, it's that despite each hurdle, they're able to keep moving forward, which keeps them optimistic.

"Yes, we're definitely going to be here another 25 years," said Allums.

Because there's just a handful of stores open, one side of the mall is closed except when it's leased out for events, or until someone permanently sets up shop.

I-10 Mall information: http://southernretail.blogspot.com/2012/09/i-10-outlet-mall-iowa-la.html

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow