By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
For months, it appeared that the Corinth Sears Hometown Store was on the verge of moving from its current location in the Harper Square Mall to the SouthGate shopping center less than two miles away.
The Sears Hometown Store sign was even put on the proposed new location and plans seemed to be progressing for the business to relocate soon. But now there are “no immediate plans” for Sears Hometown to move from its current Harper Square location to SouthGate.
The prior independent operator is no longer affiliated with the store, and the Sears Hometown corporation has taken over the business, a spokeswoman told Corinth Today.
“The Corinth, Miss. Sears Hometown Store, located at 1801 S. Harper Road in the Harper Square Mall, is currently being operated by the company and will remain open for business to serve our customers,” a company statement said. “The former independent owner and operator is no longer affiliated with the store. We are conducting a search to identify new owner candidates for this store. We have no immediate plans to relocate this store and intend to maintain our presence in the Corinth community.”
It was unclear why the prior independent owner’s affiliation with the store ceased just as the store was apparently preparing to relocate to the south end of the SouthGate shopping center.
A Tale of Two Shopping Centers?
The SouthGate center has lost national business tenants in the past couple of years with the closures of JCPenney, Goody’s and Books-A-Million.
With the Sears Hometown Store plans now in limbo, SouthGate appears to have been dealt another setback.
However, there have been signs of revitalization at the SouthGate Center in recent months. In March, a new energy-efficient roof was installed over the proposed new Sears Hometown Store location and Belk.
A representative from SouthGate was not immediately available for comment Friday.
While SouthGate has seen businesses close, Harper Square Mall less than two miles away has recently seen a major revitalization with the addition of national businesses. Hobby Lobby opened in Harper Square about a year ago, and Marshalls and ALDI are set to open soon.
The SouthGate shopping center, which is owned by Village Properties, is located adjacent to a section of U.S Highway 72 East that has average daily traffic of 24,000 vehicles, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
Another Corinth shopping center, Fulton Crossing, has seen some new businesses in the past year with the addition of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Harbor Freight Tools, which both took a portion of the former Kmart.