NWA Mall Adds Stores, Staff

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 86 views 

The lineup at the Northwest Arkansas Mall is changing both in its offerings and behind the scenes.

Two new retailers, Forever 21 and Rack Room Shoes, have recently opened, and the mall announced the additions of Diane Dunlap and Keith Hill to the management staff.

Midwest Mall Properties, a partnership of John Flake, Sam Mathias and Doyle Rogers, bought the NWA Mall and two others for $400 million in December 2006.

Forever 21 opened in a 9,238-SF space that combines the former homes of Bath & Body Works and The Shoe Department. Bath & Body Works moved to the former home of FYE near the food court last year. Rack Room Shoes has a 4,992-SF space in the JC Penney wing.

Garcia’s, owned by Eateries Inc., will open this month in the former location of Garfield’s, a restaurant that closed earlier this year.

Dunlap has worked at the mall for seven years in various positions before her promotion; Hill worked at the mall under the previous management until 2004 before most recently working at the Frisco Station Mall in Rogers.

“Keith and Diane both bring high energy and solid experience to our team,” said Jeff Bishop, senior property manager. “We’re very excited to have them at Northwest Arkansas Mall and I’m expecting great things from them.”

Breilly Hilburn, a former manager at Gadzooks, which is owned by the same parent company as Forever 21, said business has been “fantastic” since its May 9 opening.

“It’s been better than we’d hoped,” she said.

Forever 21, which also has a location at the outdoor Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers, offers trendy clothes at affordable prices.

“We’ve got every style for any girl you can imagine,” she said.