WASHINGTON MALLS RECOVERING FROM SNOWSTORM DEPREDATIONS
Byline: Joyce Barrett
WASHINGTON — Sunny weekend skies and temperatures in the 40s helped some malls here rebound from back-to-back snowstorms that shuttered stores for days and forced early closings.
Potomac Mills, the 1.6 million-square-foot discount center in Prince William County, closed its 230 stores Saturday due to threats of roof cave-ins. Potomac Mills stores are housed in pre-engineered metal buildings with flat roofs.
The mall’s seven anchors reopened Sunday, and all stores but Northern Reflections — a winter apparel specialty store, which suffered the most roof damage — were open Monday. Negotiations are under way with Northern Reflections’ owner, Woolworth Corp., and Mills Corp., the owners of Potomac Mills, to compensate the store for damages and lost sales, said Kent Digby, Mills Corp. executive vice president.
Northern Reflections is expected to reopen today in temporary quarters at Potomac Mills, Digby said.
He estimated the mall’s merchants lost $1 million in sales over the weekend but said “terrific” traffic on Sunday should help the anchors make up for losses.
At Springfield Mall, Springfield, Va., anchored by Macy’s, Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney, mall manager Jerry Robinson said 50,000 people visited the mall on Saturday and 38,000 on Sunday, noting that typical Saturday mall traffic is 43,000.
The mall had an early 5 p.m. closing Friday when a second storm added about six inches of snow to the two feet already on the ground.
At Tyson’s Corner in Virginia, anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Hecht’s, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom, general manager Ken Blue said Saturday and Sunday were “as busy as the weekend before Christmas.”
In the District, Georgetown Park Mall was not affected by Friday’s storm, said general manager Tim Steffan, because skies cleared by mid- afternoon and the crowds were already downtown.
Georgetown Mall was closed 2 1/2 days overall because of the storms, and Steffan said special events are on the agenda to help recoup some of the lost business.