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Williams-Sonoma closing at Columbiana; “Huge surprise” to take its place in 2018

Williams-Sonoma will close its location in Columbiana Centre on Jan. 16.
Williams-Sonoma will close its location in Columbiana Centre on Jan. 16.

After more than 10 years of business, high-end kitchen wares and home furnishings shop Williams-Sonoma will close its doors at Columbiana Centre on Jan. 16.

The departure that did not come as a surprise to mall management, however, who say it is part of the mall’s overall long-term planning.

“Obviously we hate to see them leave but there’s a plan in place for what we hope to be a huge surprise in 2018,” said Columbiana general manager Andrew Peach. “We can’t really disclose it at this time but it’s going to be something great.”

In addition to Williams-Sonoma closing, The Limited women’s apparel shop is leaving the mall, as well, as part of the company’s overall closing of all of its 250 stores nationwide. Despite those vacancies, the 826,000-square-foot center remains 99 percent occupied, Peach said.

“Our leasing strategy is such and our occupancy stays high enough that we can tweak things as far as a year out to be able to accommodate new tenants that that move us along with trends we see on the horizon,” Peach said. “The mall’s definitely not dying. We’re in a great position right now. We’re not going the direction some other malls in the area are going.”

On Feb. 13, the mall will welcome Dave & Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue in the space previously occupied by Sears.

“Dave & Buster’s didn’t just happen. That required long-term planning,” Peach said. “With 10-year leases you have to plan out well in advance to know what’s going to happen when that lease runs out.”

During the same week Williams-Sonoma closes at Columbiana, the store will also close its location in The Market Common at Myrtle Beach. The Columbiana location is the only Midlands-area location for the chain. The next closest locations are in Greenville, Charleston, Charlotte and in Columbiana’s sister mall in Augusta.

There is very limited merchandise remaining in the Columbiana store, according to store staff, but all of what is left is being sold at 40 percent off.