“People are kind of upset.”
Karen Dillon says she's "very sad" that the Hallmark store at Northgate Mall in Chattanooga plans to close next month after 43 years at the shopping center.
"I could always find a gift in the store," the shopper said outside the Hallmark on Tuesday.
Hallmark, one of Northgate Mall's oldest tenants, is to shut down that store and another at Hamilton Place mall early next year.
Pam Beeler, manager at the Northgate store, said the company is slated to shutter the pair of Hallmarks on Jan. 27.
"People are kind of upset," she said, referring questions to the company's corporate office in Kansas City, Mo., which did not return requests for comment.
Kim Lyons Carson, marketing director at Hamilton Place, said Hallmark has been open at the East Brainerd mall since 1987, the year that center opened.
"Our leasing team is working diligently to fill the space with a new and exciting tenant," Carson said.
Ron Weaver, owner of Diana's Hallmark Shop at Oak Park Town Center on Highway 153 in Hixson, said that store will continue to operate and serve Hallmark customers.
Hallmark was founded in 1910 by teenage entrepreneur J.C. Hall, and it's still led by members of the founding family as a private company, according to its website. Hallmark's businesses employ about 28,000 worldwide and generate revenues of some $4 billion annually.
The company has six businesses, including Hallmark Greetings which it says offers a range of greeting cards, gift wrap and related products in more than 100 countries and 100,000 retailer rooftops worldwide.
Hallmark Retail includes more than 2,000 Hallmark Gold Crown stores in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland and Scotland. Hallmark Home and Gifts offers a broad array of home decor and gift products.
Also, the company's Crayola nameplate sells a range of art materials and toys and also operates Crayola Experience attractions.
Crown Media Family Networks operates Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama, three 24-hour cable networks.
Meanwhile, Crown Center is a real estate development company that manages the 85-acre hotel, office, entertainment and residential complex surrounding Hallmark's world headquarters in Kansas City.
Malls, including those in Chattanooga, are beefing up their offerings at a time when some big department stores such as Sears and J.C. Penney struggle and smaller retailers such as Gymboree, Payless Shoes and The Limited close stores.
CBL Properties, which owns both Chattanooga malls as well as others nationally, is changing the mix in its centers to less apparel and more entertainment, service, fitness and wellness.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6318.
This story was updated at 5:39 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017.