Berkshire Mall losing another retailer as American Eagle announces closing

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LANESBOROUGH — Yet another national retailer is leaving the Berkshire Mall.

American Eagle Outfitters is closing its store at the Lanesborough mall, a company representative confirmed on Tuesday.

It's not clear when the store will actually close for good; no other information was available from the company.

The announcement comes less than three weeks before Sears, was one of the mall's anchor stores, is scheduled to close. One of the 30-year-old shopping complex's original anchors, Sears announced in November that it would be closing its Berkshire Mall store Jan. 28.

Since 2015, the mall has lost Best Buy, Macy's, Eastern Mountain Sports, Payless Shoe Source, Kay Jewelers and J.C. Penney, which closed its doors last June. The Target store remains open; it owns an attached building.

The 720,000-square-foot retail shopping complex, Berkshire County's largest, has had three owners since 2014, and been beset by a series of financial problems. Among them is the trend toward online shopping at sites like Amazon, which is affecting national retail industry as a whole.

The mall's current owner, Berkshire Mall Realty Holding LLC of Great Neck, N.Y., is currently involved in a legal dispute with a Pittsfield contractor for failing to pay for snow removal services at the complex last year, and has made late tax payments to the town of Lanesborough.

Unlike the financial struggles experienced by Sears, which announced on Thursday that it would be closing 100 more stores nationwide in March and April, American Eagle Outfitters has been doing well.

Buoyed by a better than expected holiday shopping season, the retailer posted solid comparable growth sales during the fourth quarter of 2017, with those sales rising by 8 percent, according to NASDAQ.com.

The company has posted positive comparable store sales for 11 straight quarters. The chain's stock has risen 59.6 percent in the past six months, much better than the industry's growth of 19.1 percent.

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or at (413) 496-6224.


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