LANESBOROUGH — The Berkshire Mall lost another national retail chain last week, and a second major store has announced plans to close next week.
MasterCuts hair salon closed its outlet last week, while Victoria's Secret plans to shut down its store March 4, the mall's general manager James Ruiz confirmed on Monday.
The MasterCuts in the mall closed on Feb. 21. It was one of four stores that was recently shuttered by the chain's parent company, the Regis Corp. of Minneapolis, Ruiz said. Regis Corp. is one of the world's largest hair salon brands with ownership interests in nearly 10,000 locations. In 2018, Regis closed 600 underperforming SmartStyle stores, another hair salon brand that it operates.
Victoria's Secret did not provide Berkshire Mall management with an explanation of why the store is closing, Ruiz said. The store has a mixture of 12 full- and part-time employees. Tammy Roberts Meyers, a spokeswoman for L Brands of Columbus, Ohio, Victoria's Secret's parent company, did not return an email message seeking comment.
Due to lackluster sales last summer, Victoria's Secret announced in November that it planned to close 20 stores nationwide by the end of 2018, but did not say which ones.
L Brands also owns Bath & Body Works, one of the mall's few remaining national retail chains. The mall's Bath & Body Works outlet is not planning to close, the store manager said Monday.
The 720,000-square-foot Berkshire Mall, which marked its 30th anniversary in September, has struggled financially for years for a variety of reasons, including the changes that have affected in-store retail shopping since the advent of e-commerce.
All four of the mall's national anchor tenants have left since October 2015, along with several smaller chains, including GNC and The Children's Place last year. Nationally, many of these smaller chains, known as "in-line tenants," have closed with little or no warning.
Of the top 25 national retail tenants in the 950 malls examined during 2017 in an industry study published by the Green Street Advisory Group last year, almost half [more than 1,200] closed without any public announcements, according to Forbes Magazine. MasterCuts is one of the retailers that has conducted silent closings that is mentioned in that study.
These silent closings "present a significant risk factor" to the mall sector, according to the report, because Green Street considers inline tenants to be a "bellwether of the health of mall properties," Forbes said.
Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at email@example.com or 413-496-6224.