CHICAGO (CBS) — A follow up to a story heard first on CBS 2.
Customers are not the only ones reeling from the possible closing of retailer HOBO.
One suburban mall owner is losing a major tenant.
CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker has the story from Forest Park.
A HOBO store is the anchor for the Forest Park Plaza. But in just 10 days, all of the inventory will be liquidated. But no one bothered to tell the mall owner.
CBS 2 first reported on Friday that home improvement store HOBO is on track to close its five stores in the Chicago area by the end of the year. Melody Winston is mall’s owner who said the company signed a 10 year lease.
“A 10 year commitment to Forest Park Plaza and the community,” said Winston.
It was a lease the company signed just 13 months ago. The financial impact on the mall, said Winston, can be huge.
“We’ve got 99,000 square-feet that HOBO occupies, said Winston. “Finding a tenant in these days can be difficult.”
At least a dozen others tenants rely on the foot traffic HOBO attracts.
Village leaders are also saddened.
“I’m very discouraged to hear about the possibility of HOBO closing,” said Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone. “The loss of jobs and revenue is devastating.”
Nearly 400 workers face losing their jobs. Company officials blame the store’s financial problems on too much competition from online retailers. A representative said they hope to find a buyer but are preparing to liquidate.
“We’re all just praying that this is nothing more than restructuring going on for HOBO,” said Winston. “But we are going to put it out there that we are looking for a new tenant.”
Signs of the store’s closing for good by the end of the year continue. Over the weekend, the owners’ announced all sales are final and there will be no more refunds.