Indian Mound Mall adds locally-owned stores, fills all leasable spaces

Indian Mound Mall adds locally-owned stores, fills all leasable spaces

HEATH – Indian Mound Mall may not be your parents’ or grandparents’ mall, but it’s also not the empty shopping center with numerous vacant spaces many experienced on their last visit.

Malls will probably never return to the pre-internet era, but after the worst of COVID, more people may want to get out of the house and shop locally.

General Manager Adam Jenkins said the Heath mall has filled every leasable space, with a dozen new stores or restaurants opened in the last 12 months and another coming soon. The food court, which had just one tenant, will have five in January.

“We are really proud of the progress we have made at the facility,” Jenkins said. “Online retail is huge and will continue to be huge. But it’s the only shopping center in the county. Those items you want to touch and feel and see. There has to be a place to go and see that.”

Whether people feel safer around others, or newcomers here for Intel are checking out local attractions, Jenkins said there has been a surge in brick-and-mortar retail.

“Our Black Friday numbers were fantastic,” Jenkins said. “People are feeling more comfortable coming out and us having a center full of retail definitely helps.”

Cricket's Closet, a locally-owned store at Indian Mound Mall, sells new and used home good items and clothing, and donates a portion of its proceeds to Heartbeats of Licking County.

All but a couple of the new stores are locally owned, which Jenkins said was by design.

“When I was looking at how do we fill these spaces, that was one of the things we looked at,” Jenkins said. “I think if we bring variety to the mall and engage the local community, … I felt it’s vital to have a mix of tenants.”