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franklin county times

Bonita Lakes Mall sales show
small increase in tough economy

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
MAY 27, 2001
Like the rest of the economy, these aren't the best of times for sales and profits at Bonita Lakes Mall. But mall manager Bob Jenkins concedes the numbers could be worse.
Nationally, retail mall sales are up about 1.6 percent during the first four months of the year. Bonita Lakes' sales have increased 1.2 percent, Jenkins said.
Jenkins added that the opening of the new Super Wal-Mart Center and other stores near it will help the Mall.
Bonita Lakes, which opened in October 997, is still listed at 100 percent occupied, though M&L Gifts in the center court has been closed for several months. Jenkins said the company had filed for bankruptcy, adding that he has several inquiries about the location once its available to rent out again.
He has another open place in the Bonita Lakes Crossing, just south of the Mall, where Shoe City went out earlier this year. "We are looking to bring a stronger store in," Jenkins said.
Look for different promotions throughout the summer as Jenkins and his staff work to bring people into the Mall during what are usually slow months in June and July. For instance, the State Games of Mississippi will hold their Judo Competition at Bonita Lakes Mall on June 16, and the Fencing competition on June 23.
Jenkins, who has been part of the Bonita Mall staff since it opened, was promoted earlier this year from regional marketing director to property manager.
Bonita Lakes Mall is the property of CBL &Associates Properties, Inc. The company owns or manages 158 shopping centers including 51 regional malls in 26 states totaling 55.9 million square feet.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com