14 November 2011

Greenville Mall, Greenville, SC

A dead mall

I visited the city of Greenville only one time in 1997. We stayed for a week at an uncle’s house who had been living there for a few years. We may have gone to Greenville Mall only once; I only remember it as the small place we passed to get to the area’s dominant center, Haywood Mall. As we drove past, I remember that my uncle always seemed to comment, “That theater is supposed to be the largest in the south,” referring to the on-site Hollywood 20 Cinema. Whether this was true or not, I don’t know.

Greenville Mall Mallmanac ca. 1988. View the full PDF version here.

Truthfully, I don’t recall much about the mall. It was bright inside and pretty standard for the nineties interior. I remember just thinking how rare it was to see an up-market Parisian and a lower mid-market Montgomery Ward right next to each other. Other than that, it was a pretty unremarkable place. I could definitely see how Haywood Mall became top dog in Greenville.

I do know that the mall opened in 1978 and coexisted happily with Haywood until the latter expanded to the size that it is now. In the mid 90’s (when this mallmanac is dated), they re-tenanted with more upscale stores hoping to capture a niche market. This didn’t work out well and today, the mall seems to be pretty much dead.

Greenville Mall Mallmanac ca. 1997. View the full PDF version here.


  1. Greenville Mall was my favorite; it wasn't crowded, had nice stores and was shiny and new, and the interior was very attractive. Parisian was a great chain.

    It was a complete redevelopment of a largely vacant mall that had been a failure since the early '80s, and it just didn't work, unfortunately; people were already set in their ways of shopping at Haywood, which has been Greenville's largest and dominant (and now only) mall since 1980.

  2. Having Montgomery Ward as one of your anchors almost always seems to be the one-way ticket to becoming a dead mall.

    There some exceptions though, like Cordova Mall in Pensacola, FL. The other anchors were Dillard's and Parisian. When Ward's went belly up, they replaced the store with a big-box strip attached to the mall featuring Best Buy, Cost Plus World Market, Bed Bath & Beyond, and a Ross store inside the mall. The mall is still doing great business as the city's premier mall.

    1. Peachtree Mall in Columbus, Ga is another mall that not only survived but became dominant despite having Montgomery Ward initially.