Avalon Mall - History

History

The mall was built in 1967, and is located on Kenmount Road. The mall underwent major extensions in 1977, 1987 and 1999. In the late 1980s and 1990s low retail performance promoted mall management to embark on major renovation programs. In 1991, one of its anchor tenants, a local department store, Ayre and Sons (a chain with locations across Newfoundland and Labrador), declared bankruptcy and shut down; its space in the mall is occupied by a number of tenants, including The Gap and Scotiabank. In 1999, Empire Theatres closed its five-screen cinema in the mall (spanning the first and second floors; most of the Avalon Mall is on the first floor) and relocated to the Studio 12 movie theatre on the other end of the second floor (close to the mall's food court, the largest in Atlantic Canada). Most recently in 2005, the food court, washrooms, entrances and exterior of the mall went through major renovations.

On January 25, 2005, the Wal-Mart store in the Avalon Mall (which had originally opened as a Woolco store until it was taken over by Wal-Mart in 1994) closed and moved to the Kelsey Drive Power Centre, a SmartCentres property. Later in the year, the Sobeys store shut down and also moved to a larger location at Kelsey Drive. Currently, Sears occupies the space once held by Woolco and Wal-Mart (since fall 2005), and a combined Winners/HomeSense store occupies the space once held by Sobeys (since spring 2006). Both Sears and Winners moved from their stores nearby at the Village Shopping Centre.

Until Sunday shopping was legalized in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1998, retailing at the Avalon Mall was limited to flea markets on Sunday afternoons; even since then, most retailers have remained closed on Sundays. The only notable tenants in the mall that were open on Sundays included Lawtons Drugs, the cinema, and tenants in the food court. The flea market continued until December 2010, when mall management threatened it with closure.

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