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Atrium Mall retailers dwindling; Gap prepares to close Saturday

Posted by Deidre Fernandes  February 23, 2012 05:50 PM

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The Atrium Mall is losing another retailer this Saturday and at least two others in the coming months.

Gap and GapKids will shut its doors on Saturday after the mall closes for the night, Les Morris, a spokesman for the Simon Property Group, which owns the Atrium, said in an e-mail.

On March 26, jeweler Ross-Simons will move to the Mall at Chestnut Hill across the street from the Atrium on Route 9. Simon also owns the Mall at Chestnut Hill property.

J.Crew, which opened one of its first shops nationwide at the Atrium, is also planning to move to the nearby Mall at Chestnut Hill in the coming months, said Emily Guye, a store manager.

Plans for that move are still being finalized, she said.

Simon is trying to sell the Atrium. But company officials have been tight-lipped about their plans beyond that, and the mall's future has been a topic of much speculation around Newton.

When the Atrium opened in 1989 it was a beacon for upscale shoppers in Boston’s western suburbs. With its signature skylight, gold-toned and marble finishes and boutique stores, the Atrium was a destination.

But the mall has struggled in recent years and faced increased competition. It lost Borders Books & Music, Williams-Sonoma, Abercrombie & Fitch, and luxury jewelry store Tiffany & Co in quick succession. Tiffany & Co. moved across the street to the Mall at Chestnut Hill.

Now, swaths of each of the four floors at the Atrium Mall are dark with empty storefronts.

After Gap closes there will be 14 retailers remaining in the Atrium.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com

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