Phoenix's Commentary

Posted January 8, 2005 (user submitted)

The story of how Greeneville Commons is slowly dying is quite a cliche. You'll probably hear it a million times if you haven't already, so I'm going to use it, no matter how common of a phrase it may be. The phrase is "Wal Mart is slowly but surely killing our mall."

Built in the early 1990's or so by New Plan Developments, the Greeneville Commons immediately became the hub of its small town location in between Asheville, NC and Knoxville, TN( about 90 miles either way). Complete with national anchors such as JC Penney, KMart, Proffitt's (later became Belk), and Goody's Family Clothing, the Greeneville Commons appeared as if it was going to be the shining star of this town for an eternity. They fulfilled this vision for about 16 or 17 years. That's when Wal Mart came.

In May of 2005, Wal Mart Supercenter built a location on this small town's eastern end. In February or March of 2005, Verizon Wireless had already left the Commons in favor of a larger free-standing location less than two miles from the future Supercenter. I'm not sure if this was a direct result of the Supercenter, but I would guess that it probably had something to do with it. Regardless, Verizon leaving the commons didn't really deal that huge of blow. The only reason I even mentioned this Verizon was to foreshadow what would become of the entire mall itself.

In autumn of 2005, 4 stores announced they would be leaving: Dollar Tree( a jewel in this predominately low income area), Cato Women's Store, Sally Beauty Supply, and Rent-a-Center. This was about 1/6 of this small mall's stores.

Without the other stores to support it and stiff competition from Wal Mart itself, I see KMart closing its doors very soon. Without KMart, this mall will almost definitely wither away, a mere shadow of the giant called Wal Mart.

Maybe this mall isn't gone, but I have a feeling this is just a battle in the war Wal Mart will inevitably win.

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