BRANSON, Mo., June 4, 2012 — As of July 1, 2012, the Factory Merchants Mall (FMM), commonly called the “Red Roof Mall,” will cease operation as a commercial shopping mall when the city of Branson takes over its physical control. When FMM opened in the mid 80s, located on about 32 acres of land leased from the city of Branson by Simon Property Group, Inc. (Simon), it was Branson’s first “factory outlet mall” and added an exciting new dimension to shopping in Branson. The mall, owned and operated by Simon was an instant success and harbinger of things to come such as Tanger Mall; The Shoppes at Branson Meadows, which is also owned and operated by Simon, and Branson Landing.
Simon’s lease was set to expire in 2021 with an option for renewal. Late last year Simon requested that the City of Branson let them terminate the lease early. A Staff Report, to the Branson Board of Aldermen on December 19, 2011, cited substantially declining revenues at the mall, the opinion that it was a “fading mall” and that “competition from other malls, such as ‘Tanger,’ made it unlikely that this mall could be successful.” It recommended that the city enter into an agreement with Simon to terminate the lease which the city did. Under the agreement, Simon agreed to continue to manage the facility until June 30 and the city takes control of the property on July 1.
A tenant list dated November 2, 2011, showed that the tenants at FMM had dwindled to around 34. As of this date, the FMM website shows 13 tenants including Tuesday Morning, Carters, the Dress Barn and others. All current tenants will be expected to have moved out prior to the city assuming control of the property on July 1. Some of the FMM tenants, including Tuesday Morning, among others, are moving to the Simon’s other retail outlet mall,The Shoppes at Branson Meadows. Click here for the FMM website with a complete list of stores that are still open and their contact numbers.
The city is still in the process of determining what it will do with the property FFM is on. One thing that appears likely however, is that it will no longer be operated as a commercial shopping mall. In discussing the various uses that might be made of the property, the December Staff report, said that “Sports Marketing comes to the top of the list and is another priority identified by the strategic and community plan. This property might be redeveloped for baseball and softball diamonds plus an indoor facility for cold weather sports like volleyball or basketball.”
“Branson visitors will continue to experience the great shopping experience that Branson is known for,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. She points out that with two factory outlet malls, Branson Landing’s retail shops, and hundreds of other stores, boutiques and shops that Branson continues to offer a variety and quality of shopping that is unsurpassed in any other travel destination of its size.