In the early 90's, the Rhode Island Mall was starting to slide.
Providence outlet malls and factory stores
The remaining stores were asked to find a new home in the nearby Warwick Mall or another storefront in the meantime. It is anyone's guess how long it will take for this to happen, but the mall is effectively dead until further notice.
Opened in as the Midland Mall, this center was the first enclosed mall other than the Arcade in Rhode Island. It is located at the intersection of Rte 2, I, and I, in the city of Warwick which has earned the nickname the "Retail Capital of the World" Years later, the mall changed its name to Rhode Island Mall.
This mall probably received it's first hit when the Warwick Mall opened it's doors right next door on Rte 2. While both malls seemed to co-exist rather nicely, it was becoming clear that Warwick Mall would have the upper hand. The mall sat on a huge plot of land and had a movie theatre outparcel. While the Rhode Island Mall was two levels, it was squeezed into a small footprint leaving little room to grow. In the early 90's, the Rhode Island Mall was starting to slide.
It had still retained strong anchors Sears and G. Fox, the store selection was limited. The mall only had 60 stores, and stores with locations in both malls began to close their doors in favor of the bigger Warwick Mall. May company converted the G. I remember passing between the two malls and laughing at the difference: Warwick Mall had a giant fancy location, while the Filene's at Rhode Island Mall was tiny and sparse.
Filene's soon after closed their doors at Rhode Island Mall. At this point, stores began leaving in droves. The only reason people came to this mall now was for Sears, or the Dept of Motor Vehicles. A few years later, some life was breathed into the Rhode Island Mall. Kohl's Department store and Wal-Mart both announced that they planned toopen locations there. They were going to each take a floor of the old Filene's space. I'm positive that both stores open into the mall.
The mall was renamed the Rhode Island Mall in March , and experienced rapid decline as tenants relocated to the Warwick Mall in the s. It was considered a dead mall by the s, and the interior of the mall was closed permanently in April The property was sold in and has been under redevelopment into its current configuration as a power center since The mall was originally anchored by Sears and Shepards.
The latter eventually became G. Fox , and later Filene's , before being divided into Kohl's and Walmart. The land on which the mall sits was pasture land when Homart Development Company the mall building subsidiary of Sears purchased it in To accommodate the mall, a hill was leveled and the course of the Pawtuxet River was altered. Its anchors were Sears and Providence based Shepards department store.
May merged its previously owned G. Fox division into Filene's in , and converted all of its stores, including the Rhode Island Mall location, to the Filene's name. Filene's closed their Rhode Island Mall location four years later, in favor of the existing store at Warwick Mall.
After the closure of Filene's, nearly one-third of the mall including both the former Filene's and the food court was demolished for a two-level anchor, featuring Kohl's on one level and Wal-Mart on the other.
When it became clear that neither store would open into the mall concourse, most of the remaining shops vacated, turning Rhode Island Mall into a dead mall. Rhode Island Mall is a dead mall , and has been listed on Deadmalls. Sears was the last to open into the mall interior, but began leaving their gates down permanently in early , finally closing access off via a partition wall in March Sears Automotive closed in Despite the lack of storefronts in the mall, the fountain in the center of the mall, as well as the elevator and escalators, continued to operate on a daily basis.
The mall also continues to staff a maintenance and custodian crew as well as a hour security detail provided by IPC International Security. In April mall management closed access to the mall's interior. A formal statement released by Adam Winstanley, a Principal of Winstanley Enterprises said, "There is a rich history with this property, and we are very excited to breathe new life into the development by putting together a plan that will once again position the mall as a vibrant part of Warwick's retail hub.
A plan was announced in late to redevelop the mall as an outlet center, while retaining Kohl's , Walmart , and Sears. As of February the mall has undergone construction to create space for four "big box" style tenants instead of the original outlet style plan.
8 reviews of Rhode Island Mall "This is a different type of review, it is a side by side comparison of RI Mall, and its main competitor the Providence Place Mall. I hate going to malls in general, maybe it's because I hate lines, and making 2/5(8). Your Favorite Family Mall! Warwick Mall is an enclosed shopping mall anchored by Macy’s, JCPenney, Old Navy, Target, Nordstrom Rack and Jordan’s Furniture. Find the best outlet shopping in Rhode Island. Get up to date information, sales and deals for every outlet mall in the state of Rhode Island. Get up to date information, sales and deals for every outlet mall in the state of Rhode Island.