Valley View Mall sees more local businesses open up storefront for holiday season

While some people are traveling to see friends and family, others are getting ready to snag some Black Friday deals. Despite losing two anchor stores this year, Valley View Mall is trying to attract shoppers during the holiday season.

Macy’s, Herberger’s and soon, Sears, will have moved out of Valley View Mall, leaving their storefronts empty. But there are still more than 60 businesses left.

“Everything that you got at any of our anchor stores, I can tell you where to get that at one of our existing locations,” said Laurie Cafe, marketing director for Valley View Mall.

Cafe said they’re seeing more locally owned businesses setting up shop this season.

“Nordic Creamery, who is one of our best creameries in Westby, that’s taking over one of our former jewelry stores locations and expanding from a kiosk this year,” Cafe said.

Made 4 U is a Wisconsin-based business that opened in Valley View Mall on Tuesday. Rice Lake native and co-owner Erice Arnes aims to have 80 percent of the inventory locally made.

“I make all the furniture myself in the store and 50 percent of the signs. My family’s involved in that as well,” Arnes said.

Arnes and his wife own another location at a mall in Mankato. He said there are a few reasons why they like to be located in malls.

“We do craft shows full time so it’s hard for us to commit to this on a 12-month scale,” Arnes said.

That’s why they chose Valley View Mall. He said the mall seems to be doing well, with some good traffic and wants to add a unique experience for shoppers.

“In spite of the big-box stores being closed, we feel that shoppers are coming here for the smaller stores anyway at this point,” Arnes said.

Many of the businesses in the mall are also using Black Friday giveaways or discounts to help bring in customers. Some of those deals can be found on the mall’s website.

All of the stores in the mall plan to be closed on Thanksgiving, except for JCPenney, which will open at 2 p.m. Valley View Mall will reopen for Black Friday at 6 a.m.

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