City Manager “Optimistic” About Progress in Bringing Meijer Store to FDL

Fond du Lac City Manager Joe Moore says he’s “really
optimistic” about the progress in talks to bring a Meijer store to a portion of
the Forest Mall property in Fond du Lac. In a recent interview with KFIZ, Moore
said that talks continue between the mall owners and Meijer to bring the
retailer to the city. “One thing the mall owner tells me is that the days of
calling potential retailers to come occupy space in malls the size of ours –
those days are long gone.” Moore said. “Retailers who have to pay rent for real
estate in a mall, competing against online retailers who don’t – it’s a real
struggle for them, so big box stores are kind of the next phase in that process.”,
he added. A number of smaller retail stores in the mall have announced over the
last month that they will be closing, including Victoria’s Secret. GNC, Zales
and Bath & Body Works.

As for what the layout of the mall property may look like if
Meijer does come to town. Moore says the center portion of the current mall
would likely be demolished to make room for the new store – with the Kohls and
Staples end and the former Younkers end remaining. “Younkers – that part of the
mall is owned by a different owner and so that part of the property is being
marketed separately, and that would not be part of the ‘need to remove’ space
to make way for a Meijer or a store like Meijer.” Moore said. News of Meijer’s
interest in coming to Fond du Lac first came out this summer – with the City
Council approving a special use permit for a gas station and convenience store under
the Meijer name in late July. Meijer currently owns 10 locations in Wisconsin –
with the nearest stores to Fond du Lac located in Grand Chute and West Bend.