Black Friday was more of a trickle than a blitz at the Hanover Mall this week.
“It’s scary. When this mall opened up it was the greatest thing since sliced bread,” said Steve McKay, of Plymouth, whose wife was one of several dozen shoppers inside Macy’s. “Everything’s a cycle. You have malls and then you don’t have malls.”
Nearly 50 years after the Hanover Mall first opened its doors in time for the holiday season, the shopping center off Route 3 – once the largest of its type in the region – saw some of its final crowds this week before it shuts down for good at the end of January.
Just a handful of stores are still open inside the building, including Macy’s, Sears, Foot Locker and Famous Footwear. Small groups of shoppers dotted the mall’s four wings on Friday afternoon, most of them scattered between the two remaining anchor stores.
Several dozen of them were parsing through the racks of clothing, shoes and appliances still left at Sears, with signs hanging around them touting discounts as high as 75 percent. “Everything must go,” one read. Much of the store, which will shut down on Sunday, is already empty.
Out in the hallways, the mall is quiet. Auntie Anne’s is no longer baking pretzels. The kiddie rides have no riders. Most of the storefronts are empty.
“It was busy back then, but now I like it because it’s kind of deserted,” said Diane Walsh, of Weymouth, who said she’s probably been coming to the mall since it opened. She was shopping for Christmas presents.
“You don’t have to deal with the crowds,” she said.
Unlike Sears, Macy’s will stay open and anchor the new mixed-use development – called Hanover Crossing – that is slated to replace the mall by 2021. The freestanding businesses around the mall, including Dick’s Sporting Goods and Trader Joe’s, will also stay open.