Forest Mall is a shopping mall located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in the United States. Today, this shopping mall is anchored by Sears, JCPenney, Kohl's, Younkers, and Staples Office Supply. There is room for about 45 smaller specialty shops.
The complex started as a lone H.C. Prange Co. / Prange Way shopping center, opened in 1966. Plans were already set to have the mall and two new anchor stores join the existing Prange's buildings, but were still pending final approval.
The mall was originally designed by Joseph Berger Sr., who at the time, was still running his women's apparel business in downtown Fond Du Lac. He would eventually open up a second location at the mall. Building and development was handled by Simon Property Group. The mall had a 'soft' opening in the summer of 1973, but held its official Grand Opening on September 11, 1973. It was for its time, the largest enclosed mall serving the immediate communities within Fond Du Lac county, as well as the surrounding counties of Calumet, Sheboygan, Washington, and Dodge. Original anchors included H.C Prange co. (now Younkers), Prange Way (Now Sears), JC Penney (still at the mall today), A&P Supermarket (the current location of Staples), and a G.C. Murphy Variety store. Montgomery Ward (now Kohl's Department Store) would join the lineup in mid-1974. A Red Owl Supermarket also operated in their own space inaccessible from the mall concourse for a short time.
The mall was a dominant player for a long time, up through at least 1997, and has gone through two renovations since opening, one in 1985, and again in 1998, both taking nearly a year to complete. Nowadays, with the huge popularity of Appleton's Fox River Mall, and the overall change in the retail climate to big box-type malls and centers, which the city is experiencing, the mall has seen a fair share of tenant turnover the past few years with national chains calling it quits, and temporary 'mom-&-pop' type businesses opening in their place, especially during the busy Christmas shopping period.
2006 has seen a resurgence in long-term tenants. Recent names joining the roster of shops include Victoria's Secret (to open in Autumn of 2007), Little Spoons Gelato Café, Lids, and Wet Seal.
- Sears (formerly Prange Way, 78,253 sq. ft.)
- JC Penney (Only original anchor left, opening in 1973 with the mall, 75,930 sq. ft.)
- Younkers (formerly H.C. Prange Co., 86,531 sq. ft.)
- Kohls (formerly Ward's, which closed in early 1984, 86,546 sq. ft.)
- Staples (formerly A&P, which closed in the late 1970s. Space was subdivided into smaller shops between 1977-1996)
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