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Chico’s leaving Columbia Mall

A customer walks out of the Columbia Mall in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

A women’s clothing store is leaving Columbia Mall in Grand Forks.

The boutique in the west wing of the 2800 S. Columbia Road shopping center plans to shutter its doors, according to a sign posted in front of the store. It’s unclear exactly when the store will close, but the sign stated it would be soon.

Chico’s, a national retailer that sells women’s apparel and accessories, opened its Columbia Mall location in 2013. Second quarter financial results for this year were slightly down from last year, though company executives seemed optimistic when they issued their report Aug. 29.

"Second quarter results were in-line with our expectations, reflecting momentum on our top-line initiatives," Chico’s CEO and President Shelley Broader. "We remain confident in the opportunities across our brands for profitable growth and value creation."

Messages left for the national retailer were not returned as of Friday morning.

The Chico’s space will become one of roughly 15 empty spaces at the mall, excluding Sears and Macy’s. Without the anchor tenants, the mall’s map shows it has 63 spaces for retailers plus four kiosks.

The mall has lost several stores in recent years, including Book World, Rue 21 and Subway.

However, it has gained new tenants, including Orangetheory Fitness.

General manager Justin Valinski did not return a message left by the Herald seeking comment for this column.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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