A portion of the Mall at Sears has undergone some major renovations -- a mall makeover some people say has been anticipated for a long time.
The most visible upgrade is the new entrance facing Benson Boulevard, which displays bright advertising panels and outside doorways leading into newly created spaces.
Linda Boggs, a consultant for the Mall at Sears, said she's pushed to renovate the mall for years.
Before the building underwent construction, Boggs said, the mall's entryway facing Benson did not have a strong retail presence.
Now, she said, the Benson entrance is more inviting for customers to stop in and shop.
While the outside storefronts remain closed until new businesses move in, one store inside the mall has received an upgrade of its own.
Stallone's, an upscale men's clothing store in the Mall at Sears, moved from its original space of more than 20 years back in March.
The store relocated closer to the Sears entrance. Now, in a space with a wider entrance, Stallone's provides more openness and brighter lighting for customers to browse through racks of suits, ties, jeans and shoe displays.
Dick Stallone, owner of Stallone's, said people approached store employees and said they never knew Stallone's existed until the move.
Others, Stallone says, said customers never knew Stallone's carried certain items of clothing in the previous spot.
He said the store carries the same items that were offered the previous location, but customers couldn't see all the merchandise in the cramped space.
"People can see we're not just a suit store," Stallone said. "The selection is appealing to a varied age group."
The new space is a lot more comfortable for customers and Stallone's employees, Stallone said.
Stallone, who moved the store to the Mall at Sears in 1988, said that the mall's renovations are much needed. Although the mall is certainly not the biggest in Anchorage, Stallone said he's confident it has the potential to be the best.
Kelly McLain can be reached at kelly(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing