Mall of America is planning to lay off and furlough hundreds of employees.
In a statement to FN, the Bloomington, Minn.-based shopping center confirmed that 211 workers across various departments will permanently lose their jobs at the end of the month. An additional 178 people will remain on furlough, which could extend beyond Sept. 30.
“When the year began, no one could have predicted the enormous challenges we would face as a business, a community and as a nation,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to FN. “While we continue to make progress at Mall of America, the road to recovery is going to be slow.”
Speaking about the employees who were temporarily laid off, the spokesperson added, “We hope to reinstate those team members in this group when business conditions allow.”
Mall of America employs roughly 1,000 employees. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which first reported the news, the property notified the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development about the layoffs, but the notice has yet to appear on the office’s website.
The announcement marks the latest in the mega mall’s woes: Last month, owner Triple Five Group entered a cash management forbearance agreement with special servicer CWCapital Asset Management, which handles commercial debt payments on behalf of several lenders. The deal came just days after reports surfaced that payments on Mall of America’s $1.4 billion mortgage were made through April but had been delinquent for May, June and July.
Even though it has reopened to the public, the mall has faced challenges stemming from some of its 500 retail tenants’ inability to pay rent or decision to skip out on lease obligations to preserve liquidity within their businesses.
What’s more, three months ago, Bloomberg reported that Triple Five failed to pay its roughly $7 million payment for June on a $1.4 billion mortgage on Mall of America, which was used as collateral when the retail and entertainment conglomerate secured $2.8 billion in financing for its American Dream complex in New Jersey.
At the time, about 100 workers were also laid off from the American Dream, which — like Mall of America — was shuttered for weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic. Following Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to lift restrictions on indoor amusement centers, the East Rutherford, N.J.-based mall is opening back up its doors to the public on the first of October.