HomeGoods coming to Dubuque, prompting movement at mall

A major homeware retailer is coming to Dubuque.

HomeGoods will open in Kennedy Mall in the next 12 months, mall spokesman Joe Bell confirmed to the Telegraph Herald on Monday.

“It’s always important to bring in popular retailers, and this is one of those out there,” Bell said. “It will be part of the reshuffling we’re doing at the facility.”

HomeGoods is one of the major retailers under TJX Companies, which also operates TJ Maxx and Marshalls. HomeGoods was introduced in the U.S. in 1992 and now operates more than 800 locations across the country, selling a wide variety of homeware, furniture and décor.

HomeGoods officials did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

The HomeGoods location will span 24,217 square feet in the space currently occupied by Books-A-Million, as well as four adjacent stores that are now vacant. Book-A-Million will move into a 12,212-square-foot portion of the former Younkers women’s store.

Bell said demolition work on the new HomeGoods store has not started yet. However, he confirmed the store will be accessible to shoppers both from the mall parking lot and inside of the mall.

Bell said he was not sure when mall officials began speaking with HomeGoods about the potential for a Dubuque location, but conversations have been continual for a while.

“The process, especially for larger spaces and larger stores as HomeGoods, can be a several-year process,” he said. “We undergo these discussions with a lot of these retailers all of the time. It was a matter of time to bring their (HomeGoods) brand to Dubuque.”

The four adjacent vacant store spaces that will be part of HomeGoods’ footprint previously housed Great American Cookies, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Lids and Captured on Canvas.

Great American Cookies closed in the Kennedy Mall in 2018 after more than 20 years in that location. Lids closed in the mall in 2019 after five years in business.

Merle Norman Cosmetics moved to a new location at 806 Wacker Drive, Suite 138, in January after 16 years in the mall.

Captured on Canvas, which has been in the mall since the fall of 2021, moved last month. The new location in the mall is directly across from Bath & Body Works in the former The Children’s Place site. Captured on Canvas owner Mercedes Pfab said mall officials brought the need to move to her attention last summer.

“The space that we have is quite a bit larger,” she said. “If anything, we’re able to provide more selection in our products and have a larger paint area for classes. We can actually accommodate painters.”

Pfab also owns the consignment store Maker’s Market, which is directly across from the future HomeGoods site.

“I find it exciting,” she said of the new store. “I think it’ll definitely increase mall traffic. It can only help out the mall.”

Bell said there is not currently definite dates when Book-A-Million will close or reopen in the new space, but the store will have an entrance both from inside the mall and from the parking lot. Staff at Dubuque’s Books-A-Million told the Telegraph Herald that they could not comment further on the store’s move.

The store only will take up a fraction of the 70,000 square feet previously used by the Younkers women’s store.

Younkers vacated the space in the summer of 2018, and the space has sat empty of a retailer ever since. However, the former store was used as a Dubuque County COVID-19 vaccination site in 2021.

Bell said the remaining square footage of the former Younkers department store potentially could be used by other retailers.

“Whenever you have something that size of a department store like that, it can be very difficult to find a replacement for that,” he said. “A lot of retailers have downsized their footprint. We have found it very often makes sense to divide it into smaller store spaces. That’s a great space for a lot of different uses.”

Bell also teased future Kennedy Mall announcements to come in the months ahead.

“We’re talking to a lot of different businesses that have expressed interest in the Kennedy Mall property, and we expect over the course of the next few months to have more announcements,” he said.