By Barbara Soderlin/Omaha World-Herald—Ellen Junge has been chasing mall traffic for 32 years, luring shoppers to her business, the Cookie Company, with the smell of fresh-baked cookies.
When a mall is doing well, cookie sales rise. But when stores close and foot traffic slows, Junge sees it at her cash register.
That’s why she closed her shop at Oak View Mall this spring, after operating there for 23 years. Her sales fell by more than 10 percent in 2014. When her husband took another job and she wanted to close one of her stores, she decided to keep her six-year-old store at Westroads Mall, where her business is growing and last year outpaced her Oak View sales.
Junge’s cookie shop sales are a small part of a big shift in the metro’s two major enclosed malls: Sales have surged over the past decade at Westroads but slumped at Oak View.