CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Town Center and Huntington mall will close early today -- a rare occasion for both shopping centers.Marketing Director Lisa McCracken said it's the third time in 25 years that the mall has closed because of weather."It doesn't happen often at all," McCracken said. "Our three department stores are having great trouble in getting second shift coming in to operate stores because of the condition of the roads."Because of this difficulty, mall officials at both shopping centers thought it in the best interest to close early at 2 p.m. At first, mall officials at the Charleston Town Center decided on a 4 p.m. closure but moved up the time after talking to department stores a second time.
McCracken said there are a number of factors to consider before closing the mall. The main factor is the staffing of department stores.McCracken noted it is up to street-level restaurants to decide whether to close."So, anyone wanting to go to dinner should call ahead to confirm that restaurants are open this evening," McCracken said. "But we will be open mall-wide bright and early tomorrow, just like always."Nancy Conrad, marketing administrator at the Huntington mall, said it was a rare occasion at that shopping center too. In fact, she said it's the first time the mall had closed because of weather in the last 19-20 years.However, she said it's business as usual tomorrow morning.