It isn't even really news anymore when major retailers close their brick and mortar locations.  Shreveport has lost several national chain stores like Sears, K Mart, Tuesday Morning, and recently Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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But there might be a little good news on the horizon.  According to a recent report from CNN Business, other retailers like Ross, TJ Maxx, and HomeGoods have already taken over some of the former Bed, Bath & Beyond locations. And retail landlords and real estate analysts say other retailers may soon follow, including Five Below, Burlington, Nordstrom Rack and even Planet Fitness.

Store Vacancy Rate Within Malls Hits Record High, As Pandemic Furthers Their Decline
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

But there is one trend taking over vacant retail spaces that you might not expect. Pickleball.  With nearly 9 million Americans now playing pickleball, according to a Sports & Fitness Industry Association report, showing an amazing year-over-year increase of 85.7%.

City Pickle/Facebook
City Pickle/Facebook

The nation's fastest growing sport is moving indoors into vacant retail spaces.  A recent story in MarketWatch details how a New Jersey based company call ProShot Pickleball found it cheaper to renovate an existing vacant Burlington Coat Factory location, rather than buy and build something new from scratch. That decision seems to be setting a new trend.

2022 USA Pickleball West Diamond Regional
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

According to a new study by JLL, a company that studies commercial retail market trends, "pickleball court owners are targeting malls for expansion.”  This would seem to be great news for mall owners and retail space landlords who are continually struggling to keep retail spaces filled.  The JLL report states:

The first quarter saw notable mall move-ins from entertainment tenants like X-Golf, Urban Air Adventure Park, Museum of Illusions and Combat Ops. A growing sports & eatertainment phenomenon also has malls in its sights: pickleball. Pickleball – a cross between badminton, tennis and table tennis – has seen explosive growth in the US over the last few years, with over 36.5 million people playing the sport from mid-2021 to mid-2021 . Now, pickleball court owners are targeting malls for expansion.


  • Pickleball America has leased over 80,000 square feet in a former Saks Off 5th in Stamford Town Center, Connecticut.

  • A former Belk store in Macon Mall will be the home of a 32-court indoor pickleball facility, as part of a larger redevelopment of the shopping center.

  • ProShot Pickleball, a state-of-the-art indoor pickleball facility, recently opened in a former Burlington space at Shore Mall, New Jersey.

  • All-Stars Pickleball Club took over an Old Navy space at Steeplegate Mall in New Hampshire


Although there's not been an announcement for the local Bed, Bath & Beyond property or empty mall space as of yet, how fun would it be to fill these spaces with something positive and exciting.

Empty Storefronts In Mall St. Vincent

Here are some of the empty stores inside Shreveport's Mall St. Vincent

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