Caldor, the discount department store that left Reisterstown Road Plaza five years ago because of poor sales, will return to the mall for another try next year, a spokeswoman for the mall's owner said yesterday.
Mary Pat Baxter, general counsel for Continental Realty Corp., said Caldor Inc. will replace Ames Department Stores, which informed the mall management this week it plans to close its store at the shopping center as part of the company's reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law.
Ms. Baxter said Caldor's decision came almost immediately after Ames informed Continental of its decision to close the store. She said Ames expected to close sometime around April 1 and that Caldor would move in during the spring or summer next year after renovations are completed.
The Caldor that is returning to Reisterstown Road is a far different company than the one that abandoned the mall in 1987. Then, the company was owned by May Department Stores Co., the parent of Hecht's.
Since 1989, Norwalk, Conn.-based Caldor has been a separate public company with a management team led by former May executives who have revitalized the once-moribund retail chain.
The company has launched an aggressive program of store renovations and has been reaping the benefits in terms of strong sales gains through most of this year.
Ms. Baxter said Caldor will occupy about 86,000 square feet in the first floor of a three-story structure that once housed Stewart's. That store closed when New York-based Associated Dry Goods decided in late 1982 to shut the old Baltimore #F department store chain and convert several of its locations to Caldor stores. Associated later sold Caldor to May.
When Caldor left Reisterstown Road Plaza in 1987 after only four years there, the location was taken over by Zayre Corp., which was acquired by Ames in 1988.