Willowbrook Mall (New Jersey)

Willowbrook Mall is a one-level shopping center with a partial second floor located in Wayne, New Jersey, United States, in the New York City metropolitan area. It is near the intersection of U.S. Route 46, Route 23 and Interstate 80. The mall opened in 1969 and was expanded or renovated in 1970, 1988, 2006, and 2015. The mall has over 200 retail establishments and a gross leasable area of 1,514,000 ft²,[2] and is the fourth-largest shopping mall in New Jersey. The mall anchors are Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's, and Dave & Buster's.

Willowbrook Mall
Willowbrook Mall - Wayne, New Jersey.jpg
LocationWayne, New Jersey, United States
Coordinates40°53′20″N 74°15′36″W / 40.889°N 74.260°W / 40.889; -74.260Coordinates: 40°53′20″N 74°15′36″W / 40.889°N 74.260°W / 40.889; -74.260
Address1400 Willowbrook Mall
Opening date1969; 51 years ago (1969)
ManagementBrookfield Properties Retail Group
OwnerBrookfield Properties Retail Group
No. of stores and services165[1]
No. of anchor tenants5
Total retail floor area1,520,000 sq ft (141,000 m2)[1]
No. of floors1-2 (3 in Bloomingdale's)
ParkingParking lot with 8,000 spaces[1]
Public transit accessBus transport NJ Transit NJ Transit Bus: 11, 28, 191, 193, 194, 195, 197, 198, 704, 705, 712, 748, 871, 874

With blue laws in effect in neighboring Bergen County, and nearby shopping haven Paramus imposing even stricter Sunday-sales restrictions of its own, Willowbrook Mall has benefited from the spillover of shoppers on Sunday.[3]


Construction of a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) Ohrbach's store in 1968, joined by a Sears, were the original anchors of what was designed as a two-level, 110-store, indoor shopping mall, encompassing 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2).[4]

In 1993, Willowbrook Mall became one of the first malls in New Jersey to ban smoking on mall grounds.[5]

Sears was the mall's only remaining original anchor store until it closed in September 2019,[6] while the former Bamberger's store has been open without interruption for the mall's entire existence. Bamberger's was rebranded as Macy's in 1986 after its corporate parent decided to rebrand its entire northeastern United States operation under its namesake marque.[7] Ohrbach's came under new ownership and was rebranded as part of the Steinbach chain, which went out of business in 1996. The building was gutted and expanded for its new tenant Lord & Taylor, which opened in 1997. Stern's closed its doors in 2001 after its parent company, Federated Department Stores, retired the brand; the store was converted to its sister brand, Bloomingdale's, which opened in late 2002.[8]

In 2015, Sears Holdings spun off 235 of its properties, including the Sears at Willowbrook Mall, into Seritage Growth Properties.[9]

In 2015, it was announced that the mall would undergo a two-year $23 million renovation. The renovation entailed new ceilings in the Sears & Macy's wings, an overhaul of the seating in the food court, new flooring throughout the mall, additional seating, and a two-story streetscape theme for the Bloomingdale's wing.[10] In 2017, Sears shrunk its square footage and subleased the unused portion to Dave & Buster's, which opened on Valentine's Day 2018.[11]

The mall and its surrounding access roads and parking areas are prone to flooding in rainstorms. The Passaic River flows near the mall and one of its tributaries, the Pompton River, runs behind it.[12]

In August 2018, Macy's added a Macy's Backstage outlet in a portion of its store.[13]

Seritage plans to demolish the Sears Auto Center for a Cinemark movie theater, becoming the second movie theater within the mall area limits (after a 14-screen AMC Theatres, formerly Loews Theatres).

P.F Chang's opened in the Bloomingdale's wing of the mall on January 22, 2019.[14]

On July 15, 2019, Sears announced that it will be closing its store at the mall in mid September 2019, The store shut down on September 15, 2019.[15][16]

Public transportationEdit

The mall and its parking lots serve as a transportation hub for the surrounding area:[17] An NJ Transit park and ride facility, opened in 1974, provides bus service to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.[18]

In popular cultureEdit

Willowbrook Mall was the site of The Adventures of Pete & Pete special episode, "What We Did on Our Summer Vacation" (May 17, 1992), in which Ellen's photo booth was located in the parking lot of the mall.[19]


  1. ^ a b c "Willowbrook Mall (NJ)". Brookfield Properties Retail Group.
  2. ^ Willowbrook Mall, International Council of Shopping Centers, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 4, 2008. Accessed March 31, 2011.
  3. ^ Strum, Charles. "Paramus Journal; On Sundays, Bergen Shoppers Rest", The New York Times, December 7, 1992. Accessed August 31, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ohrbach's Builds in Jersey", The New York Times, September 27, 1968. Accessed August 31, 2018.
  5. ^ "2 Big Malls Ban Smoking", The New York Times, October 8, 1993. Accessed September 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "Sears Closing Wayne Willowbrook Mall Store"
  7. ^ Ervolino, Bill. "Then and now: A name change cost Bamberger's its regional flair", The Record (Bergen County), January 28, 2017. Accessed September 3, 2017.
  8. ^ Combs, Heath E.; and Lillo, Andrea. "Stern's closing puts focus on Macy's, Bloomies", Home & Textile Today, February 12, 2001. Accessed September 3, 2017. "The Stern's locations in Willowbrook and Bridgewater, NJ, will be converted to Bloomingdale's stores."
  9. ^ http://www.seritage.com/retail/property/50-route-46/3312576/landing
  10. ^ Verdon, Joan. "Willowbrook Mall in Wayne to get a facelift", The Record (Bergen County), June 4, 2015, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 20, 2016. Accessed September 3, 2017.
  11. ^ "Willowbrook Dave & Buster's gives millennials a reason to go to the mall", North Jersey Media Group, February 13, 2018. Accessed October 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Service, US Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather. "National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service". water.weather.gov. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  13. ^ Verdon, Joan (July 3, 2018). "Macy's to open Backstage outlet store at Willowbrook Mall". North Jersey Media Group.
  14. ^ "P.F. Chang's officially opens at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne". North Jersey. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  15. ^ Anzidei, Melanie (July 15, 2019). "Sears in Wayne to close by mid-September — and liquidation sales have already begun". northjersey.com. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  16. ^ Sears & Roebuck at Willowbrook and Staten Island to Close on Sunday, September 15th, 2019, retrieved 2019-10-08
  17. ^ System Map Passaic County, NJ Transit. Accessed January 4, 2018.
  18. ^ "Park-Ride Center to Open Monday at Willowbrook Mall", The New York Times, January 4, 1974. p. 64. Accessed July 14, 2017.
  19. ^ Milici, Lauren. "The Adventures Of Pete & Pete: Paying Tribute To A Quirky Nickelodeon Classic The legendary show gets its due.", Birth.Movies.Death., June 12, 2017. Accessed September 19, 2019. "The photo-booth-turned-command-center that Ellen worked at in the 'What We Did On Our Summer Vacation' special was housed in the parking lot of the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ."

External linksEdit