End of an Era: Closing of Regency's Belk StoreFebruary 17, 2015 4 comments Print Article
An estimated 25,000 shoppers flooded Regency Square Mall and May-Cohens' first store outside of downtown on opening day in 1967. When Regency expanded, adding Sears in 1981, the store became the bridge to connect the original east mall with the new west mall.
May-Cohens became a main fixture in the mall until the chain was sold to Maison Blanche for $62 million in June 1988. Four years later, the Regency store was rebranded under the Gayfers nameplate when Maison Blanche was acquired by Mercantile Stores, Inc. In 1998, Mercantile was acquired by Dillards, creating overlap in the Florida market. As a result, on July 14, 1998, Dillards traded the Regency store and six others, to Belk in exchange for nine Belk stores in Virginia and Tennessee.