We've been hearing rumors for the past several days online and elsewhere that the Lawton Dillard's in the Central Mall is closing. Sadly it's not a rumor anymore, it's been confirmed and they will be closing the Dillard's here in Lawton. It's another tragic business casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic damage this crisis has caused will, as the experts have said, take years to recover from.

Not only are we losing shopping options, think of the job losses as well. Several Lawtonians will be out of work and will have to seek employment elsewhere. Some may re-locate to other Dillard's locations in different cities and states. Either way we'll all feel the impact and loss of local job and shopping prospects. I feel terrible for all involved.

We haven't received any official word yet from Dillard's or the Central Mall on the official closing date, surely those and other questions will be answered shortly. Most of the signs and people we spoke with referred to the closing sale and that in the meantime they would be reducing inventory as much as possible and selling everything they could prior to closing the doors permanently. I stopped by the Central Mall and the Dillard's parking lot was full. Several people are taking advantage of the sale and buying up what they can, while they can. Pretty soon we won't have a Dillard's in Lawton.

First Sears, now Dillard's. I'm wondering how this will affect the Central Mall and if they'll be able to keep things going. More and more stores have left the Mall and this certainly won't help. Are we facing the real possibility of not having the Central Mall in Lawton anymore? This isn't just a local problem, malls across the country as experiencing steady declines as well. These problems were already an issue and in motion way before the Coronavirus happened, as you can imagine it's a lot worse now. Some are fairing better than others, but overall it isn't looking good. We could be seeing the passing of the mall as we know it.Only time will tell...

Most would blame online shopping as the cause, others the economic realities of the times. Whatever the reason it's sad to see businesses of any kind close down, especially right now with everything else that's going on. I guess in the very near future if you want to go to Dillard's you'll have to go to Wichita Falls or Norman.