East Valley Dairy Queen king sees no future in malls

Steve Cowgur – East Valley Tribune

By Jessica Suriano | East Valley Tribune

Steve Cowgur says the handwriting is on the wall, so he’s moving his Dairy Queen stores out of the mall.

The 65-year Mesa resident and Dairy Queen franchisee has bought new standalone restaurants in Chandler because he said the food-service industry is shifting away from shopping malls.

“The problem with malls is that mall business has declined rapidly since about 2005 and just continues to go down,” Cowgur said. “More malls are being closed, the sales in the malls aren’t as great, people are doing more online shopping – so it was either a case of just trying to keep as many stores open as we could over the next 10 years or reinvent ourselves to freestanding locations.”

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