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Dillards is open. Rest of mall uncertain.


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For some looking to take their minds off the destruction, a little taste of normalcy is welcome

PANAMA CITY — Shopping at Dillard’s again in the Panama City Mall on Saturday was a relief for Svetlana Paulson.

Paulson recently returned to the area after Hurricane Michael and was checking the clothes at Dillard’s, one of two stores open again at the mall.

“It’s nice. Very quiet. I’m happy it’s open,” said Paulson, who compared coming back to Bay County after the powerful hurricane to being in a war movie.

Paulson was one of a handful of shoppers browsing Dillard’s this past weekend, a stark contrast to the busier crowds that walk through the mall on any given weekend. Store manager Jay Walker said Dillard’s reopened a little more than a week ago and the number of customers has “picked up.”

“We had no major damage,” said Walker. “We were fortunate.”


Dillard’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The store’s roof has a blue tarp, a common sight in Bay County after Hurricane Michael.

Other shoppers, such as one woman who was looking at rings and declined to give her name, said she stopped by to take her mind off the aftermath.

“It’s just nice somebody’s open,” said the shopper. “It’s something nice to do to get away from this mess.”

The Vitamin Shoppe also is open, though employees referred a request for comment to a corporate spokesperson.

Mall spokesperson Erin Wommack said in a statement that, “At this time we cannot go into detail about everything as we are still in the process of having everything emptied out of the mall to assess damages.”

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