You might not have even noticed, with all the construction going on at Battle Creek’s Harper Village Shopping Center.   The finishing touches are going on the new Aldi, in the former Bed, Bath & Beyond location.  The bulldozers have been busy getting the site ready for the Chick-fil-A restaurant later this year.    But sliding into the corner store between T.J. Maxx and Best Buy is a brand new Bath & Body Works.  It’s right next to Five Below.

But the new store could mean Lakeview Square will lose one of its longest tenants.   Bath & Body Works opened in June of 1996, just about the same time as the Lakeview Square Cinema 9.   At that time, the mall was being very selective, booting out seven businesses as it tried to attract more stable and successful businesses.  After 25 years at the mall, you’d have to say Bath & Body Works has been all of that.

Bath and Body Works Harper Village-TSM Photo by Tim Collins

Jess LeuVoy is one of the current managers for Bath & Body Works.   She’s worked at the Portage store for 18 years and is helping out in Battle Creek.

“We opened the new store about three weeks ago, but we’re also still here in the Lakeview Square Mall, where we’ve been almost since the company was founded,” said LeuVoy.  “It’s still up in the air whether we’ll stay in the mall and have two stores, or just the new store at Harper Village.  We’ll at least be in the mall until the end of the year.”    She said the company had signed a temporary lease last year during the COVID lockdowns.  Negotiations are still ongoing with the Mall.

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LeuVoy says the new space at Harper Village is very exciting for both the staff and customers.  “The layout is new and fresh, with more products on display, and more varieties of fragrances.   We’re able to stock some things that you might not be able to easily find in other places.”

Bath and Body Works Harper Village-TSM Photo by Tim Collins

She says they are currently hiring for the upcoming holiday season, and says that no matter what happens with the store at Lakeview Square, employees will be able to work at Harper Village or another nearby store.

Bath & Body Works, LLC. was founded in 1990 in New Albany, Ohio.  It has since expanded across 6 continents, specializing in shower gels, lotions, fragrance mists, perfumes, creams, candles, and home fragrances.

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