Chico's is leaving the Shops at Worthington Place.

Chico's is leaving the Shops at Worthington Place.

The popular women's clothing store, which occupies a prime location near the mall's center fountain, will move to Polaris Fashion Place.

Worthington mall owner Tom Carter acknowledged the move, saying the store would close either in mid-July or in September.

Calls to Chico's headquarters in Ft. Myers, Fla., were not returned.

Chico's signed a long-term lease with the Shops shortly after Carter took over in 2011.

However, the store may exit the lease because a required sales volume was not met last July and August, Carter said.

Also, the larger malls have ways of attracting stores that smaller owners can't compete with, he said.

Chico's owns White House/Black Market, a specialty women's store that moved to Polaris several years ago. Carter said he understood that move but has a difficult time understanding why Chico's would leave.

Since its first store in Sanibel Island, Fla., many Chico's stores have been in smaller, chic areas rather than in larger malls.

The Shops will deal with the loss and keep growing, Carter said.

Massage Envy opened two weeks ago in the former Cheryl's Cookies location at the newly renovated mall, and Aladdin's Eatery has begun the permit process to move into the former Victoria's Secret.

"We'll be all right," Carter said.