Highfield Square in Moncton will be closing in the fall. (Google Streetview)

Highfield Square in Moncton will be closing this fall, ECL Developments Limited announced Friday.

The decision comes on the heels of news that the mall's anchor store the Bay will be closing on April 21.

"Although Highfield Square has been a fixture in downtown Moncton for (43) years, its viability as an enclosed retail mall has become more and more challenging," ECL, a real estate company wholly-owned by Empire Company Limited, said in a written statement.

"With the growth in popularity of big-box shopping districts and the changing face of retail competition in Moncton, Highfield Square was no longer able to remain competitive."

Existing retailers were notified Friday afternoon, said Pat Martin, regional vice-president of Crombie REIT, which manages the property.

Although the statement from ECL seemed to suggest it was closing the mall in light of the Bay closing, the Bay said in a statement on Thursday that it was closing because the landlord had terminated its lease.

Meanwhile, ECL plans to explore redevelopment opportunities for the mall property. It believes the site is well located in Moncton's central business district.

"ECL will seek redevelopment alternatives that will bring the right balance of uses to the property designed to meet the needs of the community," the statement reads.

"ECL would like to thank their loyal customers and tenants for their patronage and support."