With endless amount of gifts to buy at this time of the year -- teacher's gifts, Father's Day presents and graduation gifts -- many hoping for one-stop shopping have been stopped in their tracks when they couldn't get the versatile present they planned on.
They've walked into the guest services office over the past month or two at Algonquin Commons only to be greeted by a sign that says the Randall Road mall is not currently selling gift cards.
Often a staple for picky teens or people who have everything, shoppers have been frustrated when they couldn't get the one item that is good for everyone.
Laura Kemp of Algonquin said she stopped at the mall two weeks ago to get a gift for her son's teacher. She had collected $10 from everyone in his preschool class to get a gift card, but then found out they weren't available.
"I'm not sure what to get now. I don't know which store she would want it from. I thought this was good because I was sure she would find some places she liked here. Maybe I'll just do Target," she said.
Currently, the mall has no specific time frame on when the gift cards will be available.
However, calls to the mall office this week said they are getting "closer" to having them available, and that they were in the process of signing a contract to have them.
The outdoor shopping center went into receivership earlier this year when U.S. Bank NA began foreclosure proceedings against Inland Real Estate, which owned the Commons.
The current caretaker of the mall is McKinley, Inc., and repeated calls and emails to Susan Mann and others at McKinley have not been returned.
In addition to the gift cards, there have been a few other differences at the mall during the transition of ownership. For example, the Sunday summer concert series, which usually is in place by now, has not been solidified yet, employees in the mall's guest services have said.
If you still need a gift card for upcoming events, all of the stores at the Commons still are selling their own individual gift cards.
If you're set on just getting an Algonquin Commons card, you can stop into the mall office or call (847) 458-2700 to be put on a list. Once the gift cards are available they will give you a call.
Sidewalk sales: In the meantime, if you don't mind traveling a little further south, gift cards still are available at Geneva Commons along Randall Road.
The mall is planning its annual sidewalk sale for later this month. Its Sizzlin' Summer Sidewalk Sales event will take place Saturday, June 29, and Sunday, June 30.
The mall will wrap up its Summer Concert Series that Sunday, June 30, too. Maggie Speaks, a rock and Top 40 band, will perform at the series from 5 to 7 p.m. in the courtyard behind Houlihan's and Bar Louie.
Restaurants at the mall will offer dining deals that night, too.
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 894-5036.