After the larger Eastland Mall opened in 1982, Washington Square struggled to retain stores. In 1987 the mall was remodelled and expanded to help it compete with the newer mall. The expansion was initially successful and the mall was sold a few years later to Facet Financial.
Facing even more department store consolidation, L. S. Ayres closed in 1992 and the location was converted into an Elder-Beerman. But vacancy rates continued to climb as the mall lost shoppers to Eastland Mall. In 2002, the struggling mall was sold to local real estate developer Gene Hahn. Despite ongoing efforts to reinvent the mall, it has slowly lost tenants and has struggled with a high vacancy rate.
After failing to land a major department store for the former Elder-Beerman space, the mall owners opened a Values Unlimted in the space in 2004. But in March 2007 Values Unlimited announced a going-out-of-business sale and a local antique store announced its interest in moving into the anchor space.
Sears continues to be the major anchor for the mall, but many of the interior retail spaces are vacant.