CHAPEL HILL –  Peter De Leon, General Manager of University Mall, said Thursday that Dillard’s is not leaving the shopping center.

“We have also heard the rumor that Dillard’s is leaving Chapel Hill. We reached out to Julie Bull, who is in charge of Media and Investor Relations at Dillard’s,” De Leon said. “In speaking with Ms. Bull, she stated to us that she has not been given that information that they are closing.”

De Leon said he was told that the Dillard’s is being converted into a clearance center, which has been done to 19 other stores in the chain.

“Dillard’s, because they converted and it was fairly short notice to the store managers, I’m sure that fueled a lot it [rumors],”  De Leon said. “But, at this point we have to respect what Dillard’s is telling us.”

A source told WCHL News Wednesday that Dillard’s was leaving University Mall and that negotiations were underway with a non-retail store to replace it.

A cashier of the store told WCHL’s Aaron Keck Thursday that Dillard’s is likely closing in a few months. She said she too has been hearing conflicting reports.

Currently Dillard’s is the only department store in Chapel Hill providing a sizable source of sales tax. It’s also one of the few places to buy clothing. Other stores include Roses and Julian’s, among others.

There was a proposal to relocate the Chapel Hill Public Library to the store’s location, until Town staff recalculated and found it would have been more costly than they originally thought.