2017 has been a tough year for retail, with dozens of national chains announcing their intent to close multiple store locations. At last count by Business Insider, over 6,300 stores are affected, and the casualty list could grow during 2018.
The wave of retail attrition hasn’t played favorites, with names from Payless Shoes to Michael Kors shedding retail space. Shopping malls are struggling as anchor stores close and specialty retailers evacuate.
While e-commerce has earned a share of the blame, industry analysts are thinking the mall itself could be part of the problem.
Today’s consumers are easily put off by sprawling, distant parking lots and interior labyrinths. Anyone who has fought holiday crowds while burdened with several shopping bags, a bulky winter coat and tired children understands the appeal of online shopping.
To improve the shopping experience and make the mall a destination of choice, mall operators are re-branding their properties and strategizing their tenant mix. Boston Biznow reports that 94% of malls are upgrading and revamping their properties to appeal to today’s consumers.
Copley Place in Boston was cited as an example, with its addition of luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, Versace and Louis Vuitton. Upscale décor, convenience, concierge services and improved dining options are among the attractions.
Malls around the country are upgrading their common areas, providing better lighting and comfortable seating, and favoring stand-alone restaurant options over the typical food court. Re-branding often includes dropping the word “mall” altogether. Luxury retailers and brands that appeal to Millennials are being prioritized in tenant mixes.
When residential space is added to the property, malls have the potential to become the ultimate walkable community, offering shopping, dining, recreation and maintenance-free living all in one package. Add in public transportation to major employers, and it could be a winning combination.
When you are ready to begin, relocate or expand your business in the Boston Metro, team up with the Jay Nuss Realty Group! Whether you are thinking of buying or leasing Boston Metro commercial real estate, we can help you find the ideal property.
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