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Diversification key for mall developers as retail landscape evolves
Feb. 7, 2017 | Retail Dive | by Kenneth A. Rosen and Eric S. Chafetz.

Traditional anchors like Sears/Kmart and Macy’s are beset by competition from all sides, from freestanding big-box outlets (think Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond), to stores attracting fashion-forward yet price-conscious consumers (Target and Kohl’s) to mounting online competition from Amazon and others.

This is leading to the loss of mall tenants, especially anchor tenants, which are major drivers of all-important foot traffic.....Mall owners are (or should be) rethinking the very definition of a mall. New tenants such as high-end restaurants, amusement parks, spas, health clubs, online pickup locations at traditional retailers and upscale movie theaters increasingly are essential components........Reshaping malls into mixed-used developments might run counter to a business model that worked for decades, where mall owners and developers could simply be mall owners and developers. However, these entities must realize that the need for new thinking and investment in new types of amenities and features is greater than ever to drive foot traffic......Technology is also key, with some mall owners now allowing customers to text them questions and get real-time answers. Other malls have implemented mobile apps to provide turn-by-turn navigation from store-to-store in a mall and directions to their parked cars. ........Consider a successful shopping center developer, in this case seeking opportunities for growth. The developer might look to acquire store leases at malls owned by competitors where an anchor has closed and redevelop the space into a cluster of smaller stores or into a mixed-use property (restaurants, movie theaters, urgent care centers, spas, etc.)......The transformation of malls will continue, and usher in changes that would have been unfathomable a decade ago. Last year, two mall owners — Simon Properties and General Growth Partners — teamed up with Authentic Brands and a few inventory liquidators to purchase hundreds of Aeropostale stores out of bankruptcy. The justification from the mall owners was that they were not merely trying to save a tenant, but based on the bargain basement price that they paid, believed they could make a profit. As 2017 unfolds with the expectation of additional retail Chapter 11s and store closures, mall developers and owners also may look at their competitors with an eye toward new opportunities.
diversification  redevelopments  shopping_malls  REITs  department_stores  big-box  cost-consciousness  e-commerce  Amazon  foot_traffic  reinvention  competitive_landscape  mapping  retailers  store_closings  offensive_tactics  transformational 
august 2017 by jerryking
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