15 Jul Retail Malls = Change or Die with Greg Lutje – CREPN #48
Retail Malls are being tested, and their survival is at stake. Retail Malls Change or Die. [x_audio_embed][/x_audio_embed] Metcalf South was the mall of my youth where I watched the dishwasher with the glass front door wash dishes, Santa arrive by helicopter and where my parents took me to buy every pair of jeans and shoes. Now this once thriving mall on 45 acres in suburbia Kansas City is dark. It is listed on the website, DeadMalls.com with hundreds more. Few states have been spared a closing retail mall.
What happened?How could such a vibrant central shopping center to a community fail? Greg Lutje, partner at Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP a Commercial Real Estate attorney joined me to discuss the changing landscape facing retail malls everywhere. In researching the topic, there are many opinions and factors have contributed. Is it:
- Over built retail, simply more places to buy than demand?
- Decline in numbers of the Middle Class?
- Technology; the internet?
- Online retailers, have they replaced the traditional mall?
- Have the consumer wants changed?
- People are moving from Suburbs to Urban centers?
Q: What does the customer want?A: More than a pair of jeans in a different size. Not all malls are closed or forgotten. Some continue to thrive. What are the successful malls doing to remain relevant? Successful Mall owners have created an “Experiences” for shoppers.
What is a “Mall Experience”?The new mall experience is a lifestyle experience, not just a place to purchase merchandise. The experience is a chance to:
- Walk outdoors on wide pedestrian friendly sidewalks
- Have dinner
- Grab a coffee or dessert
- Work out at the gym
- Catch a movie.