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Old 10-16-2017, 06:18 PM
 
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You can do the right things, but the only way to be stable in some sectors is to grow your percentage of the pie, because the pie is getting smaller.

Other sectors are harder to move online...basically restaurants, coffee shops, etc.

There are so many factors. A couple others: Tourist shopping has probably declined due to the cost of carry-ons. Coffee shops have both gained and lost due to their easy wifi.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
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Mall success is very specific to location, demographics, and the retail environment that they exist in.

Example: The Columbia Center Mall, Kennewick, WA (circa 1970), anchored the old Bon Marche (now Macy's), and has continued to evolve with new shops and restaurants, a movieplex, etc.

This mall continues to do well due to several factors. The most important being that the Tri-Cities does not have a major downtown, as this mall is the de facto downtown along Columbia Center Blvd, which also offer hundreds of other businesses.

Due to geography, this mall also attracts hundreds of thousands from outside the immediate Tri-Cities area because places like Walla Walla, Moses Lake, Hermiston, Pendleton, and other rural areas have no such retail options. Many travel to the Tri just to visit this mall, but also the stores that line Columbia Center Blvd.

This example is certainly repeated all over the rural areas of the country, perhaps moreso in the West.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:05 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee and Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnerbro View Post
So I'm sure we've all heard about how poorly malls are doing. However that is only partially true, there are many malls with less than a 5% vacancy rate and are doing very well for themselves. I live in Maryland and every time I go to Columbia Mall it's packed. There's also Tysons Corner in Virginia which is doing well. I've also been to Atlanta many times and most of the malls in north metro seem to be doing well. I'm wondering in 2017 how can a mall be successful.
It is fascinating and I haven't yet put my finger on it. Here in the tri-cities region of northeastern Tennessee, there are 3 primary cities--with a metro of 500,000 people. The primary 3 big cities are Johnson City (67,000 people), Kingsport (53,000) and Bristol TN/VA (42,000). For years, each city had their own thriving mall, up until about 6-8 years or so, give or take. Now, the Mall at Johnson City has like a 98% occupancy rate and is booming on the weekends with food trucks in the parking lot, promotions going on, full mini carts in the mall's hallways selling cool original items, the food court packed and the stores generally doing pretty well.

The other 2 malls in both Kingsport and Bristol--well, their stories aren't so rosey--The Bristol Mall is practically completely empty and I wouldn't be surprised if in another 1-2 years it turns into a community college, church or is razed for another use. The Fort Henry Mall is Kingsport is clinging to life and has opened a new NGC Cinema (which is super nice actually) and another anchor store is opening in the next week. But the Sears store there has closed earlier this year and the mall has about 50% of its stores gone! So the verdict is still out with this mall, but it has one foot in the grave, so it seems.

The Mall at Johnson City though is thriving. The anchor stores are JCPenney, Sears and Dicks Sporting Goods. There is a food court and it sits on the one of the main retail highways with interstate 26 about 1/2 mile away. I'm starting to think this location has always been prime--maybe one of the factors?

Also, maybe with some of the malls thriving it simply has to do with their location, versus other malls out of the way locations...? I'm sure an "experience out shopping" is what lots crave on the weekends, since buying online is super fast and convenient but grows boring after a while...
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:13 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee and Atlanta
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Originally Posted by bawac34618 View Post
This.

The mall isn't the place teens go to hang out at stores like Aeropostale and Sam Goody anymore. It's where people go for a $1,000 handbag.
yeah, this is not necessarily true in all cases...in higher end malls, sure. But I've been to many malls packed with low/discount/regular stores and shoppers and they are booming.

I think adaptation is key for malls to survive...a unique blend of stores and attractions....including low and high end...
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
yeah, this is not necessarily true in all cases...in higher end malls, sure. But I've been to many malls packed with low/discount/regular stores and shoppers and they are booming.

I think adaptation is key for malls to survive...a unique blend of stores and attractions....including low and high end...
Yes, this is correct. Offer a great variety of stores, not just big anchors. Add boutiques, add some cool eateries, and even some front door parking (i.e. you can enter from the parking lot).

But the bottom line is you need to offer a product that is not offered in the market area. This is why my example of "Columbia Center" in Tri-Cities, WA is doing it right. They have some parking lot entrances, but they also understand they can offer a one-stop retail location in an area where there are no other major malls within 125 miles. This is what is working today.
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrJones17 View Post
You don't think the majority of the reason why malls are dying is because of less foot traffic due to e-commerce?
E-Commerce accounted for 11.7% of all retail sales in 2016, so yes it is quite overblown. The real issue at hand is that the middle class is making the same wages they have been making for the past 20 years while inflation has gobbled up the buying power. The exceptions we see are in cities where disposable income after housing/other expenses remains higher thanks to higher paying jobs. Examples? Places like San Jose CA, Raleigh-Durham NC, NYC metro, Washington DC metro, Boston metro, Seattle WA and Dallas TX.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
is not offered in the market area. This is why my example of "Columbia Center" in Tri-Cities, WA is doing it right. They have some parking lot entrances, but they also understand they can offer a one-stop retail location in an area where there are no other major malls within 125 miles. This is what is working today.
Be big, be adaptable, and offer something that no else in the area is offering.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
In Chicagoland, the most successful malls tend to be the largest and sort of serve as the downtown area for their regions.....such as Woodfield (Schumburg) for the Northwest suburbs and Oakbrook (Oak Brook) for the west suburbs. Both Woodfield and Oakbrook draw shoppers from all over the metro area.

Only two major malls in the Chicago area, the aforementioned Oakbrook and Old Orchard (Skokie....which really serves much of the North suburban/ North Shore area) have remained through their entire existence as outdoor malls. This type of setting, IMHO, has increased their drawing power since it more in tune with the type of settings that shoppers seek today. In some ways, both Oakbrook and Old Orchard share characteristics with life-style centers.

The three malls mentioned here also benefit from the degree of high end stores they have. Interestingly, Old Orchard, Oakbrook, and Woodfield have the only Nordstroms in suburban Chicago (while its Chgo flagship is on Michigan Ave.).
I'd argue to a lesser extent, that certain other malls that aren't quite on the tier of those 3 shopping centers/malls in Chicagoland are at least doing a decent job of staying relevant. I.e. Chicago Ridge Mall adding an Aldi to it and also renovating their AMC theater, Hawthorn Center in Vernon Hills adding a new AMC theater and also a Dave and Busters, to name examples. The only mall that's close to dying IMO, is Charlestowne in Saint Charles. I don't know how that mall stays alive, other than for its anchors. Supposedly part of that mall is about to be demolished and replaced with a outdoor shopping area portion, so we'll see how that goes. And a Starbucks drive-thru location and Cooper's Hawk, was just constructed to the south of that mall along IL Hwy. 64.

And I agree, the malls that aren't trying to add non-traditional retail stores or cater to a niche seem to be more struggling, vs. malls that at least try to go for those things and adapt.
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonySegaTendo617 View Post
I'd argue to a lesser extent, that certain other malls that aren't quite on the tier of those 3 shopping centers/malls in Chicagoland are at least doing a decent job of staying relevant. I.e. Chicago Ridge Mall adding an Aldi to it and also renovating their AMC theater, Hawthorn Center in Vernon Hills adding a new AMC theater and also a Dave and Busters, to name examples. The only mall that's close to dying IMO, is Charlestowne in Saint Charles. I don't know how that mall stays alive, other than for its anchors. Supposedly part of that mall is about to be demolished and replaced with a outdoor shopping area portion, so we'll see how that goes. And a Starbucks drive-thru location and Cooper's Hawk, was just constructed to the south of that mall along IL Hwy. 64.

And I agree, the malls that aren't trying to add non-traditional retail stores or cater to a niche seem to be more struggling, vs. malls that at least try to go for those things and adapt.
I would agree that Hawthorn has improved its profile by heavily going into restaurants/entertainment.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:33 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
It think online shopping certainly plays a role, and that role will continue to grow. I do think the death of the suburban shopping mall overstated. In all of this hyperbole no one has mentioned how developers vastly overbuilt shopping centers in the 70s and 80s. (Get ready to see similar patterns in this huge bulk of urban apartments hitting the market across the country.) Part of what you're seeing with some of these declining malls is little more than a market correction. It's also true that class A shopping centers are thriving and making more $ than at any point. Those malls aren't limited to the exclusive super regional centers like Fashion Square in Scottsdale, or Somerset in suburban Detroit that have super high end stores. They exist in every market. What differentiates them are several things.

1. Level of financial commitment by principle management company (e.i. updates, renovations ect) Ever since GGP emerged from bankruptcy there are a slew of malls in it's portfolio that are in otherwise healthy markets and have fallen into a somewhat dingy/disrepaired status. Where they sit in strong retail corridors, surrounded by solidly middle class/upper middle class regions. The only thing they have in common is that GGP is using them as cash cows, and not investing in them, leading to an under performance by the property. On the other hand you have super aggressive management companies like PREIT that constantly invest in and upgrade their portfolios and these malls are very healthy with very low vacancy rates. There is little difference in location and market demographics between the two.

2. Shifting commercial corridors/Financial economic viability of greater region they service. This is true especially where you have multiple malls classified as super regional centers in areas where they overlap coverage. Most common in metro areas of larger scale. The malls closest to the healthiest incomes tend to outlive the older malls in areas that have demographics shifting toward more blue collar. (see inner ring suburbs) In the 70's/80's these inner ring shopping centers were at the core of the action, the action has migrated further out.

In the words of Mark Twain "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
I think this is it. Ecommerce has an effect but if it's a decent mall in a decent neighborhood it will likely still be busy .
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