The Future of the Mall
With consumer confidence popping mid-holiday season, dozens of mediocre retailers would be on fire was this still the 1990s. However, it’s not still the 1990s. No thanks to Amazon, over 9,000 stores closed this year as irreversible losses mounted, and the retail apocalypse tightened its stranglehold on the high street. Malls had a front-row seat!
Simon Property Group, Crown Castle, and Choice Properties reward their land-lording investors with rent from shopping rink tenants across America. They say stores with below-par sales per square foot are disappearing, and vacancy rates are on the rise. It’s a compelling bear case, but not so fast!
“Sure, what was not good has gotten much worse,” admits mall owner Taubman. “But what was good has gotten much better!” Apparently, there exists a perfect retail cocktail that guarantees relevancy and sales. Prepare to be amazed!
First, location, location, location! Clustered, rejuvenated city-centers with excellent transport links are your ticket. And then, just turn the place into a theme park! Virtual reality laser tag. Indoor ski slopes. Glow-in-the-dark mini golf. It needs to be as experienced-based as possible. When it comes to actual retailers, Tesla, Tiffany, and Apple are the best anchors.
Amazon used to put your mall out of business, then buy it for cents on the dollar for use as a warehouse. Humiliating. Now, at least one niche of brick-and-mortar retail is lifting property stocks, getting flashier and flashier, and growing faster and faster. Welcome to the age of the ‘fortress mall!’