Anchors Away: Malls Get A New Lease On Life With Fresh Retail Blood

by MR Magazine Staff

Buh-bye, Sears. Hello T.J. Maxx, Wegmans, and karaoke fun. As retailers struggle and perish in the era of digital shopping, malls are losing their longtime department store anchor tenants, and in turn, getting a new lease on life. Literally. It’s not just the massive anchor spaces that are getting a makeover. The spate of closures among smaller in-line chains from Abercrombie & Fitch to The Children’s Place have landlords rethinking and repurposing the entire mall to boost productivity and woo younger shoppers with fresh retail blood: New tenants include upscale supermarkets, off-price merchants and e-commerce startups, as well as experiential fare like celebrity-chef restaurants and even bowling alleys. The redevelopment of the nation’s malls has come under the spotlight amid the seemingly nonstop stream of dreary news on retail store closing, bankruptcies and liquidations. But while the narrative is that “retail is weak, it masks the fact that many shopping districts are doing very well, [mall] occupancy rates are at record levels and rents are in the stratosphere,” said Andrew Nelson, chief economist for commercial real estate firm Colliers International. Read more at Forbes.