DMM Retail Industry e-News Issue #187
City-dwellers Fleeing Pandemic in Urban Centers Seek…Lifestyle Centers
Cities with higher rates of COVID cases are seeing residents look for similar amenities in outlying areas with fewer viral worries. Malls and lifestyle centers are part of that search, as they apparently are looking for places that have as many amenities as possible in a single location. In a recent article by Governing: The Future of States and Localities, senior editor Alan Ehrenhalt thought he’d find the opposite to be true. “COVID-19 is generating an opportunity for urbanized suburbia…If boring old cul-de-sac suburbs can evolve into appealing urban destinations a few miles beyond the worrisome downtown congestion, the future might actually be theirs,” Ehrenhalt wrote. Indeed, CNBC reported recently that real estate agents in the New York City metro area have seen “strong demand in the surrounding suburbs, as contracts on Manhattan apartments plunged 80% annually in May.”
Malls “Mall-amorphosize” Despite Viral and Online Challenges
Like The Little Engine That Could (“I think I can, I think I can.”), malls are making comebacks in the U.S. by reinventing themselves. They were doing that even before coronavirus struck, but with the circumstances more dire, more are looking adversity in the face and saying: “I’m still here.” There’s the recognition that malls will have to change in order to be more alluring in a post-coronavirus world. “Probably there is going to be a lot of repurposing of retail property for office, multi-family (housing) or even last-mile distribution,” Michael Petrivelli, of real estate data analytics firm CoStar Group, told The Denver Post. In Lone Tree, Colorado, Park Meadows senior general manager Pamela Kelly keeps a positive outlook: “We’re seeing more customers get more comfortable with shopping as they become more comfortable with our protocols.”
How Retailers Keep Employees Working and Customers Shopping — Safely
With all the cleaning and sanitizing and disinfecting going on, it sometimes makes your humble e-newsletter editor wonder, should we have been doing all this before? Hindsight is always 20-20 (how ironic), but the thought that now is the time to get an elective surgical procedure done because the thought that hospitals will never be cleaner has crossed some people’s minds during this unique year. The folks at Propmodo, a website that explores how emerging technologies affect our built environment, came up with different suggestions about how retailers and others can open carefully and successfully, and plan for future shopping needs, to keep their employees’, and customers’ minds more at ease. “One option [is] to consider developing grocery stores that only offer curbside pickup. Such a store could save a lot of money on interior buildout and customer service staff, becoming the equivalent of a ghost kitchen for groceries. No indoor shoppers means drastically-reduced parking needs, allowing owners to invest in much nicer pickup areas, with shelters for employees and loading areas.”
All Your DMM Questions Answered – Just a Click Away!
Did you ever wonder how we here at the Directory of Major Malls compile our data? Do you have questions about the shopping centers and malls we cover or how you can use all that data? Lose sleep and wonder no more! Just head over the FAQ section of our website. It has all the answers you need, and if it doesn’t, you can always contact us directly by using our new chat feature, or talk to us the old-fashioned way.
DMM e-News - Issue #187
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