Casinos Bet on Retail – History says it’s a Sure Winner
Fresh off a decent run at a poker machine about 17 years ago, your humble e-newsletter editor found himself meandering the retail landscape called Forum Shops, attached to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. With some cash at the ready and a young son waiting at home for a gift from dad’s business trip, yours truly plunked down an obscene amount of money for a Buzz Lightyear Electric Spin Pop as a gift for the boy. Las Vegas is betting that trend will continue, that winners fresh from their casinos will spend money in their malls. The proof, as everything is in Vegas, is in the numbers, according to a recent article on SeattleTimes.com. “Retail and nongaming attractions — along with Vegas shows, 149,000 hotel rooms, and top restaurants and bars — brought in more than $11.2 billion in revenue last year, double the $5.2 billion that table games and slot machines generated.”
Making Use of the Retail Rooftop
The flagship Macy’s store in New York City’s Herald Square is considering taking the advice in the famous written by Carole King and turning their rooftop into a public park. Lisa Fickenscher wrote in the New York Post recently that it’s part of the retail giant’s strategy to open more green space and attract more shoppers in a non-traditional way. “The rooftop idea is meant to encourage people to meander through the store either on their way up to or down from the attractions on the roof”, said Doug Sessler, Macy’s VP of real estate. Similarly, Macy’s and other retailers in the suburban areas with giant parking lots are looking to monetize that space as well. Fickenscher noted in a separate article how parking lots are increasingly too big, and could handle additional revenue streams instead. “The question is, what do you do with this space? People have their pencils out and are trying to figure out what sort of numbers they can squeeze out of their properties,” said Christopher Pappas, director of corporate finance for Fitch Ratings.
Making MORE Use of the Retail Rooftop
While Macy’s in New York City is planning to make its rooftop a park for people, Hillcrest Mall in Canada is helping the bee population by installing two beehives on its roof. In a partnership with urban beekeeping organization, Alvéole, Hillcrest Mall’s marketing director recently told YorkRegion.com that the pilot project is part of the mall’s focus on the environment. “The Centre for Global Research reported this spring that one of the biggest dangers facing mankind is the loss of the global honeybee population. Bees play a significant role in producing fruits and vegetables, and yet their numbers have been dying off at increasingly rapid rates.”
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