The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently used archived shopping data, dating back over 20 years, from Directory of Major Malls | ShoppingCenters.com (DMM) to paint a fascinating picture of contemporary malls.
In 1995, WSJ reports, around 50% of mall leases were for apparel chains. Today, that number is closer to 30%. While this would seem to represent a precipitous decline in profitability, the reality isn’t so simple.
American malls are changing as consumer desires change. There have certainly been victims of a decline in the retail space. RadioShack, for example, closed 2,000 locations and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015.
But while some companies are sinking, others are swimming. GameStop, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless all have at least 200 store locations in malls in 2017, despite the fact they didn’t have any during the “height” of the American mall. Spending on beauty and personal care is experiencing booming growth. Ulta Beauty opened nearly 100 stores this year, pushing them over 1,000 stores nationwide. Sephora, notoriously resilient, opened its largest store ever this year and continues to thrive.
According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, retail growth is coming from a variety of sources, including discount, club, drug, convenience and big box categories, in addition to cosmetics and beauty. The key to growth in today’s retail landscape, the report claims, is competitive differentiation.
For those in the shopping center and retail space, comprehensive data helps navigate seismic shifts in the industry. Current and historical data helps track trends and pinpoint the competition within the landscape of mixed growth and decline.
The American mall is changing, and retailers must adapt. The WSJ report, leveraging DMM data, gives an in-depth look at this change and what types of stores are coming out on top.
To learn more on this subject, read the full Wall Street Journal article here.