Toys R Us Reborn? We Can STILL be Toys R Us Kids!
How could you not have faith in Geoffrey the Giraffe? Toys R Us is being brought to life, again, after WHP Global, a brand management company, told CNBC it had acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids, the last owner of Toys R Us and other brands. “We’re coming off a year where toys are just on fire…and for Toys R Us, the U.S. is really a blank canvas,” said Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and chief executive officer of WHP. While numbers haven’t yet been decided, Shmidman told CNBC they hope to open Toys R Us stores in North America ahead of the upcoming holiday season, taking on various formats including “flagships, pop-ups, airport locations or mini-stores inside other retailers’ shops.”
Malls Reborn to Support Communities in Alternate Ways
While malls and shopping centers are being redefined for a new era of retail, they are also finding other uses for the property and buildings in former retail locations, even if, in some cases, they are only temporary. In Akron, Ohio, the Chapel Hill Mall is being repurposed into a business park. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, there are several retail shops still in the facility that may remain once the transformation is complete. “As consumers’ shopping habits continue to evolve following the pandemic, we are seeing more and more retail assets repurposed so that communities can regain lost jobs and continue to drive economic development,” said Bill Kern, executive vice president, Industrial Commercial Properties. Over in upstate New York, the location and size of a former Best Buy at the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston was determined to be extremely useful. According to the Hudson Valley Post, it is being transformed into a COVID-19 vaccination site. “Our new vaccination center will allow for greater access and accessibility for the residents of Ulster County…[so we can] vaccinate thousands of our residents in a safe and accessible location,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan.
Niagara Falls USA Mall Awash in Optimism Despite COVID, Closed Canadian Border
While some properties are being re-imagined for a new world, some are finding themselves well-positioned to serve their communities as they did before. According to Niagara Frontier Publications, the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA has reported decent numbers since January and is optimistic, despite the lack of international travelers and its proximity to the border of Canada, which remains closed. What’s giving them such confidence? Support from retailers, who moved into the mall during the pandemic, including Tory Burch, Adidas, TaiChi Bubble Tea, Uomo Da Milano Menswear, Express Jewelers, Ding Hao and India Grill. They’ve also signed, though not yet named, “another major player” in retail slated to open this summer. “Retailers are starting to see that there is a place for brick-and-mortar in their future, and we’re speaking with our retailers and potential merchants every day. When some people see a dark space, they think it’s a vacancy. We see opportunity,” said John Doran, Property Manager, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA.
The Watertown Mall
1300 9th Ave. SE
Watertown, SD 57201
Gross Leaseable Retail Area
303,008 sq. ft.
Lexington Realty International
Dunham's Sports, Hy-Vee, Planet Fitness, Famous Footwear, Christopher & Banks, Maurices, Angels Attic, Glik's, Godfather's Pizza, Lea's Hallmark, Colorful Nails, 3 Diva Boutique, Bath & Body Works, Good Buy Gal's
The Watertown Mall is a Regional Family Shopping Destination, conveniently located on US Highway 212, just three miles west of I-29. Watertown Mall serves a primary market population of 103,073 with an average household income of $54,288.
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