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The continuing evolution of retail centers

In our last post, we highlighted how retailers are trying to find additional ways to reach consumers given the proliferation of online shopping sites. Indeed, traditional brick and mortar retailers must adjust in a new marketplace, which means that developers and real estate owners must adjust accordingly. One way that they have met this demand is by giving consumers more than one reason to visit malls and shopping centers.

A recent globest.com report gave a few prominent examples of this trend. It cited how millenials have more buying power, vastly different shopping and lifestyle habits compared to baby boomers and genX’ers. It also explained how traditional shopping centers were 90 percent retail, including stores, a food court and large department stores to anchor the center. With that, the development of shopping centers have focused more on lifestyle centers than customary retail. 

Spaces where department stores previously dominated are now being renovated to include modern tenants that use less space and draw a diverse customer base for different lifestyle experiences;  therefore generating higher rent rates. For instance, a space that once housed a Sears department store is now split to include a Trader Joes supermarket along with a fitness center. Or, and outdated mall food court is renovated to host a Dave and Busters or GameWorks experience center.

The changing of traditional retail centers represents an exciting time for commercial real estate development, as ideas that may have been shunned in the past are now en vogue. An experienced real estate attorney can help business owners bring their ideas to fruition. 

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