AM 740 – KTRH
By Audrey Morton
As less retailers are opening new stores, U.S. mall owners are looking for new ways to fill the vacancies.
Some big name retailers are downsizing their store’s footprint—size, numbers, locations, which means malls and shopping centers might need to prepare for some store closures.
Texas Retailers Association President and CEO George Kelemen said shoppers still want to touch and see what they buy, and doesn’t see malls closing completely any time soon, it’s just the evolutionary nature of retail.
“Differently formatted shopping center, if you will, that’s definitely going to evolve and you’ll see some changes, and I think you’re seeing some of those that have happened over the last five years to the last or decade or so, and some of those will continue to evolve,” said Kelemen.
He says while e-commerce is driving some of the change, so is location, geography and changing demographics.
Kelemen said the retail industry is doing well, but is in transition.
“They may not necessarily be in a traditional kind of all-enclosed mall that we’ve had since the 60s, 70s and 80s. They may just take different shapes and forms,” said Kelemen.
He said these big name companies that are closing stores are not in financial distress, they’re still alive and well.
It’s reported that some malls are using co-working spaces, apartment complexes and health facilities to replace department stores.