Netflix’s hit television show Stranger Things is stirring up nostalgia in all who watch it—especially those who grew up in the 1980s. The latest season of the show, which is set in 1985 and was released earlier this summer, centers around the fictional Starcourt Mall and is full of familiar sights: neon signs, department stores, a food court and lots of teenagers. While the mall used in the show is a dead mall in real life, it begs the question for commercial real estate professionals: are malls a sound investment?
The truth is, malls aren’t dead; they’re just evolving.
While people have long predicted the doom and gloom of shopping malls/centers, there are many examples of shopping malls being torn down and being replaced with… shopping malls. Why? It might have something to do with the fact that 71 percent of consumers spend more when shopping in person than they do online. More malls are popping up or thriving than you might realize.
Maybe it’s more of a revolution than an evolution, but at the end of the day, shopping malls of all types are alive and well. These are the top five types of shopping malls you should be aware of going into 2020:
Just one of eight types of shopping malls classified by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the super-regional mall is the biggest type of shopping mall, as it must be 800,000 square feet or more to qualify. Like a regional mall, these types of malls typically feature a parking lot on the exterior, a central walkway and lots of inward-facing shops. In the right location, these can be a goldmine, as they can house more than 80 stores—including three or more anchors.
These are known as “category killers,” as they tend to feature stores with discount, outlet and wholesale prices. More often than not, these are also stores tied to big-box retailers. So they combine the appeal of low prices with the backing of a bigger chain.
Often laid out in an “L” or “U” design, community centers are sized between strip malls and super-regional centers. They can have anywhere from 15 to 40 tenants with mix of convenience and general offerings. These tend to thrive in large neighborhoods that don’t have any closer options for essentials.
Everyone knows what a strip mall looks like. But did you know that it’s among the smallest of the shopping mall types? That makes it perfect for niche product offerings and tenants who provide convenient services, such as laundry centers or discount stores.
One of the least-prevalent shopping mall types—there are only 150 or so in the United States—theme/festival are built with tourists in mind. As such, they can be highly profitable and usually feature a common theme. Location is key for these types of stores, which is why they’re often found in urban areas.
These are just a few of the shopping mall types out there; any one of them can be a potentially wise investment for CRE pros. To learn more about a software solution that can help you organize your property data, and track the progress of your market research related projects, request a demo of Quarem today.
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