Why do malls get a bad rap?
I say this because that seems to be all you hear about malls these days. They are failing. But are they? Like everything on the internet, this has been greatly over-exaggerated. Simon Property Group, that owns many malls in the U.S., 95 malls and 69 outlets, are at 94.5% occupancy at all of their malls. How is that failing?
Maybe a better question is why do we hold certain "brands" on a pedestal, when they are closing at record rates? For example, H&M. They closed 250 stores just last year alone. Aéropostale has closed 113 stores in the U.S. and ALL 41 stores in Canada. These are "mall stores". Why are they not considered failing but the malls they were in are?
The biggest problem that retail has is the internet. It isn't just online shopping. It is stories being written about malls not being here when they are. It's stories being written about malls going away. People reading these stories don't want to waste their time going to a mall for it just to be closed. They aren't just going to the mall to see what is there.
There has been a lot of revamping of malls. The biggest story is of them making condos out of old Macy stores. Another pedestal brand that has all but gone under. We appreciate the parades but the store has not done well in quite a few years. Why weren't they responsible for tearing down the old building? They built it and now they are broken, ugly, closed buildings attached to these malls. I don't think that the malls or a developer should have to clean up what they built and couldn't keep running.
As this is the biggest story, it isn't all that true. Not that many have actually gone in this direction. Many of them, like Simon, is turning them into small business malls. Small businesses, like me, have an opportunity to have a retail space. The online market is way over saturated and many small businesses are going into full blown retail. Where is that story?
I have a small boutique in a mall. I hear "no one goes to malls" but here they are every day. It may not be busy but there people here every day. They ask about the stores that have closed down and almost instantly blame the mall! How is it the malls fault?? A mall is an office building for retail. That's all it is. They have rented space for rent. It is up to individual people to rent these spaces. The mall has no say so in whom or what they rent to. But still you here that malls are failing.
What has failed:
Macys- has closed 170 stores since 2016, 6 last year and 4 in the last month
Victoria's Secret- closed 250 stores in 2020 and 50 more in 2021
Aéropostale- 116 stores closed
Forever 21- filed bankruptcy, closing stores in 40 countries, 178 closed in the U.S.
H&M- closed 250 stores in 2022
Gap- closing this year 2023 350 stores
There are a lot more!!! And, sadly, this falls on the malls. People are being told that they are failing when they are the ones still here. I do believe that if people would just go explore on their own then they would know this. We, unfortunately, live in the era of the internet. The place we all assume is lying to us constantly but yet we still think that what we read on it is truth. Hopeful thinking maybe.
The real revamp is what Simon is doing. (no I am not in a Simon mall) Small businesses should have a chance in the world of retail. The giants have proven they can't do it. Amazon is even going into the offline industry with actual stores. We have a serious issue with retail. If we don't have it, then what? Kids hang out where? Moms hang out where? A day out of the house, to where?
Yes I have an online website to shop, because that is what is required to run a business right now. But, I can tell you from sitting in this mall every day, that people want a mall to walk around in. They want a place to shop. They are tire of being told they don't.
If you are a small business or a smaller business then check out some malls in your area. Most of them are offering cheap rent right now. You never know, maybe us regular people will start to rise, like we did in the beginning before all the big guys pushed us out.
Click the link and check out my store in Sanford, Fl. Would love to have you as a visitor.