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Extreme makeover, mall edition

November 08, 2017
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More than 94% of mall owners are ditching their old digs for new common area couches, a fresh coat of paint, new stores and/or a name change. A little freshening goes a long way along. Sometimes success is all about marketability.

Malls are refreshing branding strategies to improve and add to their appeal, through common area improvements like modernizing outdated features like new lobbies, comfortable seating, free WiFi, relighting walkways, improved way finding, fresh paint and more windows for natural light.

Malls respond to millennials by adding fashion tenants 

Mall owners are also focusing on a tenant mix that will entice shoppers, and we found 30 malls specifically targeted retailers to improve tenant mixes. They honed in on apparel, luxury, and fitness retailers. Apparel retailers that entice millennial consumers, like fast fashion retailers H&M and Zara, are leasing top inline spaces.On the opposite side of the price spectrum, malls are also dedicating wings or portions of a center to luxury and luxury lite retailers. The renovation at Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts is marketing the center as a luxury destination with retailers like Jimmy Choo, Versace, and Louis Vuitton.

Galleria VI, Simon Property Group’s branding of the Galleria Houston’s $300 million renovation, adds 35 new stores and restaurants to the former Saks Fifth Avenue space. Notable retailers added include Ted Baker, Kate Spade, b8ta, Cole Haan and Lacoste, and food and beverage concepts Nobu and Fig and Olive.

Does removing the “M” word help a center’s success?

It seems like a lot of folks are going out of their way to avoid the “M” word. We found that 18.9 percent of malls in our study have removed ‘mall’ from their name during the renovation process. Centers have re-branded in the hopes of shedding the image of the now outdated mall of the last century. They’ve opted for names that create a sense of a smaller, more intimate community, with words like “Shoppes,” “Towne Center” and “Village.” But the verdict is still out on if a name change shoppers spending and perception.

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