Mom and Pop Go to the Mall
By George Anderson
Big box stores are not the only new type of tenants taking space in malls around the country. According to a report in the Detroit News, many small retailers lured by the increased level of security and attractive lease terms for kiosk and/or store space are setting up shop in local malls.
Patrice Duker of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) said, “You’re seeing mall owners being much more aggressive in recruiting these types of retailers. They add a uniqueness to the mix. It allows for that very unique shopping trip that malls are looking for.”
Kathryn Deane, president and chief executive of the fashion consulting firm Tobe Report, said, “Shopping centers realize that its important for them to stand apart from other centers and one way to achieve this is by having stand-alone specialty stores their competition won’t have.”
To attract smaller retailers, malls are offering shorter lease terms for stores and kiosk space on the floor for those looking to test the waters.
Fairlane Town Center leases kiosks for six months and lets retailers move into store locations on a year lease rather than the typical three to five-year contract.
“They get a full season and a half to expose their merchandise to the marketplace and they have the benefit of building a customer base,” said Fairlane General Manager Catherine O’Malley. “When you take a look at what’s happening in our industry, how did some of the giants grow? They had to start somewhere.”
Moderator’s Comment: Are the additions of big box stores and small retailers to mall locations making a difference in how consumers view malls and the
retailers in them? How would you describe what you see as the mall of the future? –
George Anderson – Moderator