Many owners recognize that shopping habits are changing...and not in their favor. People are shopping on line. When they do finally choose to venture away from their computer screens, they expect something more than simply a retail transaction. The article suggests that Americans today,"rather than going to big, overwhelming malls...prefer places where stores can be entered from the street, featuring restaurants, entertainment and other Main Street mainstays." A representative from Simon Properties, one of the largest mall owners in the nation, reflects on this trend, saying malls today have to “provide a unique set of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences”.
|Station Square, a Forest City owned property on |
Pittsburgh's South Side is home to a mix
of tourist oriented retail...and a trade school.
Downtown is really no different - and our approach to filling spaces needs to be similarly creative. Of course, the greater challenge is the fact that downtowns have multiple owners who are not necessarily on the same page when it comes to vision, and seldom coordinate their actions in the same way a single mall owner can. But the real take away here is that downtown is the model for what many malls strive for these days - and it is up to us to take advantage of the authentic downtown brand that is already ours for the taking!