Malls Fight Back

Battling against rumors of impending retirement, or even death, at least one owner isn't going down without a fight to make its malls Internet-proof. Stephanie Clifford examines how Glimcher Realty Trust's novel approach is paying dividends.

1 minute read

July 18, 2012, 11:00 AM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj

We've heard recently that the era of the mall may be coming to an end. Struggling against the forces of online retailing, changing demographics, and the global recession, the mall's 60-year reign is under siege. This doesn't mean that the country's malls aren't fighting tooth and nail to remain vital, however. Case in point, Scottsdale Quarter in Arizona, where Glimcher Realty Trust has been testing a new strategy to compete with the internet by filling the mall with "businesses that do more than sell stuff." 

According to Clifford, at Scottsdale Quarter, "more than half of the stores offer dining or some other experience
that cannot be easily replicated on the Web...While a Scottsdale shopper can buy clothes on the Web, 'she can't go out
to lunch with her girlfriends and have a glass of wine and a salad
online,' said Michael P. Glimcher, chairman and chief executive. 'She
can't get her hair done online. She can't go and make pottery or soap or
a cake online.'"

Glimcher's experiments with service- and experience-oriented elements is paying off. "Glimcher's revenue is rising again after a big dip during the recession," notes Clifford.
"Its first-quarter sales rose 9 percent to $69.8 million, with the
Scottsdale mall a major contributor to the increase. Scottsdale Quarter
makes $1,000 per square foot, the highest figure of any Glimcher mall." 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in The New York Times

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