The news: Bloomingdale’s will close its 206,000-square-foot location in an upscale shopping center outside Chicago and open a 50,000-square-foot Bloomie’s concept in a different location in the mall.
Rethinking the anchor store: Those efforts are transforming malls, which have long relied on established anchors to drive traffic to shopping centers.
A store boom: Even as many department stores rightsize, other retailers are expanding. Retailers in the US have announced 4,432 store openings versus 1,954 closings, according to data from Coresight Research.
A reason for being: While offline retail sales growth in Q1 outpaced online growth year over year, the key to the long-term success of stores like Bloomie’s is their ability to offer an experience that can’t be replicated online.
That could look like special sales events or technology that improves the shopping experience. Fitting rooms at Amazon Style, for example, feature touchscreens that show shoppers personal recommendations and different sizes or colors for items that don't fit.
The big takeaway: Most malls aren’t going anywhere, but what they are and how consumers use them needs to change. Savvy mall operators are remaking their shopping centers with a broader mix of tenants to ensure there are multiple reasons for consumers to visit.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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