Outlet centers reportedly are enjoying high levels of occupancy and income growth as bargain shoppers have turned away from online shopping and returned to brick-and-mortar in search of low-cost treasures.
“The strong performance is partly due to the lack of department stores such as Macy’s, Sears or J.C. Penney in outlet centers, which cater to individual brands such as Coach Inc.,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
“That shields landlords from some of the headwinds buffeting department-store chains as they carry out plans to close hundreds of stores in malls. J.C. Penney on Friday announced a list of 138 store locations it plans to close, most of them in June,” the WSJ reported.
“Outlets have performed well because of their discount nature,” Hessam Nadji, president and chief executive officer of real-estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc., told the Wall Street Journal. “It does have a flair to it that works well during tough times,” Nadji said.
There are roughly 200 U.S. outlet centers with assets worth a collective $50 billion, according to estimates from real-estate research firm Green Street Advisors, the WSJ reported.
As far as traditional shopping malls, the future is quite dim, some experts predict.
Steve Beaman, chairman the Society to Advance Financial Education, recently told Newsmax TV that mass store closures and layoffs by Sears, Macy’s and Kmart only prove that the retail industry continues to undergo a sea change because of online shopping.
And this seismic shift may soon extinguish a cultural landmark of the recent past – the American shopping mall.
JD Hayworth asked Beaman on "America Talks Live" if malls are a relic of a bygone era.
“My personal opinion is they are,” he said. He cited many many requiring adults to chaperone those under the ages of 21 or 18.
“So we're already going to see the demise of it being the hang out for kids and I think that will change the retailing habits of it. The overall security concerns of the bricks-and-mortar retailers is going to become a draining cost on them. So, they're going to think more and more let's go to the internet,” he said.
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