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Page 14 JANUARY 2018 | RETAILERS FORUM MAGAZINE

For Late-Breaking Industry News Visit: www.retailersforum.com

If It Affects Retailing We Report On It!

Challenges Filling Shopping Centers

REGARDLESS of some of the overly optimistic articles you may have been reading in our competitors

papers, retailing has come under some real challenges. And while many smaller retailers will have the

flexibility to reinvent their businesses to keep aflot, the big box stores do not have that talent.

MANY large big box stores have either filed for bankruptcy or are closing down some of their poor

performing units. What happens when a gigantic Sears store shuts down is that it can sit for a really long

time without a tenant. Because of the massive size of many department stores there is a serious problem

in re-renting the space. So landlords have a problem, the unemployed ex-workers have a problem, tax

rolls for the town have deficits and communities have empty spaces that soon become overgrown and

derelict.

IN some towns the landlords have been able to subdivide the large unit and break it down into more

manageable spaces. This is not always possible because of zoning regulations, but does make the most

sense as it is rather unlikely that another store of that magnitude will take over the space. And Amazon

can't rent warehouses everywhere.

BUT it still remains to be seen with the smaller units how many retailers are in the position to expand

to the mall and occupy these spaces. In many cities around the country there is a complaint that we are

"over-malled", too many malls for too few people. So, this is a serious issue when it comes to trying to

continue empty spaces with retail stores.

DEVELOPERS have been turning to non-traditional tenants, as let's face it, they need to pay mortgages

on these shopping centers. Often there are restaurants, gyms and medical centers renting units that used

to be retail stores. There is talk of many movie theatres being added to malls, but the movie business is

not a growing one with the advent of demand viewing on every device imaginable including your wrist

watch these days!

WHERE is it heading? For retailers currently set up in malls they need traffic to be driven so restaurants

and medical centers are not the idea businesses to complement their activities. Most retailers hope for

more retailers, but that hope is waining as more landlords are signing up veyr non traditional tenants.

Showrooming 101

SHOWROOMING is when a consumer finds a product online and then goes to a brick and mortar

store to see it and then buy it online often for the lower price. Many retailers have been able to combat

showrooming by matching online prices when presented with proof in the store. This way they at

least make a sale, albeit at a lower margin, but it's a sale they definitely would not have made wiithout

discounting. Consider posting this policy at your business so you do not lose out on sales to the internet

sellers. Making something is better than making zero.

Retailing Tidbits

GOOGLE, which gets into everything opened a Google store in Dublin that sells Google related

merchandise. "Cause that's what we need - a Google mug or tee shirt. Wait, Google probably already

knows what you want to buy as you are walking into the store by simply scanning you.

AMAZON has inspired many retailers to lean on their suppliers to enforce online merchants from

undercutting them on prices. Target has been a real advocate on this front.

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