• I wanna be sedated! RIP Joey! 🙂

    Agree on a lot of points. Was just in a very lively session at MinneBar (the largest barcamp in the country with geeks and startups representing in Minnesota, take that Silicon Valley!) this past weekend and was part of a very lively session about having an online business and opening an offline store as well. Lots of opportunity out there for the right model.

    Time to come to Minneapolis my friend, Mall of America isn’t struggling 😉

  • Nice production values, Duke. I wonder if what you say is true for all markets. I wonder how the majority of operators and brokers at RECON will respond. It’s true that online shopping, video streaming, etc are certainly market disruptors and category killers. Some of the smart players are going both ways — real estate — bricks & mortar *and* a good selection of online products and low delivery charges.

    Retail in some sectors of our Phoenix market seems to be holding or emerging stronger than ever. I will point out that those centers are linked to something else here — spring baseball training, tourism, high income people shopping high style, or salting centers with good dining experiences and entertainment venues. The progressive shopping center operators here (De Rito, Pedersen, Vestar) have created destinations, not just places to shop for commodities.

    Some things that just don’t lend themselves to online shopping — furniture (even if the dimensions fit, will the piece fit aesthetically?), large appliances, or products that must be installed or applied like carpeting, paint, etc. And then, color is never the same on any 2 computers so you often don’t know what you will get in real life. Even if you can get them cheaper online, the shipping charges reduce the price spread so there is no point. And, if you want to return something, it is infinitely easier to arrange with a local store than to prepare (and pay for) something to be shipped back to an online source.

    • Nadina,
      Valid points. The footage was from a major suburban mall in the Chicago area. No doubt some have adapted and thrived and God Bless to them….so many more have not and need to get realistic. Will the shopping experience go away…of course not. I am looking forward to ICSC and to see for myself some of the brilliant people and strategies that are on the horizon.

  • I believe the empty malls and defunct retailers are the result of the economy, not the internet. Retailers haven’t been caught off guard by the burgeoning online experience, rather they have embraced it (nearly all have their own online stores), used it to their advantage (most have substituted print ads with online promotions), and downsized to accommodate it (smaller stores with less inventory makes them more efficient and profitable). No doubt the retail experience is being hampered by this economy, but retailers are still counting on things like Nadina mentioned and a host of other nuances that go into the shopping experience to propel a robust rebound in the coming years. Go back to that mall in two years and it will be abuzz with vendors and shoppers.