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Bath & Body Works, Foot Locker are among retailers ditching malls for strip centers, other shopping outlets

Thu, Jan 18, 2024 10:20amGrey Clock 3 min

National chains are accelerating their exit from malls for other types of retail locations, signaling more trouble for malls as consumers show a growing preference for shorter, more convenient shopping experiences.

Jewelers, shoe stores and other specialty retailers are among the operators making the shift, indicating they will continue opening at outdoor, non-mall locations such as grocery-anchored shopping centers and strip malls after finding that they perform better and typically save on costs.

“These retailers are going to grow more confident that they’re barking up the right tree as they continue to see quarter after quarter after quarter of outperformance in their off-mall locations,” said Brandon Svec, national director of U.S. retail analytics for data firm CoStar Group.

Bath & Body Works, which for years sold scented soaps and body creams to mall goers, is on track to open about 95 new locations for the fiscal year ending in February, while closing about 50, primarily in struggling malls. More than half of its 1,840 stores in the U.S. and Canada are now located outside of enclosed shopping centers.

Foot Locker said it is aiming to operate half of its North American square footage outside enclosed shopping centers by 2026, up from 36% in the third quarter.

Signet Jewelers, which owns brands such as Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared, is closing up to 150 locations in the U.S. and U.K. by mid-2024, nearly all in traditional malls. Company executives told investors last year that off-mall locations had stronger sales margins, and about 60% of its total square footage is now outside malls.

Not all retailers are exiting from malls. Publicly traded mall owners Simon Property Group and Macerich, which primarily own higher-end centers, have reported record-high leasing volume over the past year as retailers such as Hermès, Warby Parker and Alo Yoga have taken space.

But foot traffic to U.S. malls was down 4% on average in 2023 from the prior year, and about 12% lower than 2019 levels, according to real-estate data firm Green Street.

Low-end malls have seen the biggest drops in customer visits, partially because department stores have closed in higher numbers at these properties since 2017.

Online-sales data have also helped retailers pinpoint locations for successful stores with better accuracy than in the past.

“You know where your customer is buying and where they live,” said Scott Lipesky, chief financial and operating officer for Abercrombie & Fitch. “We’re looking at this digital shipping data, and we just plop a store down in the middle of it.”

Recently, Abercrombie & Fitch has been opening in city shopping districts in an effort to get closer to younger millennials and recent college graduates.

Visits to outdoor shopping centers have increased since the pandemic as the rise in remote work has given people the time and flexibility to run errands more frequently and closer to home.

Outdoor shopping and strip centers also appeal to retailers who are increasingly allowing customers to pick up or return items bought online, CoStar’s Svec said. These shoppers want to get in and out of stores quickly, and not spend time navigating large parking garages or walking across the mall.

Increasing demand for open-air space has driven up shopping-center rents to nearly $24 a square foot, the highest level since real-estate firm Cushman & Wakefield began tracking the metric in 2007.

But moving out of malls can still help retailers cut costs, particularly the common-area and maintenance charges that landlords pass on to tenants to help pay for the property’s upkeep.

Owners of enclosed malls are saddled with a host of additional expenses compared with open-air shopping centers, such as keeping the indoor walkways clean, repairing the heating and ventilation systems and maintaining the restrooms.

“It’s a lot more than blowing leaves out of a parking lot,” said Jim Taylor, chief executive of Brixmor Property Group, a real-estate investment trust that owns about 365 shopping centers across the U.S.

Taylor said he started to notice traditional-mall tenants moving into Brixmor centers several years ago. More recently, he has seen an increase in the types of retailers making the move, including those in the beauty, footwear, jewelry and housewares business.

“We’re seeing them come into the open-air centers because of the proximity and convenience to the customer,” he said.


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Tonino Lamborghini Unveils New Luxury Residences in Ras Al Khaimah

Tonino Lamborghini recently revealed a new luxury project comprising 241 units in Ras Al Khaimah, developed in partnership with Arista Developments.

Tue, May 21, 2024 2 min

Named the Tonino Lamborghini Residences, this project promises a fresh take on luxury living with its iconic design, cutting-edge amenities, and stunning sea views.

Set on Al Marjan Island, the development is adding 241 high-end units to the area’s real estate offerings, all reflecting the sleek, Italian elegance associated with the Lamborghini name.

These residences are designed to impress, featuring modern architecture that harmonizes with the scenic surroundings and interiors marked by meticulous craftsmanship and top-quality finishes.

Living in this one of the project’s units means access to a range of upscale amenities: a state-of-the-art fitness center, multiple swimming pools, beautifully landscaped gardens, and dedicated areas for children’s play. The complex also offers a business center with a conference room, an outdoor BBQ area, and a chic café, catering to all aspects of high-end living.

Arch. Abdulla Al Abdouli, Chief Executive Officer, Marjan, expressed excitement about the introduction of Tonino Lamborghini Residences to Al Marjan Island, noting the project’s blend of sustainable construction and smart home technologies. This integration, he mentioned, guarantees a luxurious lifestyle equipped with the finest modern amenities, reflecting the exquisite Italian craftsmanship. He is confident that this new venture with Arista Developments will significantly boost the allure of Al Marjan Island as a top lifestyle destination in Ras Al Khaimah for both investors and residents.

Tonino Lamborghini, President of the Tonino Lamborghini brand, said: “We are delighted to be among the pioneers in this remarkable new destination in one of the seven emirates of the UAE. Our heartfelt gratitude and recognition go to H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, for his visionary leadership and foresight, and for embracing innovative strategies to revitalize a region full of potential.”

Mr. Arthur Chu, Chairman of Arista Developments, highlighted the project’s ambition to capture the essence of the Tonino Lamborghini brand in every aspect of its design. He described the development of a prestigious residential tower on Al Marjan Island that will reflect the lifestyle and beauty synonymous with Lamborghini. From the sharp, well-defined lines of the exterior to the elegantly designed interior common areas, every detail is crafted to showcase the brand’s distinctive elegance and sophistication. Chu emphasized that the interior designs, personally crafted by Tonino Lamborghini, aim to fully immerse residents in the Italian brand’s luxurious identity.

The variety in housing options is vast, ranging from one and two-bedroom apartments to duplexes, sea view villas, signature villas, and exclusive penthouses.

The collaboration between Tonino Lamborghini and Arista Developments blends iconic Italian style with expert real estate craftsmanship. This venture marks Lamborghini’s first introduction to Ras Al Khaimah and represents a commitment to setting new standards in luxury and modern living.



Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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