By DAVID MOIN
In an expanding digital world, mall owners and operators once feared the worst — extinction.
While that’s not what’s happening, they are at a tipping point, seeking formats and ideas to reestablish the relevancy of their properties and to reverse declining traffic trends.
“The whole dynamics of brick-and-mortar is changing,” observed Andrew Jennings, the chief executive officer of Karstadt department stores in Germany.
“Traditional shopping centers have to rethink their layouts because the consumer today has limited time. That’s why the Internet is so popular because it is saving people time.”
“You can’t think of your property as just a mall. Think of it as the intersection of life,” said Michael P. Glimcher, chairman and ceo of Glimcher Realty Trust, which develops and operates mixed-use, open-air, enclosed and outlet centers including The Outlet Collection/Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, N.J. “Mix things you do with things you buy,” Glimcher advised. “It’s about how you complement the Internet, providing things the Internet can’t provide, not so much how you compete with the Internet.”