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Market Update


American Dream Meadowlands, New Jersey


The rise of


Nuresh Maredia is the director of Appraisal & Consulting Services at Hotel & Leisure Advisors (H&LA), assisting clients in appraisals and feasibility studies for the hospitality, attractions and real estate industries.


retailtainment T


he American shopping mall has seen rapid growth in the decades since the 1950s. These retail havens were originally anchored by large department stores that


attracted shoppers and made the mall popular with the masses, but the rise of e-commerce and the explosion of online shopping have changed the retail landscape irrevocably. Mall owners are now looking for new and innovative business concepts to provide a more attractive proposition for today's consumers. These savvy operators hope to decrease vacancy rates by attracting long-term leases from tenants with lasting staying power. Movie theatres and malls have been pairing up for years


Warp Zone Game Centre at Emporium Shopping Mall, Bangkok


- movie theatres provide a historically reliable entertainment option to mall guests. As more vacancies force operators to look beyond retail, entertainment options are becoming a viable alternative for malls that are transitioning to tenants that offer entertainment experiences as well as traditional retail opportunities.


Amusement and leisure attractions are increasingly finding homes in America’s shopping malls. Nuresh Maredia explores the growing retailtainment phenomenon


A unique opportunity The American consumer’s shopping habits are changing, especially among the millennial generation. Millennials increasingly prefer spending on experiences rather than merchandise, expressing a preference for ‘doing’ over ‘owning.’ This puts the entertainment and attractions industry in a unique position to capture this demand for experience- based commerce. While the trend may be newer, the trend of experiential attractions located in malls is not really a unique concept. Several prominent shopping malls have embraced this concept and offer a variety of experienced-based attractions to their guests. Key examples include Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota; the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and American Dream Meadowlands in New Jersey, which count bowling, escape rooms, flying theatres, mini-golf and even waterparks and theme parks amongst their features. Other major attractions include indoor ski slopes like Ski Dubai, which is attached to the Mall of Emirates, and Ski Egypt, which is attached to the Mall of Egypt. Madrid SnowZone in Spain is attached to the Xanadu shopping mall. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, new tenants at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, include KidZania, an 80,000-square-foot experimental learning centre and indoor theme park for children, and the Crayola Experience, a 60,000-square-foot indoor amusement centre is planned at The Shops at Willowbend in Plano. According to a survey by leading commercial real estate data source Reis looking at 77 metropolitan areas across the country, the vacancy rate at regional and super regional malls reached 8.6% in the second quarter of 2018, up from 8.4% in the previous quarter. The 8.6% rate is near the high set in the third quarter of 2012, when the vacancy rate was 8.7%. According to real estate consulting firm A.T. Kearney, e-commerce is projected to account for a third of retail sales by 2030.


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


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