Sun Sentinel – How malls are creating selfie-worthy attractions to keep you coming back

Reis in the News

By Lisa J. Huriash
Source: Sun Sentinel – How malls are creating selfie-worthy attractions to keep you coming back

Will you have a fun time at the mall? Is it even worth taking a selfie there?

As malls compete with Amazon and other online retailers, one of their biggest advantages is showcasing what shoppers simply can’t find online.

Now, customers want a fun, gee-whiz experience — moments they can share on social media. That’s a big consideration for success as South Florida sees a host of new malls underway and others undergoing renovation, industry experts say. Malls have the goal of creating a sense of place and destination so powerful that shoppers will frequent it.

CityPlace Doral, which opened in 2017, is a 50-acre center with dining, shopping and entertainment options and 700 luxury rental apartments. And it’s a stage for selfies because there’s so much going on — from light shows to art and car shows, said Steve Patterson, CEO and president of Related Development, the destination’s developer.

The average open-air mall has a 10 percent vacancy throughout the country at the end of 2018, according to Reis, a real estate research firm. The kinds of “stores that tend to do well are non-traditional retailers like trampoline parks or service-based tenants such as tutoring centers,” said Cody Bond, a Reis economic analyst.

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