Shopping malls are beginning to show the cracks of slower sales. I've been around these things for years. When this starts, if you're the management company, you'd better react quickly and properly. And oft times "properly" has to come from God and through your gut. Call it intuition if you want. But if you don't have it yourself, you'd better find someone to advise you who does.
Here in Dallas, Raymond Nasher's creation, the famous high-end, spectacularly successful NorthPark, has more vacancies than I've seen there in many years. The latest to close up shop is a well-known jewelry store, Bailey Banks & Biddle. It's apparently liquidating all of its stores. Nevertheless, that'll leave another big blank at NorthPark.
In recent years, a good percentage of on-price and factory outlet malls haven't had to do much more than have a reasonably good mix of tenants. But that is changing, and changing quickly. And for ownership and management to ignore the inevitable will be costly.
<<==Shelly Gravino Lord and Family
Charter Oak Partners is a Virginia company that has a long and successful history of placing, tenanting and managing factory outlet malls. The last I heard, the company owned some thirteen centers.
Their senior vice president of marketing is a longtime friend of mine. When I first met her, she was Shelly Gravino. Now married, she's still called "Shelly Gravino" by old acquaintances, clients, and people in the business, but newbies know her as Shelly Lord.
Just out of college a bit more than twenty-five years ago, Shelly went to work for a failing mall. She told the mall management that if they would give her a budget to create other reasons for people to come there, she'd pack the mall with regular activities for shoppers, and from that, the mall would catch on and become successful.
By golly it worked. I know because I was very familiar with the mall before she got there, and I thought it was and would always be a dud. She made a believer out of me.
Retail conventions like the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) always have Shelly as one of their headliner speakers. And because of her knowledge and success, hers are always a sell-out. Heck, I've heard her countless times, and it's always the highlight of the meeting.
One time about twelve years ago, I was so exasperated with one of my own management contracts that I hired her to come look over the property, pat me on the head, and say, "There, there...you're on the right track." She was right. I was. But had I not consulted with here, it's likely I would have made the faulty evaluation that what I was doing wouldn't work, and needed to be changed. Then it would have failed.
So I want you to put her name and contact information in your file, so that you'll have it handy should you need her. I'm telling you, this is valuable information.
Shelly Gravino Lord, Senior Vice President, Charter Oak Partners, 8000 Towers Cresent Druve, Suite 950,Vinenna, Virginia 22182; 703 905-4400; Email: email@example.com
Copyright 2009 - William S. Cherry
BILL CHERRY, REALTORS
DALLAS - HIGHLAND PARK
Our 45th Year!